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Whelp, HPPD is getting harder to deal with


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I have no form of support in real life for this, as I have not told anyone, so I still am hoping to find some support with this community. I've had hppd since november of last year. Today I got fired due to my performance lacking. I've given up all drugs, weed, alcohol except a beer very rarely. I've been mostly sober for 5 or 6 months now. I'm depressed now. I walk around utterly dazed and confused, I don't ever know who I am. My memory is getting slightly better, but it's still terrible. Please tell me I can pull through this. Not a cry for help, but a lot of the time I think I'd just rather be dead because a normal and fulfilling life seems impossible. I can't deal right now. My friends find it strange I don't smoke or ever drink a beer with them.

I'll describe my visual symptoms. They're a pain in the ass, but the visual aspect of all of this is the least of my worries.

Black squiggly specks all over vision at times. not unlike floaters, but not floaters.

Gnarly image burn quite frequently from almost everything. This one drives me crazy.

Trails. Night comes along and I notice the trails behind every moving object.

Surprisingly, closed eye visuals are at about zero, and have decreased significantly.

Slight static-visual-snow, especially at night.

starburst off of bright lights such as car headlights.

All i can think of right now.

I seriously just need to hear that I will be able to live with this. If i could just remember who I am, and be able to use my brain/stop walking around in autopilot/awkward/watching myself mode. I didn't even do that many drugs. I was a normal guy, and I'm paying big time for the stupid decisions I made.

It's damn hard watching everyone I know live their lives. I just wish I could live mine.

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Your coping mechanism will get much better... you have already made the right decisions about helping yourself by cutting out the drugs and beer, I imagine you will see more and more improvements as time passes, do you exercise also, that would help?

The 1st year is a real bitch, no getting away from it... my advice is to force yourself into situations that your condition makes you uncomfortable with.... the more you do it, the more it returns to some kind of normality. For instance, I had a very tough time looking people in the eyes when I first got hppd... but I forced myself to get back into the routine and now it is fine.

This part might be bad advice, but it helped me.... treat yourself to a few beers every now and again... I can have 5-6 bottles and wake up feeling fine... if I go over the top and have too much, i'll drop a klonopin the next day. I just find that having a relaxing beer with friends and having a good laugh is worth any anxiety the next day.

Just to give you a bit of insight into how life goes on... I got this in 1995 and have since got through university, started my own business, got married, traveled all over the world and have lived in a foreign country for the last 8 years, learning the language and experiencing a new culture.... something I had planned way before hppd. Life gets better but you have to fight even harder for your dreams.

Good luck, Jay

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Your coping mechanism will get much better... you have already made the right decisions about helping yourself by cutting out the drugs and beer, I imagine you will see more and more improvements as time passes, do you exercise also, that would help?

The 1st year is a real bitch, no getting away from it... my advice is to force yourself into situations that your condition makes you uncomfortable with.... the more you do it, the more it returns to some kind of normality. For instance, I had a very tough time looking people in the eyes when I first got hppd... but I forced myself to get back into the routine and now it is fine.

This part might be bad advice, but it helped me.... treat yourself to a few beers every now and again... I can have 5-6 bottles and wake up feeling fine... if I go over the top and have too much, i'll drop a klonopin the next day. I just find that having a relaxing beer with friends and having a good laugh is worth any anxiety the next day.

Just to give you a bit of insight into how life goes on... I got this in 1995 and have since got through university, started my own business, got married, traveled all over the world and have lived in a foreign country for the last 8 years, learning the language and experiencing a new culture.... something I had planned way before hppd. Life gets better but you have to fight even harder for your dreams.

Good luck, Jay

Thanks for the reply Jay, I appreciate it a lot. I'm going to keep getting myself out there no matter how much anxiety and distress I am feeling. Also, I don't believe that to be bad advice, a beer with my buddies now and again is therapeutic in it's own right, so long as it's just one or two and I don't over do it. I love hearing about anyone with hppd who goes on to live a great life, it's always inspiring to me.

Also, exercise does help. I've always been an avid skateboarder, or any sport with a board really, skating has always been there for me and I love it. She's a cruel mistress though; currently have a fractured wrist i can't even move and my legs are all kinds of bruised and torn up. Thank goodness I can still shred with hppd.

Right now, it looks like I will be moving back into my parents house (as previously stated, I lost my job the other day), and I filled out paperwork/financial aid to get back into college next fall, so in the meantime i'm going to relax this summer and get my head on straight. If anyone on this community would like to chat, get at me, and thanks again.

