My name is James Hardin, known to my friends as CJ, and I am a former U.S. Army Sergeant. I spent multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. After my second tour in Iraq, I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from from what I experienced during combat and lot of other issues.

I was prescribed many medications to treat my PTSD symptoms, but none of the treatments helped me. Neither group therapy nor the rarely available personal counseling seemed to change anything either. My diagnosis developed into treatment-resistant PTSD and I began to drink extremely heavily and smoke upwards of two packs of cigarettes a day.

My marriage dissolved when I was stationed in Korea, and I separated from the service. For about a year, I stayed in temporary housing and a camper while continuing to drink and smoke heavily. I met my girlfriend of 3 years in Marshall, NC, and she began to try to assist me in seeking help after learning about and experiencing what I was going through.

I learned through friends about how researchers were studying the use of MDMA combined with psychotherapy for the treatment for PTSD. After a quick search, I found out about the study conducted by MAPS and I applied to participate. I was accepted to the study and I saw a profound difference in my symptoms after the first treatment. After only 3 sessions of therapy with MDMA, my score on the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale went from 87 to 7 and I no longer qualified for a diagnosis of PTSD.

Now that I have recovered from PTSD, I am able to lead a happy and productive life again. I can enjoy my beautiful relationship with the love of my life and my friends and family. It is my personal goal to spread awareness about research into this treatment method so that veterans and others suffering from traumatic events can also experience life without PTSD in the near future.

To learn more about research into treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, visit and

Ask me anything!


Edit: Wow, lot's of interest. Please be patient and I'll try to attend to all of your questions. :-)

Edit: I am engaged to the woman who rescued me to begin with! Now comes the hard plans.....I'm down.

Comments: 327 • Responses: 89  • Date: 

FapoleonBonerparte147 karma

Hi Mr.Hardin, could you please explain what the therapy was like and how effective it was ?

CJHardinIRL76 karma

I'll give you an example of how a single MDMA session goes. I underwent a total of 3 treatments a month apart.

I'd arrive at the office, a small comfy house in a quiet neighborhood in Mt Pleasant, SC at 10am. We'd chat for a bit and get me situated and comfortable on the futon bed and get my baseline vitals. At 10:30 I'd take the dose of MDMA and talk at my leisure. They had quiet, soothing music playing and I had a sleep mask that I could put on whenever I want. After the MDMA had taken effect, I'd simply talk about whatever I wanted with the doctor and his wife, a nurse. Usually it was the things that had been troubling me that I would talk about and then contemplate, but I was free to talk about anything else as well. These sessions would go until about 5pm when the MDMA had mostly worn off.

As far as how effective the treatment is, the CAPS scores speak for themselves. I've tried many treatments for my PTSD, but this one was absolutely effective.

Goupidan18 karma

was it more directed or undirected?

CJHardinIRL33 karma

Mostly undirected. Once I had processed one block of thought, I kind of filed it away and then searched for what I wanted to talk about next. Without the last stuff to think about, the next most important thing came to mind in due time.

mage2k12 karma

Did they provide glow sticks?

CJHardinIRL46 karma

I joked about the glow sticks, but unfortunately, there were no glow sticks. :-( That said, I spin fire now, so there is that.

mage2k6 karma


Blortblart9 karma

Hi. How large was your dosage per session? What Im trying to get at is - were you blasted out of your head (i.e. Overpowered by it) or was it more like a mild sensation, or somewhere in between?

Edit: Question 2: what did the therapist do? Mostly empathize or constructively criticize, or somewhere in between?

Question 3: could your recovery have been possible without a therapist or guide, just by self medication?

CJHardinIRL25 karma

1: The dosage was 125mg. It was substantial, but I held my ground. I layed flat for the onset, about one hour, but talked and joked the entire time. After that it was easy.

2: They listened, mostly empathizing and conversing, NO criticism.

3: Nope

dr1nkycr0w6 karma

Wow I've taken large doses a few times. I can only imagine what that's like for a newbie

CJHardinIRL11 karma

It's daunting, but it certainly let's you know that you are experiencing something profound.

essextrain31 karma

Would you recommend this therapy to others that suffer from PTSD?

CJHardinIRL83 karma

Absolutely. This is the main reason that I am doing this AMA and speaking to media outlets. This treatment is very effective and actually treats the root problem rather than temporarily treating the side effects. My hope is that MDMA will be dropped to a Schedule II soon so that other practitioners will be able to start using it in psychotherapy. I find it rather upsetting that a cure for PTSD exists today but it's being delayed by those set on prohibition and is based upon flawed information being spread by certain media outlets.

learntoforget14 karma

i'm so glad you mentioned you're speaking to the media!! ptsd is so horrific and treatment is so possible, the law and perception of illicit substances are just standing in the way. you're awesome, keep on telling your story!

CJHardinIRL28 karma

I'm one of the few that gets to speak about my experience of a drug that is not legal elsewhere and demonized with the media with impunity, regardless of political affiliation. Either way, MDMA saves lives, period. People may abuse it outside of clinical use, but name a drug that is now abused outside of clinical scope. It's like if someone found the cure to cancer, and then found out people could enjoy that drug in a recreational way. In all likelihood, it would be banned.

horsthorsthorst-8 karma


_julain1 karma

BRB gonna go join the army so I can get PTSD and take MDMA! LOL! SO MUCH FUN!


dude. war's going to happen, PTSD or not. the least humanity can do is make life easier for those who get it.

CJHardinIRL2 karma

The least that humanity can do is not wage war.

learntoforget29 karma

hello :) i have also cured my ptsd with the help of mdma, although without professional assistance, just on my own and therefore probably not as effectively. i wanted to hear your input on why you believe this is so effective, i've done research (even a research paper on illicit drugs treating ptsd!) but it's still a bit of a mystery as to why mdma works so well. do you think it's the flood of dopamine/serotonin/etc or the ability to be open and honest and view your problems in a more positive light?

thanks and good luck with your ptsd-free future :)

CJHardinIRL38 karma

I'm glad that you were able to find some relief for your PTSD! I attempted to do it on my own prior to the study and I saw some benefit, but knew that I needed to seek professional help knowing the potential healing power of the drug.

I think that the reason that MDMA therapy is so effective is that the MDMA has a way of opening your mind and allowing you to uncross some of the wires that are twisted up. I compare it to rebooting a computer and configuring BIOS again so that the whole computer works better. The physicians that sat in on my treatment were essentially like a tech rep giving me hints as to how to reset my machine back to factory specs.

In each session, I felt a great sense of safety and peace, a loss of sense of time, and a loss of surrounding space awareness. This allowed me to focus on the thoughts that I had pushed away and drowned in alcohol for so long. It allowed me to focus on my inner healing rather than what is going on around me. The serotonin dump definitely allowed me to feel better while discussing difficult thoughts and memories.

Ghazz6 karma

I've done some "research" in this area in my own lab. It is like a reboot /agree. When a system is so messed up, sometimes you are better off just wiping the hard drive.

