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way off the deep end with no way back in sight


disguyhere
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Hey there... I'm not used to talking about this with others as it's been a rough topic to breach even among friends who knew me most my life, but now having seen this entire community built up around the same issue I've suffered for 14 years now.. I think it's time for me to talk.

 

First things first... all stories have a beginning, and mine started well before I touched a single drug. I'm what you would refer to as an eccentric genius. Tested with an IQ in the 160's when I was in grammar school. Nearly full scholarship to johns hopkins. 10 years straight of straight a's.. etc etc ... but more undiagnosed emotional and psychological issues growing up then you could shake a stick at. I still had a strong enough will and mind to get through the bulk of them, but after an extremely rough (emotionally and psychologically) 1st year at hopkins I descended a bit into depression and dove headfirst into the world of the psychonaut. Experimenting with any hallucinogen I could get my hands on, which was a lot as some of my best friends at school had connections jerry garcia would have been envious of. After 2 years of heavy experimentation, I would make a decision that would change my life forever. 

 

Cut to the night before my 19th birthday. Me and 4 friends decided we would celebrate my birthday by taking a large quantity of acid and go camping at an old abandoned rock quarry. By that point I was regularly taking between 5-8 tabs worth a trip, and doing so often, so this night our plan was to up that. We would split between the 4 of us a half sheet. Up to this point the acid we had gotten was never tremendously strong. The mistake we made would be to assume that would stay the course. To our bemusement and my horror, that night the acid we got wound up being triple dipped.. a birthday present from my source, of course he neglected to tell us this. As I had taken the extra 2 of the split.. I ended up taking 14x3 drops worth in a 2 hour period..

 

To describe all of the events of that night would take too long and I'm sure I would be treaded some well worn territory, so instead I'll give the cliffnotes version. 1st.. I had a full on psychological breakdown.. While at the quarry I blacked out for 15 minutes. This would turn out to be the last sleep I would have for the next month. Over the next 4 months total.. I would get no more than 8 hours total sleep. My body had forgotten how to sleep. I would have constant auditory and visual hallucinations. Sleep was but a long distant dream to me as I couldnt force my mind to slow down enough to achieve any state of rest. Nobody around me knew something was wrong. I was as good an actor as there could be, just worked my quiet job in the dairy box of a supermarket, nobody knowing I would see shadow people jumping out from behind u-boats, and get tunnel vision that would turn an aisle into a mile long moat. How could I tell anyone? They'd lock me up was all I could think.

 

So I lived with it. Lived with a 4 month long full blown never stop peaking trip, after taking the equivilent of 42 tabs of acid in one shot. What finally changed things for me was the help of a friend's father who knew what I was going through. He himself suffered serious complications after having a construction beam fall on him shattering his spine. He was on so many medications that to keep him sane he popped anti-psychotics like they were candy. And it was one of these pills that finally let me take the first night sleep I had had in months. Once I finally had the one major break in my sleeping problem, through sheer force of  will alone I  started to fight back. This is a fight that to this day I still am engaged in. A fight that has had it's extreme ups and downs, and for some time I was really so far gone that I lost all of my friends, and my health started degrading to the point where I let my teeth chip and break because I just couldnt care. Many nights I spent praying I would one day wake up and still be at that rock quarry and everything that had happened after was just a bad dream.

 

My worst years emotionally I pray are long behind me. Again through force of will alone I have finally brought myself to a sort of equilibrium, not by seeking to fix the problems caused by my persisting hallucinogenic state, but by embracing some of the things it allowed me to do. Devoting the past 5 years to the mastery of my own personal form of meditation, I have learned to harness the closed eye visuals I had permenantly been saddled with, and use them to afford myself a depth of concentration few could understand. Instead of trying to rid myself of the peristant visuals that would plague me while my eyes were open... I instead sought a way to control them, and alter them, and layer them over my true vision. Almost giving myself a HUD over my vision where my visual thinking layer would use the distrotions to give myself "extra screen space" as it were... It's helped me push myself to become a major software developer for a major engineering firm, and single handedly designing accounting software for a company of thousands.. 

 

But before you think I'm pitching hppd as the solution to the worlds need for focus.... The downsides are once again showing me that there is no take without give. After years ago finally teaching myself how to sleep again, for I had truly forgotten how... I find myself once again at a point where sleep is being taken from me more then I care to admit to anyone who does not know the things I have been through. Without taking ambien, I would get approximately 8 hours total sleep a week. At best. Even with ambien I can only managed 3 hours max in a night. And who knows how much longer that will work for me before I'm once again at the precipice of a sleepless existence. And perhaps even more troubling is how my body is adjusting to the lack of sleep, by engaging in dreams while I am fully awake. Too often in the past few weeks I will try to go without taking ambien for more than a few days in a row, with no luck sleeping, and by the 3rd night I'm sitting there wide awake watching a dream unfold while watching myself sit up in bed.. praying for even a few minutes sleep.

 

Reading the article in the new yorker a few months back.. It was like someone handed me a million dollar winning lottery ticker. Here I was for year afraid to talk to anyone, afraid to tell any doctor for fear of being locked up or having my drivers license revoked (and really I wouldnt be able to blame them.. who would want to drive on the same road as someone who admits to hallucinating 90% of their waking life) ... And now I see hundred of people sharing similar stories and showing similar pains. And for once in my life.. I don't feel so alone.

 

My problem now... I believe I've gone far beyond what you would call high level hppd... there is no medication that will undue the damage I've done to myself, both in that initial night, and in the subsequent years of trying to take control over the problem on my own. To a point, I fear I've also made myself incapable of wanting it all to be fixed, purely from the effort I've put into pushing the limits of my mind.. Efforts that would have only been possible after the damage I had caused.. But on the flip side, I no longer feel the crushing depression that had come with feeling so alone for so long. The thoughts of suicide that would hit after a week straight of no sleep.. thinking to myself that a bottle of pills would take me down long enough to get a few minutes rest... That part of my journey is now behind me, and while I don't believe I can fix myself, my true hope is that maybe I can help others in a much less perilous position as me. If I could by will find a way to come back from something that should have killed me years past, then perhaps I can help others come back a ways too.

