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MDMA and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

My name is Nick G. and I served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. I was wounded by machine gun fire. The bullet entered my right hip and exited near the base of my spine.

Shortly after leaving the hospital and being placed on limited duty, I began to suffer what is now called "Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome." I would walk around the base at Pearl Harbor early in the morning, and was stopped by the Officer of the Day, who would ask what I was doing up during these hours. I would explain that I was very nervous and didn’t know what the problem was, and he suggested that I report to sick bay in the morning. I did report to sick bay and was given sleeping pills to help me sleep. I could not sleep at night due to the nightmares I was having about the war.

In February of 1945, I was placed in the hospital at Pearl Harbor due the this stress condition and stomach problems that were related to it. I endured this condition, hoping it would improve upon my being released from the Marine Corps--yet when I was released the condition worsened.

This condition I thought of as an anxiety attack. It came to me sometimes every night or day, and sometimes only once or twice a week. When it came on, it was like I could not focus on one thought. Many thoughts would swirl around my brain, and I could not get them to slow down. It could happen anytime, anywhere, and was not related to any specific setting. I would get them at work, for example, and the first thing I would have to do is get moving. By that, I mean I would have to walk or drive aimlessly for hours until this went away.

It felt like I was losing control of my mind, and I could not get ahold of any one thought. I would try to think of a pleasant thought and hold on to that, but it was useless. I felt like a living time bomb that was ready to explode.

Typically, I would go to sleep from 3 o’clock in the morning to 5 o’clock in the morning; then I would awaken for two hours. I would then go back to sleep at 7 o’clock and sleep until 11 o’clock. In the last two years, I normally would not be able to get to sleep before midnight. I was actually afraid to go to sleep because of these nightmares. I was afraid that I might hurt myself or someone else. The nightmares were so real that I would actually live them out and I would sleepwalk. I would not just walk in my sleep, but would run and make and attack!

When I would have these attacks during the day, I would sometimes become violent. It was very hard to make friends and I really did not like people. When I was around people I wanted to hurt them because I was very easily offended. When I would get an especially bad attack, I would go out and look for trouble. I would go to places hoping I would get mugged and then have an excuse to kill someone. On two occasions, I pulled cars off of the road and beat up the drivers. This was the way I had been living prior to experiencing MDMA.

Then one day a friend called me and said that he had something that he thought could help my condition, and wanted me to come to his place and try it. He was an ex-employer whom I have known for many years, and was well aware of my condition. He could not understand what I was going through, but he sympathized and would walk with me for hours when I would have these attacks. He was a very understanding person; had he not been he would have fired me on the spot many times. I would walk right out of the store during these attacks, and not come back for hours. Because I was in management, my hours were flexible, and I would make up for my lost time later in the day or night. Sometimes I could not go to sleep, and I would work all night until morning. This was one of the ways I would divert my energy during these attacks. Especially when I was trying to get off Valium, I would work as long as I could stand up.

The only thing that would relieve it was Valium. I was told by my doctors to cut down on it, and try to take it as little as possible get off it. When I attempted this, it caused the attacks to become longer in duration and more intense. Also, after being without the Valium for a short while, it would take more Valium to subdue the attacks--when they began the next time--then I was taking originally, so I felt like I was just spinning my wheels.

So I lived with this throughout the years, and was having difficulties with my job and my wife. She could not understand what was happening. I would have these nightmares, where in one instance she woke me up and I had her by the throat. She could not understand what was happening; nobody could. My hip was also very painful. At times I could not walk at all and would have to receive a shot of Cortisone in order to relieve the situation. And still I would be immobile for two or three days, until the Cortisone would take effect and then I would go back to work.

So between my hip and my mental condition, I was going through "a living hell." That's the only way I can describe it. I thought of committing suicide and prayed to God to take my life millions of times. I just wanted to die. I have gotten into such a state in the last two years, and especially the last six months, where I was like a living zombie. I didn't want to do anything. I didn't want to be around anyone, especially crowds. I had no friends, and I just wanted to die. That's all I ever thought about. I thought, "Why does God let me live like this? Why doesn't He just take my life? And if I live, why can't I be like everyone else? Why do I have to live with this mental problem?"

Throughout the years, I went to psychiatrists, doctors, and have tried different diets-- you name it, I've tried it. I've tried meditation, Yoga, and nothing worked. The only thing that helped was Valium, and I was taking up to five a day. I tried many times to get off of it, and could not make it over two days. When I went without it for a while, I thought I was going insane. There was no way I could get off of it. I smoked about two and a half packs of cigarettes a day. I was drinking about two pots of coffee per day, and maybe two quarts of Pepsi per day. I was living on coffee, cigarettes and Pepsi.

