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Should I be worried about Schizophrenia?


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I am 17 years old, I have a predisposition to schizophrenia in my family. One aunt has been schizophrenic for over 30 years, the other (in her 50's) is just starting to develop signs of paranoid schizophrenia. In the past year of my life, I have had probably over 50 psychedelic trips on magic mushrooms and LSD. From the LSD, i have developed a moderate case of HPPD. I figure, and many of my friends have told me that if I were to go schizophrenic, it would have happened already. Should I be worried? Just wondering from the masses of psychonauts here who have done enough psychedelics to bring on a case of HPPD. Does anyone else here have a predisposition to Schizophrenia? One of the main reasons I am worried now is because last night, as I was trying to fall asleep (I would not consider me on the brink of falling asleep, I was just lying there trying to sleep) I could hear, kind of like how you can hear your thoughts sometimes, I could hear random people talking, saying nothing specific. I'm thinking it was probably hypnogogic hallucinations, but it still worried me a bit. 

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I wouldn't worry yourself, but to the same token, I would probably stop taking drugs to decrease your likelihood of both worsening your HPPD and potentially bringing on dormant schizophrenia. There is suggestion that HPPD is similar in pathology to schizophrenia.

I figure, and many of my friends have told me that if I were to go schizophrenic, it would have happened already.

This to me sounds like friends who want you to keep taking drugs with them. Just be weary about this...

Just wondering from the masses of psychonauts here who have done enough psychedelics to bring on a case of HPPD. 

It's not about amount, it's more to do with predisposition. For some, HPPD is brought on by tripping on multiple occasions, for some it can happen after one incident.

Best wishes to you.
 

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In my opinion, HPPD is completely unrelated to schizophrenia. But that doesn't mean you can't have HPPD and schizophrenia. With you already having moderate HPPD, and the potential genetics for schizophrenia later on in life, then I think it would be sensible to cease all drug use, which as syntheso says, can reveal schizophrenia that you may or may not be predisposed to. 

 

Don't they say that if you're worried about being schizophrenic, then you aren't?

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I have already been cutting down my cannabis usage, went from every day for 3 years to weekends in the month of october, so far it's gone very well. I plan on smoking on weekends this month and then on the 27th I'm done cannabis, probably for good but I may use recreationally once in a blue moon in the future. I'm rather certain I'm never dropping acid again. I would like to do mushrooms once every year or two, strictly for spiritual purposes. I have a regiment of meditation set up, I'm trying to get back into the habit of meditating 20 minutes every morning and evening. If i have a good amount of stress relief from the meditation, I shouldn't have the stressor to bring it out, right? I am a very spiritual person, I am very happy with my life right now, happy for the amazing opportunities god has given me, I just simply fear for my sanity at times after all the psychedelics I've taken. 

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Hello mate, I agree with this post entirely.

 

In my opinion, HPPD is completely unrelated to schizophrenia. But that doesn't mean you can't have HPPD and schizophrenia. With you already having moderate HPPD, and the potential genetics for schizophrenia later on in life, then I think it would be sensible to cease all drug use, which as syntheso says, can reveal schizophrenia that you may or may not be predisposed to. 

 

Don't they say that if you're worried about being schizophrenic, then you aren't?

 

 

The pre-sleep voices you mention have been, and indeed are, experienced by people who have never taken drugs and are not schizophrenic and do not have a genetic history of it either. So no need to worry about that as anxiety is a killer.

 

 

Please read this book if you have the time though, it will make you feel much better about what you experienced and its a wonderful read.

 

Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks.

Oliver Sacks is an extremely highly respected Neurologist and Psychologist who used to take many hallucinatory drugs when he was in his youth - Chapter 6 is all about that :) including some wonderful descriptions of the psilocybin and LSD experiences from intellectuals with real linguistic potency.

 

Although chapter 6 is about drug use, most of the book is a case study archive of everything hallucinatory. From sensory deprivation tanks to Charles Bonnet syndrome.

 

The only thing it fails to mention is hppd :(

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Thank you, I will try to find a copy of the book online. I have been a heavy cannabis user for about 3 years, have gone from everyday smoking, mixing it with nicotine on occasion to smoking on weekends, and only weed, no tobacco. I consider myself addicted, this is my way of cutting back. I plan to smoke two more times before cutting it out of my life completely and focusing on music. I am also not doing psychedelics, save for maybe mushrooms for spiritual use later on in life, in low doses. but that's far after I have my life together. By the way, is it normal for me to go into mild psychedelic trips while having a lower tolerance for weed? again, since the beginning of november I have only been smoking on weekends, and once or twice if at all. I have been sober every weekday this week, which i usually am not, I am proud of myself but I know my tolerance is going down. I've noticed since the mild tolerance drop, i get rather intense visuals when stoned. normal or case for worry? I probably seem like i overthink this too much, to you guys but I am rather concerned, being a teenager and all

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Im just gonna throw stuff out there but It might be that your HPPD is really starting to 'develop(progess/worsen).

