Jump to content

Rest or Press on.  

5 members have voted

  1. 1. To better deal with HPPD, should one:

    • If it is possible, move home for a bit, rest their brain, put things temporarily on hold?
    • Press on, try to keep life normal, and continue working, even if stressed?

Recommended Posts

Hi all-

New to this forum. Certainly wish I had found this a year ago when my symptoms first started.

Anyway, very quick overview- I started experiencing HPPD + DR around a year ago. Was completely terrified- had tried acid once, along with a bit of MDMA the summer previously. Was convinced I had damaged my brain. Consulted Dr. Google, and sure enough, was convinced I had HPPD.

Talked to a trusted psychiatrist. He convinced me my symptoms were caused by severe anxiety, and suspected they would taper off after a couple of weeks.

Fast forward to a year later. I have been living in Los Angeles, on my own, in what was previously a very stressful situation. Kept drinking, and--extremely unfortunately--taking MDMA at festivals, convinced it was the LSD, not the ecstasy, that had done me in. Clearly, I was incredibly reckless, and did not think through the dangers substances poised my sensitive, drug-disorder prone brain. It's a bit tragic.

Anyway, HPPD is currently as aggressive as it ever was, along with derealization (doesn't matter how many times I go through the motions- I never fully and truly wake up in the morning!) To make matters so, so much worse, I am now experiencing noticeable short-term memory and verbal recall problems, and severe attention deficiencies that have made my day to day embarrassing and almost unbearable. I used to be an aspiring writer and top student. Now it seems the only thing I can wax poetic on is my disorder and its myriad of symptoms.


I have been stone cold sober for about two weeks (insane will-power, I know), and plan to continue avoiding ALL substances (including the previously innocent beer and coffee) for three months to see how my brain responds. If three months doesn't do the trick, I'll tag on another three.

Anyway. I am 24 and have been living away from home since I was 18. I absolutely love my freedom from my parents- very well meaning, but very conservative Mid-westerns- but have been contemplating moving back home during my stint with sobriety. So, below I've listed some things I'm weighing- and I could please, please use some advice! I have made a pros an cons list, and am not sure which side to follow. Anybody who had gone through this, and had any success, please share things I am overlooking/what worked best for you.

Living out in Los Angeles:

-I am currently unemployed, and my are savings shot, which has me very, very stressed. Due to how 'stupid' and 'empty-headed' and 'strung-out' I feel most the time, I'm having a hard time applying for work, because I feel unqualified, or at least "not what I used to be." (Isn't this the most frustrating thought in the universe?)

-This city, in general, 'stresses me out.' Traffic, pollution, crowds, gas, aesthetics- it can wear you down to the bone!

-While I do have health coverage out here, it is a bit of a run around to get it--I am definitely better connected back home, and have doctors in place to help.

-Party city. I am DEFINITELY avoiding all drugs from here on out. But genuine sobriety will be tougher.

+I do, however, have a rich social life- I am never at a shortage for things to do with friends, and am very active on several organized sports teams throughout the week that truly, truly are the only things I "still enjoy"/offer a brief, delicious distraction from my new cognitive hell.

+This city can be exciting, vibrant, full of opportunities- if I can have a bit of guts, I might be able to really pursue some neat opportunities out here. But right now, everything feels SO sad, unattainable. I put my keys in the fridge the other day. I introduced myself to a friend I had known for about a month. I hallucinate all the time. I mean, seriously.

+My friends understand drug culture. Many of them know what I am going through, and while they don't all understand it, they don't judge, but rather support me in my efforts to 'get better,' or at least on with life. And they do NOT pressure me to continue use. In fact, on the few occasions I have tried to have a beer or a coffee, they have firmly helped me say no, reminding me of my resolution and everything that is at stake (even though I feel there is not much left to salvage in this pitiable brain.)

Moving back home to the Midwest:

-I am 24, and come from a small, small town. All (this is not an overstatement) of my friends have left. Being home stresses me out in the sense that I feel lonely, bored, so, so empty.

