Ecstasy primarily affects the brain’s serotonin center. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is related to your mood and feelings of well-being. In the short term, ecstasy increases serotonin levels to make you feel happy and euphoric. The long term effects of ecstasy on the serotonin center, however, can be permanent and result in feelings that are quite the opposite.
Long term ecstasy use can result in irreversible damage to the brain that can affect all the ways serotonin functions. Essentially, it can limit the amount of serotonin your body produces and block serotonin from doing its job. It can negatively impact our ability to sleep, remember things, and be happy. Long term effects of ecstasy include memory loss, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, depression, anxiety, mood swings, and even psychosis.
There are studies that suggest long term ecstasy use can also result in other types of brain damage, including the reduction of overall brain mass.