Citation: Person B. "Adverse Encounter: An Experience with MDMA (exp115598)". Erowid.org. Jul 29, 2021. erowid.org/exp/115598
|75 - 100 mg
||(powder / crystals)
| T+ 1:00
||25 - 50 mg
||(powder / crystals)
| T+ 48:00
||Tryptophan - 5-HTP
Adverse MDMA Encounter
My intention with this anecdotal report is to help spread awareness. I heard the founder and executive director of MAPS, Rick Roblin, speak recently that some of his research relies heavily on anecdotes due to the current challenge of conducting clinical trials. I had a very negative MDMA experience recently that I think could benefit research for safe drug use.
Person A and person B are romantic partners and decided to take MDMA and go to the park. This was something they had planned to do for several weeks. The purity of the MDMA was not in question. In fact, person B had personally taken the same batch before and had extremely positive results. With their "set and setting" greenlighted, dosing estimated one 75 - 100mg dose to begin with and another 25 - 50mg as a booster. Roughly the same doses were used by person B before.
15:00 - Ingestion of substance.
16:00 - No noticeable effects. A booster dose is taken.
16:30 - Both individuals begin to feel the effects.
17:30 - Positive experience for Person A ensues. Person B is feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Person B understands that sometimes the beginning of the MDMA experience can feel like this but generally it is short-lived.
18:00 - Person A is lying down. They are calm, at peace, and even mention that it is not very intense for them. Person B continues to pace around and feels restless. Waves of intensity pass over them and the feelings of anxiety perpetuate.
19:00 - Person A is feeling the effects slowly diminish. Person B stopped feeling waves and rushes of intensity and found themselves in a new headspace. This feeling is similar to the traditional positive MDMA headspace but without any of the magic. Person B feels empty and numb. This makes person B very worried because they are aware of the phenomenon of "losing the magic" and think that they have done serious damage to their brain chemistry.
20:00 - The effects for both individuals have worn off or are wearing off.
21:30 - Both individuals go to sleep.
The next day is a typical post MDMA experience for both individuals. Brain fog and fatigue are moderate and managed correctly with 9 hours of sleep the night prior, healthy foods, and low levels of activity. The day ends without any unusual experiences other than disappointment and confusion from Person B over why the experience lacked magic.
- Ingestion +40hrs: Person A feels back to normal. Person B is experiencing very high levels of irritability, distress, and anxiety that are very difficult to manage. These symptoms continue throughout the day.
- Ingestion +64hrs: Person B still feels irritable and very anxious for the morning hours. This experience dissipates and is replaced by heavy brain fog and an unprecedented feeling of emptiness.
- Ingestion +88hrs: Levels of anxiety for person B have reduced but the feeling of depression had increased. This feeling is sustained for a subsequent seven days (247 hours after ingestion).
After 10 days, person B begins to feel more like normal but notices that there still remains a lingering numbness. They smile infrequently, seldom feel happy, and cannot cry (Person B is uncertain whether or not this is a result of the MDMA experience).
Person B considers themself a responsible drug user. They are familiar with psychedelic literature and have previous experiences with marijuana, psilocybin, LSD, and ayahuasca. Person B has had challenging experiences with substances before but never an experience that was so negative physically and emotionally. Nor has person B ever experienced sustained adverse effects for such a long duration afterward. Person B speculates that the reason the experience was so negative was that they consumed a similar dose of MDMA four weeks prior which gave them insufficient time to recover.
Additionally, is important to note that the total number of MDMA experiences for Person B is six within a six-year period. Person B considers themselves mentally healthy and has never been diagnosed with anxiety or depression. Mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder do not run in their family. Person B is physically healthy, exercises regularly, and consistently eats a healthy diet. They were well hydrated before, during, and after the MDMA experience and did not consume any supplements, medications, or substances before or during the MDMA experience. Person B started to take a 5htp supplement 48hrs after the experience but did not notice any benefits.
Update 7 weeks after the experience:
Person B is feeling much better. They have much more energy and feel back to normal but reflect on the experience as deeply negative and arguably traumatic.
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