Can The MDMA Comedown Cause Depression?

MDMA is known as a “party” drug that brightens the mood at parties and concerts. However, could this drug that promotes happiness actually have the opposite effect?


What Is MDMA?

MDMA, which stands for 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, is a synthetic drug that is similar to natural hallucinogens and stimulants. This drug, otherwise known as Molly and ecstasy, is typically taken in clubs, at parties, or in social environments. It is available in the form of capsules, tablets, liquid, and powder.

Since MDMA works by increasing serotonin and dopamine in the brain, this drug is closely associated with happiness and empathy. Individuals who use MDMA typically experience an altered mood, a change in perception, and emotional warmth.


Side Effects & Risks of MDMA

People typically use MDMA before or during a night out or with friends. While the effects above may be pleasant for some, there are also some negative symptoms that come with MDMA. Side effects of MDMA typically last for about three to six hours after taking the drug. These symptoms may include:

  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle cramping
  • Blurred vision
  • Teeth clenching
  • Sweating & chills

One of the most severe consequences of consuming MDMA, however, happens about two to three days after someone stops using. This series of serious and uncomfortable side effects, which is very similar to a hangover from alcohol, is known as a “comedown.”


What Is A “Comedown?”

A comedown occurs when an individual suddenly stops taking MDMA after using it consistently. Since a comedown only comes when someone discontinues using for a few days, it is usually a sign that someone is dependent on MDMA. Comedowns usually last about three days, but can usually be managed at home. The symptoms of a comedown from MDMA may include:

  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Impulsiveness
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Aggression
  • Decreased appetite
  • Memory issues
  • Loneliness
  • Depression

Depression, unfortunately, is one of the most common symptoms of an MDMA comedown, especially for individuals who have struggled with mental health in the past.


Depression From An MDMA Comedown

During a comedown, a person’s serotonin levels may dramatically drop. Because of this dramatic decrease, depression and suicidal thoughts may occur. MDMA dependence may eventually cause long-term changes in brain chemistry, especially for individuals who have a history of depression or other mental health conditions. Those who combine MDMA with alcohol, marijuana, or any other drugs may also be more likely to experience depression after using.


Treating Depression

After someone experiences a comedown from MDMA, it’s recommended that they stop using the substance. If you have trouble with quitting, you may be struggling with dependence or abuse. Those who are struggling with dependence on MDMA may require inpatient or outpatient treatment at a rehabilitation facility.

Individuals who have depression are encouraged to seek guidance from their doctor or psychologist. They may encourage further treatment, such as therapy or medication.

To learn more about the association between MDMA and depression, contact our team of substance abuse and mental health specialists by calling us at 866-345-2147.