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    Had a panic attack after MDMA, psychologist says it wasn't the MDMA 
    #1
    I had the most intense panic attack of my life three days after trying MDMA. I haven't had a panic attack for probably 6 months. I have social anxiety. My psychologist did his PhD on ecstasy. He told me not to believe most of what you read on the internet. He said MDMA does not cause panic attacks. He told me he's study long term ecstasy users who have taken 1000s of pills with no negative consequences, no emotional problems etc. He said due to midweek blues and what I thought ecstasy was doing to me I had the panic attack. He said all the hype around serotonin is bs, he said serotonin was just the first neurotransmitter discovered or isolated and that's why people give it so much attention and that really it is involved in about everything in the brain and isn't the cause for depression/anxiety etc. He said serotonin levels cascade (rise?) the next day after MDMA use. What do you think? If he did a PhD on ecstasy you have to think he knows what he's talking about right?
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    #2
    I think doctors aren't gods. They are not all-knowing. I think that your panic attack could have occured for reasons other than your MDMA use, but I think it could definitely be related. MDMA is an amphetamine with a notorious range of after-effects which are often quite unpleasant in an experienced user or even a novice. MDMA does CERTAINLY have significant effect on different neurotransmitters, and to ignore that fact is just that, ignorant. While I do believe, chemical imablance is seriously over-"believed in" as the cause for mental disorders, if there is a chemical imbalance there certainly can be psychic disturbances as a result. I can't say for sure the origin of your panic attack, but it could very well be related to your recent MDMA use.
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    #3
    Bluelight Crew badfish45's Avatar
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    Hm... I think I'm going to move this to ED. Mods can feel free to move it again if it doesn't seem appropriate.

    TDS -----> ED
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    #4
    Bluelighter F1n1shed's Avatar
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    Your doc is an idiot, plain and simple. Panic attacks and MDMA use go hand in hand, just read around some more threads. Iv seen a bunch of people talk about getting panic attacks after they had rolled.
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    #5
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    It will start to rise the second the MDMA leaves your system - but the huge release of the drug into your system leaves you depleted. The depleted serotonin, mid week crash is very real (just as the millions of users out there). Lots of people have panic attacks after using it and if your already suffering from social anxiety it only makes sense that your attack was worse than usual. Do you take Propranolol for your attacks?

    If you haven't already read it, have a read of MDMA.net - gives you a pretty detailed explanation of how MDMA works etc.
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    #6
    He said that depression and serotonin are not related. He didn't deny mid-week blues but he said they are not cause by lack of serotonin.
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    #7
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    Here is a link to two case reports. These are case reports, not the longitudinal studies that would be required to completely answer your question.

    http://www.google.com/search?client=...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
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    #8
    Bluelighter F1n1shed's Avatar
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    Serotonin and depression / anxiety have a big relationship with each other, i am not going to go into details. But why else do you feel no anxiety and on top of the world while you are rolling, but once it wears off you get opposite effects. I would reconsider going back to that doc, he seems to be following false theories.
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    #9
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    When you see this doctor (psychologists are PhDs, not physicians), please remind from his undergraduate neurobiology course that acetylcholine was the first central nervous system neurotransmitter to be identified and characterized.
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    #10
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    Not being an expert in brain chemistry and stuff but from an mdma user's point of view I'd say that after rolling you are prone to emotional upsets and feel everything much more intensely for a couple of weeks after rolling (at least I do). I often get crying jags for no reason at all. You probably make yourself prone to panic attacks. Bummer! Don't know what to advise, except to say space out your rolls and don't overdose. I find that if stay in the 120 - 150 mg range the emotional ups and downs of the weeks after are less severe. Another thing is to get plenty of sunshine after rolling.
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    #11
    Honestly I would trust someone who's done over 5 years of research on the subject over some people who think they know what they're talking about...

    I have a panic disorder and I have taken MDMA and only once had a panic attack the next day - because I had coffee. All the other times I was emotional: prone to crying at movies. I'm a big believer in things are what you make them..if your worried about having a panic attack your probably going to have one. If your feeling great and fine you'll be fine.
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by InfiniteRealities View Post
    Honestly I would trust someone who's done over 5 years of research on the subject over some people who think they know what they're talking about...

    I have a panic disorder and I have taken MDMA and only once had a panic attack the next day - because I had coffee. All the other times I was emotional: prone to crying at movies. I'm a big believer in things are what you make them..if your worried about having a panic attack your probably going to have one. If your feeling great and fine you'll be fine.
    This.

    I've never had panic attacks, before or after MDMA. I've also seen people who suffer from clinical depression, OCD and panic disorders roll with no side effects.

