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  1. Hello and Happy New Year. I am new to the forum and how I got here was from watching a Vice interview with Andrew Callaghan, who has/had a YouTube channel called "All Gas No Brakes". If you are not aware of him, he does a type of Gonzo video journalism with some pretty hilarious results. Anyway, at the end of the interview he mentioned how he had HPPD and had gotten it from overuse of mushrooms which he started using at 13 and he's now 20 something. Anyway, I had never heard of HPPD so I decided to look it up, and that led me down the rabbit hole of YouTube videos, some medical journals and then finally to this forum. After reading about it now for many hours over the last two days, seeing some examples of what it could be it and hearing others' experience with HPPD, it made me wonder if this is something that I have had now, in varying degrees, for over 30 years? Let me explain: I am now 47 and I first took acid when I was 13 and did it twice. Then, when I was 15 until 18 I went full on into the acid world along with almost daily pot smoking which caused my school performance to go completely down the tubes. I went from being an A/B student to just graduating from high school. I eventually stopped using acid when a particularly bad trip, which was brought on by too much pure liquid LSD followed by some serious pot smoking, caused me to have a serious meltdown, making me feel as if I was in some type of cartoon land. It was very scary. I know now that part of what I felt that caused the exteme panic was depersonalization. I felt completely disconnected from the real world, and my friends I was with. I had had some other meltdowns in the past but this one was a doozy. I only did acid one more time after that and after that last trip I remember that the after effects seemed to linger longer than normal and kind of caused me some anxiety and paranoia. I believe that this was also when a fear of choking on my food began to rear it's ugly head. That I have gotten under control now. Around this time, age 18, I also quit smoking weed regularly. Whenever I would do it, feelings of the bad trip would come back, making me anxious, uncomfortable and on some occasions causing depersonalization. Of course at the time, I had no idea what it was. I just felt very weird and outside of myself and wondered if I would ever feel normal again. Of course, I told no one not even my friends about it and just privately dealt with it until I eventually just learned to accept it for what it was (even though I didn't know what "it" was until now). I knew however that taking drugs was not good for me which is why I pretty much cut them out. All except for alcohol. I took magic mushrooms a few times in my 20s, which was fine (no freak outs) and then 5 years ago, when I was 42, I took a microdose for the first time in over 20 years. The experience, since it was very mild, I remember as being quite enjoyable. I don't seem to remember any negative effects other than having a hard time falling asleep due to the visuals with my eyes closed. The next day was also a bit of a struggle. I have never done MDMA, ketamine or other synthetic drugs. While I am fairly anxiety-free now, in my early 20s, which wasn't long after I quit both LSD and pot, I began to have panic attacks. My first one happened when I was 21 and at the time I didn't know what was happening, I just felt like I was having a flashback. It was brought on now doubt, due to my living at the time, which was just existing, and being under a lot of both mental and personal stress. They continued at completely random times for a few years until they went away. This was probably due to my having started to exercise and eat better when I hit 24, and my way of living was getting better. I also did cocaine for the first time and did it very sporadically until about age 35. I continued drinking primarily and then smoking pot when the mood struck me. The decision to get high would usually turn out to be a bad idea because I would always do it when I was drunk. One particular episode when I was 36, of drinking and smoking more than I usually did (one or two bowl hits) led me to have only what I can refer to as a "pot black out" where I don't remember what I did for an hour or more until I came to or began to sober up. I guess it was a DP/DR thing. All I know is that my girlfriend at the time, who was a huge stoner, didn't like the fact that I ran off with a married woman and wandered around this music festival with her for an unspecified period. I often wondered if the weed was laced but it just turns out that weed strains now are very potent. During my teens I started to drink and have continued to do so. For a while it was beer and then wine before turning into drinking hard liquor on a daily basis. At first it didn't seem to be any problem but it eventually began to make me wonder three years ago if I was turning into an alcoholic. Not to mention I was also having depression, anxiety, etc. But again I didn't make the connection between the two. I was also exercising regularly, eating healthy, meditating, doing yoga and other good things. During the pandemic I decided to cut way back on my drinking and smoke more weed. I had always had an on/off again relationship with weed since I cut it out in my teens due to reasons listed above but now I am beginning to think that I need to cut it out once and for all because it aggravates what I believe to be HPPD. It's a shame though, because I feel that now I can truly enjoy weed again after not being able to for so long. Even times when I have gotten too high, while it can feel a little uncomfortable, I can manage. I am sure this all has to do with age, self-awareness and knowing how to handle anxiety. My HPPD symptoms, if that is truly what it is are the following: 1. Mild visual snow when in mid to darkly lit rooms or outside at night. 