By Marco S
I’d like to share more about my HPPD experiences. As I told you in my previous post, my name is Marco, I’m Mexican and I’ve got HPPD for more than four months now. This forum has been way far the best source of information, inspiration, awareness and counseling with the condition I’ve found during this period. My psychologist insists it is an addiction issue, and my friends despite being friendly and supportive with me, they cannot fully understand what I am going through.
So I hope some of my reflections and ideas help others just as reading about your own stories guys helped me a lot when I was first disorientated and felt lost at the beginning of this journey. First I’d like to tell you I’ve always been interested on politics, society, abstract ideas and concepts, culture and subjects related. HPPD seemed to take that away from me for a while. In the last two weeks I’ve been able to start reading again the topics I do enjoy, and to really feel interested about them, something I did not feel able to do for more than 120 days.
I am studying an International Relations bachelor in one of the most prestigious programs in Mexico. My dream is to work either as a diplomat for the Mexican government or to join the United Nations and contribute in some of its programs and institutions, such as the World Food Program, UNICEF or Human Rights. My goal is to mark a difference on people’s lives and improve the quality of life on developing countries, weak democracies and humanitarian crisis.
The first two months of HDDP I was not interested at all one those issues anymore. I was struggling not only with my physical pain but with a pretty strong brain fog that did not allowed me to think clearly on the topics addressed by my teachers and university. Academic tasks felt difficult to be done and not worth it. I also lost passion on some of my other hobbies: running, playing sports, hanging out with my friends and discussing about any subject with them.
I am also a huge soccer fan, so I lost all my team’s season -luckily they made it to the Play offs and now they are playing next week in my hometown- and I did not watch a single match. It was a slow and sometimes desperate process not to feel any interest about stuff anymore. I once read one book -the two Popes- and although an interesting reading- I did not think like I fully enjoyed it.
All of this happened to me meanwhile traveling across Mexico. So I saw many spectacular places and met the most interesting people. But again, I kind of felt I was being fake with my environment, instead of truly showing how I felt. Maybe a month ago I started watching a lot of films on Netflix, and that really helped. It was a relief for me to notice I was becoming capable again to follow and fully understand a story, but the most important fact for me was the feeling of actually having fun.
Then I decided going for a run maybe 3-4 times a week, and that also helped a lot. I guess it is the hormones the brain segregate when I work out, a similar reaction when eating something you like or having sex. I mean, I am not a physician or a health expert but that’s the basic knowledge I have about how the brain works. After movies it tryed small readings. Looking for articles on the newspapers and media outlets I like -The New York Times, El País, The Guardian, Washington Post and CNN- and addressing the international issues I am more into: the Venezuelan crisis, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and so on.
Last week for example, I engaged reading an article about the Cuban exiled community in Miami, and it was something that kept me like an hour totally immersed on it, sometimes forgetting about my HPPD. I also discovered some other hobbies, like cooking. Something that I am frankly good at and that I never tried before. Now I intend to cook dinner at least twice a week. It’s something fun and motivating.
I’m glad my mental clarity is showing from time to time. Now I do experience more “lucid” moments that before and without knowing the exact reason I guess it could be due the way I’ve tried to put my mind to work. Also sleeping has been important, and even tough my nutrition is not the greatest -I’ve actually gained some weight in the last month- I am not drinking anymore, neither smoking or drinking coffee.
In general I believe my physical aspect reflects my improvement. I just had a haircut two days ago. I think I look sharper, and generally my presence and even the way I speak feels better. Also the interaction I’m having with my friends in social media and even the dating and flirting I’ve been into the last couple of weeks feels right. I do not feel a 100% well, not even close, but I guess I’ve noticed being in a good mood definitely helps. Of course I also have my bad days, on which I don’t even want to get up from bed. I guess there are cycles and momentums, so I’m just trying to live the good ones, and make them more frequent.
I’m soon coming back home. I don’t know how the interaction with my parents and brother is going to be like. I feel excited about the opportunities I have in my hometown, about hanging with my closest friends again, and generally about the positive aspects of being home: more money, free time, my own space, a car, and the list goes on. I’ll keep you updated about my process and the way I’m facing it. I may see a doctor next week, I just talked with my parents and they decided it’s the best option by now.
