Also known as ecstasy and Molly, MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a synthetic psychoactive drug that’s primarily used for recreational purposes. MDMA is known for altering mood and perception, producing side effects like feelings of increased energy, pleasure, emotional warmth, and distorted sensory and time perception. Ecstasy was initially a popular drug in the nightclub scene and raves (all-night dance parties) but has recently affected a broader range of people outside of these settings. Unfortunately, many people are ignorant of the drug’s impact on both physical and mental health. Keep reading to learn more about MDMA depression and why it can happen.
How Does Molly (MDMA) Affect the Brain?
MDMA acts as both a stimulant and hallucinogen, altering both a person’s physical and psychological state. Specifically, ecstasy impacts chemicals like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
- Dopamine: MDMA acts on the central nervous system (CNS) by increasing dopamine levels, leading to increased energy, activity, and an activated reward system. These effects, therefore, encourage further drug use and motivate these behaviors.
- Norepinephrine: This chemical increases heart rate and blood pressure, which are especially risky side effects for people high on MDMA. Because this drug is often taken at parties and other busy social events, users often neglect to hydrate, increasing their risk of blacking out and other complications due to severe dehydration.
- Serotonin: Molly also interacts with the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, which is responsible for affecting mood, appetite, sleep, and other functions. It also triggers hormones that play a role in sexual arousal and trust, which is why increased empathy for others and increased socializing are common among MDMA users.
Other common side effects of MDMA include:
- Blurred vision
- Decreased appetite
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Involuntary teeth clenching
- Memory problems
- Muscle cramping
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Sleep problems
In addition to these side effects, many people also believe that Molly causes depression or can lead to depressed moods. If you notice any of these signs in a loved one, our Pennsylvania drug rehab offers inpatient detox for ecstasy as well as addiction treatment that can help the individual safely quit.
Can You Get Depression From MDMA Use?
Usually, drugs that impact dopamine, like Molly, and depression tend to be linked. But is that the case here?
Because Molly elevates serotonin and dopamine levels, users usually feel an intense sense of euphoria, pleasure, and reward when they’re high on the drug. During an MDMA high, the person may feel on top of the world, talking and laughing with people they probably don’t even know.
But it’s a whole other story when the high wears off. When the high begins to fade, post-Molly depression kicks in.
MDMA depression can occur when the person is detoxing from the drug or when they’re experiencing an after-high crash. When the side effects of Molly dissipate, serotonin and dopamine levels drop, and mood drops along with them.
For this reason, feeling depressed after Molly is common and may come along with symptoms like fatigue, irritability, agitation, and disinterest in once enjoyable activities. Other symptoms that may occur as ecstasy effects wear off include dehydration, nausea, dizziness, headaches, and muscle aches.
Additionally, while many people only use MDMA on social occasions, repeated and long-term use can lead to physical and psychological dependence. Because this drug impacts mood-related chemicals in the body, long-term use can inhibit the brain’s natural ability to produce these chemicals on its own.
This means that when the person isn’t high or when they try to quit, Molly depression symptoms may occur. On a separate note, we must also address the use of MDMA for depression.
While there have been studies on the use of Molly for depression, this research is ongoing, and no legitimate claims have been made. In other words, the effects of Molly on depression remain unpredictable, so it’s best to avoid any form of drug or alcohol use if you have a mental illness or a family history of mental illness.
Get Help for MDMA Abuse Now
Depression itself could also lead to MDMA use, which is why the two are interconnected. If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug or alcohol use, our Pennsylvania rehab can help.
We offer ecstasy addiction treatment among numerous other programs to help clients recover physically and psychologically from substance abuse. Call Clearbrook Treatment Centers today at 570-536-9621 for more information about our Pennsylvania addiction treatment.