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Hello All! Hope everyone is doing well, if not follow the words of Winston Churchill "If you're going through hell, keep going" you can do this. I joined uni in September 2021 and to say the least, I made some bad choices with substance abuse. Below I have listed what substances and the frequency I used them: Weed/Hash/RSO | Every day, anywhere from 3 to 15 joints a day just to exist in a high state. LSD | Most weekends, most of the time double dropping 200ug tabs, some days even going as far as 5 tabs spread over the day, this only happened twice. 2C-B | This was the worst as I am sure I become addicted to the drug and only stopped because my dealer ran out, taking 30mg pills multiple times a week. Psilocybin | Taken every couple of weeks to a month between usage. My highest dosage was 3.7g of AA+ mushrooms which was my first bad trip, I never want to go back to that place nor will I. MDMA | Once or twice a month, I would take a little bag of 0.3g - 0.5g and key that through the night. Ketamine | This was infrequent as I hated the taste so I used this probably 3 times over 6 months. Cocaine | I tried 2 bumps of cocaine both times I hated it. Speed | Only tried once and couldn't sleep until 5 the next day, weirdly I didn't feel highly energised, just felt focused. Kratom | Only tried once. The most I took at once was at a campfire with a group of friends and again I need to list what I took in just one night: 2 tabs of LSD 3 30mg 2C-B 1 gram of MDMA 1 250mg MDMA pill 800mg of weed edibles Joints when they were handed to me. I hadn't tripped in about 4-8 weeks when I got back home and on the 28th of June, I had a friend message me saying "I have some strong weed that makes me prang out" of course I needed to try this and invited him over, I smoked a joint and went to bed. Shortly after is when I got the worst case of cold sweats I have ever had along with shaking, the feeling of impending doom, and genuine belief I was about to die, safe to say the weed did in fact make me prang out. After a couple of hours of comfort from my girlfriend and a cold shower, I managed to get to bed, when I woke up all the symptoms of what I now know is HPPD were apparent. The following night, intense shaking/convulsing ensued waking my girlfriend up, and out of fear for my life and thinking something was wrong I called a friend and had them take me to the A&E (I live in the UK by the way), 10 hours later I was seen by a doctor and given the all-clear after my blood and ECG all came back clear. I have visual snow now, quite apparent halos around text, persisting positive lights that stay in my vision after looking at bright lights, constant headaches, and having more anxiety than I have ever experienced. I also have been having episodes of intense vertigo followed by nystagmus (In my case my eyes shaking left and right with rapid speed, I have also confirmed this is not BPPV, also I have recorded my eyes during one of these episodes and they do not move, leading me to believe this is some kind of damage to the brain. I am going to talk to a doctors about this soon. I have also visited an optician to have an OCT scan of the backs of my eyes and an in depth look of my eyes and they seem to be in perfect health, again leading me to believe this is an issue not associated with my eyes. After completely sobering up from everything instantly after the A&E trip, I have now accepted the fact that I am dealing with HPPD, to increase my chances of recovery I am now taking multiple vitamins including B1 B2 B6 B12, and a plethora more (The exact multivitamin I am taking now) I am starting to eat slightly better by having my own packed lunches and starting to eat fruit, sleeping better usually from 11 pm to 7 am or around that time, and have started drinking a lot more water along with swimming intermittently. Is there anything else I can do or change to increase my odds of recovery? Best regards,
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.
Boy, have I had fun struggling to explain this over the years. Having read implications that people can naturally develop HPPD without the use of drugs, I feel brave enough to come out and propose... I believe I was born with HPPD. Yes, there are an endless amount of possibilities of what can happen to a child before their memory develops. The unknown aside, my mother swears upon her life that she was emotionally compelled to be clean during her pregnancy. She did however try recreational substances in the years before her pregnancy. That's all there really is to factor into the early development without getting into genetics. Fast forward to my mental awakening: My earliest memories go as far back as 2 years old, with a high amount of detail for a small handful of experiences. HPPD's visual snow began as early 3 years old, no sooner than 4. I can't tell you anything else about my life with more certainty. Staring at a moonlit ceiling while lying in my parents' bed, unable to sleep, I could conjure up the visual snow and follow it about for entertainment until dozing off. I distinctly remember it starting as a zebra-like puddle which grew in unnaturally rippling waves. I was obsessing over this nightly until it began to take color and move like a three-dimensional flock of birds descending from the gypsum ceiling to toil about as a flock of hundreds of birds would. (Side note: Growing up with white Gypsum walls/ceilings is a disastrous trap for obsessing and worsening the condition. In my worst episode, I was seeing morphing, endless crude depictions of the black plague in my gypsum-walled home, aprox 16 y/o.) Depersonalization symptoms set in around 4-6 years old, the beginning of which I described as having, "woken up for the first time;" but I was already awake. I asked my mother if she felt it, worried it was a natural phenomenon I'd just experienced. This took place on the usual morning drive to school. At around age 10 I 'lost control' due to obsessive habits mixed with social stress, and began to have increasing difficulty with reading. At the same time I developed a sensitivity to horizontal stripes of almost any two colors. They force a sensation of false-vertigo, nausea, anxiety/nervousness, poor sense of balance or the need to steady myself all with an alluring fixation on this rather distressing