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Actually a lot of your symptoms sound like mine except things used to move for me, walls breathed etc. Which have died down to only kind of bouncing sometimes when I walk, things look I been having trouble with things looking tilted recently, and I have ghosting, pretty Damn badly. Anyway, the staticy esqe vision is just how you describe it, Image burn gets bad sometimes. Starburst are huge.

But what interests me is the problems with memory, because I kinda have it too. I feel as though my memories are flat, they are there but flat as hell. It is almost like someone told me my experiences described how I felt but I cannot grasp them like normal people. For a long time I thought this was some form of memory loss, but I doesn't seem like I am any worse at remembering things as I used too. No, everything I have done just seems like it is behind this dense fog, my body is running detached from my mind, like I am just some observer to my actions. This is DP/DR I think, is this what you are describing.

Good work with getting off drugs, I have not been so lucky still smoke once every month or two. Had a cigarette yesterday, which effects me worse than weed, makes the next morning feel like shit and my visuals increase. I just feel that the first step of recovery is feeling normal again so you can kinda learn to block out the visuals. This doesn't mean go on drug binges but I think there is some good to giving yourself the occational treat, keeps the why am I so different than everyone else feeling away. The anxiety is the real cuprit behind this disorder you must starve it out.

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Actually a lot of your symptoms sound like mine except things used to move for me, walls breathed etc. Which have died down to only kind of bouncing sometimes when I walk, things look I been having trouble with things looking tilted recently, and I have ghosting, pretty Damn badly. Anyway, the staticy esqe vision is just how you describe it, Image burn gets bad sometimes. Starburst are huge.

But what interests me is the problems with memory, because I kinda have it too. I feel as though my memories are flat, they are there but flat as hell. It is almost like someone told me my experiences described how I felt but I cannot grasp them like normal people. For a long time I thought this was some form of memory loss, but I doesn't seem like I am any worse at remembering things as I used too. No, everything I have done just seems like it is behind this dense fog, my body is running detached from my mind, like I am just some observer to my actions. This is DP/DR I think, is this what you are describing.

Good work with getting off drugs, I have not been so lucky still smoke once every month or two. Had a cigarette yesterday, which effects me worse than weed, makes the next morning feel like shit and my visuals increase. I just feel that the first step of recovery is feeling normal again so you can kinda learn to block out the visuals. This doesn't mean go on drug binges but I think there is some good to giving yourself the occational treat, keeps the why am I so different than everyone else feeling away. The anxiety is the real cuprit behind this disorder you must starve it out.

Dude, you hit the nail square on the head with that one. That's exactly what my memory is like now. I thought the same thing, actually, some sort of memory loss, until I realized I still remember things just fine as weird as that sounds. But they're flat, that's a great way to describe it. I think it's DP/DR, because there have been brief periods of time where I felt perfectly normal, 100% gone with that feeling and my memory seemed clearer, but it never last long and I can only think of a couple times it's been that good since i've had hppd.

Also, now that you mention it, I suppose i'm not off my daily does of nicotine yet myself, that and caffeine, which doesn't help.

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It´ll all get easier to live with in time. Like Jay said, your coping mechanism will improve. HPPD is a major change in ones life, almost like losing a loved one, a leg, being robbed etc. It'll take a long time to adjust to, that your life has changed permanently. It all needs to "sink in" in ones consciousness.

I have adjusted to my new life to nearly a 100%. I have not quit tobacco, alcohol, caffeine (I'm more careful though). But I have quit all psychedelics and cannabis, Like you say, ramblington, it can be therapeutic to have a beer with ones friends. What is important to remember is when to pull the brakes, to know ones limits. With HPPD, you are more fragile and sensitive than before. Personally, I don't have any major adverse effects with caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco (might be so because I have ADHD, so my brain chemistry is a bit different). I thinl it's a danger to get to locked in with living 100% strict with diets and medicine. That'll just make you depressed (it made myself not wanting to go on living). If you lock yourself away from the life outside the walls of your home, your well-being will not exactly improve. My advice is: live your life to as great extent as you can manage, drink beer with your friends, laugh etc. But remember to pull the brakes and rest if your HPPD or DP/DR flares up, or you feel fatigued. Stay clear of cannabis and psychedelics at least.

You'll find your way to live your life in time, how to do it differs for all people.

Myself, I have not had any improvement in the HPPD symptoms, but I have for the last year really begun to feel that life goes on. My vision is messed up, the surrondings are warping, colors shift, kaleidoscopic patterning makes nasty visits sometimes. But hey, I can live with it. I have done so for the last 5 years, and I can do it for the years to come. It's not the end, but rather a new beginning. For a life where you know your limits and respect your body and mind. Where you´ll probably come to some conclusion to what matters in life, and what isn't worth wasting it on.

