Ecstasy: Mental effects

Last modified: Sunday, 31. May 2009 - 2:04 pm

Both desirable and undesirable Mental effects are experienced as a result of ecstasy use. Naturally, someone taking ecstasy is looking for the desirable effects, which include feelings of elation, openness, comfort, affection or arousal, self-confidence, and seemingly endless energy and endurance to dance the night away. There have also been reports of sharpened senses and mental clarity, feelings of floating, and hallucinations (which for some is an undesirable effect). However, the same mechanism associated with the desirable effects of ecstasy use is also associated with the undesirable effects.
Some of the negative effects of ecstasy use can be thought of as a distortion of the effects others view as positive. For example, feelings of awareness and energy are replaced by feelings of anxiety, agitation, confusion, and fear, potentially leading to irrational or erratic behavior, panic attacks, or even psychotic episodes. Both these desirable and undesirable effects are short-term and can last anywhere from three to eight hours. Another short-term effect is hyperthermia, or overheating, which can result in death.
Upon taking a dose of ecstasy the user feels a rush, sometimes within the first 20 minutes, followed by a peak high that levels off before a period of “coming down.” For some, the “coming down” is better described as a “crash” that involves the negative Mental effects associated with ecstasy use. Many of the negative effects continue beyond the period of actively using the drug. In the days following an episode of ecstasy use, the user often experiences depression, difficulty concentrating, and disturbances in mood, sleep, and appetite. Also common are paranoia, confusion, and impulsive or irrational behavior, in addition to muscle aches and stiffness from excessive activity usually associated with its use. Although the majority of ecstasy users consider the experience a positive one, with repeated use the initial euphoria felt with ecstasy use becomes less intense, and the undesired effects eventually tend to outweigh the desired ones.

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