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Does Ecstasy (MDMA) Make You Hallucinate? Evidence Suggests That It Could

Does Ecstasy (MDMA) make you hallucinate? Although not everyone is going to “trip” or experience hallucinations while on Ecstasy, it is certainly a possibility. Any synthetic drug that has as powerful of an impact on the brain as does Ecstasy could make you hallucinate. Hallucinations typically occur in two different forms including: auditory (hearing things) and visual (seeing things). In frequent users of Ecstasy, it is estimated that up to 50% (half) of all people who use it (or variations including “Molly”) could end up experiencing hallucinations.

How does Ecstasy make you hallucinate?

Most people end up experiencing visual hallucinations if they do end up “tripping” on this substance. Auditory hallucinations are less likely, but they do still occur. Some hypothesize that the hallucinations are a result of noradrenergic activity and the effect that MDMA has on serotonergic transporters.

  • Blurring: Some people have reported that items and people appear blurry.
  • Cartoon effect: Vision is cartoon-like.
  • Colors: Others have noticed changes in colors and report very vivid changes to colors of objects.
  • Distortions: Things look distorted from their actual appearance.
  • Glasses effect: Some people appear to be wearing “glasses” or “sunglasses” when they are not.  Other people report seeing people wearing “hats” when they are not as well.
  • Shadows: Some people end up seeing shadows where there is nothing.
  • Shifting: Items and objects appear to shift even when they are completely still.
  • Visual effects: People report many other kinds of visual effects.

Factors that may influence hallucinations:

1. Dosage – The amount of Ecstasy in which you take could have a profound effect. If you weigh less and take a high dose for your bodyweight, you may be more likely to hallucinate.

2. Individual physiology – There are a number of other factors that come into play when taking any drug. Ecstasy can have different effects in different people.

3. Type of Ecstasy – The type of Ecstasy that you take could also play a role in determining whether you hallucinate and/or how much you hallucinate. There are many different variations of this medication.

4. Laced? – Sometimes Ecstasy is laced with other substances such as: acid, PCP, and cocaine. If you ended up taking MDMA that was laced with another drug, the factor of the other drug could make you hallucinate.

Case Study: Ecstasy and hallucinations after one-time use

In order to get a better understanding of MDMA (Ecstasy) and hallucinations, let’s discuss a case study. There is documentation of a case from October 2010 where a 17-year old female with no previous psychiatric issues or medical history took Ecstasy (MDMA). Relatively shortly after she took Ecstasy, she began to hallucinate and her speech became grossly disorganized – almost like someone would with schizophrenia.

This teenager was taken to the University of South Alabama and was medically evaluated. In the emergency room, a psychiatrist noticed that this woman was both awake and alert. A routine lab test showed that this woman had no alcohol or illicit drugs. Physicians determined that there was no apparent cause for her current set of symptoms. Additionally there was no history of mood disorders or psychosis amongst relatives.

The patient was then mobilized to the psychiatric unit and she continued to behave oddly: inappropriate sexual behavior, crying, engaging in unusual postures, and swearing. It was reported that her speech made absolutely no sense and she seemed paranoid, scared, and withdrawn. Eventually she was treated with several atypical antipsychotics and her behavior returned to normalcy after 2 weeks of treatment.

This woman was an honor roll student and at college on a scholarship. She was re-hospitalized and told the psychiatrist that she had used MDMA in October. This was a case of Ecstasy (MDMA) induced psychotic disorder.

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3304680/

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5 thoughts on “Does Ecstasy (MDMA) Make You Hallucinate? Evidence Suggests That It Could”

  1. I’ve done ecstasy a few times now but the most recent time I did it I experienced a very different trip from any of the other times. It was at a 2 day musical festival and I rolled both days. This was the first time I had ever done it 2 days in a row. Normally I wait at least a month or 2.

    The first day was nothing out of the ordinary, euphoric feelings high appreciation of music very social one of the best days of my life. The second day however was very different. When it hit me it felt like everything around me was moving in vertical waves and I was standing still.

    Some moments I felt like I would start falling to the side yet I wasn’t. It was hard for me to concentrate on anything. At one point I had uncontrollable eye rolling about every 30 seconds. When I tried to focus my vision on one object it would start to split in 2.

    During a firework show the colors seemed to be amplified and the smoke left behind felt as if the smoke were standing still and the earth was passing it by. Simple tasks like drinking water out of a camel pack seemed impossible to figure out.

    At one point I started to feel anxiety and left my group of friends to wander the festival by myself. When I was by myself it was very hard to get a sense of direction. When I entered a dark Port-A-Potty I started to see shadows out of the corners of my eyes.

    When I faced the shadows they disappeared and instead I started to see a cloudy fog take shape in front of me. As I started to come down my jaw shook uncontrollably for hrs.

    The following days my personality was very different from my usual self. 2 days later I slept for 12 hrs straight and was very late for work. A very weird experience.

  2. Here’s my experience. I had done MDMA several times before this experience. I had some really pure molly on me and I went ham on a Saturday. Started off the day taking a usual dose and was tripping just like how I would expect. Towards the night when it started wearing off.

    I crushed up a huge chuck on crystal and ate all of it. I have never taken such a huge dose before all at once. Soon, all of my euphoria turned into dysphoria. I could barely talk and form sentences. Colors had a synesthetic effect on me. Colors were blending into each other, blue would look green and blue again and so on.