Please tell me more about you guys and the tips, recommendations, tricks and everything that could be helpful for me please. Also if you want to discuss any specific topic feel free to comment or to send me a message. Thanks a lot for reading, hope you have an amazing day and keep fighting. You are not alone and we are all on this together.
Sincerely, Marco S
By Marco S
My name is Marco, I am a 21 year old student living in Mexico. I'd like to tell you my story, my toughts towards HPPD and the lessons I've learnt from this experience.
I developed HPPD on January 2021. I was throught a bad emotional moment, due to the pandemic and a broken relationship. Since august 2020 I had decided to try LSD so I did it with a couple of friends. I did it twice, both times in parties and drinking alcohol. having as a result pretty mild experiences. I've never really been into drugs: I'd tried weed before, a couple of times, also in social situations, but I was never a regular consumer. Then on October me and one of my best friends had mushrooms, which were actually very strong. I did not enjoy it at all, but nothing bad happened after that time.
Then, at the beginning of this year, I bought acid and made the decision to have an LSD trip for the first time without alcohol or any other distraction. In fact I don't know if it was LSD or something else -based on the research I've been into these recent months it could've been N-BOME.- and had a horryfing bad trip, with lots of negativity and hopeless thoughts. The upcoming day everything changed. I almost had no sleep after the trip, as I was heading home from a holiday, and all the hallucination symptons remained more that two days. I almost had a panich attack and I had to tell my parents the situation as I thought I really needed to see a doctor or go to the hospital. Fortunately I was able to calm down and had some sleep after 36 hours.
Since then I'm on this journey. I talked with some of my friends about my syptoms but everyone told me the same: they were normal, LSD may have some flashbacks and that it was nothing I should worry about. But the weeks passed and I was not feeling any better, but the opposite. Since my university classes are online now due the pandemic, I got a job on a hostal near the beach in Mexico. My plan was to travel the country as the school allowed me to take the remote classes wherever I was. My departure was scheduled one week after the LSD trip, so I almost decided to cancel it and to stay home. But finally I decided to travel anyway and here's wher I am right now.
I must say some of my symptoms have improved a little since this started. But some have worsen at moments. Generaly I feel better than two months ago. February and March were definitely the worst period for me. I barely could not concentrate on my classes and tasks. I was drinking a lot, so I felt bad all day long. I had terrible headaches and pain in the eyes. My visuals were strong and the braing fog affected the way I talked and some of my daily activities. I decided to implement some changes on my lifestylle and they have helped me to feel better. I quited coffee and alcohol, and of course any kind of drugs. I have as much sleep as I can and I am trying also to eat healthier and to drink lots of water. It was hard for me to work out at the beginning but now I attempt to take a run three or four days a week.
Anyway I don't feel capable to do some of the stuff I enjoyed the most before this started. I used to read a lot and now it is hard for me to concentrate, and it is painful actually to read. I used to play chess, to participate in forums. I wrote for a newspaper and had a radio show. I am aware that some of this activities are hard for me now because I've lost some confidence on myself. And also anxiety makes it way worse. I've realized that when I've been capable to lower my anxiety everything feels so much better.
Traveling has been fun, but I haven't feel able to enjoy it a hundred percent. Now I am coming back home so I will experience again how it feels to have a routine and be more calmed as I won't have to work anymore and I'll have some time to rest, eat healthier and work out. I am not closed to the idea of seeing a doctor, but honestly with everything I've read about the condition I am not hopeful either. HPPD has taught me a lot about patience. I don't know if I'm ever gonna fully recover from this, but the only way I'll find out is with time. Taking one step at a time and working everday for my wellness and health.
My hope is far to be over. I am a resiliant person and I've faced pretty hard challenges during my life. I try to see HPPD as another challenge life had for me. Of course it makes life so much harder, but also it feels right to notice I've been four months now with this, and yet I've managed to keep studiyng an International Relations bachelor in one of he most demanding universities in my country, to work in some of the most beautiful and touristic places in the world, made dozens of great friends from all over the world, worked as a High School english teacher, and discovered amazing spots with amazing people, enjoying the craziest adventures.
Of course it hurts, of course it's hard, unconfortable, demanding, painful and discouraging. But I am not letting HPPD ruin my plans, goals, objectives and dreams. I'll force myself to be a more empathetic, healthy, honest and transparent human being. And also to help others and understand other people's problems. I really have to thank everyone on this forum. It has helped me a lot to understand more about this condition, the way I can live with this, and a source of inspiration and aid in some of my lowest moments.
