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New guy here from Sydney, Australia


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Hey, glad to finally join the HPPDonline community after several months of lurking. I'm a 17-year-old guy from Australia and I've been struggling with increasingly bad HPPD since around last May. Apologies in advance for any linguistic errors - they're mostly due to HPPD, I swear :P Sorry if I sound like a downer and go on a bit, this is mostly just to get my thoughts down so feel free to skip/skim.

Tended to be a pretty negative, pessimistic thinker throughout life due to a pretty sub-par upbringing, toward the end of 2011 a bad relationship and stress from school tipped me over the edge into depression/exacerbated anxiety. Began to use weed fairly regularly and alcohol socially as a distraction/self-medication. By early 2012 I was getting pretty bored with the "softer" drugs and became curious about psychedelics. I'd also come off a low dose of Lexapro.

Online sources and a very influential, manipulative friend made it appealing and easy to try a plethora of psychedelics (besides, anybody who wasn't foolish enough to swallow society's biased, unfounded condemnation of drugs knows most psychs are harmless and fun and insightful :rollseyes:). Between February and May when I was first confident I was experiencing HPPD symptoms, I'd used:

  • LSD: first trip at 300ug, second trip at 150ug then another 150ug during the comedown
  • DMT: threshhold dosages a few times, none what'd be deemed successful (managed to inhale a small amount of burnt steel wool in the process which I'd like to know the possible harm of)
  • 25-I-NBOMe: Definitely the most regrettable substance due to its status as a very new, unstudied research chemical and how stressful and unpleasant some of the trips were. First dosed at 1000ug, then 2000ug (fucking intense, fucking horrible), then a two or three times between 500ug.

Weed/alcohol use were consistent as well - I was confining weed to weekends so when I got high I tended to get pretty damn high. I was also on minocycline for acne throughout this period, I'm not sure if that played any role at all.

Unlike most recounts I really don't recall noticing HPPD symptoms after one particular experience, so I'm not sure exactly when I first developed it. Mid-May I was feeling stressed/anxious in class and noticed the carpeted floor definitely appeared to be writhing. I think prior to that I'd noticed visual distortions but I'd read a little about HPPD at some point and wasn't sure I was if imagining them/noticing things that had always been the case.

I then proceeded to be a complete and utter idiot. Somehow I was completely confident that I'd read enough about HPPD to know that it was solely a visual issue, which my then-close "psychonaut" friend who'd also developed visual symptoms assured me was the case. I either didn't read up about it any further or selectively ignored anything I read about it having a greater cognitive impact. I was hopelessly caught up in numerous delusions: I was only using drugs that were harmless in moderation; I was too headstrong/healthy/sane to be the type of person who might experience the generally uncommon long-term ills of any of these substances; all the negative cognitive/emotional things I was experiencing were solely the result of my pre-existing issues with depression/anxiety (which had flared up due to a school/house move) and would've happened with or without my using drugs for recreation/an escape/thing to look forward to.

So I kept on using them through so many red flags - difficulty concentrating, vagueness, abnormally frequent deja vu, horrible social anxiety and subsequent social evasion, inability to complete school tasks, struggling with voicing my thoughts/social spontaneity. I pinned it all to depression/anxiety, possible dietary deficits and so on. In retrospect I'm all-but certain HPPD contributed, but hey, 20/20 hindsight and that.

Was prescribed Prozac, had a bad reaction to it which may or may not have been related to HPPD. Using weed on it made me feel absolutely awful. Psychiatrist prescribed me Seroquel at 25mg to help with sleep, but sometimes I'd take a few just for the numbing/apathy. I was in an awful place and wound up dropping out of high school in June, mid-way through my 11th of 12 years. While I was on Prozac I used 25-I-NBOMe twice more at 1000ug. They were okay trips, but looking back I was just so frustrated with life and reality that I was just taking things to feel different, to fill in time.

A month after leaving school I tapered off Prozac, stopped weed, started taking Omega 3, creatine, Piracetam/choline, and somehow began feeling really good; at the time I could've sworn I felt ever better than my old self. I was still certain that HPPD was just a visual thing so I wasn't even thinking about DP/DR and other symptoms I could've been experiencing at the time, which in some ways was a blessing. I never even really paid attention to my visual symptoms at the time because they were mild, so I don't recall if they lessened or stopped during this good period. I started doing going to yoga once or twice a week, working out three times a week, cooking a lot, and studying astronomy, philosophy and music myself. Then I felt so good that I started using weed again, and soon enough I was using my vapouriser every night. It felt fine/normal.