CJHardinIRL18 karma

As a guy that has done computer programming for a bit, you have the most concise understanding of the process. The only difference is that I just kept the initial HD in a sandbox as I re-installed the OS and BIOS. Then I mounted the old HD with a buffer so I could pull the data I wanted to keep and trash the extraneous stuff that was conflicting the system.

Kman18983 karma

Did you honestly need the clinical setting though?.... Seems like you just talked and they listened. Something that could easily be repeated in he safety of your own home/with the right people helping you.

CJHardinIRL21 karma

I'd agree with you about being able to do it at home if my friends consisted of a man who had multiple doctorates and vast experience in psychedelics, along with an amazingly trained nurse who had the same experience and was able to cement the husband and wife team so perfectly. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Their care and expertise was paramount to the treatment.

PayJay23 karma

Dude congratulations and thank you. I hope your continued service ends up helping many others down the road.

Here's a slightly off topic question: have you heard that any other substances are being tested in this manner? I feel like LSD needs to be researched in the same way, so far it's only been researched for mind control purposes ie MK ultra.

Also did use of MDMA have an effect on your cultural tastes like music, etc?

CJHardinIRL23 karma

I know that there are studies that are occurring around the world with many different types of substances being tested for many different types of ailments. Ibogaine, LSD, and cannabis come to mind. A great place to find out about these studies is on the MAPS website.

Some of the studies are observational studies (ie MAPS is only observing or analyzing results, and some are active or soon to be active studies. The website will keep you up to date on the cutting edge work that MAPS is doing.

As far as my cultural tastes, I don't think there was a change. What I have noticed is that a appreciate music and other cultural events much more than before. Now that I have an engrained sense of safety again, I get to pay attention to what I'm listening to or participating in much more. I'd compare it to being at a concert and taking off the headphones that was playing white noise and random talk radio backwards, with the distracting noise being all the thoughts that were flying around inside my head. I get to enjoy what I went to hear, if that makes sense.

Ace19996 karma

The Spice must flow.

CJHardinIRL8 karma

I'm a Dune fan, so I am laughing right now! :-)

Ace19997 karma

I figured you were by the way you write.

CJHardinIRL6 karma

Frank Herbert was an amazing writer, along with Hunter S Thompson and Sasha Shulgin. I've always been interested in their writing styles and their personal experience. I'm glad that you enjoy them as much as I do.

karmanaut20 karma

The OP has sent additional proof to the mods.

jbg8941 karma

Mods are now rolling their balls off.

CJHardinIRL3 karma


xalphox16 karma

Thank you for doing this AMA as well as your service.

  1. During your struggle with PTSD, what were the worst symptoms you encountered?

  2. How soon after your treatment did you start to notice a positive effect?

CJHardinIRL28 karma

I'm proud to have served!

  1. As far as my symptoms went, the major ones were crippling anxiety and hyper-vigilance. Any change in my environment, be it a sudden sound, air pressure change in the room from a shutting door, or a bird suddenly appearing at a window would put me into a very alert state with a rapid pulse and a loss of breath. Sometimes the episodes got so bad that I would almost pass out and I did in a few instances. Because of this I rarely went out of the house, and if I did, I usually did so under the cover of darkness.

  2. I noticed a profound change after the first session. It was as though a switch got thrown that I had been trying to reach for years. I finally felt a sensation of safety. One of the questions that I was asked at the following 2 sessions was if I thought that I really needed another session or if I felt like the MDMA had finished it's task. After session 2 I said that the treatment was likely already effective.

It was in the first few hours of the first session that I felt a strong feeling of being safe again.

PM_Me_For_Drugs11 karma

Really glad you're feeling better, man.

CJHardinIRL12 karma

Hehe, you and me both! It really feels like a new life with opportunity again. I wish more people could benefit from this amazing therapy method.

erunamiryene5 karma

I just wanted to say thanks for posting these; I'm going to be sending your links to my husband, so hopefully maybe he'll consider pursuing treatment beyond "I can just stubborn my way through my PTSD because other people have had it worse".

CJHardinIRL3 karma

Each person is affected differently by PTSD, as we are all human and unique. I hope he checks out some of the info about this treatment. If I, CJ were to say one thing to him, it's that he may be surprised to find out that he has it worse than many others in comparison.

If you haven't perused it yet, check out the research tab on the MAPS website.

Rob_Lowe_Escobar16 karma

Im a vet suffering from ptsd as well. My question is were you rated by the VA for PTSD. If so, did you lose that rating after this procedure?

CJHardinIRL20 karma

I'm sorry to hear about your PTSD. Just keep in mind, things will get better.

I had applied for disability with the VA and turned in all the proper paperwork. When it came time to do the first treatment with MAPS, the VA had still not contacted me in regards to my claim that I had submitted almost a year prior. Ironically, when I was travelling from the hotel to the treatment site for my 3rd and final session, the VA calls to schedule my psych eval for my claim.

I attended the evaluation and the "forensic psychologist", after only 15 minutes, told me that I never had PTSD. This was amusing and maddening at the same time because my VA medical records were reviewed by MAPS prior to being accepted to the study and were part of the basis of my acceptance.

If you are already rated by the VA system, then unless they perform another evaluation for rating, you should keep your rating. MAPS is not related to the VA in any way, so the treatment is not reported to the VA. Being that I never had a rating, I had nothing to lose and my sanity and happy life to gain.

As far as losing your rating, even if you did, you'd be back on top of your game, free of PTSD, and ready to hit the job market again, making the disability check something that can be let go. Hope that answers your question.

DomX14 karma

Do you have a newfound affinity for raves? If so, how hard did the bass drop?

CJHardinIRL36 karma

I've actually been to quite a few EDM concerts and events but never to a rave. I've also never done any types of drugs at those events, so the MDMA treatment really didn't increase my enjoyment of EDM. I'm still a big fan of a proper bass drop though. :-)

thetwo228 karma

how would war look like if both sides of the conflict were given MDMA?

CJHardinIRL13 karma

Well, I doubt there would be a war.

CJHardinIRL5 karma

If only MDMA worked that way! :-)

Goupidan7 karma

Seeing how PTSD can develop after trauma, what are your thoughts on war? Are you now an advocate of peace, and of a different US foreign policy?

CJHardinIRL13 karma

I've been an advocate for peace even while still in the military. If there was a change from 2001 CJ to 2014 CJ, it's that war should be weighed very carefully, and should be the FINAL option. It seems that the policies in place when OIF and OEF started did not reflect that ideology. I volunteer for Veterans for Peace when I can and I plan to speak further for them and organizations like them.

Goupidan3 karma


CJHardinIRL7 karma

You are welcome. I'm all about supporting my fellow soldiers, mostly by keeping them alive. I like my friends better when they have a pulse! :-)

tmishkoor6 karma

Not to get off topic, but when you were in Iraq, what did you think of the place (besides the war)?

My parents are from Iraq, and they say that before the war in 1980, Baghdad was the most beautiful place they had ever been. Do you have an opinion on that?

CJHardinIRL6 karma

If it were not for the war then I think that Iraq wasn't really that bad at all, other than the fact that it is located in a very hot desert. I liked the architecture there (what was left of it) and the people were for the most part very vibrant and hard working. I got to see a few of the palaces there and I was both impressed and saddened by their opulence in a place where so many have so little. TL,DR: Drop the thermostat about 20 degrees and remove the war and it was a very interesting place.