 

So I offer to any of you out there who are still afraid of going through the medical pathways.. who are getting tired with cramming pill after pill down your throat to help you find some equilibrium which may or may not ever show... I can't promise you I can change your world, nor would I every try to make such a claim.. but theres things I have tried to ensure my survival these past 14 years now, that I am more than willing to share with those interested. And maybe helping each other out we can push to help some doctors find a more permanent solution. The simple fact is by choice to consume or a combination of uncontrollable factors, our brain chemistry has changed, and our lives have changed because of it. Our choices are live with it, take control over it, or give in and let it control you. I personally choose to take control.

 

 

Anyways i've rambled for a good long bit, skipping out some tremendous chunks of the story that are best left for another time and place. I look forward to being a part of this community and offer my help wherever it may be useful. To anyone else who thinks they may be too far gone for it to ever get better, trust me. If I can still be here today, breathing and living a productive, slightly insane life... Then you can come back from it too.

 

-D

 

 

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Interesting story, thanks for sharing. As a long-term sufferer with severe visuals, insomnia,and frequent trouble with suicidal thoughts I can empathise with a lot of it. I'm glad to hear that you have taken control of it and found a way to live a productive life.

 

However, I do have a couple of questions. You seem very down on the medication route and say that "there is no medication that will undue the damage I've done to myself". Maybe, but how do you know? What medications have you tried and for how long? The lack of candidness in this area (especially after you had been so thorough in all others) makes me worry about some kind of agenda. Especially when combined with the guru-like offer to those "who are still afraid of going through the medical pathways.. who are getting tired with cramming pill after pill down your throat to help you find some equilibrium which may or may not ever show... I can't promise you I can change your world, nor would I every try to make such a claim.. but theres things I have tried to ensure my survival these past 14 years now, that I am more than willing to share with those interested". I am sure everyone would be interested, so why the reticence? What exactly are these "things"? Perhaps I'm being unfair and you have some genuine insight to share and a contribution to make to this area of the discussion. But if that is so why not just share the information? Why the fan dance? If the methods(?) are legitimate, why be so taciturn about them? This was almost like reading a book only to find out that the last chapter had been held back.

 

In any case I look forward to hearing more about your story, and once again I am glad to hear you are doing well.

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Interesting story, thanks for sharing. As a long-term sufferer with severe visuals, insomnia,and frequent trouble with suicidal thoughts I can empathise with a lot of it. I'm glad to hear that you have taken control of it and found a way to live a productive life.

 

However, I do have a couple of questions. You seem very down on the medication route and say that "there is no medication that will undue the damage I've done to myself". Maybe, but how do you know? What medications have you tried and for how long? The lack of candidness in this area (especially after you had been so thorough in all others) makes me worry about some kind of agenda. Especially when combined with the guru-like offer to those "who are still afraid of going through the medical pathways.. who are getting tired with cramming pill after pill down your throat to help you find some equilibrium which may or may not ever show... I can't promise you I can change your world, nor would I every try to make such a claim.. but theres things I have tried to ensure my survival these past 14 years now, that I am more than willing to share with those interested". I am sure everyone would be interested, so why the reticence? What exactly are these "things"? Perhaps I'm being unfair and you have some genuine insight to share and a contribution to make to this area of the discussion. But if that is so why not just share the information? Why the fan dance? If the methods(?) are legitimate, why be so taciturn about them? This was almost like reading a book only to find out that the last chapter had been held back.

 

In any case I look forward to hearing more about your story, and once again I am glad to hear you are doing well.

I agree. People tend to be quite open on this forum and put across things that have worked for them, sharing insights, ideas, ways to live better etc. because.... we're all in the same/similar places so can empathise with each other. If you know how shit you feel, then you have a good idea about how shit we all feel. So like Chris said, if you've found some great things to help.. just share them openly, no need to be arcane about it.

Wishing you well.

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no agenda here... more than anything I'm happy to have an open forum where I wont immediately be judged as being full of crap which is the response i've experienced most often when talking to anyone who hasnt experienced the extent of lingering hallucination that I have. Thankfully I have a few close friends who have been through similar situations though not to my extent who I've begun to be more open with lately. 

 

my candidness is more a lack of wanting to shake the boat too much here. talking too directly about seeking a non-medicinal method almost to me feels like walking into alcoholics anonymous and telling everyone the solution is to drink more. I mean that's not what I'm trying to do by a long shot, but to some people advocating exploring their hallucination state instead of necessarily trying to be rid of it completely, almost seems tantamount to that. 

 

I definitely would like to share everything I've learned and I will try to at least in parts. Its rough to condense 14 years of trial and error into a cohesive narrative without getting a little lost along the way, but I'll try start the sharing with this much (and I apologize if I start getting term-babbly.. alot of the things I've tried I've had to make up my own wording for).. The key to my success at least has been in using the form of meditation I've explored for myself to learn how to once again separate outside stimuli from internal stimuli from internal visualization/imagination. After years of struggle I realized the visual hallucinations I had could be broken down into 3 layers. Things that moved with my eye movements. Things that stayed in played when I moved my eyes. And things that moved completely independently. I would sit and devote at least 30 minutes a pop twice a day to just allowing my CEV's to play out, and making small movements like twiddling my fingers, or specific set of breathing, or keeping my eyes closed while watching a particular scene outside (like facing a wooded area and observing with my eyes closed where the border between sky and treetop met).. 

