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Hi... I need some advice


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My name is Deborah, I'm 32, and from The Netherlands. (feels like AA typing this ;) )

I was a recreational drug user for quite a few years MDMA and Speed, and noticed the MDMA drug effects were getting less and less pleasant over the last year or so. I had quite some traumatic experiences on MDMA, like my gf passing out and thinking she was gonna die, or her going into a major k-hole I thought she was never gonna come out of. A week later I took some speed, stayed up 3 nights and got to a point where I was almost passing out all day and had heart palpitations (and a doctor telling me I was just having anxiety issues). I felt fine again after some good night's sleep.

A week later I had another speed binge, I stayed up 3 days and on the 3rd day the same thing happened.. althoug this time it stayed. Accompanied with a whole array of new symptoms: persistent anxiety, not being able to sleep, agitated, not being able to eat, buzzing in my head, almost like electric shocks, head aches, tinitus, ear aches, lack of balance, dr and dp to the max! Emotionless except for crying and the feeling of hopelesness. I sleep only 4 hours of scattered sleep a night and this is on sleeping pills. My body just doesn't seem to want to relax in any way shape or form.
I forget stuff all the time, however I don't have any visual stuff, I have a foggy mind, like there's a cloud in my head which gets sp bad I forget what I'm doing and all stimuli makes it worse, this goes hand in hand with the sensation of not being balanced, although when I go to a doctor I can walk in a straight line. Sound and moving images make my head go even foggier, and I completely lose my shit when not on Clonazepam. With Clonazepam the fog and imbalance/buzzing feeling in my head kinda go away for a while and I feel semi-normal.

They did a standard mri and an EEG (although I was on lorazepam at the time, and wasn't experiencing much of the fog)
and they seemed fine.

Since I don't have a clue what the hell is going on with me I went to the doctor's office quite a number of times, and they have now labeled me as a hypochondriac. A crisis shrink put me on anti-psychotics, which made EVERYTHING worse. Another shrink says it's an anxiety disorder. With the SSRI's I get so extremely agitated and I go through the roof, so I am scared of taking those again.


Another doctor is convinced it's HPPD... The only thing I know is that the clonazepam kinda works until it wears off..

Can anyone tell me if this could be HPPD? Or did I mess something up with my neurotransmittersystems?

My neurologist thinks it's psychological, and doesn't want to send me to a neuropsychologist, and my GP doesn't want to send me anywhere anymore since he thinks it's hypochondria.


I could really use some help..


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*Sorry for the long write, i always end up getting caught up on my theories etc and the reply becomes relatively unhelpful. Hopefully other replies can be even more helpful.


So, you dont have any visual symptoms at all? 

How long has this been?

Before I go any further, you might get more help on the http://www.dpselfhelp.com/ which is a dp/dr anxiety forum.

Although the term 'HPPD' mainly focuses on visual symptoms, the symptoms you have are nothing new to hppders. 

Also, your reaction to meds, anti-psycho worsening and clonazepam helping, are also how hppders commonly react to them. Other commonly bad reaction are to ritalin and stimulants like caffeine


Hopefully you dont develop visual symptoms later on but my hppd started with physical symptoms. Well, to be completely honest, i did have one visual phenomenon stay after my first LSD use but it was just one, out of the many i have now.


For me, it started with a loss of appetite(feeling full after 2-3bites), continued with, for about a month of, physical weakness, random aches here and there, random nerve zap feelings here and there, new cherry angiomas and moles, eye tension, random tremors/heart palps, and more, but no real problems medically and at this time i didnt even know what hppd was. I was feeling hopeless and frustrated and probably developed slight anxiety because i had all these symptoms but doctors were telling me i was ok. Even with the abnormalities in my MRI, endoscopy, and bloodwork, they all fell in the 'normal range of abnormalties'.

Eventually I was prescribed some dopamine antagonist meds for the random aches and around that time frame, my visual symptoms developed. As to whether it was related or not i dont know. I quickly learned that there are so many things unknown in the medical world and if a doctor encounters one of them , you're a hypochondriac. My guess is that HPPD does have a physical/mental aspect to it irregardless of visual symptoms. (or we just dont have a name for it).  