DanishJesus6 karma

How big of a role did the doctor and nurse play in the sessions? Compared to let's say two intelligent young men having a dose and and then just talk about life and problems. I am not asking you to recommend taking illegal drugs, but do you think that it could be beneficial compared to just tripping?

CJHardinIRL7 karma

I think it was the primary factor in my treatment. First, just having the comfort that I had a very talented doctor and RN who have LOTS of experience with my exact case and the MDMA made it where I felt safe to take this journey. They knew exactly how to help me process my feelings and thoughts and carefully and gently guided me in the right direction during the sessions, helping me keep on track and process a lot.

I've done MDMA in a less formal environment with the goal of treatment, but of course the clinicians would have better results than my friends, as they have honed their skills on treating PTSD.

In that case, I'd say that non-experts would not be able to obtain the same results.

cannabisms6 karma

Thanks for serving, man. MDMA has definitely helped me with my anxiety issues, but only seemed to work when I was on it/for about 24 hours afterwards. To what degree does MDMA help after the inital dose, say days, weeks, or months after the fact?

CJHardinIRL19 karma

I sensed a permanent change after the first session. It wasn't really the MDMA that did the healing, the MDMA was more like the solvent that allowed the healing to occur in the way it did. I think that the format of counseling that my clinicians did was what did the healing. The MDMA just served as their vehicle to take me on my journey to healing.

Discount_Deity9 karma

the MDMA was more like the solvent that allowed the healing to occur in the way it did

Thank you for clarifying this.

CJHardinIRL10 karma

If there is anything a sufferer of PTSD would like, it's clarity. I like having it and making it. :-)

Ray_del_Mundo2 karma

Hey, man, thanks for speaking about this. The way you express things is amazing and I think you can do a lot to push this forward. Please keep speaking out. It's critical that we get tools that work, like MDMA, to those who need them. Illustrating that it's not just a party drug, but actual medicine, is key.

CJHardinIRL4 karma

It's my pleasure to speak out, and I'll continue doing so until these drugs are available to clinicians. It shouldn't matter that a drug can be used for recreational purposes. If that were a reason to make something illegal, then I'd love for someone to explain why Oxycontin, Adderal, and Morphine are still legal because those drugs are abused FAR more than MDMA, with far more harmful effects.

YELLIO6 karma

Do you have nightmares?

CJHardinIRL11 karma

I do occasionally, but not nearly as frequently as I did before. Before the treatment, I'd have maybe 4-5 nightmarish nights a week, with all of the nightmares centering on war and being forced back into the Army as is (with long hair and no uniforms, so I was always in trouble). These days, after the treatments, I may have a bad dream about once a month, and it usually has something to do with getting a job or having an exciting adventure.

The nightmares were a big problem with me before, as they made me an emotional wreck and deprived me of sleep. For a while I was prescribed a low dose blood pressure medication to help prevent me from dreaming along with a nightly Ambien. The problem was that the nightmare pills would make me very dizzy and faint in the morning (not very good for the morning exercise sessions) and the Ambien was responsible for a lot of lost memory and dangerous night walking.

All in all, the treatment reduced my bad dreams almost completely to none.

lagomc5 karma

What was the dosage of MDMA you were given during sessions and how much time was there in between sessions? Also, did you take any other medications or supplements with the intention offsetting serotonin depletion etc?

CJHardinIRL5 karma

Good question! It ended up that I was getting the 125mg dose. It was a triple blind study so I nor the doctors knew what my dose was until right before the 3rd session. Each session was approximately a month apart with a non-MDMA counseling session between and daily phone calls for a week following each session. I was offered a supplemental dose 2 hours into the session but I declined each time. The supplemental dose was 1/2 the regular dose so it would have been an additional 62.5mg.

As far as supplements to regain serotonin, it seemed as though the month break was sufficient to build it back up prior to the next session and I didn't want to scew the study statistics. If I recall correctly there was nothing against me taking a 5-HTP supplement or taking a few epsom salt baths but I decided to not do so.

KelleyMcMillan5 karma

How did MDMA-assisted psychotherapy actually work to relieve your PTSD?

CJHardinIRL13 karma

The MDMA-assisted therepy worked for me because it allowed me to clear my mind and focus on the individual thoughts that I had been carrying around for so long. Before, it was a lot of thoughts at once and it made it impossible to tend to a single one of them without feeling overwhelmed. That caused me to set up mental blockades that shielded me from the thoughts that hurt and bothered me the most. The MDMA broke down those walls and allowed me to consider each thought on a singular basis, and then to file that experience away and consider the next thought or experience. Essentially, it allowed me to rewire my brain from where it had been twisted and disconnected by trauma and bad experiences and thoughts.

INeedAPinaColada5 karma

When was the last time you cried?

CJHardinIRL10 karma

Wow, that's a good question. I'm actually having to think about it. Honestly, I don't remember. I used to cry all the time, usually in private, but after a while I'd let my girlfriend see. I think the last time I cried I was watching Restrepo, a movie about a unit in Afghanistan. That was quite a while ago, before I finished my treatments. I had probably watched that movie 10 or more times, because even though I cried a lot, I felt SOMETHING. The last time I watched it was to show my girlfriend/partner what a day might look like there. Again, it's been a while since I cried, I'm not afraid to do so, but I haven't had a need for a while.

InTupacWeTrust5 karma

Its amazing how many soldiers that went to war and come home just to develop PTSD. How bad was yours? My grandfather who is 91 was in the army (entered the draft) went to fight for the US in Korea and WWII, anyways when he returned my father told me he used to go to his room, sit on his bed and just stare at the wall. According to this, his PTSD sounded pretty bad. What were your triggers?

CJHardinIRL5 karma

With the continuous deployments, I actually developed my PTSD while still in. Every day became a challenge, and my only goal was getting the day over with and going home to be alone. As far as your grandfather is concerned, I feel his pain. Staring at the wall was one of my past times. I had so much going though my mind on a regular basis that only being alone and trying to concentrate on nothing (the wall) found me any relief. It was as though there were 20 TVs everywhere I went all turned up and on different stations.

Sudden changes were my triggers, or anything that happened out of order. Sudden noise, air pressure change from a shut door, flash of light, noticing something moving in the corner of my eye, all of those would put me immediately into a state of hyper-vigilance and anxiety.

preggit5 karma

What advice would you give to someone just joining the military today?

CJHardinIRL12 karma

I'd say that it is a very important decision and to weigh it carefully. I have nothing at all against military service, and I'm proud to have served. My concern is watching people joining up with the promise of an awesome adventurous life like in the commercials, and then watching them realize that the reality of military service is quite different and difficult.

I joined because I felt as though I had an obligation to my country after 9/11. I came to find out later that the wars had very little to do with the people that perpetrated that event. After that, I just hoped to be able to make it to retirement, and when I didn't, I felt as though I had wasted quite a few years of my life. It's a GIANT decision, and shouldn't be taken lightly.