 

Even if I wasnt etching every observation into my memory, my brain would be absorbing them. The elasticity of our brains is what got us into the whole mess but it plays both ways. Just by the repetitive action of observation over time my brian sorted out what stimuli was external from my environment, what was internal from the activities of my body, and what was purely imaginary/visualization. Understand the differences was key to me understanding how to manipulate these layers of the visual soup. Think of it like a tv screen. At first when the damage is done, we have no control over the image. The pixels fire off at random and we simply process the stimuli as one mixed up layer in our visual pathways. But the more separation of the layers that I obtained, the more control over the pixels I gained. Using my visualization/imagination to start turning pixels on and off, eventually I gained a measure of control over all of the pixels. And the deeper I dove into the meditation, it was like moving from an old black and white crt to a modern 4k tv, where at the point I'm at now when I exert effort I have control over every pixel , but at the same time can keep that layer completely seperate from the layer of external stimuli.

 

This is where it starts getting harder for me to describe things without a back and forth to see what whoever I'm talking to understood of what I've said. It starts getting into things like attention and focal points, and utilizing eye motions to simulate rem, and almost hijacking the visual hallucinogenic state to supplement our own natural visualization processes. There are things I've tried that no doubt would work only for me, but that others would be able to approach in a similar methodology and gain similar results if not same results. Again I've been going through the trial and error on it for years, and the more I push the harder it is to turn off the noise as it were.. But I do have a goal in mind for myself that drives me to keep pushing, and its a rather simple goal..

 

I'd like to be able to see black again.. or blue.. or any solid color for that matter. Because they no longer exist for me. I look at a solid expanse of black and I see red-green .. some blue-green.. and some swirly pinwheel circles of shimmer. and I dont mean i see red and green.. nooo I see a color that can only be described as red and green at the same time without being a mix of the two. Like my mind cant decide which to pick. It is this that keeps sleep away from me. I can't shut my vision off, ever. No matter what medication I've tried (whole range of anti-depression, benzo, etc etc... that one would come across when trying to go through the psychiatric world without outright saying, "oh yeah and my real problem is i took 42 tabs of acid".. ).. I can't revert my vision back to a baseline that allows me to see black... so my goal with the meditation has from the beginning been to re-learn that state... to be able to effectively identify all levels of stimuli that reach my brain through my visual pathways, and learn to block out everything that is caused from my internal malfunctions.

 

And I've come close. In some serious deep meditation sessions I've been able to black out my CEVs for a few seconds at a time. It takes incredible focus for me to do so, and I know I'm still far off from being able to hold it without effort, but I feel one day I can get there. And if somewhere along the line, especially as the product of the research I had only heard about since the new yorker story, someone figures out a medication that offers even a temporary respite, then I will definitely give it a go. anything that offers even a brief period of relief would be a god send. But personally knowing the extent of the damage I've caused myself, I do not hold out hope that more chemicals are the answer for me. 

 

We're a species hardwired to be rewired. We've been doing it to ourselves for thousands of years, and it's made us very resilient though subject to being easily fooled by the stimuli our eyes rely on. And although the subject of my topic says otherwise, I dont believe any state that affects our brain needs be permanent.. but for some of us it may be a lot harder then for others to effectively make those changes, by medication, meditation, or time. and just as an example of the resiliency of the human brain. when i was 8, after having already been tested as having an off the charts IQ.. I suffered brain damage at the hands of a pitbull attack that almost cost me an eye and put a hole through my skull. For a year afterwards all I ever dreamed about was the pitbull lunging at my face, and then I'd wake up. This would lead to the onset of numerous emotional and psychological problems for me, but even with measurable brain damage, my intelligence grew. I'm not trying to toot my own horn as I'm not a prideful person, but I credit the elasticity of our brains with the simple fact that not only did i survive the brain damage, but in my brain rewiring itself to survive I gained a deep proficiency with visualization long long before ever touching my first psychedelic. It's very likely that this was also my undoing as it left me vulnerable to hallucinations in a way some people will likely never understand, but I know that among the people here I can very likely find those who not only do understand but share in the reality of my situation. 

 

anyways I've rambled on once again... which is kinda another reason I avoided typing too much out with my first post. If you let me go on I will go on for paragraph upon paragraph, and eventually I'll lose any semblance of narrative flow. but I'll end the post with this much. No matter how bad it gets for anyone, even if the permanent solution is not yet available to help us all, there's no reason to give up. If I was able to drag myself back kicking and screaming from a situation that should have landed me locked away in a padded room, then anyone can bring themselves back with some effort. The most important thing is never giving up the will to fight, no matter how hard it may be. Learn to slow down your world and phase out the things that overlap and overlap to saturate your mind with too much stimuli. Learn to focus on only what matters and let your body and mind try to find a way to heal itself. And find yourself someone to talk to even if that person cant possibly understand everything you've been through... Those are the things it takes to survive when the idea of a static reality is questionable..

 

 

Also, dont take 42 tabs worth of acid in one shot... 42 may be the answer to life the universe and everything.. but its also way too much acid for one person to be taking in one shot :\ 

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So, meditation, then? Okay. I don't doubt that this could be helpful to some. But just to clarify, fourteen years of practicing this has enabled you to ignore, or 'tune out', the visuals you experience?

 

Also, the only medications you have tried are anti-depressants and benzodiazepines?