    What's infuriating is seeing some people here completely lacking any sense of humility so easily dismissing and insulting a trained professional with research behind him, just cause they know someone who contracted *insert random emotional disorder here* from using MDMA/read a bunch of threads on the internet.

    To address the OP's question - I do believe that abusing MDMA can seriously mess up your brain's chemical balance and leave you recovering for months with very unpleasant symptoms. That said, it's highly unlikely your single experimentation with it is the reason for your panic attack.
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    #13
    Agreed ^^^^^^^^
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    #14
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    Not entirely sure what leads everyone to think that we know more than a doctor. Sure, some may be biased for/against MDMA and they don't know everything. Nevertheless, they've spent numerous years of their lives dedicated to researching the drug, which we have not. If he's taken a PhD specifically on MDMA, then i'd trust his opinion more than anyone on here.
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    #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by F1n1shed View Post
    Your doc is an idiot, plain and simple. Panic attacks and MDMA use go hand in hand, just read around some more threads. Iv seen a bunch of people talk about getting panic attacks after they had rolled.
    Says the guy with a PHD in reading horror bluelight storys online.
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    #16
    He said that depression and serotonin are not related. He didn't deny mid-week blues but he said they are not cause by lack of serotonin.
    While serotonin is not the only thing controlling mood/well-being... it certainly is one of the biggest if not the biggest system in the brain that controls it.

    They are related.

    I am not trying to say the doc is wrong if he has a PhD and has researched/studied the topic then he of all people here is the one that will most likely be right. But everyone's body is different, he claims 1000's of people have rolled with no problems at all. Ifs those 20 people in that thousand that did suffer issues from the MDMA and its the 15 of those 20 that like most people will not openly admit they are depressed/axnious/suffering from some mental issue or distress leaving that 5 people to be ignored in the 1000.

    This is my opinion, I am entitled to it. If you believe MDMA was not the cause of your panic attack then cool, so be it, your opinion is your own who are we to tell you what it is.
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    #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrSpeedyG View Post
    While serotonin is not the only thing controlling mood/well-being... it certainly is one of the biggest if not the biggest system in the brain that controls it.

    They are related.

    I am not trying to say the doc is wrong if he has a PhD and has researched/studied the topic then he of all people here is the one that will most likely be right. But everyone's body is different, he claims 1000's of people have rolled with no problems at all. Ifs those 20 people in that thousand that did suffer issues from the MDMA and its the 15 of those 20 that like most people will not openly admit they are depressed/axnious/suffering from some mental issue or distress leaving that 5 people to be ignored in the 1000.

    This is my opinion, I am entitled to it. If you believe MDMA was not the cause of your panic attack then cool, so be it, your opinion is your own who are we to tell you what it is.
    Serotonin is certainly related to mood, but I think the point the doctor is making is that is not as simple as previously thought. That is, the layman's way of explaining MDMA-induced depression/anxiety is just 'your serotonin is low, which modulates your mood, so you feel sad.' However, this theory really isn't that supported (hence why ADs are controversial). Some of the more contemporary theories suggest that actually it is a downstream effect resulting from numerous chemical imbalances (one being serotonin), causing the problems. One of my preferred theories is the Neurotrophic Growth Factor (NGF) theory (google it if you're interested). These theories are more suitable for explaining why ADs appear to only work after weeks of administration, despite causing peak serotonin levels after only hours of consumption. Surely if it was just serotonin, then increasing it would instantly relieve symptoms, which of course is not the case. These theories are also more pertinent for explaining why MDMA-induced depression doesn't occur until days after the MDMA.

    Loads of research also fails to really consider the cognitive side of depression. If you are certain you are going to have a panic attack after MDMA, then there is a good chance you will influence it to happen while in a serotonin-deprived state. I'm kind of a believer that emotions/behaviours are a result of both your brains chemical balance/functional connectivity (the brain-behaviour theory) and how you cognitively deal with the chemical balance of the brain (the behaviour-brain theory). They both influence each other, instead of just being a one-direction sort of thing. I mean, if we were to assume that everything we do is entirely dominated by chemical balances, then CBT wouldn't work. The two are able to interact. CBT could help you to reduce your stress response to situations you previously found anxiety-provoking. You could probably trace this all the way the back to CBT altering the biological basis of that situational stress response (Corticotrophin theory etc).

