For my dissertation I’m looking at the re-emerging rave culture alongside its partnership with ‘club drugs’. Exclusively looking at MDMA (A.K.A ecstasy), I want to explore the potential idea that individuals take drugs to relieve social anxieties that they may have.
Now, I know not everyone is socially anxious or necessarily has a motive for drug taking other than ‘it’s fun’, but I do believe there to be a small group of people who take drugs for other, more meaningful reasons.
Although I would call myself socially anxious, I haven’t ever intentionally taken drugs to relieve this anxiousness, it’s always just come as a pleasant side effect. However, I thought recently how often people explain the joy they feel when they have taken MDMA because they can talk to people in social situations, feeling a deep connection for hours on end – which they are not used to feeling as much in normality. This got me to thinking, if we can’t do this normally perhaps people feel relieved that this weight is temporarily lifted from their shoulders when they consume drugs.
In usual day-to-day scenarios, some people don’t feel as though they can talk to certain people about particular topics. However, when they consume a drug like MDMA, they can. There’s something about this that suggests to me that some people are normally uncomfortable in these kind of situations – some may even say anxious.
Studies have already produced results that explain individuals consume drugs as a way of emotional escapism, but I don’t feel as if anyone has discussed social anxieties in an equal amount of depth.
What do you think?
Have you ever taken drugs as a way to relieve social anxieties?