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Avatar universal

Ecstasy induced Anxiety

Hi, I'm fairly new to these forums and I don't know if this is the correct spot to place my question, but its the best i could find.    Please forgive me for my lengthy thread.

Well it all started about 11 months ago. I started to use ecstasy heavily. Very heavily. I was using the drug probably about 8 or 9 times a month in fairly large doses, maybe 5 or 6 pills a night. This lasted for about 5 months. I never noticed any anxiety up until the last time i used the drug.

The last time i used the drug was probably followed by 3 days of previous use. I was having anxiety problems while on the drug. I then thought this would be a good time to stop using.

The following day i noticed when i would stand suddenly i would feel like i was going to pass out. (Note i'm not on the drug) While this was happening i noticed it was getting more sever as the day progressed. Finally after it frightened me enough i tried to drink a large glass of water. I couldn't swallow the water at all. My body went from completely dry, to completely soaked with sweat in a matter of 20 seconds. (Note i'm going into panic because when i stand i feel like im going to black out) Finally i lay down and called somebody over to the house for help and assurance. I was laying down on a couch trying to gather myself. While i was laying down i noticed horrible pains in my abdomen. they would come sharp and sudden about 4 inches to the right of my belly button if youre looking at me. ( my left side). After about 2 hours i felt normal. I finally went to sleep and woke up the next day in disbelief.

Now ever since this day i have what i think to be anxiety. Ive noticed things like caffeinated soda makes my heart start to beat very fast. Ive also noticed smoking marijuana now makes my mind race and never did before. I've also been experiencing what i think are full blown panic attacks that last for usually an hour.  first some random thought or my heart pounding will set it off. One minute I'm fine the next minute I'm walking around pacing back and fourth holding my chest, breathing in deeply and rubbing my head. trying to calm down. this will go on for about an hour.

Ive been to an immediate care center and have had 2 EKG's done. They tell me my heart is fine.
Ive also been in the back of an ambulance while having one of these episodes. The most they found was my blood pressure to be BARLEY above normal. And as time progressed fell back into a good range. Meaning my vitals were fine during my panic. I've also had standard blood test done and they came back fine as well.

Now can anybody please tell me if this sounds like anxiety caused from ecstasy use, and if so how long will this last if not permanent????

And if anybody could please relate or help me with the experience i went through the night i couldn't swallow the water and broke out into a massive sweats  PLEASE HELP.

I cannot see a dr untill next month so the more help the better i have an idea what to tell my dr.
11 Responses
366811 tn?1217422672
I don't know what XTC does for folks, so I can't draw a direct line between your ingestion and the panic. But what I CAN do is make an educated guess that your abuse of recreational drugs is, itself, one presentation of an underlying psychology which is very challenged. It seems more likely that connections between the abuse, the panic and heaven knows what else are at that level somewhere.

Because of your history with XTC and maybe others, maybe booze, too -whatever- I am loathe to guess what medications may be indicated for you to help cope with the panic and anxiety. Regardless of what form such treatment takes, it seems a sure bet that therapy would be very helpful, so you can be free both of panic and whatever draws you to drugs, or free enough to take control, anyway.

A relationship between drug use and panic disorder is by no means a rarity as you will discover on this forum, no doubt there are others here who can speak more directly to your particular experience.

You've come to the right place and I wish you well.

Avatar universal
I'm not sure the validity of this, but I have read that ecstasy use can deplete your serotonin levels in your brain.  I've also read that low serotonin can lead to anxiety and panic.  I've heard that ecstasy users use 5-htp or L-tryptophan (an amino acid) to bring their serotonin levels back up before and after use of the drug.  Again, I'm not sure the truth behind any of this, and am no expert, but if this is the case, maybe your steady use of the drug has depleted your serotonin levels causing the anxiety, but again, this is just a guess based on what I've read.

Wishing you well.
242912 tn?1402543492
I have never used XTC, but I believe there is some kind of speed in it.  I don't know WHAT is in marijuana today, but it is potent and NOTHING like it was 30yrs ago.  I have seen posts like yours time and time again.  I don't know if your anxiety is permanent, but what you CAN do is to stop all drug use right now and that includes alcohol before it DOES become permanent, because it WILL.  

Anxiety can cause symptoms too numerous to list.  You're experiencing just the beginning.  I hope I am scaring you because if you don't stop you are going to feel like this for the rest of your life, which is a long time, you're only 21

If you put marijuana or ectasy up in Search Medhelp, you can read other posts about people with your same complaints.  