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more akin to integration and filtering than tuning per se. the distortion is always there but I've learned to relegate it to an overlay of sorts that for the most part I can ignore.. an example would be when driving. I'll see blobs of color and shadow in the peripheral parts of my vision that cue me into motion of cars and lane openings and such. I have horrible depth perception which I learned to compensate for over the past few years by using these blobs as cues.. on the one hand I know the blobs themselves are a hallucination but my brain is using them as a way of gauging contrast that I'm lacking due to damage in other areas.

another example is how I plan out programs I write.. I'll be in a meeting engaged with coworkers and as ideas are brought up I kinda call up this 3 way split screen in my head using the visual wash to sort of layer the 2 side screens over my normal vision. one screen I'll be running visual designs, planning out layout and functionality of the program.. the other side I visually write out the code necessary to produce the data and manipulate it into the layout.. so by the time the meeting is over, I go back to my desk and fly through the programming because I've already written and tested it in my head..

again.. all this stuff is the product of long years of hard fought struggle with meditation and madness. it's not something all of those afflicted with hppd could "master" per se, but a lot of the techniques I think could work to help any of us out with restoring some calm to the wash.

one of the easy ones to explain.. eye rotation. with your eyes closed and establishing a relaxed breathing, simply rotate your eyes.. doesn't matter in the beginning which direction, all your trying to do is let your brain pick up on the changes that occur as they rotate..20-30 minutes of this is usually my calming routine for the day.

for the other question regarding medication I've tried.. yeah pretty much just those listed, and actually thorazine way back 13 years ago when I was getting no more than a few hrs of sleep a week still. I'm not an all around fan of pharma any more. I think too many of the health problems we face are made worse, not better, by the copious amount of chemicals we are fed by doctors not to mention what of that that winds up in our water supply. I'm not adverse to trying something proven effective but part of me feels the best thing I can do is let my body heal itself or at the least adapt to survive.

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Yes, I assumed the "not an all around fan of pharma" part, this is sort of what I was alluding to when I used the word "agenda". I can't say I agree that many health problems are made worse rather than better by medication (I won't use the loaded word "chemicals"); mordern scientific medicine stands or falls on its efficay. Certain drugs for mental health issues are perhaps prescribed too readily but this is an exception and, I would say, done with the best of intentions rather doctors trying to "feed" us them. Also, by equating such medication with chemicals that may end up in a water supply you seem to have fallen into the fallacy that all chemicals are bad. If you browse this site you will find many people that have fully recovered or made significant improvements by taking medications that are now being used to treat this condition. It is true that many (myself included) have not responded to such medication. But understanding of the conition seems to have increased significantly in recent years and any medication options that arise from research into HPPD and clinical trials seems to represent a far better hope than fourteen years of meditation. Also, if your body hasn't healed itself by now it seem unlikely that it will do so on its own, no? Maybe meditation can help people cope with the symptoms but some of us are aiming for a bit more than that. Also, I found that after several years I was able to ignore many of my own visual symptoms. I don't think this is uncommon and is simply a case of the brain adapting. No meditation was needed for this to occur. But again, I don't deny that meditation could be helpful to some.

 

(Having read this back it bugs me that the words "meditation" and "medication" are so similar. Sigh.)

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to be clear, my issue with pharma isnt the doctors moreso the companies who push the doctors to push certain things. It's gotten better for some areas of treatment for sure, but some medications just arent worth the minimal gain for the potential risks. again if treatment is working for people I'm not going to call that treatment a bad thing. like all medical issues theres a range of severity that I think any treatment will live or die by. here's a good example. Anti-depressant called imiprimine. It's been around many many years, but it was considered ineffective at smaller dosages for actual depression. In the past few years though they've found that imiprimine actually functions to aid sufferers of IBS (of which I'm one of) in both helping to alleviate the chronic pain IBS can cause, and to aid in reduction of stress signals the body fires off that can trigger an IBS "bad day" for lack of a less disgusting description. Up until 3-4 years ago there was a SEVERE lack of any kind of safe medication for male sufferers of IBS. The most common treatments for women caused severe side effects in men. 

 

The most common treatment for men... Belladonna... Aka nightshade . A plant toxic and extremely deadly to humans, but used in small dosages numbed the sensation of pain in the users stomach. 

 

Needless to say I'm not a fan of using a deadly poison to alleviate a symptom and not fix the problem.. Thats my issue with a lot of medications, not all.. But sometimes in treating the symptom the actual cause is left to get worse.

 

And for whether meditation is a better option, it depends on the purpose. Some of the people in our boots are flat out scared to jump into medications because we may have an extremely addictive personality. Everyone has to do what works for them, and to me the most important thing for anyone to do is to commit to whatever choice they make. For better or worse no medication is going to fix every problem if the person taking it isnt committed to fixing that problem. And for alot of us who got here because of an over-inquisitive attitude towards experimenting with hallucinogens.... Who keep experimenting and digging and digging even after the hole is above their shoulders.. (I've unabashedly dug too far myself.. and find it hard to stop digging sometimes).. may be harder then others to commit to that healing process.

 

As far as the chemicals in the water thing goes though.. I'm not falling into any fallacy. Public water sources in the US and around the world are so filled with anti-depressants from human waste processing that it is impacting wildlife and causing damage to fresh water fish species, among other lower rungs of the food chain. The company I work for had environmental engineering / hazardous waste / air quality / yadda yadda work all over the place. I get to see all of the fun stuff we deal with every week and the results of some of the enviro sampling and analysis performed. It's getting worse all around the US and it's definitely linked to the anti-depressant boom over the past 2 decades. We've only just begun to understand the environmental impact from the chemicals we ingest on the other way out. 