Also, if you are going to get a new car, do it prior to entering the service. Once you are in and buy one at a 16 percent interest rate, there is nothing to be done. Bought before, the Soldier's and Sailer's Relief Act will help that 16 percent drop to 5.9 percent. That's just a personal observation.

LouKadis5 karma

Thanks for being willing to share your experiences, CJ! This is topic that needs a lot more attention to make the progress necessary to help many others in your position.

My question is, other than alcohol and nicotine, did you have any comparable drug experiences before your MDMA treatment? Was it uncomfortable to become familiar with the drug in a strange environment, especially with the mindset you had been fighting?

CJHardinIRL7 karma

In my case, I had actually tried MDMA twice before the study, and had smoked cannabis on a regular basis. I had also tried LSD once before 2001. When I did the MDMA prior, it had been in a quiet environment around friends or just with my girlfriend, so it was almost theraputic then. In other words, I wasn't dancing my face off. :-)

That experience gave me some comfort when confronted with doing it again for the study. I was possibly a little apprehensive about doing it in such a controlled environment and around people who I didn't know well, but my prior experience helped me through that until the onset of the MDMA. After that, it was very easy and enjoyable, kind of like looking at a new roller coaster for the first time, and having been on similar ones, riding the new one. Once the initial nervousness goes away, it's easy peasy.

LouKadis3 karma

Very well explained, sir. Thank you for your time and response!

CJHardinIRL2 karma

It's an honor and my pleasure!

DogHouseTenant835 karma

I have a friend that suffers greatly from PTSD and its basically driven most people away from him. What would you suggest I do to get him started down the path you chose? He drinks in excess to forget everything and usually becomes emotional or violent. I just don't know how to get through to him.

CJHardinIRL10 karma

I'm very sorry to hear that he, as well as his friends, are experiencing this. I know how that feels, and I almost drank myself to death. It's hard to do when your friend is constantly drunk and has violence and I'm sure depression issues. The main thing to do is let him know that you are there for him and that you understand that he is having a hard time. It's not a good idea to say that "you know how he feels" because you do not, nobody knows that except for him.

I'd maybe tell him about this Reddit, look up MAPS MDMA on google, Tony Macie's AMA, and the like. It's probably something he has never considered and it's a far stretch different than the stuffy psychiatrist's office, the bag full of pill bottles, and the general lack of relief from his condition.

It's exasperating to get the guts to seek help, only to find that there is just another pill bottle thrown at you and now you just feel numb and still hurt. Don't give up on him, don't say you know how he feels, you don't have the answers, but in this case, you have a suggestion about a new treatment that may work.

If I am not mistaken there are still positions left for this study. Check out the MAPS website here and maybe you can get him to apply for the treatment. It's a good first step.

DogHouseTenant833 karma

I can't thank you enough, for your service, open mind, and willingness to help others. I'm going to approach this in a completely different way and try to get him to read some info.

CJHardinIRL8 karma

Just make sure he knows that you are on his side. In my experience, a lot of people "tried" to help, but it seemed as though "they knew everything" when they had no clue about how I felt.

Good luck, keep the faith, and don't give up, it gets better, I promise. :-)

DogHouseTenant835 karma

I was being "that guy" in this situation. Thank you for making me see it.

CJHardinIRL6 karma

Don't beat yourself up over it. We all have the tendency to do it, me more than most because I have "the experience". That said, each human is affected in a different way. If I were there in person, I'd tell him that I understand how different things must be from his experience to mine, but that there is hope, and even though he may not be doing so, don't ever give up. I'll never be inside another person's mind, regardless of how much I wish I could do that. Hell, I wish I could get inside my dog's mind for a bit to tell him that indeed, I will come back if I leave the house for a second, and no I'm not gone forever. With the absence of Freddy Kreuger like abilities, the best thing to do is offer a pat on the back, a hug, and the promise that you are always there, and to ask that they not leave you because it will get better one day, and you'd like to be standing proud with them on that day.

DogHouseTenant833 karma

Could you give me one sentence to pass to my friend directly from you about your experience with MDMA treatment?

CJHardinIRL7 karma

It's a Batman quote. "The night is darkest before the dawn" and you always know there is a dawn, so try to find the way past your night, as hope and the light at the end of the tunnel is right around the corner, you just have to find your tunnel right around that corner.

HarmRefucktion4 karma


CJHardinIRL5 karma

As far as the dose, it was 125mg. As far as negative side effects from the treatment, there are absolutely none. Were you asking about remaining symptoms from the original PTSD?

HarmRefucktion4 karma


CJHardinIRL5 karma

Well, I can only speak for myself. The only side effect was having a period of introspection after the first treatment, evaluating how I felt. I didn't have any sense of the supposed "suicide Sundays". A lot of that comes from the fact that most "Molly" that you get contains little to none of the MDMA and more of an amount of meth, coke, or methylone. I had zero bad side effects to report in my study. :-)

roionsteroids4 karma

MDMA has been shown to be quite neurotoxic (at least when taken regulary) - do you know if there are any clinical trials that use less toxic serotonin releasers, such as MDAI, which do not produce a α-Methyldopamine metabolite?

MDAI has a similar "heart opening" effect compared to MDMA, while being less stimulating.

Anyway, good luck for the future and I'm glad that it worked out so well for you!

I hope others who are suffering from PTSD will be able to go through MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in the future as well, that'll hopefully reduce the amount of the current 22 veteran suicides in the USA every single day.

CJHardinIRL5 karma

Wow, that is a great question but unfortunately, I'm not qualified to answer it. Perhaps a MAPS individual could chime in on this one.

As far as the suicides by vets, I want to reduce that number to zero. Having a light at the end of the tunnel would reduce that number, if even by one it's worth whatever the effort. I'd like to see this therapy being done at every VA facility. It is far more effective than all the pills that are given to people with PTSD, and not only that, it's only 3 pills total. Treating the symptoms isn't enough, curing the root cause is.

DanishJesus4 karma

How big of a dose did they give you?

CJHardinIRL6 karma

125mg. 2 hours later they offered me a supplemental dose of 62.5mgs, but I turned it down all three sessions. It would only possibly extend the experience but it would increase the chances for negative side effects.

keepitcasualbrah4 karma

What chance do you believe you (and MAPS) have to get people to view MDMA in a better light and make it possible to prescribe? I know MAPS is aiming for 2021, but what do you think? Is it your goal to promote the drug and what are you doing personally to do so? Lastly: Does it annoy you that most people automatically assume the drug is bad?

Thank you so much for this btw, I live for this kind of stuff :D. Annoys me to no end that people are so close minded about these types of things.

CJHardinIRL10 karma

I am very optimistic that MDMA will be available as a Schedule II by 2021. People like me and MAPS are doing our best to dispel the rumors and disinformation and with the current studies and success in treatments, the DEA and FDA will have no way to justify not allowing these very needed treatments.

I have interviewed for a few articles, like the one in my intro from the Charleston city paper, and I am currently scheduled to speak to a few researchers and possibly take part in a documentary. I have given MAPS my permission to use me as much as they can, as the more we get the truth out there, the sooner this amazing drug will be available to other clinicians.