I really hope you feel better soon and just pray it's not too late for you
299912 tn?1341623100
If you read my profile "about me" section, you will see that I have plenty of experience in this area, and I will give it to you straight. It is not so much the ecstacy that "caused" your anxiety and panic. However, it was the resulting "feeling" you got that you atttributed to the ecstacy, thereby effectively being "fearful" of it and becoming sensitized to those feelings. However, Pa1965 is on the right path here. Ecstacy DOES deplete the seratonin in your brain when on it. That is why you get the feelings you do on it. It is like turning on your seratonin faucet full blast (you may have noticed, at least I did, the more you take in a day, the less effect you get the further you go.

As much I have read and researched (and heard from doctors), the general concensus is that drugs such as this do not actually cause anxiety/panic, but rather they pull it to the surface and keep it there. More than likely, you have either experienced panic/anxiety beforehand (and didn't really know that is what was going on) or, you were already predisposed to have these attacks. I was sure that my "first" panic attack came from either ecstacy or DXM, as that is what I was primarily doing when I started having my anxiety pretty bad. Altough my doctor said otherwise, I just "knew" this had to be the reason why. Well, now, 7 years later, I have been remembering times that I had panic/anxiety WAY before the time that I was doing these drugs. Now I am confident that it was not the drugs that caused it, but it rather made me more aware of it.

Needless to say, after a while, I laid off of everything except marijuana, which was a daily deal for me many years prior and about 3 years after my "big one" and subsequent diagnosis. I did do LSD one last time about 1 month before before my huge panic attack and that (out of numerous times) was a VERY intense time. However, like you, once I started having anxiety all the time, whenever I smoked, I got paranoid and panicky, which was very weird because I used to be able to smoke a lot without getting any bad reactions. Paranoia and anxiety are normal reactions to marijuana to many people, and it is more than likely cause by their sensitivity to the feelings produced.

Now, coming from all of that - it is 7 years later (4 years since my last smoke) and one of the #1 things I can attribute to me being almost 100% cured is QUITTING marijuana and other drugs. I rarely even drink now too, and when I do, it is maybe 2 or 3 beers, and that is a "heavy" day for me. I never was much of a drinker though.

Knowing how I felt about things when I was in the same position as you are, I am pretty sure that you may discount what I have to say, especially about quitting. More than likely, you may be not WANTING to quit the drugs, but rather want to be sure that they are not causing the anxiety. The reasoning then is that if they are not causing the problem, then they can still be done, but you need to just address the anxiety situation separately. Trust me though, you will find out sooner or later that there is only a certain amount of time that your body and mind will still ENJOY getting high. Soon after, you will start realizing that you are not having fun any more; rather, you are just going through the motions and feeling like **** sooner and for longer. I am not dumb enough to think that by me saying quit because it will help then you will immediately do so. However, I am saying that you really need to start considering it as soon as possible. You may not think so now, but you will realize that you are not missing much. In fact, you are missing more now than you would if you were clean.

In all honesty, quitting is not going to get rid of your anxiety. Once your nerves have been sensitized, as they have been (which is the factor underlying anxiety and panic), you will have to work hard to heal yourself, with the help of a doctor and mental healt professional. However, quitting will seriously help you DEAL with the anxiety and make the healing process much easier than it would be while still doing drugs.

Avatar universal
First of all thanks for the support. Second, I have quit smoking pot for 5 months now, never want to smoke it again. It is a major trigger with my panic attacks. I smoked pot for about 6 years and it never had triggered panic until after the ecstasy use. I haven't used Ecstasy for about 5 months either. Trust me if ANY drug makes a noticeable dent to my health or lifestyle I'm sure to do away with it all at once and forever.  There is no doubt in my mind that I will NEVER use drugs again. I have no desire. I was all fun for the years it lasted and now im paying for it.  I'm more concerned about the time when i broke out into the massive sweats and couldnt drink water. From what ive read this is what happens while your body is overheating. I dont know if i damaged any internal organs. Me not knowing that is also another trigger of panic attacks. Say i get a little pain in my head, ill go over the edge with it and start panicking. Again thanks for the support

242912 tn?1402543492
I'm so glad to hear you've given up the X and weed.  And please forgive the harshness of my earlier post.  It's just that I get so frustrated with the young people today and I want to save them the pain of what I have gone through my whole life, in part, because of the poor choices I made in my youth.  I am trying to get my 16yr old niece to read this forum because I hope she might benefit from posts like yours.  However, she has had no serious consequences as of yet, so probably would think it would never happen to her.

I should have been nicer and I'm glad shelzmike followed behind me with his words of wisdom and kindness.  He's really good at this, don't you think?

Anyway, I CAN be supportive, honest!  