-My parents- while incredibly loving- are not quite on the same wave-length. When I told my dad about my cognitive problems, he suggested I 'join the military' to get some more structure in my life. I studied Social Justice and Peacekeeping in college. So yes, parental interaction is another source of stress.

-I might just slip into a deep depression. As always seems to happens when I'm home. I may just sit around feeling sorry for myself, and be so lonely I can't stand it.

-While I still have a couple of friends an hour or so away, they really wouldn't get/support this. Very straight-laced kids, as I used to be. I love them, but they are definitely friends of the past, and I don't feel close to them anymore.

-Part of me really thinks this will never get better/go away. So why put my life on hold?

+I wouldn't have to worry about feeding/clothing myself. My parents, while of modest means, would definitely take me back in for a stint. Feed me well, allow me to rest, and offer all the love and support they are capable of.

+I would have access to doctors, therapists, anybody I want and need.

+If there is anything I can do to get my brain functioning back, I will do it. If that means three-six months of rest, rest, rest, then screw the rest. I miss myself, I miss my brain, I miss seeing the world.

Okay. Thanks to those who made it to the end. Any feedback would be amazing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

shit almost the same situation im in lol. 21 tried living alone in Atlanta, worked a little bit, but ultimately my DP/DR won over. which brought money issues. (double knee surgery didnt help). im now currently back home in a small town in souther indiana and it is lonely. i have firends about an hour away though in Indy so its not as bad for me i guess. id choose rest the brain and see what happens. honestly could be nothing or actually improve or it could be a shit storm, and other stuff could happen. like i said i know how depressing it can be in a small town by yourself, friends moving on, living with parents, etc.

i got accepted to IU twice. went to IUPUI and dropped out living with a few friends who are noe gonna be seniors in college and i havent completed a year lol. depressing thinking about it actually. anyways no one really knows what will happen, some will say press on dont let HPPD or the DR bother you that much. which is actually good advice for the most part but on some occasions especially yours i believee having access to doctors you need is essential.

anyways good luck either way man.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there should be some sort of very large house for HPPD sufferers to live in for 2 or so years to heal. I think that going out in the workforce can set you up for a mental breakdown. I think that if your job requires you to be tip-top: neurosurgeon, genius lecturer, mathematician, etc. Forget it. You're done [at least for the meanwhile].

You should go home if you can't work, or mooch off of a friend. If you can sustain a decent lifestyle, keep doing what you are doing. Stay where you are. But if drugs and partying is part of your circle of friends in LA than something should be re-evaluated.

You're whole goal is to find what is most safe for you. There are different levels of suffering and if you are able to make a choice than your problem is not that bad. You will know you are at your worst when nobody can help you [even yourself].........Do what is best for yourself and try not to think with your ego [in a spiritual sense].

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd stick it out in LA... but on a month by month or even week by week basis.

Half the battle is keeping yourself active and your mind off this shit... Sounds like LA offers you that. Having friends who you can talk to is also a great help.

Worrying about the temptation of the LA drug scene is somewhat pointless... You'll always be faced with temptation of drugs and alcohol, even if you go live on top of a mountain, someone will light up a joint. I live in a fishing town in Portugal that has about 3000 residents... I could get coke, crack, smack, E, acid.. within the next minute, if I wanted. Just the nature of modern times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hahaha I agree -mg, a magical place where we all pile our savings in a corner and do nothing but chill for like 2 years. I'm basically doing that now, and my parents have noticed, and I'm not about to tell my dad it's becasue I've dropped acid a few too many times. So, i'm out into the wild! As for your question gobigorgohome, I would do whatever would be the least stressful, one thing that helps in leaps and bounds is being in a comfortable, familiar envirornment. The way I see it, pretend your constantly tripping and take into account set and setting. If I were you I would move home, explain to your parents that it is a medical condition, and that you need their support. My parents wouldn't be so understanding, but I think most parents would. I know it sucks having to put things on hold, but being able to sit inside and watch old movies is a perfect way to power through those gnarly HPPD days. And I totally agree with -mg on the whole ego thing. Don't think of yourself as this exestential ideal where you would like to be sorta view. Take into account the reality of the situation and how you feel on a very biological level and nothing else. I think it will be easier to make a decision once you do that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I seriously think that we should set up a safe-haven house in a kind of commune setting. People would pay like $100-200 rent. And the rest of the money would be pooled for food, etc. I noticed all sorts of people on here who are forced to move out or are having a very hard time functioning normally. I think -stimulating, 3rdcallof duty, mikezero, gobig, me (-mg), mikethemerc(?) and perhaps a couple others are being forced out of homes or are in circumstances that are somewhat troubling. ....It would be cool if someone had a van and we just went about the country (so to speak) picking up all of us for a Kerouac-like journey to relocate. I'm down. I got a bit of gas money.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