When i developed hppd with visuals, about 2 month in, one day, out of nowhere, i had a tiny panic attack. I was going slightly crazy, and had that feeling of worry and couldnt stop shaking my legs due to the worry and stuff. it basically sucked out all my energy. over the span of 2-3 weeks i basically felt dead, couldnt sleep , racing thoughts, vivid dreams, mild dp, but luckily it faded. during the 2-3 weeks i was already on vacation and was 'forced' to meet my grandma family, etc which i think helped ground myself because i 'faked it till i made it'. So some aspects of your symptoms could be from anxiety if its anything like mine. The thing is, many hppders seem to agree that anxiety,dp/dr is a co-morbid disorder, but personally, I think it can be caused as a part of HPPD. I mean dopamine and sertonin are the neurotransmitters that 'ground' us naturally anyways and if our theories of hppd is caused by messed up dopamine/serotonin balance(i think this is the general theory right guys? is this my own idea? lol) have any value, it would make sense that we have anxiety/dp/dr as a neurological symptom rather than a psychological reaction. 


Im not a doctor or anything near that, but as far as i know, if anything does show up in EEG's of hppders(some don't), it's that hppd-ers have cerebral dis-inhibition (our brain is over-excited all the time) and if you were on lorazepam, a sedative, i would assume that that over-excitation was sedated and made it have normal readings.


As for you being labeled a hypochondriac, if you think about it from a logical point of view, we search the internet because we have symptoms, not because we are hypochondriacs. When these symptoms do take its toll, we can become anxious and be obsessed BUT within its own right because it started with symptoms that appeared out of nowhere and remain unsolved. So what labels us hypochondriacs? doctors who cant do shit for you. Myself and others learn this quickly. And to be fair, its not the doctors fault, scientists discover something new about the brain everyday and we are far from knowing how our brain functions. We dont even know why benzos/ssri work ffs, let alone the 'natural balance' of our neurotransmitters. After other members reply and you do some more research on this forum and you truly think is hppd, your best bet is to find a doctor who will believe you and work with you, but that 'work' is probably based on you doing a lot reading on this forum and trying out different drugs for management since most doctors dont even know about hppd.


Many users report that their dp/dr/anxiety has been helped by magnesium, vitamin b complex, and omega3 supplements so give those a try? 


Good luck! 

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Thank you,

I do take magnesium, b complex, b3, omega supplements etc.
However I am in a constant state of anxiety, or arousal, I can't get down.. except on the clonazepam, but my bp and hr still seem to go bezerk at times. I don't sleep for more than 3 to 4 hours (and wake up 3 to 4 times during that period) and haven't since july, even on temazepam.

When the clonazepam wears off I start shaking, I get nervous and restless, the brainzaps that turn into dr/dp, muscle aches etc all return, my mind races and there is no stop to it whatsoever (except on the clonazepam). I also have a burning sensation on my skin on my abdominal area, and the small veins that are there turn red, after a clonazepam they also fade.. It's fucking weird, that's what it is.. ;) cherry angiomas, yes they also appeared on my skin on my abdominal area, the doctor said it's nothing to worry about.. also some veins there turned purplish and are now more visible.. another thing the doctor said was normal because of my "thin skin" while I never had this...

My other guess is that it could be a disturbance in noradrenalin or adrenaline, or that my hippocampus is going bezerk.

Or all these symptoms come from me not being able to sleep because of this imbalance...

I am still not sure about the HPPD because I don't seem to have the visuals.
My shrink has her head set on anxiety disorder, she doesnt want to prescribe me anymore clonazepam in the future. That I should just deal with my anxiey. While I feel it's not an anxiety issue as any other anxiety disorder... this feels so physical..

I just don't know where to find a doctor who wants to explore ALL the possibilities there are, because I need my life back.

I was doing so incredibly well, and one day it turned to shit...


I wish there was a doctor somewhere who could test where in the brain the system stopped functioning properly.. so we could all get the meds we need and move on..



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WOW, im truly surprised to find another person with sudden development of cherry angiomas. (if that is the case)

It's one of the symptoms i have that made me doubt if i truly had HPPD since it was so uncommon to hppders.... 

Doctors told me that it was probably there and i just didnt notice it and they are harmless anyways. It's obviously a sign of something wrong/off balance.

Just this week, I've also thought that some of my palm veins are very visible :\ 


When you come off clonazepam, some of those sound definitely like withdrawal symptoms.

It might be a good idea to get off them because they only mask your symptoms and if you get off them you might be able to deal with your symptoms and learn to manage them? 

Or like another use, only use them once-or twice a week or every other week


You can also try Valerian root if you come off the benzos. they are like benzos but organic and healthier i think. im not too experienced with them but many people said it helped. 


My anxiety, fluctuations in hp bp, headpressure, orthostatic hypotension, mild dp resolved itself after the 2-3 weeks ive had it. So there is hope for 'natural' healing.