2. Things changing shape, etc if I stare too long at them or until I blink. This is especially a problem watching TV or having a conversation with people. If I stare (zone out) at the TV or anything too long, after a while everything else in the background will seem to melt away. I have to shake myself out of it. Maybe this is why I don't like to watch a lot of TV?? 3.After images, I seem to get this a lot from computer screens, which is why I have started wearing blue screen glasses 4.Ghosting of things. 5. Floaters. 6.When I was younger and this probably began after I first tripped, I use to always get crazy visuals at night when I would fall asleep. I don't have them so much anymore but every now and then, usually after too much caffeine, I can get little spots of light in my vision. 7.If I concentrate hard enough on things like my carpet, crazy designs, etc. I can "see" vague images but they are not enough to cause me any panic. 8. Reading in dark mode on my IPad at night, in the dark, can also make text kind of weird causing some ghosting. 9. I play music and sometimes after having stared at music notation for a period, the notes can seem to change ever so slightly. While I don't see them now I am sure there was a time when I would get trails from objects, albeit very subtle. I always thought that this had something to do with my bad eyesight: I wear contacts and have an astigmatism in my left eye. At the same time, ALL these things can get amplified when I smoke pot,drink or do both, which I usually do, and will usually persist even when I am sober. They have also happened after having taken an Delta-8 THC edible. Perhaps this is why I feel just as stoned and out of sorts on D8 THC as I do on regular THC? Over the last few years, since I started smoking pot again (or whenever I have decided to smoke it again), I have noticed these HPPD symptoms ramping up. The same thing with OCD, which I only realized I had a few years ago, even though I had gotten negative or weird thoughts throughout my life since I first used either LSD, pot or both. I sought treatment a few years ago after a period of regular pot smoking mixed with alcohol was causing some more than normal intrusive negative thoughts, and causing me some anxiety. I even saw an OCD specialist for a bit, which helped. While I didn't want to believe it at the same time I am 100 percent certain that the pot use caused it. Based on the HPPD survey that you can sign up for on the first page of this forum, I now believe that early age psychedelic use has caused the following symptoms in my life and have been with me since I was a teen. Again, I never made the connection until I came across HPPD, this forum and took the survey. 1.OCD 2.Vertigo - completely took me by surprise but it makes sense because when I was a kid, before I started using drugs, heights didn't bother me as much as they do now. 3.Chronic back pain?! 4.Panic attacks (though I don't have them anymore) 5.HPPD 6. Social anxiety (not so much anymore). I am more introverted than not but I have to be on when I teach, which is my day job. Other things I have considered that may also be due to my early use of psychedelics: I also don't really like driving at night and its made even worse when it rains. This is due to the halo effect that I can get from on-coming cars' headlights. I am not sure if this is HPPD or not but just thought I would mention it. I could never get those damn "Magic Eye" Puzzles to work. Every time I would zone out on the image and try to see the hidden picture the design would just blur out into nothingness. Certain patterns really hurt my eyes It takes me a while to adjust to darkness For a long time I did reality based visual art and now when I do any sort drawing, especially abstract, I have to try really hard to not get too caught up in whatever random patterns I am creating. Anyway, if HPPD is what I have had with for this long (almost 30 years) then I have learned to deal with it. It is what it is as they say. My life now is the best it's ever been: I am married, have a career I love, and have just a basic quality of living that I had when I was younger; I am sure that has helped a lot. Meditation and mindfulness has helped get my OCD under control and now I am going to cut out both pot and alcohol for at least a month and see what happens. I didn't realize that caffeine can aggravate HPPD and I drink at least 3-4 cups a day so, maybe I need to either cut that out too or at least just have one cup each day. I had Covid-19 as well in 2020, before I was vaccinated, and I wonder now if the 'brain fog" amplifed my HPPD a bit? It is obvious from having read some of the other posts on this forum that my case is not as bad as others and nor was it ever to the point where I couldn't function normally day-to-day. However, it is safe to assume that because I used drugs at such a young age, before my brain was fully developed, HPPD, along with the other symptoms that I have listed above, has been with me a long time. It is just now that I am realizing why that is and for that I feel like I have made in a huge leap in my day-to-day life. Again sorry, for the length of this but I feel I had to get it all out there as a way to help me process it better.