Thinking of you Scott.........: )

Avatar universal
thanks man , i know how you feel. I too lecture people that are following the same footsteps i did. I didn't think you were being rude don't worry about it. if anybody knows about hyperthermia let me know
Avatar universal
I too have suffered from panic / anxiety disorder induced by MDMA (Ecstacy, XTC, X, E).  Unlike yourself I had only taken 2 doses in a 3 day period, but the effects were still awful.  The anxiety grew and grew over a number of days then weeks with increased: nausea, faintheadedness, feeling that I might collapse, paranoia, racing heart, hot flashes, burning sensations, cold flushes, choking short breath, no apetite, aching muscles, unable to focus, or read.  This was accompanied by a fog of depression, where all emotions of happiness or joy were stripped -- classic "tearful Tuesday" seratonin depletion scenario.

This anxiety disorder quickly escalated into full blown agoraphobia, where I was terrified to leave the security of the house.  On the 7th day I went to the hospital where they quickly diagnosed my situation as anxiety disorder and prescribed a few days of valium or xanax to get me through the worst of the panic, followed by either psychotherapy (the talking cure) or psychiatry (SSRI's).

I had never heard about ecstacy being able to induce such a severe syndrome from such small dosage and there is very little literature about it, but our experiences are more common than people want to believe.

It is worth noting that I had been under immense professional and personal strain in the preceding 2 years and had already suffered a couple of isolated panic attacks a few months earlier.

I was lucky to find a few good resources to help me understand what anxiety disorder is.  Most useful was a website called www.anxietycoach.com, which gave me some "cognitive behavioural" tools and techniques to manage the panic attacks and re-train myself through "exposure" to deal with day-to-day issues like going to the supermarket.

It took me the better part of 4 months to get through the worst of it.  One of the key issues in overcoming the disorder was realising that I had NOT damaged my brain or body.  This is highly unlikely for you as well, but the mere fear that you might have will be enough to maintain your anxiety problem.  The trick for you will be convincing yourself that you're not damaged.  You're OK.  You just let yourself get sick, mentally ill, suffering from a very common, but much misunderstood syndrome.

The psychiatrist I saw put it very succinctly when I held a niggling doubt that there might be some damage to my brain as I would feel pressure on both sides of my head from time to time.  His response that (a) brain damage only gets worse not better and (b) is highly unlikely to occur on both sides of the head symmetrically and simultaneously convinced me that I was just letting normal physical feelings flip me into a vicious cycle of doubt, fear and then panic.

I am very lucky that I did not need to maintain a job or pay rent through that time.   I also completely cleaned up my life in an effort to, well, get my life back again: no booze, drugs, cigarettes.  Only organic foods; lots of veg, fruit, seeds and nuts; vitamins, minerals etc.  Daily excercise, yoga, acupuncture, chinese herbs, early to bed.  And most importantly: seeing a counsellor/therapist twice a week.  Talking with a professional really was the cure to the underlying causes of the anxiety.  

I still suffer from bouts of anxiety, but I think I have learned to spot the anxiety early and take action to dissipate it.

It is regrettable that the MDMA got the better of me, but I am so grateful for regaining control of my life and don't ever want to have to go through the disorder again (nor would I wish it on my worst enemy).

I hope this helps.
Avatar universal
I know you posted this ages ago, but just reading it really helped me just now. I have only done it twice in  my life, the first time was a wonderful experience, the 2nd time I had had some alcohol prior and I think that made me majorly panicky. I have been battling anxiety for close to 2 weeks now - but your post definitely helped me feel better. And I realise it is indeed only when I THINK about the drug and the permanent damage I think it may have done to me, that I get panicky. Because whatever stress or ****** things that have happened since taking the 2nd pill (a month after the first one) - do NOT cause me to panic. Only thinking about the drug itself does. The tricks of the brain! Mind over matter :)
Avatar universal
The last 2 comments in this thread helped me so much. I'm glad there's someone else who went through the same thing (I almost passed out on ecstasy) after having done it for only the second time and since have been suffering from what I think are full blown panic attacks for nearly a month. Trying to get my life back in order :)
Avatar universal
Reading all of these have really helped me. I had my first real panick attack on ecstasy and I never took more than a half a tab. That was 7 years ago and ever since then I have had anxiety problems. I'm afraid to get too relaxed and a even panick during massages. My dr. Had put me on Xanax which I'm too scared to take because I'm totally freaked out by pills now and also 7.5 mg of busporin which seems to help a little but I'm really thinking about trying the 5-HTP.  My Anxiety and panick comes from anytime I get hungry I feel like I'm going to faint and I can't get to food fast enough. I've had my blood sugar levels and all blood work done and everything is normal so I know it's only anxiety but I can't seem to shake the fear. Any suggestions?
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