An HPPD commune? Hilarious. I'm in. But I have a feeling we'd just sit around and talk about our symptoms all day long :).

Finding it very, very, I repeat, very hard not to play the "What If" game. I went into my first (and only) trip having read about HPPD. I can remember sitting at the kitchen table with my boyfriend at the time, and I was researching, as I knew I wanted to try it. Stumbled across some of this stuff and said (jokingly), "I bet that would end up being me!" So, so not funny.

So trying to remember/figure out what "old me" would want/do. Just spent a weekend up in Big Sur, an incredible place (Google it!) that once inspired so much in me. This trip, I felt confused, empty. Would see a giant redwood and just feel mildly annoyed that it's barked was rippling all over the place. Responded to all of my friends as I imagined my un-derealized self would. Always a game of, "I think I would dress like this, say this, make this joke." And as always, playing off my memory problems as if it's actually funny. I just honest to God miss myself (if i can say that without sounding overly narcissistic.)

Anyway, I'd still vote Big Sur for our HPPD safe house. :). Staring out at the ocean for miles and miles, I did momentarily forget about it all.

As for 'drug temptation,' trust me, that's gone, regardless of location. But how I miss beers with friends, a hot tea in the morning. I was never that reckless. I just miss having the ability to alter my mood slightly, in good company, without being terrified I'll open up huge gaps in my memory (the second I start drinking, I can't focus/understand a thing going on around me. And caffeine makes me bat-shit crazy.)

Might try to stick it out another month. But as I spent most the day watching T.V. (like, 8 hours- old me HATED doing this, preferred to get out in the sun and be active) and crying in my room...that's real promising.

Mike- sorry you can't be open with your parents. Feeling any improvements? Do you have friends you can be open and honest with?

mbellamy09- Completely understand the inability to hold down a job. To be honest, I wouldn't hire me if I met me right now.

Anyway, this week is a new week. Gave myself today "off," may try venturing out tomorrow. Will let you know what I decide and how it helps/hurts. Thanks for sharing guys!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can really relate on the "what would my old self do?" I feel like i play that game constantly. Let me tell you that it is IMPERATIVE that you stop all drug use IMMEDIATELY. Even coffee. I just got out of rehab for benzo abuse (not addiction) and guess what? coffee for a week gave me some energy but made my afterimages get worse. Nicotine affects me cognitively. My symptoms started of as visual snow and head zaps and now, due to continued drug use, i experience full on DPDR hell. It's slowly been getting better, i actually dont feel as hellishly fatigued as i used to.

Im an aspiring writer too, and guess what? im not gonna let this shit beat me. I read A farewell to arms, cover to cover, yesterday. It would have seemed impossible 6 months ago. Just work on exercising, eating healthy, and practicing acceptance. The Tao te Ching by Lao tzu has been instrumental. LA i think would definitely be good, stay away from the drugs though. Being at home i just think about my symptoms all day but when i work or exercise i forget and feel great for a while. Shoot me a message if you wanna chat, i need it too.

And yeah, i was just at big sur. When to yosemite too. Couldnt help but wonder how much more i wouldve enjoyed it pre hppd. Try reading big sur by kerouac. I havent gotten around to it, but it's his memoir of goin to big sur to try to get over delirium tremens and quit alcohol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.