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yes.. veins in my hands too!!
But... I did some research and it could also be an adrenaline/cortisol problem.. also hair loss and I have more masculine hair grow now too.. like chin and chest... I tried the no benzo's for like a month.. and it just got worse.. the cloud in my head, and the agitation, anxiety, not being able to sit still.. going in total overdrive... my stomach hurts like hell, food doesn't digest anymore, and everyone obviously says it's stress related. although I have no control over it. Breathing techniques or mindfulness don't work. When I don't take those clonazepam I can't function at all anymore.. (I've only been on them for 3 weeks and I take 0.5mg a day) I can't watch tv because the images just go all blurry and I end up zoning out. With the clonazepam at least the cloud in my head disappears and I can think straight. without them I can't make sentences, I forget stuff, I don't understand or follow conversations.. it's fucking scary..

And I feel like I'm alone in this. Since the doctors just kinda gave up..

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also I don't know if it truly is dr/dp.. it's just this constant fog that then turns me into a vegetable.. not being able to think, not remembering what I was doing, not being able to follow conversations, make decisions, shallow breathing, all stimuli are too much.. like I can't process anything anymore.. that's the part that scares me the most.. I don't know if these are symptoms of dr/dp but it's scary as hell.. Also my body is unwilling to go to sleep and right before I finally do, I get freaking cold.. so incredibly cold..

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Sounds like anxiety and/or depression. Stay away from the speed and mdma. Speed never made me grind my teeth the day after but for some reason opiates do. I have been grinding my teeth for over 2 months now since I have been off, so maybe addiction too? Idk how much you were doing of these drugs or for how long or if you have even quit, but from my experience addiction can last several months, not the few days to a week occasional users report and addiction can wear and tare on you even after months of not using.

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hi andrew,


I have been off the speed (and partydrugs in general) since july 27th. I did speed on an on and off basis for approx. 2 years.
I had an eating disorder and it helped me to not eat. Now I am eatingdisorder free, since this whole shit experience started. Only now I can't eat because I don't feel hunger anymore, nor do I ever feel tired, and I'm wired and anxious to the max. Including this electric shock/cloud/total abcense of mind, which only the rivotril seems to fade a little. I wasn't using on a daily basis though and I never took a lot although on one of these binges I would take minimal amounts, but like 10 hits a day.. but like I said the amount was never that high. Like 10 grams would last me and my gf for at least 8 months if not longer. If it's speed withdrawal, then holy fuck... I hope this will ever go away and get my personality back because now, everytime I see a picture of myself I feel like such a different person which makes me incredibly sad. I don't feel a connection between her and me anymore. I envy her in the picture, generally care free.


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if it was just anxiety and or depression then I don't think olanzapine or seroquel would make my symptoms worse..
Unless my dopamine levels are fucked..
But then again, when I took zoloft, I went through the roof, like another bad trip on mdma times 10...

I could feel the adrenaline rush through my veins and went to the ER because it didn't really feel right at all...
Unless.. my dopamine levels are fucked.. then it would almost be a serotonin overload..
The ER brushed it away with anxiety.. and as always didn't really check anything..

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I would get off of the kpins and jump to gabapentin. Gabapetin may not work as well as kpins or lyrica but tbh if I could take back all the drugs like the valiums and opioids I would. They help while on them but you wan't to get off eventually and when you do it sucks. So since you don't seem real deep in benzos and been clean for a while I am guessing I would try to do the least amount of damage and do gabapentin. Probably got anxiety, depression and your mind is just all out of wack, I was a very heavy xo and crystal user, I wouldn't say it matters how much of a drug you do, it comes down to how many times you use it that creates addiction. Like smoking 1gram in 1 day won't be hard to come off of compared to .2 in 5 days. If you were using daily or even a few times a week you would get addicted. I would say you are going through withdrawals/dependency which can last around a week to 6 months and can take up to 2 years to recover but I highly doubt it will take that long. I wouldn't think it is HPPD though because you don't have really any visual symptoms. Me personally I would talk to the doctor about getting off benzos, unless that's your thing, get on gabapentin, avoid drinking and any other drug for a long time or forever. I would think you should get back to normal or close in a few more months if that. If you can't sleep try temazepam 30mg which is a benzo, drink a big glass of white grapefruit juice with a ton of pulp in it a hour before taking the temazepam, that was the only way I could get temazepam to work for me and to last all night, also temazepam is one of those things where you have to let it work kind of like ambien, But if you can sleep naturally that is better because taking a sleeping aid or benzo for sleep becomes habit forming and you will feel like you forgot how to sleep completely. I was on temazepam for 3 years and it has been a month being off and tbh I wan't to go back on because my sleep is so poor but I will give it another 2 months, it would be nice to go to sleep easy and stay asleep throughout the night naturally!

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