 

But anyways thats all off topic and just a personal quibble. I drive an suv so i cant be all enviro crusader on anyone. I've just over a lifetime of not quite the best experiences with doctors and medicine in general tend to have a negative outlook towards it. On the flipside I have nothing but admiration for someone like Dr Abraham who is going out of his way to address and attempt to help fix something that the public in general has no clue about, and psychologists in general treat as us being full of shit or delusional. It's someone like him who will lead the way to a fix if there is one to be found, and I wish for nothing more then him or someone else figuring that out. Until then I'm just doing what I can for myself to get through each day without being so medicated highschoolers are licking me to get a buzz. I already take the imiprimine for my stomach , ambien to get the little bit of sleep I can manage to get on that, daily zyrtec to hold back an immune system based allergy that causes half my body to break out in rashes, naproxen to keep both my shoulders and knees able to move without painful grinding (neither shoulder has remaining cartilage as I've managed to dislocate both shoulders too many times to count and after the last surgery was told by the doctor theres nothing more to reattach.. and my knees have been screwed since I was 15 but theres not much any dr has been willing to do to help me there).. and then good old fashioned advil to keep back the headaches I get from all the other meds :| ... Within 2 years I need to start taking a medication to deal with unavoidable immune system issues, that will likely kill me before I turn 50.. and since that medication is going to screw with my blood pressure I was told I need to take blood pressure medication as well to regulate it. 

 

i'm sure you can imagine why I'd not care for medications .. im 33 and i'm a walking pharmacy just to keep dealing with symptoms. my immune system issue is genetic though and will never go away. i'm hesitant to add anything else to that long list not knowing for sure if it's going to even scratch at the surface of the hppd issues I have. I remember all too well the hell I went through trying to battle back the IBS until my doctor finally stumbled on the imiprimine. But the more I read of successes the more likely I will seek it out myself. Even if the medication being tested now doesnt help me, any result would provide more data to the cause for those researching it. 

 

 

and sigh... i rambled again.. i apologize.. I'm sure anyone on these forums can appreciate the problem of the brain not turning off once it gets itself rolling :\ 

 

and yes.. medication meditation mediation ... could throw in a few more there that are too close for comfort.. ;)

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oh and one other quick note... the meditation in its current form is a relatively new thing.. I started towards doing it when first trying to figure out how to sleep again 13-14 years ago, but i didnt really start devoting time to it properly until 5 years ago after 9 years of the hallucinations getting worse. I did a good job of hiding how bad it was for years, but 5 years ago was a really low point in my lie. I was at a point where I felt my only options were to have myself committed or kill myself. I was constantly paranoid, I couldnt tell if the things I saw were real or purely hallucination.. My friends wanted nothing to do with me. It was a perfect storm of suck. But when I was at my worst I had a discussion one night with a deeply religious yogi who practices khundalini. He somehow saw through my bullshit and knew exactly what was wrong with me, and told me outright if you don't set yourself on a path to fix this within 5 years you will be dead. 

 

Whether or not what he said was just him trying to get me to pay for his yoga classes or him just speaking a universal truth to me in a form I would listen to.. it did the trick. I started just slowing myself down and listening to myself, and sicne I started doing that I've reversed a lot of the uncontrollable aspects of what i was going through that had been building up for the 9 prior years. Since then I'm more productive at work than I ever had been. I've finally started rebuilding a social life. Even if I cant stop the visual noise I can almost completely ignore it for a large majority of the time. Thing I had for a long time though would never be possible for me to do again. 

 

Whether or not anyone else would have the same positive results. Couldnt say. For me it came down to will, and a natural curiosity and talent for visual thinking. I've had people I've discussed my meditation techniques with who have tried the first stages and had never been able to get past them, so for them it would have never helped. But if I can even help one other person whose never had luck with any medications and it on the edge like I was 5 years ago.. Then its worth it to me to share those techniques with anyone interested.

 

and unlike the yogi I'm not charging :)

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"As far as the chemicals in the water thing goes though.. I'm not falling into any fallacy. Public water sources in the US and around the world are so filled with anti-depressants from human waste processing that it is impacting wildlife and causing damage to fresh water fish species, among other lower rungs of the food chain. The company I work for had environmental engineering / hazardous waste / air quality / yadda yadda work all over the place. I get to see all of the fun stuff we deal with every week and the results of some of the enviro sampling and analysis performed. It's getting worse all around the US and it's definitely linked to the anti-depressant boom over the past 2 decades. We've only just begun to understand the environmental impact from the chemicals we ingest on the other way out."

 

You missed my point. And you didn't really address any of my other ones, either.

 

"But when I was at my worst I had a discussion one night with a deeply religious yogi who practices khundalini. He somehow saw through my bullshit and knew exactly what was wrong with me, and told me outright if you don't set yourself on a path to fix this within 5 years you will be dead. 

 

Whether or not what he said was just him trying to get me to pay for his yoga classes or him just speaking a universal truth to me in a form I would listen to.. it did the trick."

 

I don't know where to begin with this and I'm not going to bother. But advice based off what some new age charlatan told you is of zero interest to me.

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Damn that's a lot of text! Welcome to the forum though.
Regarding the mediTation: I think most of us here are aware of the benefits of it. Personally I had very profound with meditation pre-HPPD, yet somehow after I acquired HPPD it was never the same, alas. As such I personally lean towards finding a neurological means of treating HPPD.

Regarding the mediCation: Well good for you avoiding Belladonna! I saw that at the pharmacy the other day.. All I good think of was: "So they're selling scopolamine at the drugstore now? That's ridiculous."


Undoubtedly many, if not most, people with HPPD have experienced less than pleasurable happenings with medications, doctors, etc. Yet simply going extremist "Pharma is evil", is not going to help. Yes, many doctors are incompetent arrogant sob's, and many medications are totally controversial if wrongly prescribed. That doesn't mean that medications can't help, if they're the right ones. And while I agree every person has their part to play in getting better, simply denying the potential of medications to help, because you experienced the ubiquitous inadequacy of medical professionals in this specific field, is not going to help. Medications may give just that extra plasticity/flexibility needed to reform the brain to what it once was, what couldn't have been achieved without it in certain individuals, to speak in lay terms. Sure, there are people who recover "naturally" and find a great deal of improvement through meditation, yet that doesn't exclude the need for adjunct therapies in others. And while being able to ignore the visuals might help sentience go from terrifying to dull, it is unacceptable to conclude that this is sufficient mitigation to be able to live in joy once more. Where some might be content with that, I presume that most (including myself) find that a life without proper visual acuity severely limits QOL and ability to function.

