On July 25, 2014, former U.S. Army Sergeant and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy study participant CJ Hardin participated in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session hosted on reddit. Hardin answered over 100 questions from the public about the benefits of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, the intensity of his combat experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, and how his life has improved since overcoming PTSD.
Originally appearing here. 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 http://maps.org and http://mdmaptsd.org Ask me anything!