  2. This might be a long one, but here goes. I've been looking at this site since the end of November, and I think I've found what's been affecting me. I'm 22-years old; a college student living in student accommodation away from home during term. I've occasionally experimented with drugs since I was about 15 (in social groups, never alone), but it was only in the last year or so that I ever tried ecstasy or LSD – not something I've done often but I found them quite positive experiences. Both times I took acid were quite low doses, and generally njoyable experiences. The only thing I noticed was that I often get bad anxiety from smoking weed since the first time I tripped; before acid this never happened. The experiences were so positive that I became a little bit obsessed with psychedelia; the music, the art, all the hippy stuff basically. For weeks after my trips I felt more clear-minded, focused, happy and just generally appreciative of life – even when COVID lockdowns became a part of our lives last March. After lockdown during the summer of last year I partied with friends for a couple of days straight; lots of alcohol, ketamine, and on the last day we all took a some of ecstasy. The afternoon of the day I came home I began experiencing what I think was serotonin syndrome; I got waves of panic, heart palpitations, agitation. It was very unpleasant, and it stuck in my mind long after I felt better. My current predicament was triggered by a caffeine-induced panic attack at the end of last September; I saw a flash of light in my peripheral vision after drinking black coffee, which led to continuing anxiety, visual disturbances, panic attacks, and negative thought loops – all these symptoms seem to come in waves, there's days or weeks when they're far less apparent and times when they feel overwhelmingly intense. I even got an eye test and was prescribed glasses for slight nearsightedness, but they said there was absolutely nothing wrong with my eyes from what they could tell. I had an ECG and a blood test at the doctors too, and they said there didn't seem to be any health issues that they could see – which is good news. Visual disturbances include visual snow (VS), prolonged after-images, floaters, blue sky ectopic phenomenon (a swirling or rapid movement effect on skies – especially on a bright blue day), as well as occasional perception of movement or lights in peripheral vision, “cracks” or vein/branch-like after-images in my field of vision just after blinking for a few minutes after I wake up, and flashes of light when the eyes are closed (when trying to sleep). These visual disturbances often create a sense of anxiety, and distract me from everyday tasks. The anxiety tends to get worse if I'm hungover, at night, and especially when I’m trying to fall asleep. I’ve also been experiencing occasional high-pitched ringing sound in my ears (more the right ear than the left one), heart flutters/palpitations, a slight feeling of nausea (generally worse after eating), and a sudden sense of dizziness or disconnection which may trigger mental panic or turmoil. Episodes like this don’t happen frequently, but are usually accompanied by a hot feeling in my face and an over-sensitivity to noises and sensations around me, with even a relaxed living room feeling chaotic and overwhelming. Unpleasant episodes like this tend to happen on days when I spend a lot of time ruminating about my condition. My mind often gravitates towards the idea that I may have a serious mental disorder – especially schizophrenia, despite not demonstrating the symptoms of this disorder (delusions, complex hallucinations, hearing voices, etc.). It’s more of a fear that I am experiencing what comes before a psychotic episode (prodromal period), and a feeling of helplessness and panic quickly grows out of this. I spend a lot of time Googling symptoms of various mental illnesses as way to reassure myself that I’m not psychotic, but sometimes I think I’m subconsciously trying to confirm that I am – however labored the justification may be. I think a lot of this is mainly down to the visual issues, but also the general ‘out of sorts’ feelings I’ve had. When I’m feeling particularly out of sorts or anxious, my mind tends to feel jumbled and chaotic – a fuzzy psychedelic feeling in my mind’s eye where it’s difficult to clearly visualize things properly or think clearly. This feeling can be intense and distracting, and it often makes me feel lethargic or low on energy. I also have trouble sleeping, or rather trouble going to sleep before 12 am. This isn’t a new thing; it has been a recurring issue for me for the last four or five years, but never as consistently problematic for my mental health (being due to anxiety or visual issues), and I was rarely ever kept awake when I wanted to sleep. These sleep problems often mean I wake up and fall asleep again multiple times every morning and struggle to fully get up before 11 am, and I think this effects my productivity for the rest of the day. I don’t feel well-rested when I wake up, so I think this messes with my mood throughout the day. Today I had the worst panic attack of my life; in broad daylight on a pleasant day at home surrounded by my family. I haven't taken anything (even alcohol or cigarettes) since before Christmas, so that hasn't added to my problems thankfully. I began to fixate on the sense of movement in my peripheral vision and visual snow, which set off my anxiety in an extremely intense way and it has taken all day to calm myself down. After talking with my parents we agreed it might be time to see a doctor; this isn't going to go away easily and I just want to rule out any other possibilities. Apologies for the length of this post, I just had to get it all out. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I would appreciate any advice. I will post an update if my symptoms change, and I'll try to keep up to date on any future developments.
