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My hppd story

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Heres my story

I'm 28 years old. I currently live in London Ontario Canada. And HPPD sucks.

As far back as I came remember I've had feelings on anxiety/detachment. Even as a kid. I've always been mentally fragile even if that isn't the persona I always put forward.

I dabbled with pot when i was about 14. A little drinking too. Started smoking pot regularly when I was 15/16. Drinking increased too. One night a buddy of mine came over with half a garbage bag full of magic mushrooms. He was owed some money and was paid with this shroom harvest. He dumped a huge pile on the table and told me to have as much as I want. I had done a small bit once before but this time I scooped two handfuls and ate them down. My life has never been the same since. After a horrible trip where I contemplated cutting my eyes out I was horrified to find I was still tripping days after. I was having intense visuals all the time. Everything I looked at in my direct view was okay. But at the sides of my eyes everything was moving and was pixelated. I had to drop out of school, my mom had to move back in with my dad. Numerous hospital visits, ct scans showed nothing.i thought i had ruined my life. On top of the visuals I was having insane racing thoughts I could not control. Ringing in the ears, especially the right ear and was a knotted ball of panic. By some miracle the symptoms taperd off after after about six months but never fully went away. It didn't come back until 2004 when I was about about 21 (sorry I'm bad with dates and times) I was using cocaine pretty regularly and after one binge it hit me while I was doing laundry. Everything got brighter and I had a massive panic attack. Mixed with intense racing thoughts that were more like visuals actually. Like I was watching someone flip tv channels in my mind and I had no control over what I saw. After a few doctor visits I was prescribed Effexor and immovane. To this day I can not sleep without immovaine. But I digress. I went to Florida with my grandma for a vacation the whole time was a nightmare in my mind. I stayed sober for a month or two but started drinking and doing blow again like an idiot. I have addiction problems and they over powered the mental anguish I was in. Its essentially been like that until now. I have been off blow for over a year now and quit drinking 2 months ago. I am also off work. I work in a hospital department cleaning instruments and autoclaving them. The lights are so intense it gives me headaches and I was/am having severe dispersonalization . Everything seems unreal. Like an alien in a human body. Sometimes I feel like im in a dream. Well nightmare I guess. Like I'm not in reality. And all that is mixed with the snowy vision, ringing in the ears, light stains, light trails, auras, uncontrollable racing thoughts, insomnia, panic. Some days I can't even deal with it. It hits me so hard and I feel SO awful I want to die. I was put in psyche ward not too long ago for one really bad episode. Not to say I haven't had some good days but overall my quality of life is in the shitter. But now there is a name to the beast. Hppd. And that I a huge step for me. I finally feel validated. No I am not crazy. I have this awful thing called hppd. And I can take the right steps to make my life better.

I am so relieved to see I'm not the only one who has this. As much as I wish none of you we're suffering from this. I'm just happy to know I'm finally not alone.

Are all the symptoms I described shared by everyone?

I'm really looking for any input or advice I can get

Are there ways of lessening the symptoms?

All the best in our struggles and know I'm fighting the good fight too.


Ps. I quit Effexor. Stay off that drug if you can. Awful awful drug.

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I have basically all of the symptoms you described, but my worst symptoms are derealization and visual snow. I feel like i'm completely disconnected with reality. I describe it as feeling like im always high. It sucks. What i do to try and lessen my symptoms is just the normal everyday things i used to do, like making music, cooking and throwing the basketball around. It helps to take my mind back to old farmiliar places. What was your experience like with effexor? I just began taking that 3 days ago so im very curious.

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Was going to ask you about Effexor ... 8 days of that has been 3 years of regret for me!


Many folks here get relief with Klonopin.  It last only while taking the med, so it isn't a cure.  As you read around you'll see some med responses people get.


So ... Welcome!

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I was prescribed Effexor to battle anxiety. Although it was the hppd all along. She didn't know what I had so she wrote me a script.

I was on it for 7 years. I just got off it fully a week ago. Took a month to taper off

. You know what happens if you miss a dose.

Compared to other experiences I've read mine was actually not as bad. But I'm still feeling the withdrawal effects. Effexor is an old drug. There are much better/ newer drugs to be on. Effexor gave me insane dreams and lightning flashes inmybrain. And at this stage I can't tell what was the Effexor and what was the hppd. The hppd has always been the root of my issues and Effexor did nothing to help me as far as I know. Just gave me weird side effects and mood swings.

But please don't freak yourself out with what you read online about the withdrawal. Mine wasn't nearly as bad as some people described. But it was and is still awful.

If you do decide to come off get some cipralex to help curb the withdrawal.helped me immensely.

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Hello again Kellen,

thanks for sharing your story! No comments on Effexor though, my knowledge is rather limited on it. But there are many different options to consider (seeing as you are now off of Effexor). Clonazepam, Lamotrigine, Levetiracetam, and Sinemet, to name a few popular choices. Alpha and Beta blockers are also used, Clonidine being the most common, and Propranolol sometimes is used in people who wish to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety, more so in those prone to panic attacks. 

If anxiety is a large portion of your torments, then anxiolysis will be a key component to feeling better, at least in the short-term. There are many anxiolytic medications, supplements, herbs, and therapies.. Finding whatever works for you can be the hard part. But seeing as your new to this all, perhaps try a cup of Kava now and then. Though I would advise not to use it concurrently with Zopiclone. Finding a good doctor willing to help and experiment a little is usually a good step to recovery.

To answer your other question: symptoms can differ from person to person. HPPD mainly encompasses visual symptoms. Yet other co-morbid disorders can be Derpersonalization, Derealization, Anxiety, Cognitive Deficits, Panic Attacks... Yeah you get the idea. And not everyone experiences the same visuals. But they are largely similar though, and if I'm not mistaken almost all HPPD'ers have visual snow to some extent.. Too bad we can't take photo's of it; would be interesting to compare, no?

So yeah, if you feel up for it.. Print out the HPPD page of the DSM, and head over to your doctor.

Sorry, feeling rather tired so my advice is limited for now. Hope to help better later.

Cheers mate!

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Thanks Odisa

I really want to stay drug free. But if in a month or so I see no improvement I may get a script.

Thank you for your suggestions. And I will make sure to let my dr know about hppd. Or maybe get him to refer me to someone who does

Stay in touch

Also does anyone else feel that weather has an effect on hppd? I know it's sounds nuts but when it's storming out I feel even worse. Like more pressure in my head and worse visual snow

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