Greetings to everyone, if you have some recommendations, tips, or you just want to have a conversation feel free to send me a message, I'd love to meet you all.
I smoked first time 0.2 No effect, no withdrawal.
I smoked week later 0.2 acid Panic attack, little trip, lasted 15mins. Withdrawal, irritable 3days.
Smoked month later 1.0 (Strong unknown, not wet(i think non acid) high fun
Next day 1.0 high fun.
Here we go... First strange thing i noticed, third day i was high in afternoon without weed. Normal week, clear brain. I drunk 0.5l of vodka and next day i got all visual snow symptoms. I was so stressed that i damaged my brain for 2months. Last 2months (4months of visual snow) i started to see things.. some sort of faces or eyes in front of me. Faces and strange objects in corner of eye.
I'm not in psychosis. I know whats real and not even with depersonalization. I can imagine sounds(that happened before, like dog bark or something) or stuck them for minutes.
I'm schizophrenic or what? These hallucinations are so strange... Will i heal after all? For now ofc i want to heal my hallucinations but visual snow is destroying me too.
I hope we will all heal from this.
P.S. I stopped everything after visual snow. No drugs, No alchogol, fuck this shit really.
I’m a newbie. I found this forum a couple of months ago when I googled ‘can lsd change your peripheral vision?’
What a ride that was!
After a week of intense anxiety, I retook control of my narrative and all symptoms generally subsided. So I assumed it wasn’t HPPD.
On Sunday, I had a quarter tab and now I’m quite certain it is.
I’m quite self-aware and I write for a living, so I may be able to put into words some of the things people struggle to describe. If so, I hope it’s useful.
I think (/hope) that my case is mild but I guess we’ll see.
I’ll start with my history, then the episode that led me to this forum, and lastly the most recent episode.
I’m 39. I never had drugs before the age of 37. I’ve had probably a lot of mdma, a fair amount of ketamine, a little bit of cocaine, weed four times, acid four times, and mushrooms once.
I have adult ADD, which became apparent at the age of 35.
I have a history of generalised anxiety, and a couple of periods moderate depression, initially managed by Lyrica (Pregabalin) and Wellbutrin (Bupropion - which was chosen because it acts on Dopamine rather than Serotonin - ADD). But it was actually mindfulness and journaling that really managed these conditions.
I have ALWAYS had quite vivid dreams, often lucid.
I have ALWAYS had hypnagogic closed eye visuals - waves of colour moving in concentric ‘circles’ inwards to the centre or outwards from the centre. Usually green, sometimes mixed with purple and blue. In a really dark room I can still perceive these with my eyes open.
I have ALWAYS had hypnagogic auditory hallucinations. Like I’m processing everything I’ve heard that day. Sometimes it’s voices I absolutely recognise (family mostly) but saying things I don’t think I’ve ever heard them say.
I’ve ALWAYS had trouble falling and staying asleep. I have often also been aware of levels of consciousness in the process of falling asleep. And it does feel like falling (like a physical sensation in the brain) from one level to the next. Sometimes, if I pay too much attention, it actually wakes me up.
The first episode
During the month-long run up to Mardi Gras here in Sydney, I had a weekend where I took two half-tabs of acid over the course of a day (along with a mix of mdma and ket at various times during that day).
Nothing curious happened that weekend. But two weeks later, mdma behaved quite differently. I was getting the geometric visuals that I had previously experienced from lsd, but I hadn’t had any lsd. That same evening, in a fairly dark room, I began to hallucinate that each person who’s face I focused on was wearing Harry Potter-style gold wire-rimmed glasses. Which I knew was not the case and when I concentrated, the glasses disappeared.
During the following week, I would sometimes catch the faintest echo of geometric patterns over uniform white backgrounds, such as walls in my apartment. Tessellating hexagons. When I closed my eyes I could see millions of microscopic red and green dots against the black background. This is what I believe translates into visual snow when the eyes are open (especially in dark rooms). In the corner of my eye I would catch a momentary movement of something dark, that turned out not to be there. Any small dark speck, like a crumb, or a stone, would momentarily appear to my peripheral vision as a tiny insect, until I looked at it directly.
That is why I googled and found out about HPPD.
I didn’t have ANY anxiety... until I read about HPPD. But for 48 hours it spiralled. Dark rooms at night were menacing, which made me unconsciously resistant to going to bed/sleep.
