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Need some advice please, does this sound like HPPD? Thanks


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Hi Guys,

I just wanted to ask for some advice; I suffer from pretty bad anxiety/derealisation at times, I got this after a panic attack 15 years ago! What I have noticed is when these conditions get worse/bad my vision gets affected slightly, and that is why I am here. I suffer from slight tracers, very barely noticeable visual snow (I think when looking at the sky, or dark objects, or just turning the lights off) and floaters…after ‘Googling’ these I have ended up here – asking myself do I maybe have HPPD, or is this maybe just normal? Is HPPD more prominent than this, and am I just being hyper sensitive and worrying?

I just wanted to add I have never done any Hallucinogenic drugs, but have read that some people can get this from just cannabis…which I have tried and had a bad reaction to on a couple of occasions (Again 15 years ago), I freaked out and had bad derealisation with visual tracers (From taking too much) this lasted a couple of hours but I was fine the next day, and I know for 110% the cannabis was normal, nothing added etc.

- So what do you think, does it sound like HPPD, or just maybe the anxiety/derealisation? Is HPPD much more?

- And is it true about being able to get this from standard cannabis (From your experiences?)

Thanks All

Gaz

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Let me guess, you were a somewhat anxious person before your panic attack? Anyway, your symptoms sound like they are caused from stress. The marijuana triggered your panic attack, which triggered your underlying anxiety, and since then you've been having issues controlling your anxiety due to your fear. Tracers and visual snow can definitely be experienced soley from this kind of stress, in which case you do not have HPPD.

 

I think you should see a psychologist, I bet one who has dealt with anxiety/DR before could really help you.

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I doubt this is HPPD mate. Everyone has floaters, and you say your VS is essentially inexistent, and you have slight tracers.
DR/DP can cause visual disturbances as well. Unless you have other symptoms, it's highly unlikely this is HPPD.
Generally speaking, HPPD is far worse than what you describe. From what I know cannabis can only "trigger" it, or exacerbate it, not actually cause it.
There are only a few who claim cannabis actually caused their HPPD. Especially considering that you are absolutely sure it was unadulterated, it's very improbable that you have HPPD.

Indeed maybe seeing a psychologist would help. It can be tough finding a good one though.. IME most tend to be idiots.
I suggest you look into anxiolytic supplements and meditation as a start.

All the best,
Odisa.

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Thanks people, I just wanted to add my main panic attack that caused all this anxiety etc was from taking speed and thinking I was dying (no hallucinations or anything)

I only did it a couple of times, does that change things or do you still think its likely not HPPD?

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IME, speed fucked me up big time. Like psychotic panic attack (stimulant psychosis) type of thing (post-HPPD, concurrently with Cannabis).
I haven't heard of any Amphetamine-only HPPD cases. Mine, for example, was caused by concurrent use of (way too much.. snorted it like it was coke) Amphetamines+MDMA.
I had done MDMA before, but never in combination with anything, and never had any visual problems thereafter.
But Amphetamines are known to be pretty darn neurotoxic in combination with MDMA (wish I had known that before).

It might have.. I really don't know. In any case, if your experience was anything like mine with Amphetamines.. it's quite understandable you have lasting anxiety.
But the symptoms you describe are still very minimal, as such I still doubt it's HPPD. That's up to you though.. If you elaborate more on your (co-morbid) symptoms, then perhaps we'll be able to speculate more. But ultimately, it's really up to the person to diagnose themselves, because there are really little to no objective ways to do so.

Like I said before, it's more likely that your DP/DR is causing your visual symptoms. Or you may just have VS without HPPD. Maybe go over to the VS forum and see what they say? Also, apparently visual distortions aren't impossible with Amphetamines: http://www.addforums.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-22458.html

Lastly.. You can't really be an anxious person. You may have or had anxiety for a long time, but that doesn't make you an anxious person, and it'd be wise to avoid identifying with your anxiety. Similarly a person can't be an angry person, but just has a lot of anger. Or a person going through a stressful period isn't really a stressful person, but just has a lot of stress. Or so I view it.

Hope that kind of helps you further.
Cheers.

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Thanks for the advice, I have GAD, obsessional thinking, and suffer from derealisation. Like I said I got these symptoms after very low use speed, and then a big panic attack where I thought I was dying and the anxiety and derealisation came on a couple of days later. I noticed my vision had got weird after the derealisation, things seemed foggy, fluorescent lights hurt my eyes, and my anxiety was through the roof 24/7, it was really hard, but I'm still here.

After this I did notice my vision was off, especially at night, more prominent tracers, and neon stereos etc hurt my eyes, but I guess since then I haven't really worried about my vision at all, and I only notice my vision 'going noticeably off' when my anxiety/dr is high, and I guess there comes the question....is it the dr/anxiety causing these issues, or could it be HPPD? I mean can anxiety/dr itself, cause symptoms like HPPD?

Since thinking I have HPPD my anxiety has increased I and my vision has gotten worse and I'm in a bit of a vicious cycle...does this sound like HPPD, or like you said probably the anxiety/dr? I mean if I had HPPD even if quite mild, would I have been able to just not to notice it really for 10 years! Or would it be extremely obvious? I seem to latch on to illnesses and obsess, I know for the past 10 years I haven't really been bothered by my vision, it's off, but I don't see things move, breath, or have noticeable static, or anything like that, I mean bright patterns on shirts and dots close together sometimes hurt my eyes etc...but that's about it. I am also hyper sensitive and I'm always checking things and worrying about having schizophrenia, seeing/hearing things, but I can honestly say I haven't ever truly hallucinated.

Thanks for your long and detailed post, you seem very knowledgable and helpful.

Also are there people on here that cope with this illness and can lead okay lives? I guess a forum maybe isn't the best indication because most people are after help. Thanks again :)

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Hey man,
the few symptoms you describe and their severity, are little enough to be caused by DP/DR combined with anxiety. Again, it is highly unlikely that you have HPPD.

From wiki:
 

 Patients suffering from depersonalization disorder have also certain visual stimulations such as hallucinations and rapid fluctuations in lighting. While the exact cause of these hallucinations has not yet been determined, it is generally accepted that patients suffering from them is caused by previous drug usage. These hallucinations differ from true hallucinatory phenomena as they are closer to being optical distortions or illusions rather than psychotic breaks.


And with some more digging you'll be able to find that many with DP have described the same symptoms you have.

Honestly I just lump DP and DR together though, but I'm sure DR also encompasses visual quirks.

Usually HPPD is extremely obvious and one needn't wonder whether they have it or not, for they immediately recognize the symptomatology and go "Holy shit, so this is what I have". I myself wondered for a time if it wasn't HPPD, but that was because I was sincerely hoping it wasn't.

Some people cope great with or without medications and aren't bothered too much by it, some just kind of settle for something reminiscent of the lives they once had, and for some it's fucking horrible and it keeps them from leading a normal life. Recovery has been reported to happen spontaneously (rare), or gradually over time, either with or without medications. Time frames for recovery are anywhere between months to years usually. Sometimes with medication recovery can happen within a matter of days or weeks, but this too is quite rare.

So in conclusion: Your DR+anxiety are sufficient to cause what you are perceiving to possibly be HPPD. You probably do not have HPPD, and should treat the underlying anxiety appropriately, and the visual symptoms will dissipate. You might want to head over to the Longecity forum (under Brain Health ->Mental Health), and ask for their help. There are both amateur and professional neuroscientists and pharmacologists over there, which can give you some good advice on supplements, medications, and other therapies.

I'd say have some shells of Kava Kava, see how that helps you.

Best of luck,
Odisa.

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