    Just another consideration, if 5 people out of 1000 did experience mental issues from MDMA then that would probably be statistically insignificant to a researcher. Considering researchers can only really generate conclusions based upon their data, they would conclude that MDMA does not cause problems. Whether you subjectively view that as significant is a different issue. But should you really attribute a panic attack to MDMA if only 5 in 1000 people actually report it? While this is purely speculation, I'd imagine that about 5 in 1000 people (if not more) probably report regular panic attacks without even taking MDMA. A small amount of people within a sample is not exactly compelling evidence, especially considering how bad the Ecstasy market actually is. If you wanted to be even more pro-MDMA, you could probably argue that the small selection of the sample that do report problems are a result of drug impurities and not even MDMA itself. But, i'm not convinced by that. High doses of MDMA regularly could cause depression, anxiety and panic attacks (in my opinion). However, moderate doses or one-off usage - i'm not so convinced.
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    #18
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    Semiz, . (2005). Panic disorder due to ingestion of single dose ecstasy. International Journal Of Psychiatry In Clinical Practice, 9(2), 138-141.

    It's a case study, and it's only a single study, I have yet to read it, but post-MDMA induced panic attack is a very real possibility based on anecdotal reports. The abstract says that they discuss possible mechanisms of action for it, so if you're interested just look up the study.
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    #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zalo View Post
    Semiz, . (2005). Panic disorder due to ingestion of single dose ecstasy. International Journal Of Psychiatry In Clinical Practice, 9(2), 138-141.

    It's a case study, and it's only a single study, I have yet to read it, but post-MDMA induced panic attack is a very real possibility based on anecdotal reports. The abstract says that they discuss possible mechanisms of action for it, so if you're interested just look up the study.
    I don't doubt the possibility of it's occurence in one extremely prone person, but you can't deny that it is not the norm. I've seen 'case studies' of people displaying completely atypical and unexplainable dyslexia, but they are just one person out of a collossal population who don't experience it.
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by JWills20 View Post
    Serotonin is certainly related to mood, but I think the point the doctor is making is that is not as simple as previously thought. That is, the layman's way of explaining MDMA-induced depression/anxiety is just 'your serotonin is low, which modulates your mood, so you feel sad.' However, this theory really isn't that supported (hence why ADs are controversial). Some of the more contemporary theories suggest that actually it is a downstream effect resulting from numerous chemical imbalances (one being serotonin), causing the problems. One of my preferred theories is the Neurotrophic Growth Factor (NGF) theory (google it if you're interested). These theories are more suitable for explaining why ADs appear to only work after weeks of administration, despite causing peak serotonin levels after only hours of consumption. Surely if it was just serotonin, then increasing it would instantly relieve symptoms, which of course is not the case. These theories are also more pertinent for explaining why MDMA-induced depression doesn't occur until days after the MDMA.

    Loads of research also fails to really consider the cognitive side of depression. If you are certain you are going to have a panic attack after MDMA, then there is a good chance you will influence it to happen while in a serotonin-deprived state. I'm kind of a believer that emotions/behaviours are a result of both your brains chemical balance/functional connectivity (the brain-behaviour theory) and how you cognitively deal with the chemical balance of the brain (the behaviour-brain theory). They both influence each other, instead of just being a one-direction sort of thing. I mean, if we were to assume that everything we do is entirely dominated by chemical balances, then CBT wouldn't work. The two are able to interact. CBT could help you to reduce your stress response to situations you previously found anxiety-provoking. You could probably trace this all the way the back to CBT altering the biological basis of that situational stress response (Corticotrophin theory etc).

    Just another consideration, if 5 people out of 1000 did experience mental issues from MDMA then that would probably be statistically insignificant to a researcher. Considering researchers can only really generate conclusions based upon their data, they would conclude that MDMA does not cause problems. Whether you subjectively view that as significant is a different issue. But should you really attribute a panic attack to MDMA if only 5 in 1000 people actually report it? While this is purely speculation, I'd imagine that about 5 in 1000 people (if not more) probably report regular panic attacks without even taking MDMA. A small amount of people within a sample is not exactly compelling evidence, especially considering how bad the Ecstasy market actually is. If you wanted to be even more pro-MDMA, you could probably argue that the small selection of the sample that do report problems are a result of drug impurities and not even MDMA itself. But, i'm not convinced by that. High doses of MDMA regularly could cause depression, anxiety and panic attacks (in my opinion). However, moderate doses or one-off usage - i'm not so convinced.
    I have come accross this information before and it sounds like a good theory that makes sense. I have also heard of in addition to that something to due with cortisol levels, the hippocampus and the HPTA being thrown off after MDMA abuse.

    Yes it is not entirely serotonin related, but also what JWills has said as well as the above. Some people are simply more prone to MDMA induced damage... you might be able to roll your nuts off, redosing, being in a hot environemtn and walk out with no problems yet the guy next to you could roll for the second time in his life taking a once off 150mg dose and suffer from a few months of DP/DR, depression, anxiety, cognitive deficits, brain fog etc etc

    I'm not trying to say MDMA is the devil, it's not and I love it. I got my side effects and horrible comedown from it from using every weekend for 3 months straight, because I did not respect it right. Even if you do respect it and use it properly the risk is still there.
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