As far as being annoyed at disinformation and the standard "drugs are bad, mmkay", I do. It's why I am making an effort to change that thinking. There are a lot of people that just can't see the forest for the trees, and once told to be fearful of this DEADLY rave drug, they dig in their heels and call for prohibition, damn the consequences. Prohibition has never solved anything, and it will not do so in this case. Hopefully that train of thought will derail further in the future as more people keep hearing stories of healing.

mfsp_3 karma

Has your therapy had any effect on your opinion of the US war on Drugs, whatever that may be?

CJHardinIRL10 karma

It really hasn't had much effect on my opinion of the drug wars. I believe that the idea of prohibition only benefits those that have money to gain by keeping drugs illegal. If it's actually a war on drugs, we have been losing that war since it started and it will never be won. I think that more emphasis should be placed on abuse prevention, education, and treatment rather than on prisons and eradication task forces.

I would say that my therapy has opened my eyes to the healing power of MDMA, which only makes it more disappointing to see the effort to wipe it off the face of the earth.

Right now we have 2 states that have legalized cannabis and more that have legalized it for medicinal purposes. This was something that was unthinkable in the 60s, and I expect that the trend of understanding drugs more will slowly continue once those that oppose them start finding the benefits of these drugs when it comes to their own ailments.

musicisbelieving853 karma

Hey CJ! Very inspiring to hear your story :) My question is this: as you've had the mdma psychotherapy for something as severe as ptsd, would you in the future consider doing mdma psychotherapy (if it were legal) for something "lesser"? Do you see the value of people in general who are stuck in their life or whatever but don't qualify for such diagnosis to benefit from this in a therapy setting?

Another question about the therapy sessions: do the therapists try to guide you as per previously agreed terms or was it that you brought up the topics and even if you did not bring up something discussed prior, the therapists did not bring it either?

Thank you!

CJHardinIRL7 karma

Great questions. When MDMA therepy becomes available to more clinicians, as in when it becomes legal, I would probably seek another session if I found myself suffering from a condition that MDMA is indicated for treatment. I know that prior to 1987 when the drug was rescheduled to Class I, MDMA was used in couple's therapy as well as other types of common psychiatry. Once the drug gains Schedule II status, there are many conditions where MDMA might be indicated as a part of a treatment plan. It essentially allows you to rewire your brain.

As far as my sessions went, I was not prompted to talk about anything. I knew why I was there and once the memory or feeling arose, I'd feel the desire to talk about it. The clinicians would pay attention to me and let me know that they are hearing me. Sometimes if I was discussing an incident or thought that had a similar instance that I had already mulled over, they would ask me if I felt the same way about it. Mostly though, they told me to trust my self as the body has an amazing desire to heal, and the MDMA allowed my mind to facilitate that healing. They never brought up something that I myself had not brought up.

KelleyMcMillan3 karma

What treatments before the MDMA did you try to treat your PTSD and did they work?

CJHardinIRL9 karma

I did basically everything out there to try to control my symptoms. The military only provided lots of pills (anti-depressants, Ambien, anti-nightmare blood pressure meds, and then ADHD meds to keep me awake and alert) and inefficient and unaffective group therapy sessions that I like to say "always turned into a dick measuring contest". I would express how I felt and then get told "oh, that's it? Well when I was there...." After getting out I kept my symptoms at bay with cannabis and I even tried meditation. It helped, but barely. Lastly, I tried MDMA in a non-clinical setting twice. I didn't go dancing, I stayed in a nice comfy quiet place with friends. I could tell that there were healing effects, but I wasn't exactly trying to work out my demons with my friends, just to take a vacation from them.

Once I did my first session with MAPS, I could tell what was missing from the prior "treatments".

curtis76763 karma

not sure if someone asked this already...can you safely give an example of a combat situation that left you traumatized? I am curious if it is the actual fighting or sort of the aftermath and seeing death and destruction or a combination of both?

CJHardinIRL9 karma

That was something that I had to figure out in therapy, which event did it? Which one was the nail in the coffin so to speak. It was mostly the combination of it all. Something very striking to me, literally, was when I was hit in the head by a bullet fragment from friendly fire. It went between my kevlar helmet and my Oakley goggles and hit my forehead. As with any head wound, it bled profusely and started to fill my goggles and vision with blood. I thought for sure that I had just been shot in the head and by some chance, I was going to be conscious for my inevitable death. I had a friend run up and ask "CJ, are you OK!!!! Do you want a cigarette?!?" I said yes as I was trying to doff my gear to have a final smoke. I was smoking my final smoke when the medics pried everyone's hands off my head to find out it wasn't a 7.62mm hole but instead a fragment embedded in my forehead. We had a laugh about it later, but that cemented my PTSD.

curtis76763 karma

thanks for responding...I see the cigarette in your hand ha!...I would add I use MDMA personally for my general anxiety and it really does help. Usually just stay at home and look at my girlfriend lovingly. Where do you live now?

CJHardinIRL8 karma

After travelling to Charleston and Mt Pleasant (awesome name for the treatment city), I moved from Asheville to Charleston. I love it here! Warmer and less snowed in!

I tried the personal use approach with MDMA and it had positive affects. I can not advocate that use as it is illegal, but the results speak for themselves. My second experience before the study, I did exactly that, feel great and look at my girlfriend lovingly, as we reaffirmed our love for each other. This drug needs to be in the hands of those clinicians that are trained and capable of utilizing it's full aspects and benefits.

LogJammerZ3 karma

CJ, we share the same nickname, and thank you for your service. My question, 125mg is a pretty standard dosage, how were you able to stay inside and talk for 6 hours? Did you not want to go outside or walk around? I would think you would have so much pent up energy just laying down.

CJHardinIRL9 karma

Well, for one, I had promised not to leave the treatment area. This was a standard agreement in case someone felt the need to move around. When I went in for treatment, I already knew that I'd be battling my demons so to speak, so I was happy staying in my little bunker for the duration. After about 5, they brought me in some coffee, maybe some small pieces of cheese and grapes (all of these things I had requested prior to the session), essentially light fare, and after stretching and carefully walking around, I got to go outside and enjoy the evening, even walk down to the docks and watch the boats and birds. All my energy in the session was directed, by myself, to fighting the windmills in my mind, except with the MDMA, I knew to go behind the blades and take out the base of the obstruction.

I hope that gives you an idea. There was also a nice outdoor shower that I had to look forward to, warm and private, for after the session. My girlfriend also participated in 2 of my sessions, and my dog was in the second session for the entirety.

LogJammerZ2 karma

Thanks for your reply. This makes more sense. Having a focal point for the energy.

CJHardinIRL5 karma

Exactly, I'm glad you gleaned that off of my response, you said it well.

EskimoEric3 karma

Hello Mr. Hardin, i have a few questions.

After seeing the potency of MDMA as a medication/treatment first hand, would you consider using it recreationally?

If you were to go back to war or experience trauma of a similar magnitude, do you think the effects of the treatment would wear off or reverse?

As i'm sure some people have worse cases of PTSD than others, would the treatment possibly effect others differently due to the extremity of their case?

Thank you for taking the time to make this post, and providing me something to read during my boring ass day.

CJHardinIRL7 karma

Good question!

