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HPPD without significant prior drug use.


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I am in a position where I am experiencing HPPD like symptoms without significant prior drug use, my symptoms started after I was placed on a low dose anti-depressant. While on the course of anti depressants I smoked marijuana on a single occasion and this seems to be where my problems started. I began suffering from panic attacks and strange vision. I was placed on Paxil, and things suddenly got a lot worse. I got an immediate headache in the back right hand side of my head, pupils dilated, felt awful etc. I started to notice my vision was changing, starting with the appearance of visual snow. Between then and now everything has been getting significantly worse. My symptoms are as follows:

Visual snow-the first symptom

After Images from just about everything I look at, driving at night is essentially impossible. If I look at anything (for even half a second) , and then divert my eyes, the light follows causing a trail before disappearing a few seconds later. Positive afterimages also cause me significant distress in the day. I have to move my eyes around a room slowly in stages to avoid a buildup of them.

Visual trails

Ghosting images:This is especially apparent if I am looking through glass, I.E. If I am looking out of a window at a street lamp I see the light, and then a ghost copy of it above. If I look at myself in the car re view mirror, I see my face, then a ghosted version of it mirrored above.

The illusion that patterns (and other stationary objects or things i.e. text - are moving, making reading difficult.

A vast increase of floaters and shadows moving across my field of vision (I have never noticed a floater prior to this happening)

Halo's and star bursting lights (again making night driving difficult)

Closed eye visuals (If I close my eyes and put a little pressure on my eyelids, a vortex of colours and spirals start to appear, this can even happen with one eye closed)

Some colour confusion

Patterns appearing and moving on walls if I look for even a short time.

Flashes of colour and light

Large shimmering circle in the centre of my vision on a few occasions.

All symptoms have gradually appeared and worsened over a period of months.

Other symptoms include panic attacks and anxiety.

I have been to multiple Neurologists, had multiple CT and MRI scans etc and none of them have had the faintest idea what the problem could be. I began seeing a psychiatrist to see if there was any underlying mental health problem. He ruled anything out and prescribed me an SSRI because he thought I was a little low. This made the symptoms a 100 times worse. I then tried Diazepam which made no real difference. I read that Clonazepam was the best treatment for HPPD like symptoms so tried that and again, I seem to remember it making the visuals a bit worse (I have heard that Clonazepam, despite being a Benzo, has an effect on serotonin) It seem's anything that is linked to serotonin makes things worse, and even when I am not on any medication, things continue to get worse (the headache in the same place doesn't get better, and is present at some point just about everyday).

This is having a major psychological effect on me, before this started I was a happy and confident 20 year old, and now I feel i'm damaged and constantly worry about how much worse it's all going to get.

Could this be hppd from marijuana and SSRI'S. I'm positing here to try and get some feedback from people with experience of this condition. What shall I do?

I did only try a very small doze of clonazemam, 0.5-1. I might retake it again at a higher dose and see if it has a positive effect. Anyway I need serious help and advice guys and soon. Have been to so many doctors for no gain. This is so unfair, I have never even taken hard drugs.

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Hey man, have you ever suffered from migraines? HPPD like symptoms often manifest themselves in people around 18-20 who suffer from migraines or seizures. You'd be better of logging onto thosewithvisualsnow.yuku.com. While the symptoms overlap, the causes are different, I think you'd find their situations alot more similar to yours. Alot of people with HPPD recover after ceasing drug use for a while, it's more drug related than strictly neurological. Ill keep you in my thoughts bro.

Idk why thats italicized btw, my computer wouldnt unitalicize it. haha.

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Paxil is known to give visual snow afterimages and other symptoms. There are several (many) people who attribute there visual issues from takin paxil. This was noted on the earlier site content.

There are many people on the thosewithvisualsnow forum who have these issues from Paxil alone.

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I am on both forums though this one is more appropriate as my case was caused by psychadelics is worsened by SSRIs....it is a good forum to visit and has far more members. Many people there speak of initial symptoms occuring from SSRIs. I am sorry to hear this happened to you but both these forums are evidence that you are certainly not alone. Good luck and keep posting.

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