Rape victim: Ecstasy treatment helped me re-integrate trauma

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 21:38 EDT
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A woman who was abused and raped at age 4 told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta that undergoing experimental ecstasy-assisted therapy sessions helped her cope with the long-lasting trauma.

Rachel Hope had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since childhood. She received ecstasy — also known as MDMA — amid a scientific study on the therapeutic use of the drug.

“I’d never done anything like that,” Hope explained. “But [lead researcher Michael] Mithoefer made it so comfortable for me and prepared me, so when I got the medicine I had an idea of what would happen. But it was pretty remarkable.”

She said it felt like all her “systems” were “lit up.” She explained that she was able to “control where I was thinking and going, and look at things differently.”

The researchers who conducted the study believe using MDMA to assist psychotherapy could help patients by allowing them to revisit traumatic memories without being overwhelmed with emotion.

“The medicine is helping me look at traumatic events and help me deal with them, and have a new perspective on that, and kind of re-integrate it,” Hope said. “So, I’m looking at these horrible experiences from my past. I’m — and that’s intense, but with the help of the medicine I was able to do it in a totally different way.”

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube on December 5 by CNN, below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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