Then my friend suggested we use MDMA together, and I was hyped up on reading about MDMA-assisted psychotherapy and thought it might be fun and possibly helpful. We did it. It was incredibly enjoyable. Then, the inevitable come down. Unfortunately, the come down never fully ended. I felt like I was back where I was. It seemed ridiculous that I'd felt any good for any length of time. I struggled to keep up my hobbies and routine and it all eventually waned. Still somehow doubtful that any of my issues were particularly related to drugs I did MDMA and 25-I-NBOMe once more each, 2C-B and MXE once each also, and weed a fair bit even though it mostly made me feel pretty shit. Both times I did MDMA I was taking Piracetam daily, and I've read in places since that it might potentiate MDMA.

So, since then, it's all been a bit of a blur. I've done a depressing amount of not much at all for over 6 months. Gave up on looking for a job. Don't have the cognitive wherewithal to practise driving. Finally stopped all drugs on New Year's. Pretty perpetually down, unmotivated. Been seeing a psychologist. A lot of existential dread and dwelling. Haven't spoken to any of my friends in a month. Lately I've been thinking a lot about suicide; I really struggle to find within myself much desire to live. But, I recall a time when even acknowledging the absurdity and pointlessness of life I was excited about it and wanting to go on, so I'm holding out and hoping that'll return. Doing my best. I'd like to spend all day playing video games, watching television, eating and sleeping, but I know that's no good. I try to go for regular walks and have recently re-enrolled in Year 11 by distance, but I don't feel very hopeful about that. I hate being such a burden on my loved ones, they're amazingly supportive but I worry that this might last for some time and I might eventually top myself anyway.

Presently the HPPD symptoms I'm experiencing are tracers, geometric/contrast-y patterns in grass/leaves/carpet/etc., occasional flashes in my peripheral vision, exacerbated visual snow (I've had it since I can recall), mild after-images, light sensitivity, concentration/memory/other cognitive issues, difficulty speaking clearly, jumbled thoughts, difficulty reading, and good old DP/DR. I started taking the SNRI Cymbalta just over a month ago and it's completely gotten rid of the dreadful constant anxiety which is awesome, but I guess I feel kind of numbed, dulled now. It makes me feel pretty sleepy too, and I think it's slightly increased my DP/DR, but yeah, totally beats that fuckin' anxiety.

Whew! If you read much of that I really appreciate it and am sorry for how bummed you're probably feeling now :P I made an appointment today with my GP for next Tuesday and I'm hoping to convince her to prescribe me Keppra; I've compiled a bunch of the positive reports and the study to take with me. Fingers crossed!

Hope you're all well! Much love.

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A rather complete post ...good news, you still have some cognition left!

Unfortunatly SSRIs and SNRIs tend to blunt/numb/dull by design ... so you have to decide what issues are most important. Finding ways to quiet the hypervigilant issues will be important (anxiety, concentration, flashes, light sensitivity).

Don't think of suicide - you got a lot ahead of you. Instead, make it your "job" to feel better, be able to socialize, and eventually go to school and work. Its not all-or-nothing. Its like all of life ... incremental. Setting flexible goals by step will really help. Be sure to talk that with your psychologist if you haven't started a plan already.

Look forward to hearing if Keppra helps ...

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I know how ya feel man i got lumbered with this shit from one high dose of mdma but i guess you never can tell what gets mixed in with these drugs probably shit loads of chemicals in it. I can understand the suicidal thoughts i have my moments where i'm just sick of it and feel like ending it all but its not the way I couldn't do it to my family and friends plus there is always hope that things can get better i been suffering with this for 2 years now and around the 8 month mark i was exercising religiously eating really healthy and getting some enjoyment out of life plus my symptoms were not as bad then I got ill with this other stomach shit now i'm right back to where i started due to not exercising for best part of a year and having an operation except now i'm probably worse cause i feel sick and have other issues getting me down to be honest I don't know how i haven't sunk into a deep depression I guess i just don't think about it too much and i'm slowly trying to get myself back to where I was inch by inch we can make up miles thats the theory anyway.

I wish you the best of luck and hopefully this wont be an issue for you for too long some people just wake up one day and its better or have great success with things like keppra

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Don't give up man I definatly remember considering suicide a few times when I was bad too, but now I'm 99% back to normal.

 

 

 

A month after leaving school I tapered off Prozac, stopped weed, started taking Omega 3, creatine, Piracetam/choline, and somehow began feeling really good; at the time I could've sworn I felt ever better than my old self. I was still certain that HPPD was just a visual thing so I wasn't even thinking about DP/DR and other symptoms I could've been experiencing at the time, which in some ways was a blessing. I never even really paid attention to my visual symptoms at the time because they were mild, so I don't recall if they lessened or stopped during this good period. I started doing going to yoga once or twice a week, working out three times a week, cooking a lot, and studying astronomy, philosophy and music myself.

Try improving yourself by adding in activities like these ^. You probably won't enjoy them for a while but eventually you will. Or try adding in other things, spending time in the woods can be really therepeutic if its an option for you. Find a cause, It could be anything but just find a real goal that isn't part of the daily bullshit that everyone is after (making money ect...) do something you think is important and you'll be happier.

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