I'm sure you'll feel better soon! Hope my reply was helpful in some way! Also, look up CBT if you're having too much anxiety, coping issues etc. CBT has helped many, myself included.

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Hey 415_Style, thanks for the reply I did find it helpful and appreciate the comments and advice. Hearing from you people in the same boat is truly great for me. Life'll keep going, and i'll keep my chin up. These last couple days have been some of the best I've had since I got hppd...not symptom wise, but they've been good. Knock on wood. Thanks a lot.

Also, i've heard good things about cognitive behavioral therapy before, and took some steps to get that ball rolling today since it's been in the back of my mind since this all started. I'll let you know what I think of it if you like, after I get in a few sessions with this therapist.

I've been avoiding cannabis and especially psychedelics, to be honest the thought of psychedelics somewhat irks me nowadays anyway.

Thanks again for the replies. :)

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Your symptoms sound rather mild to me. I wouldn't sweat it too much. If you need an escape from reality and just need to relax and forget about HPPD and all the baggage that comes with it, valium, in my experience, makes me feel totally normal again. Now it doesn't fully take away from visuals bit it is BY FAR the BEST benzo at reducing dissociative disorder to 0% and i've been on it for over 6 months now and it has never lost any of it's potency.

I think Valium should be reconsidered as the benzo of choice to treat HPPD and similar visual/DP/DR patients.

Exercise is good too and on the VERY RARE occasions some nice opiates are a god send.

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It sounds like you are on the right path towards seeing improvement. It is impossible to say if your symptoms will every improve, to be brutally honest. But your ways of dealing with them certainly will, even to the point of "neutralizing" them. Getting fired only increases your feeling of 'being in the hole'. I wish you all the best. There is some good advice in the above posts.

with empathy,

D

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But what interests me is the problems with memory, because I kinda have it too. I feel as though my memories are flat, they are there but flat as hell. It is almost like someone told me my experiences described how I felt but I cannot grasp them like normal people. For a long time I thought this was some form of memory loss, but I doesn't seem like I am any worse at remembering things as I used too. No, everything I have done just seems like it is behind this dense fog, my body is running from my mind, like I am just some observer to my actions. This is DP/DR I think, is this what you are describing.

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Yeah man, I definitely think that the memory/concentration loss is DP/DR related, ive been having mild episodes ever since i drank some caffeine on accident...it used to be that id get high, wake up and feel out of it for a day or two and then be back to some semblance of normalcy...now, ever since ive felt slightly dissociated again, my thoughts are harder to piece together, my concentration is off to the point where i barely remember/ can focus on what im reading...except this didnt happen til I got DP/DR....

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  • 2 weeks later...

Even if you can't change your symptoms, remember that you can always change your ways of thinking about your situation.

I had a really tough dealing with the loss of "self", or the character or myself I had built up to that point in my life. It seemed like it was gone forever, and that i'd never be in touch with that same sense of identity.

But then I realized...it was still "me" that was experiencing all of this. The same objective observer that had existed my entire life; it was only that "character" that seemed to have been lost.

In reality, that "uncorrupted" self was gone...but only because of the vast changes that had occurred since the onset of HPPD. I have since incorporated all of my experiences - pre and post HPPD - into a newer, more expansive "David". Remember that reality is just as it's always been, you're just thinking about it in a different way and that there's no objective "true" or "real" way of viewing it.

I've also found a lot of help in mindfulness meditation; focusing on the present, the wonder of the world and the amazing fact that we even experience it at all. And despite our mistakes, in the grand scheme of things we are all incredibly fortunate.

Remember that there IS hope and that even in the worst case scenario - that your symptoms don't go away - your attitude towards your situation can ALWAYS improve, and that is really what matters the most.

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  • 4 months later...

Hey man, I recently have done a few psychedelics and had a small bad experience, like you said it is great to hear about other people and thier experiences and I just want to let you know that we all go through this together. I personally have not been having many symptoms of HPPD but since my trip i have had many thoughts about how reality can be twisted and drugs can leave you confused and this has caused a fair amount of anxiety and nervousness. Ever since my experiences I have felt different, almost slightly foggy in my confidence about reality, as I go on it gets better day by day and it comes and goes but generally it has made a turn for the better. I am seriously anxious to get back to normal and am still thinking about the things I saw but keeping a rational mind and focused on one task at a time I have been able to cope with these ideals and get on with my life. Stories like yours really help everyone and just to know that other people are going through this truely help me get over irrational thoughts and panic attacks. Thank you for sharing and i encourage you to ALWAYS keep your head up because theres no reason not to.

Live with peace and love :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

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