Due to this, I had lost a lot of weight and my friends thought I looked awful. About three months ago, two people said that I would not live over six months, judging by the way I looked. I could not walk over two blocks at one time because of my hip.

So, my friend was very understanding, and thought that this MDMA would help. It had helped his back injury, which was due to a motorcycle accident which had happened years ago. It had helped him to relax enough so that he could get around much more easily. He had heard that it had helped people to get off drugs, and that's why he thought it might help me. I was very sceptical, but my friend was very persistent and finally I gave in and went to his place to try it. I took two pills, (240 milligrams), and sit back to wait and see what would happen.

The first thing that happened was that I felt one of these anxiety attacks coming on, and I felt that something really bad was going to happen next. So I then started to look for the door--but I did not make it very far because I could not move very fast under the influence of this MDMA. I then thought, "Oh God, what next?" Then my friend walked me back to the couch and told me to try to relax. I was very uptight, and very tense, expecting that something very bad was going to happen. I was afraid that I would become violent, and perhaps hurt someone in the room.

Then I saw a vision of God.
And, by seeing this vision, I knew that I was in God's hands and had nothing to worry about. This happened so fast, in just a flash. I also felt a movement of some kind in my head--it was as if my brain jerked. Knowing I was in God's hands, I was able to relax. At that point, I completely relaxed. All the tensions had left me, and I felt that I had never relaxed this way in my life. After this, I was in such a relaxed state that I fell asleep for about an hour.

When I woke, my friend asked me if I felt better and I said I felt great--I had never felt this good in my life! I stood up and looked around the room, and realized that everything was all right, I felt light as a feather and strong as a bull. And then it dawned on my that I was walking. I was not limping, and not only that, I had no pain in my leg.

I just couldn't believe it. I just couldn't believe that all this had happened to me. And I was showing my friend, who was aware of my condition, that my hip was better. I was poking and pounding it, and there was no pain! My friend was well aware of my condition-- in fact he had driven me to the hospital when I had lost the feeling in both of my legs and could not walk. I was on "cloud nine." I was not expecting anything, and all this had happened. I could not believe it.

The I went to reach for a cigarette. Before I could pick it up, I could taste it mentally and it made me nauseated. So I did not smoke a cigarette for the rest of the day. That night I got to bed around 11 o'clock, and slept through the night until 7 the next morning. This was the first time I have slept clear through the night without interruption since the war.

The next day, I felt like a million dollars. I started to go through my usual routine and make myself a cup of coffee. When I saw the coffee, I again got nauseated. Prior to this, I was drinking two to three pots of coffee per day, and this time I decided to maybe try to drink it later. Later, it turned out that I still could not drink the coffee, and so I went ahead and had something healthy for breakfast instead. I had cereal, milk and orange juice, and it tasted great! In fact, all the foods that I normally did not bother with tasted great, and I began to eat again. I am now gaining weight and getting back into shape.

So this day I decided to stay home and just enjoy this incredible, relaxed feeling that had come over me. The following day, I decided to test my hip and see what had happened-- and I started to walk. I walked five miles that day, and for the next three days I walked five miles each day--and felt no sign of pain at all. I was no longer having nightmares. I was no longer having to take the Valium. I was no longer drinking coffee or smoking. My anxiety attacks were almost gone. It's unbelievable! I had on two occasions started to get my attacks, but I was able to suppress them by breathing exercises--which I was not able to do previously. They did not last very long at all, only a moment, and I was able to suppress them very quickly.

I feel very different towards people, also. Instead of hating everything and everyone, I now feel great love and compassion for everyone.A classic example is that, before the two pills, I told a woman whom I ha been seeing for quite a while that I did not want to ever see her again. This was done in a fit of anger. Now she has moved back in with me and we are planning to get married. I can feel love again, and I am gathering friends again.

I cannot believe that before I did not have a friend in the world, and now I have so many friends that I cannot keep up with them. Also, that the war--which previously was so near and so vivid in my mind--is now so far away, vague and hard to recall. It's like something I read in a history book, and not like something lodged in my mind.

Physically, I feel light as a feather. Mentally, I feel free. Spiritually, I feel strong, like a newborn babe. People say that I look as though I have had a facelift. I feel like I have taken thirty to fifty years away from Old Man Time. I feel like I have been taken from the gates of hell to the gates of heaven.


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