Ecstasy is an emotion and a philosophical concept. From the emotional prospective, ecstasy is defined as a state of altered consciousnesses in which a person is unaware of his or her surroundings and the passage of time but rather focuses on a well-defined object or emotion that makes him or her unable to perceive other objects. When in ecstasy, people concentrate on something specific and allocate their entire attention to that entity without being able to respond to other stimuli such as people talking to them, sounds, thoughts or visual representations of other objects. As a concept of philosophy, ecstasy is defined as a state in which a person is outside of his or her own self and is focused on the outside world. It is the opposite of self-focus or self-contemplation.
Ecstasy is also a popular term for an addictive substance and a drug called MDMA, which is a substance that belongs to the amphetamine class of drugs. This drug is illegal in the vast majority of countries, and its production, distribution and possession without proper medical authorization is a crime. Ecstasy has become a street drug due to its powerful mental effects that include sensations of euphoria, trust and connection to other people, decreased inhibition and diminished fear and anxiety. People taking this drug may also feel more confident and determined to do things that they were previously hesitant about. Euphoria caused by ecstasy is a state in which a person experiences feelings of intense joy, enthusiasm and happiness.
Ecstasy works by increasing the amount of neuro-transmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine in the neural circuits of the brain. Also, ecstasy causes an increased production and release of oxytocin, which is a hormone that is involved in orgasm, childbirth and affectionate responses such as kissing and hugging. Medical researchers believe that the increased trust in people that is usually observed after ecstasy intake is caused by high levels of oxytocin.