  3. Hi, I'm new to this forum My condition started 1 year ago when I snorted 60mg of 2C-B, that night I had a horrible bad trip that ended in a panic attack and a visit to the hospital since that day I have anxiety problems, but I never had HPPD, visual snow, depersonalization / derealization, so I consider myself lucky !!! my symptoms have been more like traditional anxiety: chest pain, insomnia, fear of dying, muscle twitching, racing thoughts, nightmares, myoclonus (jerking when trying to sleep), shortness of breath, panic attacks the first few months...I think I have some form of PTSD caused by this bad trip I've been sober for almost 9 months and the only symptom I have now is muscle twitching (like fasciculations)... it's not a big deal, so I have a pretty normal life to be honest, I cannot complain. but if I drink alcohol/caffeine my anxiety increases the following days, and some old symptoms return. So I was wondering how bad it would be get drunk once a month and cut the anxiety of the following days with clonazepam? (I can handle 2 beers without problem, but if I took more I may have some anxiety problems the following days) What do you guys think, is not worth it? Can my condition evolve into HPPD just because of alcohol?
  4. I have read up on HPPD and am certain I have it now. I have used lots of drugs in past, MD,Ket,methodrone, acid, shrooms.. etc. Basically I hallucinated really bad about week ago while high on MD & Ket. I think caused me to develop HPPD. If look up into bright sky I see loads particles floating in sky in my vision. This doesn't bother me just pointing it out. I don't enjoy smoking weed anymore because I get such strong visuals now. Best way I can describe it is, flashing multi colours in my vision, almost like auras/light emitting off people, fast heart rate, and just feels uncomfortable when I get high. I smoked weed pretty much every day for the past 2 years, I have stopped smoking weed now. Will I ever be able enjoy getting stoned again ? Also I read that alcohol can worsen the effects. I feel quite good atm and I'm not smoking weed for a good while.my birthday is next week should i be alright to drink alcohol ? Thanks for any advice :-D
  5. The actual question is in the final paragraph, so if you aren't to keen on reading what has now become my entire life story, skip to there! Alright, yous? Long time listener, first time caller. Firstly, I'd like to thank those of you who have been contributing to this forum frequently over the last few years. Whenever I've had a question about HPPD, a quick google search has usually turned up answers from people like Visual, jay, etc. I can't speak for anyone else, but I know that having this sort of easily accessible (albeit often anecdotal) information has been massively useful for me. I also know that for some people, engaging in discussion with a community of similarly afflicted individuals can act as a sort of therapy, but for me it's quite the opposite, my particular brand of HPPD seems most manageable when I ignore it, and otherwise engage myself. Just a bit of background, then. My HPPD originates from MDMA, or perhaps "MDMA" (is the Silk Road even still a thing, I wonder?). I only ever used drugs during the period of one year, and it was generally a mix of magic mushrooms and MDMA (once together, extraordinarily stupid in retrospect I know), though infrequently Cannabis, and once LSD. Throughout this year I had perhaps a slight increase in visual snow, but nothing that stood out to me as a warning sign. The last time I took drugs, it was a bad reaction to some fairly strong "MDMA". Nothing crazy, just like a 3 hour panic attack. After this, I came down and felt sort of dopey but fine. The next evening I was drinking some energy drinks (as I'm sure you can tell, regard for my body was at this point was evidently *nonexistent*), and then went to bed. Before going to sleep, maybe 3 AM, I suddenly feel like I'm coming up on MDMA, hard. Long story short, my heart is blasting in my chest, I'm seeing weird stuff, and I'm pretty much completely delirious. Ambulance is called, I get the condescending "this is why we don't do drugs, kids" speech, and then they leave. My heart is pounding for most of the next day, and over the next few weeks