What I'm trying to say here is that one must view this situation from all angles, and not strictly limit themselves to one thinking "bucket". Otherwise you might not see the forest because of all the trees! Let me explain: personally, I've seen great potential in neuroscience and pharmacology in aiding recovery. Yet whilst I find that area of thought highly intriguing, I also keep in mind other trains of thought. I do not denounce the possibility of meditation to aid in recovery. On the contrary, it might be very beneficial. Yet a combination of those things might prove to be more useful by far, rather than singling out one method.

HPPD is not as simple as black-and-white (pun intended). Keeping an open mind to possibilities is key to getting where you need to be. And there's no reason why spirituality and neurobiology cannot be combined, much less to shun either from prospective.

And judging from your history with medications and doctors, it is not strange you have found a disliking of pharmacology. I too was first prescribed Mirtazapine (a ridiculous medicine IMO), and was dealt the short end of the stick with doctors. And while the system and incompetence agitated me, and still does, that didn't lead me to deny the potential of medications to help. On the contrary, it drove me to take into my own hands and to start looking into pharmacology myself.

Judging the ability of something to help prematurely is not helpful, and in doing so you might just cut off the possibility of finding something that can help you immensely.

Anyway, don't take this offensive in any way. Just trying to shed some light on other ways one can go about thinking about this. Might've lost where I was headed with this, but you get the general perspective I'm trying to convey here. Nonetheless, I'm glad you've found such profound benefits with meditation and yoga.

Correct me if I'm wrong, as your writings are rather lengthy and I might've interpreted them wrongly, but it would seem that you're conveying, in essence, that the only way to get better is via mental/spiritual/emotional/cognitive training, and that medications will never be helpful. This is the reason why I respond, because you cannot expect anyone to take you seriously with such a point of view.

Nonetheless wishing you the all the best,
Odisa

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Because by denouncing or denying the therapeutic potential of medications, one would, ironically, come across as narrow-minded whilst advocating meditation as the sole route to recovery.

That medication did not work for him and that meditation did, well that's great that he found something that works. Really, it is.
Indeed meditation might be equally effective as medications, I never (as far as I recall) stated that medication was superior to meditation, or vice versa. In regards to taking disguyhere seriously: Whilst his experiences with meditation may have had a truly profound impact on his symptoms, ruling out the potential of medication to help anyone would, in my eyes, limits the ability to take his views seriously.

My comments were not meant in any offensive way, rather as a reminder to not limit one's options if a certain system doesn't initially prove to work.
Similarly I've had a lot of trouble with reaping any benefits from meditation. Yet that does not prove to me that meditation is useless. It merely tells me that at this point in time it is not sufficient for me personally, and that I should look into other means of recovery, yet simultaneously leaving that option open to possible (future) beneficial potential.

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maybe it's from my lengthy posts that led to confusion.. but I never once denounced medication completely for all people.. nor for myself. I actually tried to very specifically state that I could only speak to what has worked for me and it may or may not work for others...

and Chris.. considering that a lot of people here have dealt with pre judgment from all across the spectrum.. maybe you should try to see the whole picture in what I'm saying before passing judgements which you've done since your first response to me. I'm not here to try to convince everyone I am the light and the way... I'm just sharing my own personal experience. the conversation I had with that yogi had nothing to do with what techniques I ended up practicing.. all it did was help me to understand I was at bottom and needed to do something about it.

either way I'm not here to convince you or anyone to believe anything I say nor should I need to explain myself to someone who doesn't want to hear what I have to say. if I wanted that kind of treatment I'd be at a psychiatrist. I'm here because this was supposed to be an open forum for people to share their personal experiences and that is all I tried to do. if from everything I said you still are convinced I'm trying to spread some message on the evils of medicine or to say only meditation can work... then that's your problem because that's far from anything I've said.

and if it turns out nobody has any interest in what I have to say, and that I'm going to get the same judgements that have been levied against me for years from the people I thought would best understand me.. then maybe this forum isn't the place for me.

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Ahh well that clears things up. Notice that my previous comments where merely if-then clauses, as I wasn't completely sure what was the case.
My apologies if they seemed unwelcoming or offensive, as this was not my intention.

Please do share your experiences in what has helped you, I'll be interested to read of it.

All the best,
Odisa.

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Why would´nt anyone take him seriously just because he does´nt believe in medicine? All sorts of alternative treatment might be just as good when it comes to HPPD, IMO.

 

Fortunately, it appears that the first sentance is not something he believes. If it were it would be too stupid to contemplate. And alternative medicines are called alternative because there isn't any evidence that they work. If there was then they would not be called "alternative medicine" but simply "medicine".

 

maybe it's from my lengthy posts that led to confusion.. but I never once denounced medication completely for all people.. nor for myself. I actually tried to very specifically state that I could only speak to what has worked for me and it may or may not work for others...

and Chris.. considering that a lot of people here have dealt with pre judgment from all across the spectrum.. maybe you should try to see the whole picture in what I'm saying before passing judgements which you've done since your first response to me. I'm not here to try to convince everyone I am the light and the way... I'm just sharing my own personal experience. the conversation I had with that yogi had nothing to do with what techniques I ended up practicing.. all it did was help me to understand I was at bottom and needed to do something about it.

either way I'm not here to convince you or anyone to believe anything I say nor should I need to explain myself to someone who doesn't want to hear what I have to say. if I wanted that kind of treatment I'd be at a psychiatrist. I'm here because this was supposed to be an open forum for people to share their personal experiences and that is all I tried to do. if from everything I said you still are convinced I'm trying to spread some message on the evils of medicine or to say only meditation can work... then that's your problem because that's far from anything I've said.

and if it turns out nobody has any interest in what I have to say, and that I'm going to get the same judgements that have been levied against me for years from the people I thought would best understand me.. then maybe this forum isn't the place for me.