I didn't really experience much of a potency change, as I obtained the prior doses from a very reliable source. In comparison, the doses were similar from the illicit version to the study version, synthesized at Purdue University in 1987 (still over 99 percent pure, great shelf life) After using it twice prior to the study and 3 times during, I feel comfortable with the drug, but very respectful of it. I would consider it's use after the study, but it will not have anything to do with being in the public, raves, EDM fests, or the like. It's a medicine, and should be treated as such.

I've seen many cases of PTSD while seeking help, and funny enough, the extreme nature of it is not the factor of interest. One can be affected the same as another with a lot more traumatic exposure. It's never about how bad the stresser is, it's about the way people process it. PTSD symptoms can be similar in someone who saw a person die from a car wreck as one that watches 15 people die in front of them. MDMA opens an avenue for treatment, and it works the same way on each patient. At a loss of words, I'd call it the wonder drug.

Sorry about your boring ass day. I'll add this so you may have a laugh.

Cheers! Have a great day!

Dennuzzz3 karma

Dear Mr. Hardin. First of all I have to say: Thank you very much for your time and the opportunity for us to communicate with a person who participated in a MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. As a psychology student with high affinity for psychedelics and related 'drugs' I absolutely enjoyed your story and the effects from the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. I'm really glad for you that it worked out so well.

Now, around 7 months after the first session; Did you ever experienced some kind of relapse what typically belongs to PTSD-symptoms?

Do you think that another MDMA-assisted therapy session will be ever necessary to 'anchor' the stability?

And do you feel that you're at a stable level now? Or do you still feel the difference during the days / weeks (ofcourse hopefully a step forward)?

CJHardinIRL5 karma

The time that I spend spreading the word of this is a part of my therapy, that I put in place myself. I have always been a healer, whether it be with doing medic stuff in the Army, or volunteering as a medic at events that I go to. If I had money, I'd give a good chunk of it to MAPS, but in that absence, I have my experience and advocacy to share, so it's my pleasure and honor to do this.

7 months out, I'm still doing well. I don't think about all the things that I did before, and advocating for MAPS has kept it fresh in my mind how effective the treatment was and it keeps me on my new baseline. I'm sure I'd still have this baseline if I didn't speak publicly, as I'd remember the journey and still understand that the treatment works, and that I am safe. That was the main issue, feeling as though I'm safe. I'm in Charleston, SC, not Tikrit, and my switch got set from danger to safe.

I'm not sure if another session of MDMA would be needed. I've thought about how awesome it would be to go back to that super safe place, but I don't think that it is needed. Each pill that I would take to do so would deprive a vet of their treatment. I feel as though the sessions accomplished their mission, essentially rebooting me as a human and taking me back to happiness levels before I got affected.

I'd like to think that I'm like the standard person now, facing the regular travails of life and processing them like an average person. It might not be the case entirely, but to me, it's close enough. I still get a quick reaction type of thing when something loud or unexpected comes up, but I don't overreact, my pulse doesn't spike, and I process it quickly and understand that I'm still safe. In that manner, I feel rather stable.

Dennuzzz2 karma

Thank you very much Mr. Hardin for your quick and well-explained reply! I'm really pleased to see somebody sharing those experiences after beeing treated with this form of therapy (done on a scientific way).

Unfortunately I'm not in the situation now to ask more - because I'm pretty sure tons of more questions will arise if I had the time (and energy) now ;-) . Is it possible to send you a private message later to your account if I have any questions left in the future?

So far, thanks a lot for your replies - not only to my question but also to all the other questions, really really interesting to read...

Kind regards, Dennis

CJHardinIRL5 karma

PM me, I'll answer your questions in a broader format. I have a lot of questions today, so.....

Ihadanapostrophe3 karma

CJ, thank you for serving.

I left Iraq in 2011, and was diagnosed with PTSD (among other issues) in 2012. Since then, I've tried every option the VA has given me, and nothing worked. Many medications made things worse. I've been following the research, but have some questions about the process.

Did the VA help in any way, or was it all on your own? Were there any repercussions from them? How functional are you after? Meaning, were you able to work very quickly, or did it take time to get life together once symptoms decreased? Were there complications trying to start the treatment in a bureaucratic/legal sense? Did the VA recognize the change and adjust compensation?

The treatment shows huge promise, but I have had very negative experiences with the military/VA docs, and can't imagine them approving this. Medical marijuana is legal in my state and I have a prescription, yet my doctor (non-psych) will not prescribe me other medications while I have it in my system. It took them over 2 years to diagnose a hernia I have, stating that my legal prescription of oxycodone wasn't warranted. They would not focus on my pain levels or diagnosing what caused it, only on the potential for abuse. Additionally, my doctors have given false information on interactions, despite research from NIH/NCMB proving they are incorrect. I haven't been able to work in almost a year, and I leave the apartment less than 10 times a month. It's been almost 3 years since deployment and I am just starting to convince the VA to investigate these issues.

I believe in the treatment, but am very concerned that it will end up putting my overall care from the VA back to the start. What have you experienced?

Congrats on beating PTSD. It fucking sucks, and I've seen a few friends choose to give up. It feels like every day is a fight to keep going. Having the hope of a reliable, effective treatment could help anyone suffering to not give up, but only if it won't create bigger issues. Thank you for taking the chance, and for sharing the experience/results.

CJHardinIRL6 karma

Well, first of all, thanks for serving with me man! I know that you probably hate that statement, "thanks for your service".

As far as the VA is concerned, they have shown themselves to be inept and useless when compared to this type of treatment. That is my personal opinion and nothing more. You know what they say about opinions right? They are like assholes, we all have one, and they all stink.

That said, it's a personal matter between me and the VA. I don't plan to ever contact them again and I'll probably never use the remaining benefits from them other than the GI Bill.

As of now, the VA system is what you have. Unfortunately, MDMA therapy is not yet available for our returning soldiers, and those that have served in prior wars, I wish it was. If you have the opportunity to participate in a study, or if it becomes legal for clinical use, do it. I promise from the bottom of my heart that it works. The light at the end of the tunnel is on, you just have to figure out how to see it. Keep hope.

Your pain, I don't know how to help you there. I know you may not want to discuss that here, but there are better alternatives than living on narcotic pain meds. You mentioned that you are in a state that cannabis is legal. I hope that you have found a strain that works. Please holler on PM if you can't find that balance. I'm here for you.

I don't have the time to address all of your post, but I'd welcome you to PM me and we can speak further on the matter.

In the words of Leslie Neilson from Airplane, "Good luck, we are all counting on you." Keep it up, you will win.

Ihadanapostrophe2 karma

Thanks for the response, and for the offer of support. I'm off narcotics, but the pain is not solved. That's more of a personal issue, though.

Your view of the VA lines up almost exactly with mine, and a ton of others'. There are some great doctors, but the policies prevent them from being as effective as they could be. My psychiatrist went out on a limb for me and prescribed ADD meds. I know it's counterintuitive, and it won't work for everyone. It can raise anxiety, but it actually lets me motivate/think clearly. It's a very low dose, but it lowers depression significantly by helping me start getting my life together at the cost of a mild elevation in anxiety.