the visual snow, CEVs (and infrequent OEVs), and general sense of being "on something" don't really leave. Over the next few months I'm going mad trying to figure out what I've done to myself, Schizophrenia, MS, Parkinsons, etc? Throughout this time, I have this insane pressure in my head, and a weird burning sensation all down the back of my neck. This particular sensation has actually calmed down with time (onset of what I believe to be HPPD was almost 3 yrs ago). The next few years saw the OEVs fade away largely, and instead of fractal patterns, I mostly just see what sort of looks like arc lightning in my periphery at night, and the occasional burned out spot in my vision, as though I'd been staring at the sun. CEVs are infrequent these days, but visual snow, slight dopiness (I feel like I'm maybe 10% less intelligent now, though of course that's not possible to quantify), and some aural weirdness just before sleep, all persist. I also, in the last 2 years, have been having some killer headaches/migraines (I know some people think HPPD is linked to silent migraines, which I know some people also think is linked to a type of seizure activity). For the first two years, I had "episodes" that doctors were quick to categorize as panic attacks. They manifested as a sudden change in consciousness, as though I'd taken something at a large dose. Weird vision stuff also accompanied these, and a fairly intense shaking. My heart rate never increased, though, and there was never a definite trigger. Whether these genuinely were panic attacks, flashbacks, or some weird quirk of HPPD, I still don't know. Afterwards, I'd have what felt like a major hangover (though I do actually feel hungover constantly, nausea/hypersensitivity/vertigo/thefear/etc), and it could often last for a month or so. Luckily, I haven't had such a episode in over a year. I've also started to have weird chest/abdominal/stomach/intestinal pains. I've been worried about heart stuff, etc, but am assured by my doctor that these are the result of anxiety. I'm probably going to pony up for an echocardiogram at some point, just to be sure. My obsession with all of this health stuff, and my constant barrage of symptoms, have made my family and friends view me as a hypochondriac. I feel as though this might be unfair, as my situation is certainly quite unusual, but I'm also prepared to admit that anxiety and trauma like all of this can put you in a weird headspace, and I might not be objective in assessing my own reaction to these health problems. ANYWAY, HERE'S THE QUESTION: Socializing is a bit of a bitch without drinking. I've been more or less teetotal over the last 3 yrs, having maybe one or two beers total over this time. I know there have been many threads about alcohol on these boards, and over the years I have read them all. Some people's experiences vary wildly, and the self-reported nature of lots of them makes the information occasionally hard to parse. Would it be irresponsible for me to try and re-introduce light drinking back into my life? I'm talking like 2 Gin and Tonic's over the course of a night, max. From many reports on these boards, I would estimate that my HPPD is on the lighter end of the spectrum. I know it's possible to make it worse. Having said that, it's becoming frustrating not to be able to partake, even lightly. What do you think? Thanks for reading.
  6. Drinking alcohol has almost zero negative effects on my HPPD. When I'm hungover I see some yellow shit but not really any worse than the blue shit I see when sober. Lately I've been having terrible depression and suicidal thoughts. But the only time I feel ok is when I'm drunk. I'm taking next semester off of school so maybe I'll just get drunk a lot until/if my hppd goes away. I know it seems like a shitty idea but its the lesser of two evils. I have a history of depression and was basically an alcoholic for a few months but came out unscathed. I know one thing for sure is that hppd has sent me into a self destructive depression and if I'm not constantly sedated I will probably try to harm myself again. I see my therapist tomorrow and will talk to him. If you resorted to drinking from your hppd please share if it helped or hurt.
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