 

I don't what you mean by seeing the whole picture but I have taken everything you have said into account. And if you are going to make claims about things that do and do not work etc. then they have to be judged and evaluated, and you can't get defensive when people try and do this.

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I have not read the entire thread, but a few on this forum have reported significant improvements from meditation in terms of mental state. At least one user reported visual improvements as well. The mind is a very powerful thing - think of the placebo effect for example. Actually there are cases where people have mistakenly been told they are going to die due to illness and actually do go ahead and die sometime later, even though there is nothing wrong with them!

 

I'm glad you have found some relief. Whatever works for you. Meditation has been shown to alter brain chemistry. I'd give it a go myself if it wasn't very difficult due to my personal situation.

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Chirs.... Let me be clear. I'm not here to start an argument with anyone. And your first few responses to me I politely replied to. But I will cease being polite. 

 

If I'm defensive it's because you've been attacking me since your first post. You have been trying to prove I have some agenda and making yourself to seem to be the one with the agenda. You are clearly not reading nor trying to understand my point of view because you continue to try to twist things I've said to "prove" your point that I have some kind of agenda. I owe you no proof nor explanation because.. well lets see.. I'm posting in an introduction thread where new users are supposed to come and share their experiences with how they got here and what theyve tried, which was all I tried to do. I've made every peaceable attempt to respond to questions but I will not respond to attacks. You are not the hppd police, and if this is how you treat new users who have come to a site called HPPDSUPPORT not ChrisSupport... well then shame on you.

 

I have not once said any of my opinions are the only way nor have i said I do not believe medication should not be tried by anyone nor have I said my form of meditation is the only choice nor have I claimed I'm not willing to consider any other way... But these are all things you have now repeatedly tried to accuse me of. If you had a question about my beliefs or the things I've tried that's fine, I would gladly answer questions asked of me civilly wand without accusation. But to assume I have some kind of burden of proof that I owe you about the things that work for me... Well sorry buddy but you're just not that important. If you don't like what I have to say then dont read it. This isnt the debate thread and you aren't winning any arguments here. You have your opinion and thats perfectly fine. You are as entitled to that opinion as anyone on this planet. But if you expect to have anyone respect that opinion then you damn well better respect that others are allowed to have theres as well.

 

If you can't do that, then I'm saving myself the trouble and just ignoring you now. Its sad that for a group of people who should know how crappy outside judgement feels all too well, that this is how you treat new members to the community. 

 

 

To everyone else..Odisa, ghormeh, thanks for the comments and believe me I didnt feel attacked by you Odisa. I dont mind being questioned or challenged... I do mind close minded people who attack before trying to understand.

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I'd prefer to be polite, but if you insist we cease then let us cease.

 

In order:

 

I don't believe I have been attacking you since the first post. Indeed, I would say I was perfectly polite in the first post but raised some legitimate questions. It's hard to understand your point of view because you babble like a maniac but I have tried to understand what you've said as best I can. I'm not trying to prove that you have an agenda, I merely voiced a concern that you may have one, and where I have minconstrued what you have said I am happy to be corrected. At no point have I tried to "attack" you. I ask for proof or evidence because you were not just introducing yourself but suggesting you had special insight that could help others. Such a claim needs to be evaluated or it could give people false hope. I will repeat, though, I'm sure there are many people that could benefit from meditation of some kind. I don't know how anyone could be the police of a disorder so that little attemp to be clever falls rather flat (IQ in the 160s, huh?). I am not trying to police the dialogue on this site, which is what I assume you mean, but simply raise what I believe to be pertinent questions or objections to claims that are made.

 

I have not tried to "accuse" you of anything, and I don't believe that you believe that your opinions are the only way. Yes, you also did not say that medication should not be tried by anyone, but you did somewhat imply it. Yes, I did have questions about your beliefs and the things you've tried which I asked. Again, I did so because you were claiming to be able to help others and such claims should be assessed, not because you need to prove anything to me (the "burden of proof" statement I made was in response to a dumb misrepresentation). Oh, and leave out the sarcastic "buddy" crap. Also, if I believed, as you do, that claims made on this site shouldn't be debated I might be tempted to play the childish games that you did and threaten to leave. Yes, I am entitled to my opinion, thank you for pointing out the banal and obvious. But no, my opinions should not be automatically respected nor will I automatically respect the opinions of others (although obviously I respect that they have the right to hold and express them, but this is very different and something you seem to confuse).

 

I am not trying to judge you as a person but simply put your claims to critical scrutiny (being new doesn't give you a pass on this), so stop the hurt puppy nonsense. And though I would cherish a continued dialogue with you (sarcasm), perhaps it would be best if we ignore each other from now on. I have said all I that I feel needs to be said in any case. But don't call me "close minded" (sic) or accuse me of attacking you when I was simply trying to get you to justify your claims. It just won't wash, (buddy).

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i didnt imply... you inferred. there is a difference. I can't help how you form your opinions... but dont act like you werent attacking.. need i quote here :

 

 

"

 

Fortunately, it appears that the first sentance is not something he believes. If it were it would be too stupid to contemplate. And alternative medicines are called alternative because there isn't any evidence that they work. If there was then they would not be called "alternative medicine" but simply "medicine".

 

I don't what you mean by seeing the whole picture but I have taken everything you have said into account. And if you are going to make claims about things that do and do not work etc. then they have to be judged and evaluated, and you can't get defensive when people try and do this."

