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May Wilkerson May Wilkerson

Ira Glass Says Ecstasy “Lifted Away” His Anxiety


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Ira Glass Photo via

Ira Glass Photo via

Ira Glass—host and producer of popular weekly radio show This American Life—says one of the most meaningful interviews he’s ever done involved him talking about his first time on ecstasy. In an episode to air this week, Glass interviews comedian Marc Maron, a recovering addict. In a rare moment of sharing from his own personal life, Glass describes how the drug helped temporarily alleviate his lifelong anxiety:

“I am mostly a pretty worried person. In conversations, I am always worried about what to say,” he says, “The first time I took ecstasy, all of that lifted away. All the anxiety, which is the baseline of my life in some way, and I had this moment of like, wait a second! Are there people who feel this way all the time? This is like a whole way to be, where you don’t feel anxious? Oh my god! It was so amazing. In the months after that, it was a really helpful thing to have experienced. It remains to this day a feeling that is helpful to know about.”

The radio personality is not the only person to have found mental respite in the drug. Mounting research shows that ecstasy (MDMA)—a popular party drug since the ’80s—could potentially be used to clinically treat anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Check out last week’s, “My First Time on Ecstasy: Ten True Tales,” for more accounts of people popping their E cherry.


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