Summary: MDMA-assisted psychotherapy study participant and veteran Tony Macie answered questions from the public during an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit, highlighting his experience overcoming posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in one of MAPS’ clinical trials. “I’m doing this AMA to answer questions about my experiences, to bring attention to the need for more effective treatment methods for PTSD, and to spread awareness about how MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can help people heal trauma,” says Tony Macie.
Originally appearing here.
My name is Tony Macie, and I am a retired Sergeant of the U.S. Army. I spent 15 long months in Iraq during the surge in 2006 and 2007. When I returned home from the war, I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from a lot of issues ranging from what I experienced during combat and some of the disconnect with my brothers in arms when I transitioned out of the military. My symptoms of PTSD became “treatment-resistant” after the medication and psychotherapy that the Veterans Affairs provided was ineffective. I began to search for alternative treatment methods, and that’s when I heard about the trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat PTSD. After being accepted as a participant and receiving the treatment, I am proud to say that I am no longer on medications, I am able to more fully live my life, and my relationship with PTSD has changed completely. I truly want anyone who is lost as a result from trauma to be able to have this tool at their disposal. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy opened the doors for me to compassion, love, and moving on. Instead of trying to forget experiences, I focus on learning from them. It also taught me to see the strength of trauma, but yet not forgetting my fellow veterans. I am only one example of how this treatment can help people overcome PTSD. Studies around the world are gathering evidence suggesting that this treatment method can help people overcome treatment-resistant PTSD. I’m doing this AMA to answer questions about my experiences, to bring attention to the need for more effective treatment methods for PTSD, and to spread awareness about how MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can help people heal trauma. I am fully open to discussing all of these things now and seeking to talk to other vets about this. I want all combat veterans to take their tours of duty with pride and not have to feel any disconnect when we come home. Now I seek to fight a different war and will stand up for all my brothers and sisters who are lost—that is what motivates me.
I am currently living in Cambodia running my own non-profit which works on community development. We have been focusing lately on putting children into schools from poor villages, teaching basic first aid, along with community development. My goal is to bring veterans over here to give them an opportunity to experience a different culture without being in war zone. I believe the skills we learn in the military transition greatly into NGO’s and community development and will empower our veterans and vastly help rebuild post war countries.