 

This isnt an attack? This isnt your personal opinion making a decision for everyone else in the world that may believe or utilize some form of alternative medicine? and tell me.. who are you that you get to judge whether something i say works for me actually works for me? No you havent seen my whole picture because you keep treating what I say like I'm selling people something when all I did was INTRODUCE MYSELF EXPLAIN HOW I GOT HERE AND WHAT I'VE TRIED.

 

It's not your job nor is it your business to push me to prove my claims, so stop acting like it is. If you want to argue do it with someone in the you know.. debate forum. you're bordering on troll territory and for what.. to show the new guy whose boss? what point are you trying to make that I havent already said I agreed with? 

 

If you're going to argue just to argue then dont bother.. I'm not replying to anything further you have to say, and the second this site fixes it's ignore function you're ignored. trolls gotta troll and i'm not biting. I have enough things to deal with in my life without having to worry what some judgmental forum dweller has to say about it. you have no interest in my opinion or view so why bother pretending to? If you want to waste your time any further please go right ahead, will just prove my point that the only one with an agenda here is you.

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Okay, round two.

 

Firstly those quotes are supposed to prove I attacked you?! Really, you do a disservice to yourself. In the first I only said it would be too stupid to contemplate if it were something that you believed, which is something I thought you said you did not, although apparently you do. I don't know how this is my "personal opinion making a decision for everyone else in the world that may believe or utilize some form of alternative medicine" rather than stating a fairly uncontroversial fact. And how on earth could someone's personal opinion make a decision for everyone else in the world? That goes beyond nonsensical

 

And the second quote?! You'll have to point out where the attack is in that because can't even see where it could be minunderstood.

 

To reiterate you did not simply introduce yourself and describe what you have tried but made what I cheekily, but rather accurately described as a "guru-like offer" to those "who are still afraid of going through the medical pathways.. who are getting tired with cramming pill after pill down your throat to help you find some equilibrium which may or may not ever show... I can't promise you I can change your world, nor would I every try to make such a claim.. but theres things I have tried to ensure my survival these past 14 years now, that I am more than willing to share with those interested". This goes beyond an introduction into something that needs elaboration and, dare I say it, justification.

 

No, it is not my job to push you to prove your claims but I believe it is the responsible thing to do when you are making such offers which, as I said, could give people false hope, or implying (which you were) that "chemicals" are generally bad. If this make me a troll, then I'm a troll. But my motives are genuine and I am certainly not trying to "show the new guy whose (sic) boss".

 

I can't even be bothered with your last paragraph. It would require me to repeat myself too much. But I don't see how responding to your falsehoods and absurdities proves I have an agenda. I will simply end by saying it was a pleasure to debate with some of such high intellect.

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so to get back on  topic

 

I'm gonna avoid getting into the "tricks" i've figured out so far and save that for a different thread.. i'm more interested to hear from others what they're going through. how their ercetions have changed.. until I heard about this place through the nytimes story I had no luck ever finding a place to talk to others going through something similar. yeah I'd run into the occasional person with experience with psychedlics but never someone who went as far overboard as me.. or who was dealing with the fallout as bad.. as dickish as it sounds in context it feels good not to feel so alone anymore.

 

 

as for what i still deal with outside of the things ive had luck controlling... i look at anything textured for more then 2 seconds and i get wall crawl... i have 0 ability to trust surface textures on anything . my depth perception is almost 0 because my eyes like to focus independently and don't line up long enough to pick up depth. i have to trust shadow to judge distances, which sucks when you cant trust shadows to stay in the right place. my eyes also see colors differently.. my left eye gets a nice blueish tint to things and the right eye an orangey tint. trails?? more like afterimages that stay lodged for a few minutes before fading completely. I avoid night driving because between the burn-in image and a halo around most bright lights it's hard for me to judge any kind of realistic distance.

 

About a year after the incident which me and my friends that were there that night refer to as "blair trip" .. I gained a stutter. I've lost most of it in the years since but occasionally it kicks up and I just get hung up on a syllable until my brain kicks in gear and I finish the word. I randomly start getting a building "buzzing" that will build up in my spine and i can ignore it for a good amount of time but at a random point i'll just get a muscle spasm and the buzz will die back off. occasionally the buzz doesnt even happen but i'll start getting one muscle that will keep twinging for hours and you can see it through my skin just popping off back and forth. 

 

auditory wise i lucked out.. the first 2-3 years were a nightmare but that thankfully died off almost completely. the night of "blair trip" the quarry we were on was next to a highway. all night the sounds of the highway rolled together into a giant wash of horns, and car engines, and sirens.. over and over and over.. and for at least 2 years straight it had not stopped once. that was the most contributing factor to the initial insomnia i went through. to me 24-7 it sounded like an entire state worth of police and fire engines were parked outside of my house. now though... i enjoy an extremely fine sense of hearing. once the auditory hallucinations stopped my hearing (and sense of smell) were really the only senses I had that i could trust

 

also thankfully though i've been through some big peaks and valleys, my uncontrollable visual hallucinations have diminished dramatically. I used to see people sitting in the shadows and running between shadows when my head was turning.. not even shadow people mind you.. i hold that in a completely different class.. but just people.. there.. sitting in the shadow.. i'd be driving at night and every time id drive under a traffic light i would see someone sitting in the space in front of the passenger seat.. crouched holding their knees.. 

 

nowadays the only times i really get the vivid hallucinations are when im trying to sleep and if im actually actively trying to see something as part of my (less call them attention and visualization exercises instead of meditation since that seems to cause a fuss :P) .. the things i experience there are for a completely other discussion . i've been able to keep these confined to when im in a safe environment, and usually only when sleep has ceased to be an option for the night. 

 

it's a far cry from a normal life and i hope above all else that one day I wake up and it all went away.. but it doesnt seem to be likely for me.. but it's better now then a decade ago.. even 5 years ago.. so you never know.

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