Given my history with anxiety, I immediately returned to journaling and mindfulness. It took away the power that this concept of HPPD had over me, and everything seemed to return to normal by the Friday.
And it didn’t recur after a weekend with just mdma.
So I chalked it all up to anxiety and moved on.
The most recent episode
So, on Sunday I had a quarter tab. Wasn’t even enough to have a noticeable effect on the day.
Monday was fine until nighttime. My sleep was restless and filled with dreams, lucid dreams, and non-REM dreams where the dream continues even in a state of being half-awake.
It was the closest I came to experiencing Inception.
In one dream I experienced the physical sensation of dizziness. Quite clearly. Usually dreams are conceptual and abstract. This was just like being awake.
In another dream, I could read actual text (which I’ve always been told is impossible, as the language/meaning processing centres in the brain are not active while dreaming). I was sorting an email inbox alphabetically, and scrolling down to the word Seneca. I consciously spelled it out in the dream.
Daytime on Tuesday was fine. Nighttime was awful. In one dream, I was in a car chase on the street where I grew up. We sped up to get away from a police car and turned a sharp corner. I experienced the centrifugal force just as though I was awake. I chose to wake up at that point.
Today I have had a low-level dizziness all day. A strange dizziness that is difficult to describe, but I’ll give it a go.
A dizziness that feels like it is affecting your balance. You feel like you’re staggering slightly to the right, but you’re actually walking dead straight. Only really happened when I was moving.
A dizziness that feels like six pints of lager drunk, but with absolute mental clarity.
A dizziness that feels like the moment before vomiting, when your blood pressure drops, mixed with the feeling of an adrenaline rush concentrated in a horizontal plane through the middle of your head, starting dead centre and spreading outwards.
And a dizziness that feels like the absolute fatigue of sleep deprivation, and you have the physical sensation in your head at the point that you start microsleeping.
It’s now 1:30am and I’m typing this out because I had a night terror, and what I think is a form of DP/DR. I felt a sort of paralysis in my arms, but also a field of energy that started just outside the skin of my arms up to my elbows, and I perceived it for maybe 3-5 cm surrounding the arms. This was probably in the halfway state between awake and asleep. Shortly afterwards I became aware that I was breathing very fast and shallow, like a panic attack, but I knew I wasn’t awake yet. I knew and was aware that my boyfriend was sleeping behind me. I was aware that he had stirred. But I was trapped. I yelled out ‘Help!’ but apparently this was just in my head.
He woke me; cuddled me; calmed me.
I can’t go back to sleep though.
This is probably what I would have written in my journal, but it may be useful to others. And others may have insights that will help me.
If you’re still reading, thank you, and I hope your experience with HPPD is improving.
Hi Everyone! It's very rare for me to use online forums however due to this disorder being so rare I thought it'd be the best way to meet new people who have experienced similar things.
My name is Neve, I am 18 years old and currently a University student in England. I've never been that adventurous with drugs and up until university I had only ever touched weed, even then it only being a round 5 times (first time being 15 years old).
When I started university, naturally, I became more exposed to drugs and tried LSD for the first time and again a week later. Both trips I really enjoyed and got the typical experience (enhanced colours, sensations, patterns and sound etc..) It wasn't until I experienced 'flashbacks' on a random Tuesday night. My flatmates were smoking weed however I didn't due to feeling ill. I'm not sure if it was me being ill or the secondary smoke or the combination however I began to experience the same visuals and sensations as I did on my second trip (which was a lot more intense). I was convinced I had accidentally took acid or something..
One of the main things I noticed was colours changing/morphing into new ones, floral patterns and materials looking like they had layers; almost as if things were floating and breathing. At first I thought it was quite cool and I viewed it merely as a pleasant visual that would last a few hours. It has been almost 3 months since that experience and nothing has changed.
It would be interesting to see how having HPPD has affected peoples lives. I try and just go with it, however, recently I have been struggling with it. I have never suffered with mental health issues (not that intense anyway) yet since starting university, my anxiety has been at its peak. Whenever I feel stressed or tired, my visuals enhance thus increasing my anxiety often resulting in panic attacks. After lots of research reading articles, watching documentaries etc, it seems incurable and something that I may just have to live with. Again, it would be really nice to meet people and learn about each others experience with Hallucinogenics.