 

For me, i had mild text movement ever since my 1st of 3 lsd trips. After about a month after my latest trip, i began to develop new visual symptoms and ones that actually started to worry/effect me. It took me about 3 month for my many new developing and worsening symptoms to reach a baseline. Also, except for the text movement, all my new symptoms started when i happen to stop all drugs(daily weed) due to an oversea trip. (though i was on some medication at the time which i believe may have a role since it was related to dopamine)

 

When the new visuals developed, i heard voices but it wasnt some random 'god' voice or anyhting, it would be voices of people i know and it was something i probably heard in the past. It felt like the voices were very clear and life like and it would only happen when i tried to sleep but my mind would not shut down so i was 1/4 asleep (hypnogogic perhaps). looking back, I now attribute it to short-term temporary anxiety which i developed for about 2-3weeks. BUT I still debate on whether its because i was truly anxious or anxiety was part of developing HPPD. Racing thoughts, brain not shutting down, headpressure, etc.

 

A 'normal' person shouldnt be getting visuals when youre getting high(unless its their first time or they are drug sensitive).As a ex daily pothead, IMO, cutting back to only weekends shouldnt have had a significant effect on tolerance. If it was me, id be a little worried and try to stop which is great that you are doing. 

 

It depends on the individual but some hppd-ers report that they get intense worsening of hppd when blazing but return back to baseline within a fewdays-week but some users also report a permanent worsening of hppd. Its a risk you take for continued drug use just like how developing hppd was a risk. Also remember that your psychological expectations have a great effect on how drugs work. So like acid, if you think its gonna go bad, it could very well so.

 

When this all started for me, i stressed about it so much and even now i think about it everyday since i SEE it but i kinda brush it off now since ive accepted its not really gonna go away. Either way you cant really do anything about it except hope and believe that it will go away on its own with time. Pushing it off for the future... 

 

I think the 'withdrawal' of weed does have some effects on hppd, ive read a few accounts including my own of how stopping weed changed/started hppd and not always for the good. i think it might have to do with the weed providing our brain with dopamine/other neurotransmitters but once we stop, we become deficient because our natural production of it was lowered to compensate for the amount given by weed.

It could be coincidental timing but i doubt it. IMO your on the right track to 'healing/handling' hppd Also since youre in your teens you have a better chance of healing due to your more plastic developing brain. 

 

Also worthy of mentioning that anxiety/worry is subconscious and even though you may be consciously brushing off the hppd, it might be slowly getting to your head. Don't let it :)

 

Lastly, friends dont know shit. Unless they are actively researching about this stuff and even then its so under-researched, how can they possibly know whether continued drug use will trigger your predisposition to schizo or not, all it takes can be one really fucked up bad trip, even from weed. 

 

Im probably making it out to be worse than you have it since you are still comfortable with weed,

Dont forget that weed can have withdrawals and your anxiety can be a part of it too. IF you know it and understand it, it will be less worrisome imo.

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You know the visuals you get on textures when you look at them on a psychedelic? they start to move and shift and you can see shapes in the texture you previously couldn't. I've noticed when I look at any wall or textured surface, I can see mild visuals like that, but they look broken in a sense. they aren't fully formed, it just looks like a few edges on the textured surface stand out like they would on psychedelics, but not fully because it's not driven by the chemical. is this a normal occurrence? 

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Cant get a clear grasp of what you mean but do you mean like where popcorn-ceilings look like they are floating/moving about? I have that. My 'hallucinatory' visuals arent as severe as the light related ones (halos, starbursts, etc).  

 

Also sometimes i feel like edges are very pronounced. so like if im looking at my phone, 'i cant put a finger' on it but my hand and phone look like its "beautiful". something like a picture/artistic. i dont know why. Kind of like how LSD makes you perceive something is 'beautiful' even though it would be something you have seen everyday.  

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Still rather worried that this is not HPPD and it may be the onset of schizophrenia. The fact that my visuals get noticeably worse after hallucinogen/cannabis use should indicate that it is a case of HPPD, right? I'm thinking the anxiety aspect of the HPPD is making me think too much about it and assume I am in the onset stages of schizophrenia. All my peers say I am perfectly normal except for the anxiety. Again, ceasing all drug use and starting a daily regiment of meditation in hopes that it will have my symptoms calm down. Would you guys say I'm worrying over nothing? The thing that scares me is I'm young and I have many years in which the onset could come, I don't want to go schizo

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Nothing you have described suggests schizophrenia.