I feel the biggest issue is treatment isn't specific to the individual many ways. I respond very negatively to SSRI/SNRIs, but can work towards healthy habits with other meds. Others will have a completely different response. Their policies that limit medication options are counterproductive in the long run. I was hoping that the MDMA treatment was gaining traction legally, but I guess it's still too early.

And yes, that phrase makes me feel weird. I hated having people thank me. Why should I be thanked for doing my job? Go thank a garbage man or a sewage worker. My job was probably way cooler with better benefits. However, after being out, I realized that it's a way of showing respect and appreciation for putting yourself at risk. It still feels weird saying it or being thanked, but I would rather be uncomfortably courteous than an asshole, even if it's just in my eyes. I just decided to work on expanding it to thanking others with critical jobs that are under appreciated.

CJHardinIRL7 karma

My response to the whole "thank you for my service" thing is "it was an honor, and a hell of a ride, now let's get our guys to safety!". I got my fair share of SSRI/SNRIs and Ritilin to hate all pills, and I only took the single Ambiens after each session to make sure I had a good night's sleep. I don't take pills these days, and my girlfriend has to damn near fight me to take a Tylenol. Please apply to the study, there may be spaces left, especially if you are a right coast type of guy. Other than that, keep on trucking, it only gets better!

phaseform3 karma

Really great to hear your story! You mentioned you had tried MDMA previously, was that with a therapeutic intention at all? Do you think using MDMA without a therapist, but still in an ideal setting, could have long term therapeutic benefits?

CJHardinIRL8 karma

The first time I did MDMA it wasn't exactly for therapeutic purposes. I took it with about 5 friends in a rental house and we listened to trance-type music and watched picture slideshows. The second time i used it, it was with only one other person, and it was more therapeutic, yet not as effective as the MAPS treatment. That is understandable since the person I did it with the second time wasn't a trained clinician. It WAS enough to show me the benefits of the drug though, and shortly afterwards I learned about the study and applied.

I think that in the right setting, MDMA could be helpful, but it's full potential as a catalyst for healing comes to bear with trained clinicians. I'm not being cocky at all, but there would be a major difference if I were to administer a treatment than if someone who never had gone through what I went through with the treatments. I don't administer treatments as I am not a doctor, but the methods that they use have been refined through trial and error, and that experience is crucial to the treatment as a whole.

kaosmgr2 karma

Have you reported your experience to DEA to suggest that maybe MDMA should not be a Schedule 1 drug ("no accepted medical use")? FYI, at the Drug Policy Alliance bi-annual conference in 2011, the most moving speech was by a mother relating how MDMA had benefitted her 20-something daughter, who had died from colon cancer--which wasn't diagnosed until it was too late, because it is such a rare disease in young people. The mom said it helped her daughter with both the physical and mental effects of her cancer, and made the last months of her life much more bearable.

CJHardinIRL5 karma

In my understanding, in the last study that helped victims of sexual abuse, there was a participant that expired prior to the one year followup, thus, it was not possible to proclaim a success in treatment. The participant died from a chronic disease. The beautiful thing that I saw from that treatment is that the person was able to die with beauty in their life, rather than the ugliness that had plagued them in their crescendo of life. If even one person was able to battle their demons and find joy in their remaining days, each day is a testament to how the therapy increases quality of life.

CJHardinIRL5 karma

That said, the results of this peer reviewed and HIGHLY followed study is changing the way that this and other medicines are received. Mine and all the other persons involved with this studies have the honor of healing ourselves and furthering the ability of others to benefit from our experiences. I don't take this charge lightly, and I'm more than ready to continue the fight for other people suffering from this debilitating condition. :-)

Mughal272 karma

Thanks for your service and your AMA, CJ. And I am glad that your PTSD cleared up.

After your experiences, I was wondering if you could give a brief evaluation (as if you were talking to The House of Representatives/Senate) concerning psychedelics, mental illness, the War on Drugs, and our culture's/government's views on these issues?


CJHardinIRL2 karma

To put it briefly, I would say that many drugs offer positive results in many different treatments and should be considered individually, using verified, peer reviewed studies from scientists, clinicians, and experts, rather than partisan groups who continue to advance faulty logic and facts. The war on drugs is already lost, so continuing it is counter-intuitive and financially ridiculous. The state of mental health care in the US is ridiculously flawed and underfunded, and should be where all the money is going instead of for new armored vehicles for small town police departments and the increasing militarization of law enforcement. The priority should be to offer help and counseling as well as drug education rather than to continue a "reefer madness" dialog when it is determined that a drug can be used for recreational purposes.

bigpandas2 karma

Did you grow your hair long after the MDMA therapy?

Just kidding. Well you can answer if you really want to.

This should be something pursuing if it works on PTSD. Glad you're better CJ!

CJHardinIRL5 karma

I grew my beard and hair long after getting out of the military as a way to feel better about myself, having being required to keep no beard and little hair for a while. Actually, I cut my 1.5 foot long hair right after the treatment. I didn't think I needed it any more.

I don't think I want VERY short hair again, but getting a stylish cut is a new thing for me. For the longest time it was about function and not form.

For fun:

PsychedeLurk2 karma

Hey, CJ. During the MDMA sessions, regarding discussing particular experiences from the past related to PTSD, were they openly planned prior to be brought up in conversation at one point, or encouraged to arise spontaneously? On that note, were you hesitant to discuss your experiences both prior and during, or quite comfortable to?

CJHardinIRL5 karma

It was completely spontaneous. The human mind has an amazing ability to heal itself, but sometimes it needs a bit of help to process the vast amount of info and memories that is stored. The clinicians did not guide me, they only provided a helpful nudge when I got off of the path to healing. Sometimes it was just a reminder of a victory that I had found to feel out a situation, and to remind me that I already found that path, and the path in front of me was one in the same. They just let me talk it out, and provided the heartfelt care and attention without judgement that I needed so very badly.

panic_bread2 karma

Do you worry about long-term side effects, including damage to your serotonin receptors?

CJHardinIRL4 karma

Short answer: No

Long answer: Noooooooooo

I'm joking of course but, no, there are not any side effects that I am concerned with. The research stands on it's own feet. If someone were to use MDMA on a constant basis, then I would have concerns. In my case, 3 administrations of MDMA is not even close to the harm that is caused with a permanent prescription to the other drugs meant to treat PTSD symptoms. We are talking about 3 125mg doses during your entire life, versus daily administrations of 3 or 4 different drugs in the current treatment protocol of PTSD.

boskooo2 karma

Hi Mr. Hardin, did you have any experience with animal-assisted therapy or do you have any views on the effectiveness of animal-assisted therapy?

CJHardinIRL3 karma

Good question. I actually had my dog with me during the second session. I also used him as a therapy dog prior to that, taking him everywhere I go for comfort and support. He wasn't a registered dog so I couldn't go to quite a few places so I just found the places that he was welcome. I think that therapy animals are very effective in treatment. My dog is a Chihuahua/Basenji mix and I rescued him when I was stationed in Korea, thus why his name is Gae Go Gi, Korean for dog meat :-)

In my opinion therapy animals are useful because you can tell them anything and they won't judge, only responding with love. It's important to have an outlet like that. The other participant who speaks along with me for MAPS also had his dog present for his session as well.

camstadahamsta2 karma

Hey there Mr. Hardin! I just wanted to thank you for your service. I've seen first-hand what PTSD can do, and it isn't pretty. Congratulations on beating it, I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Just one question, however. Were you nervous about potential results early on in your treatment?