    My short term memory was shot and I constantly kept forgetting what I said. Despite the negatives I was feeling, I remember music sounding godly, it was just pure bliss and the feeling of touch brought me so much happiness. My vision looked like if I was on a high dose of LSD but also took a deliriant with it.

    Soon after I started hallucinating dragons flying across the room, little midget elves and cats. I remember looking at these hallucinations and just feeling happy because I was able to tell the hallucinations apart from reality. My vocabulary had reduced to this one sentence “I didn’t think MDMA could do this.”

    Overall, it was scary because I didn’t know MDMA could cause this. However, I don’t think music will ever sound better than it did for me that night. It was enjoyable and I did end up having a good time in the end. Jaw clenching can be bad so make sure you have gum.

  3. I took a blue ‘punisher’ pill about a week ago. This was my first time doing any sort of pills- I’d stuck mainly to just alcohol and weed in the past- and I was in a vengeful mood when I took it. I was with a group of friends at this massive party, had no idea what the pill was and took it whole.

    About half an hour after taking the drug, I started to be unable to focus on anything in particular- it was like my eyes were vibrating too fast for my brain to keep up with. Along with this, I got freezing cold. I was shivering so much, and no matter how many coats my friends piled on top of me, I couldn’t stop shaking.

    I felt insanely happy, slightly euphoric, and my physical sense of touch was enhanced almost ten fold – touching peoples hands and shoulders just made me really happy. Soon after this point, I began to hallucinate. It started off pretty tame, or not that scary.

    I saw loads of animals in the trees and was convinced that there were walls everywhere that would stop me from walking in that direction. No matter how much my friends tried to convince me, there were walls there. Later on into my experience (I had continued to smoke weed throughout it), they took a slightly darker turn.

    I began to see half-people. People who weren’t quite right- usually either a pair of legs or just the torso – would keep flickering in and out of my vision, usually just in my peripheral vision. There were people who looked massive as I walked towards them – about the size of buildings- and then became tiny as I stepped closer.

    I should mention here that I have a history of serious mental illness- depression and anxiety- so I began to feel kinda low (not seriously low, but just sad) and distanced myself from the group. The things I was seeing suddenly became a lot darker.

    People would lunge out at me from the corner’s of my eyes, and I could swear I heard someone walking behind me as I walk behind the group, but there was no one there as I turn around. I had been ‘gurning’ for the past couple hours- gurning is where one cannot control the movement of their jaws and they tense up involuntarily or move without you making them- and my mouth was filling with blood due to my insistent chewing of my cheeks.

    I also started to lick my bottom lip then run my front teeth over the same lip, effectively taking the top few layers off of it. I ran out of chewing gum- recommended to use, as you chew the gum and not your own mouth. At about 4:30 am, I decided I’d had enough, and called my parents to come and collect me, but one of the weirdest things happened.

    I went under the pretense of heading towards the station with a few of my group to buy some more Rizlas, but when we reached where I was to meet my parents, I started to walk up the steps as a few of my group kept walking. They stopped at one point, and I could’ve sworn that they started to get pissy at me for leaving- saying mean things. Then, all of a sudden, I seem to snap back into reality and they’re asking me if I’m leaving.

    Time is also altered quite dramatically- I didn’t register time passing at all. The morning after, I struggled to break out of this haze that covered my mind. With all that said, I did really enjoy it, and wouldn’t say no to another pill.

  4. I saw this and wanted to share my story with Molly since I’m hoping others experienced something I did. I had done Molly before this one time, but I did it maybe once every few months… it wasn’t very often at all. But I had taken some almost every 30 minutes to an hour between 8pm and 5am. Drank lots of water and took vitamins.

    I didn’t feel bad at all… just the usual happiness. At one point, I started seeing flying bugs on the ceiling (like the ones you see near lights at night). It seemed normal to me since things like that normally get into the house. I only looked away for a couple seconds, but once I looked back, they were gone.

    I didn’t think much of it, though. Not long after, I got up to go take a shower… and hear cat noises. I could have sworn I caught a glimpse of a black cat in the house, but I only could catch it in my side vision. That’s when I realized things were getting weird. I passed a room and saw what looked like a really big Slender Man haha.

    I know that sounds ridiculous, but that’s what I saw… except is body was huge and brick shaped and his head was too small for his body. I tried to ignore it and hopped in the shower… And in the shower it sounded like someone was watching a basketball game in the next room. So, when I peeked out the door, I saw flashing lights in that room.

    I really thought my friend couldn’t sleep and was watching TV. So, I closed the door back, got dressed, and then came back out to see nothing but pitch black. No lights. I peeked in the room and just said “Anyone awake?”… No response. Then I remembered there wasn’t any cable in the room… and I finally accepted that I was hallucinating.

    I went to school that day and saw rats in the hallways and weird things outside the windows. But they were very real like I had visual and auditory hallucinations. Too real to be okay (for the most part)… And then for three days afterwards, I was very paranoid and kept seeing shadows.

    I want to think I may have overdosed on it at the time. But that’s what happened to me. I’m unsure if anyone had side effects this serious, but I wanted to get the story about my experience out.

  5. I’ve taken molly 3 times now (always well spaced out, I am NOT going to be an addict) every time I take it, white light is sort of reddish, same with reflective objects. I’ve learned that to see white light your eye cones, red blue and green all see those colors, to tell your brain that it white. Do you think molly has an effect on this phenomenon, and is making my red cones more dominant? Also when looking in a mirror or camera, I see weak images of my eyes all over the place. Taking a selfie was a challenge. Thanks :)


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