visual. It's taken a long, long time to learn to limit the amount of stress this causes to a manageable level. Object-specific color changes usually occur with a pearlescent effect, and are a rather relaxing replacement for the old habit of obsessing (wall staring). Strangely, I find both the visual snow and object specific color changes to be... slightly controllable during dawn and dusk. I can really only give it the last mental nudge to get started, but otherwise can't control the outcome. I can also intuitively fight the potential minor trigger sensation/stimulus in an effort to squelch micro-episodes. Sometimes it takes a bit more than just conscious ignorance, which I really cannot describe yet. Along with this came high-ceiling spatial distortion. Basically what I mean by that is... Any warehouse sized store such as Target, Walmart, Raley's, Costco, Sam's Club, Sports Warehouse or even hardware depots will all force sensations of losing balance constantly between peripheral warping. I can only describe this as feeling like walking in a hamster ball. I must say this one snuck it's way into my childhood at random before becoming a staple of my symptoms. It takes intense concentration, energy and physical control to navigate the store. (merely forcing myself to remember the experience to describe it with better accuracy sent me into a slurry of funny typos!) I've always been regarded as dramatic or 'overly dramatic' for complaining of such sensitives growing up. None of my complaints were taken even remotely seriously, allowing me to steep in these issues and make them grow worse. Of course, my family speculated in all the wrong directions when they did listen, only creating more stress and many unnecessary issues through years of misunderstanding. I can't tell you how great it felt to shed the hysteria pinned upon me of potential mental illnesses once I learned about HPPD and shared it with my family, regardless of whether they believed me or not. It would be useful to note that I also went through roughly 10 years of chronic lyme disease, which definitely worsened my visual symptoms. I'm now 20 and going on a year and a half lyme-free (supposedly). My lyme treatments did not seem to have any particular effect on my HPPD besides the associated stresses of treatment. While moderately tamed down in severity, my visuals are still occurring daily. Experiencing my visual distortions is about as normal as breathing now, occurring or interacting with my daily life as subconscious thoughts do. I avoid recreational drugs adamantly as they can throw me far out of the balance required to keep my own peace. The medication combination I've found to help lessen my HPPD (prescribed for reasons other than HPPD) are Low Dose Naltrexone, Cymbalta and medicinal cannabis extracts. The LDN (Naltrexone) has been my only successful combatant against depersonalization, albeit a slow creep. 10mg Cymbalta once in the evening is just enough to help reduce possibly over-exciting stimuli from actually being too exciting. Yet, I still can't sleep in a dark room most nights. In fact, my difficulty sleeping is what's driven me to write this introduction. I've been skipping stones on the issue all my life, but it's only been getting worse. I used to sleep with lights off as a teen no problem. Now I absolutely need a lamp in the corner of my room to be lit until sunrise. I'm in an odd pickle, since this situation leaves me seeing pockets of visual snow on a nightly basis when trying to sleep. If I try to sleep in darkness or near-darkness, the slightest flicker of visual snow explodes into momentary images or after images of rather terrifying things; usually large or distant faces of ambiguous or monstrous nature. Sometimes straight out of media, sometimes abominations of the imagination. I find these frightening because they occur like jump scares, when I least expect them and only for a nano-second. I'm not one to obsess over violent or scary things, instead I'm unsettled rather easily, so I prefer to avoid thinking on such things. Perhaps that practiced avoidance is what's nurturing this emerging issue. Anyways, therapy is not helpful for this, as the phenomenon doesn't seem to be entirely tied to my state of mind. Certainly provoked under stress, but definitely no recurring themes or obsessions which could fuel these more severe night-time hallucinations. I've tried chopping this up to many other diagnosis by myself since my 20+ doctors over the years have never been able to guess at anything better than visual synesthesia or eye damage from frequent TV usage. Much of dealing with HPPD seems to be oriented around self-discovery rather than self-treatment, in my opinion. I'd love any feedback from others who believe themselves to have been dealt a similar hand in life, since we seem to be too few to notice or be noticed. - J.L.
Hi, hope you guys are doing well. I'm starting my blog as many others do .. I took LSD 8 weeks ago and have a couple of concerning symptoms I would like to share with you. The 2 - 3 weeks after I took acid I was very dizzy / had vertigo (when I walked around it felt like being on a boat). I went to a doctor and an ENT-specialist, but they didn't find anything. The dizzyness now almost disappeard, but I still have a blurry vision especially when things or me : ) are moving fast. I still have a constant headache, even though it is also already better than at the beginning (I had awful neck pain at the back of my head). I still feel like having a constant hangover though! When I'm outside a lot I can feel that all the impressions are a lot to process for my head. E.g. the front of my brain is working a lot/is struggling processing all the information. I also feel sick most of the time .. which I think is due to my blurry/dizzy vision! I don't have a lot of symptoms described in the blogs/forum though (e.g. trails, frames, etc.) This is why I'm questioning that I have HPPD. Did someone have a similar experience? Does this end anyday soon? The last couple of weeks I didn't notice that it's getting better. I'm therefore afraid that it isn't going away. I started to freak out a little bit last weekend as it seemed to get worse again. Would love to hear your opinions? I planned to go to the Neurologist in a few days .. I don't think though this will be very helpful. Many thanks in advance.