 

The anxiety you are experiencing is normal for the onset of HPPD and its fucking rough mate.

Trust me I understand but have stopped experiencing it overtime, although the visuals remain.

The anxiety may come in unpredictable waves, often when you are alone or about to go to sleep (at least it did for me).

 

You said you are stoping drugs and starting meditation, this is the first step you are taking towards bettering yourself and you should be proud of this decision.

IT DOES GET MUCH BETTER WITH TIME but it might get worse before it does especially in early days... be prepared for this and do your best to continue in the most positive way you can.

Talking to people about it, especially those closest to you does help tremendously. Start doing that if you haven't already.

 

If you want real reassurance that you are not experiencing the onset of schizophrenia then PLEASE read the book I suggested to you. schizophrenia is mentioned a lot in the book within the context of hallucinations (From migraine hallucination to polyopia). I know that a book seems like a ridiculous solution but it isn't a solution. Its a source of enlightening information that may aid you in curing your anxiety. You are not going mad. You are not going schizophrenic.

 

The book is Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks.

Buy it on amazon/ebay or rent it from a library, even if you don't like reading.

I would be extremely surprised if it did not help you out given what you have written in your comments.

Oliver Sacks thought he was loosing his mind due to drug use at one stage in his life (turns out he wasn't) and this is also included in the book. 

Read it.

 

Once again this is not just some shitty book. Oliver Sacks is an extremely highly respected Neurologist and Psychologist who used to take many hallucinatory drugs in his younger days.

And the reason I keep bringing it up is that the advice of people on here (like me) is not as likely to convince you that you are completely sane and that these worries are common in HPPD on set.

But the remarkable Dr Sacks (having taken care of hundreds, if not thousand of patients and with a history of hardcore drug use) may be able to do just that.

 

:) Good Luck Pal

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^ what he said.

I too had anxiety in the development of hppd and even before i had visual abnormalities, i had general sickness for about a month (which i believe is hppd/chemical imbalance) and i was getting worried because i wasnt getting better. I've done MRI, transcranial doppler, endoscopy, etc all at my request. I did have abnormalities but nothing that was out of the 'normal range of abnormalities'. 

 

When I discovered HPPD, i was thinking about Multiple sclerosis, Candida, Lyme, Schzio, sjogrens and bunch more. New symptoms were popping up here and there and others were worsening. 

 

Orthostatic hypotension, random body aches, internal tremors while trying to sleep and waking up (not actually shaking but it feels 100% real that i am), racing thoughts, hearing voices that feel like they are right beside me, very vivid dreams, fluctuations in heartbeat and blood pressure, heart pounding for a few seconds. These are the things i developed BUT only had for about 2-4 weeks. 

 

The thing is, for me, it came out of nowhere. One night ago, i was browsing internet playing games and even though i had ghosting vision/etc i wasnt minding it too much. The next day, bam. I had a mini panic attack, not screaming or anything but I was 'mentally stable' enough observe my situation. It would slowly get worse over the next couple weeks. My heart was beating fast randomly, racing thoughts and what made it worse was I didnt know WHY. I  was getting depersonalized a tiny bit(i didnt know it was DP at the time) and I really didnt know why.

 

I think not knowing why is mentally dangerous because looking back on it now, I think my defense mechanism to anxiety was to develop DP/DR so i can disassociate myself from the intensity of anxiety (being emotionally dead vs extremely worried 24/7 over something i didnt know why)

 

I thought i was going crazy, I NEVER had anxiety in my whole life except for a partial bad trip on LSD which i recovered from within 30minutes. After consulting here on the forums, i was told it is and everything can be attributed to anxiety.

 

I think slowly accepting HPPD and that i was going to be 'OK' health wise helped. One thing i still have qualms is that i believe hppd can produce anxiety as part of the way brain works and not just because we are actually anxious. But all that is very complex since anxiety itself is subconscious and you cant know for sure.

 

WIth that said, im not diagnosing you as HPPD 100%.

 

Even though ive had it for 5month now and im havent gone crazy or died, i still have some doubts. I have a few symptoms that no other hppders have(even though hppd is so unique to the individual).  I revisited my optometrist recently to check my eye health and it was healthy. I plan to do a few more checks in the near future including lyme, antibody, colonoscopy but if they come up clean, i think it will help clear my 'hidden' anxiety worries even more and i can think to myself its 'just' HPPD(which is mild for me). of course i have fairly good reasons for getting my checks which include but not limited to: anemia, tinnitus, hair loss, tonsil stones etc. Not obsessing about it is key.

 

If you can relate to some or most of this as other hppders have, i think theres a good chance its just anxiety and not schizo :) 

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