CJHardinIRL2 karma

I was slightly skeptical of how effective it may be, just because of how non-effective all of the other treatments were. I did go into it with a positive outlook simply because of how rare this treatment was and because of the professionalism of MAPS in previous studies, coupled with very positive, peer-evaluated results from the prior study. After the first session though, I was convinced that it was going to be effective.

bishopazrael2 karma

How much did this therapy cost?

CJHardinIRL8 karma

Well, round to the tenths, subtract 5, and it comes out to exactly zero dollars and zero cents. In fact, I was compensated for my travel and lodging. As far as how much the actual care costs.......I don't want to even think about it. I feel that I'd like to give back for every dollar spent on me, and as of this time, I'd estimate it at somewhere close to $100,000 for the entire study, just for me.

CJHardinIRL4 karma

PS, I'm not an accountant and I have no clue, but this treatment and the care that I received was invaluable, so after a career of purchasing aircraft parts at 2.4 million a pop, 1/10 of a million is a conservative estimate for such an effective fix. I am not speaking for MAPS in that case.

bishopazrael2 karma

Wow. So out of pocket paying is out of the question. Welp. Back to weed and reddit.

CJHardinIRL6 karma

With this type of treatment, there is a lot of resources pooled into a small recipient segment. Once it is allowed in standard treatment, the costs will drop a LOT. Consider the fact that MDMA is beyond the ability for patent. Have you sought care yet?

Popxorcist2 karma

How many milligrams did they give you for each dose, do you know?

CJHardinIRL8 karma


deejay_12 karma

Can you describe what PTSD is like for those who haven't experienced it?

CJHardinIRL7 karma

A solitary room where your loved ones are always locked outside, and you just wish that you were not in that room. Your loved ones want you out, but, without knowing, you have had the key the entire time, you just never knew how to find it. The therapy that MAPS has been studying is the key that works for many people stuck in that room.

WingedFlame2 karma

Hi James, it's really interesting to read about alternative therapies like this, especially when they end up going well and could help so many others. Just the one question; how do you feel about some people on the internet self-diagnosing themselves with 'PTSD' and asking people to be concerned of their 'triggers'? Some places online (i.e. tumblr) now make you tip-toe around so many things for fear of hurting people, but it'd be interesting to hear how someone with what is quite obviously a real disorder.

No worries if it's a bit out of line to ask!

CJHardinIRL2 karma

That is an interesting question. I've seen a bit of that going on, but as a sufferer of PTSD myself, I gave them the benefit of a doubt that their condition was real. I'd never want someone to question my condition. That said, I didn't go around proclaiming that I was a PTSD case, and I never expected anyone to vary their behavior around me so as to "avoid my triggers". I'd just not participate in whatever activity may be a trigger. There are some people who enjoy the attention that comes along with a disability, but PTSD is one of those things that you don't want to gain attention from, many want no attention at all.

I'm sure that there are people out there who claim to have PTSD and are actually using it as a way to garner sympathy. It's upsetting to those who actually have it that other people are gaining fulfillment from the attention. That's about all I can say.

MrSnider322 karma

Do you think you could return to the duty that gave you the ptsd and be ok?

CJHardinIRL5 karma

I've thought about that a lot actually, and thank you for that question. I think that I am capable of doing that, but it feels kind of wrong to intentionally put myself back into the situation that started this whole mess. In my opinion, it would be like someone who finally kicked alcoholism walking into a liquor store and then living inside it. I enjoyed a lot of the time I was in the Army, and I wouldn't give up that experience as it has become a defining point in my life. That said, I would choose not to return to duty. There is enough of a battle outside the military to get effective treatment for the people coming home from these wars, and I can fight that battle much better with the tools and experience that I have now thanks to this amazing study. :-)

horsthorsthorst-6 karma

my guess is that the whole study is exactly about that. make soldiers able to do it again and again.

CJHardinIRL3 karma

That is not a goal of the study at all.

WogeyBear2 karma

How do you feel about tumblr users slinging the term PTSD around so loosely?

CJHardinIRL2 karma

I'd say that I never tried to advertise my condition on social media, but that is only me. Most PTSD sufferers don't really try to talk much about it with strangers in my experience. I answered a very similar question up thread, so please read that. :-)

HorseIsKing2 karma

I've only ever used MDMA to cure a boring night out, so its interesting to hear about its use for 'medicinal' purposes. I can definitely relate to the feeling of being able to talk freely and clearly about a subject.

How did you feel while doing a session in terms of the effects of the MDMA?

CJHardinIRL5 karma

It allowed me to feel as though as I was in a safe room, and I was able to open doors to things that hurt me, and with the clinicians in the room, consider those doors, understand them, take a picture of them, and shut them. It was about putting things behind me.

Kman18982 karma

What did the clinical setting do that you couldn't do at home? Seems like they didn't help you...the MDMA and yourself did.

CJHardinIRL5 karma

I'd venture to say that having a very well trained in MDMA physician and Nurse helped out a lot, as well as the controlled environment that allowed me to feel safe (ie crash cart and medical staff). I've addressed my personal use of MDMA in other responses, so please read those. It's the coupling of MDMA with intense Psychotherapy that makes this treatment work.

Tenaciousgreen1 karma

Hi CJ. In September I am screening for a MAPS MDMA study in Boulder. What words of advice do you have for someone who may go through something very similar? My trauma is from childhood neglect and abuse, not military. Thank you!

CJHardinIRL5 karma

The first study that MAPS did was for victims of sexual abuse. The range that this drug has in effective treatment is very broad, and PTSD manifests itself in many forms....doesn't have to be combat. Horrors in life occur daily, and I'm never going to one up someone because my symptoms are "worse". They are not. My words of advice are this, seek treatment, never give up, never surrender to failure. This type of treatment is going to be standard in 10 years. Keep the faith!

edit: misspelled going as doing. :-)

MiamiPower1 karma

How did you like or did you ever use Medical marijuana in any form? Edibles vapor or smoking it. US NAVY HN Doc Thanks for everything brother. Merica!

CJHardinIRL3 karma

I did not use medical cannabis in any form. I did use quite a lot of those products for a bit. It was VERY effective in treating the acute symptoms that come with the PTSD, but it was essentially a space filler in my opinion. I've tried edibles, oils, and the standard smokables/vaping stuff. It's an amazing way to treat acute symptoms, but in my opinion, it is not a cure for PTSD, instead, a much more reliable and safe option for acute treatment prior to a cure.

horsthorsthorst0 karma

Why do you went to Iraq and Afghanistan?

CJHardinIRL3 karma

Well, for one I was ordered to and there is no fighting orders. Mainly, I joined because I felt that I should contribute to the cause after the 9/11 attacks. I felt that I had to do something. That something had me ending up in a combat zone.