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Has anybody had this symptom?


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I've been seeing a therapist the past few weeks and it's helped reduce the stress that comes with my HPPD visuals.  Today, however, I was in therapy and while focusing on my therapist's face for a few minutes my peripherals began to get extremely blurry, then the room seemed to collapse into one flat, blurry space.  My therapist's eyes/face were the only thing that remained clear.  As soon as I shifted my focus to something else the room returned to normal.  This is the first time I've noticed this symptom and I'm not sure if there's a name for it.  I was feeling so good about things until this incident.  

 

14 months sober since my trip and I'm still getting brand new symptoms.  I just wish my HPPD would level out. Even if it doesn't go away completely, I feel like I could live with this and adjust if it would just stop changing so damn much.

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The outer perimeter of my field of view and only while I was focusing on the persons face for about a minute.  Not really sure how to explain it other than it sorta felt/looked like the effect of blood rushing to one's head when standing up too quickly after having been sitting for a long time.  Tunnel vision I guess?  

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Actually, what you describe is far more 'normal' than HPPD.

 

Remember, with HPPD visual integration ('smooth' vision) doesn't work so good.  Many things people  notice are an exaggeration or increase awareness of visual processing.

 

In the case of peripherals going dark/blurry it has to do with your state of attention ... you even used the word 'focusing'.  While posted elsewhere, as a brief review, there are 2 independent visual processing systems.  One handles peripheral awareness, is geared to motion (vigilance), and is high speed, mid brain.  The other is the fovea (center of visual field), is wired for detail (concentration - focus), and is slow, cerebral.

 

Aside from the many visual symptoms, HPPD often includes 'attention' problems (sleep, vigilance, and concentration).  Anxiety is a vigilance state.  Hyperawareness is vigilance.

 

One of the best things HPPDers can do is practicing concentration.  Concentration in the sense of learning, creating, planning - mental functions that focus around goals.  When you concentrate this way, you start to shutdown vigilance.  HPPD pushes most people into anxiety (vigilance) states.  Note: The 3 states of attention are mutually exclusive: you cannot sleep and be vigilant, you cannot sleep and concentrate, and you cannot concentrate and be vigilant at the same time.  ( For further info, research the locus coruleus which 'gates' these and other states in the brain )

 

 

As for more symptoms showing over time, it seems the brain is dynamic and as we seek to go back to pre-HPPD, we go through a lot of changes.  Even just moving out of the state of anxiety/vigilance, we can simply become aware of things.  As an example, floaters are physical things floating inside the eyeball.  It is doubtful that we suddenly developed more of these with HPPD.  But since HPPD changes they way the brain filters and assembles things, we become aware.  It some respects, HPPD is looking a 'raw' / unprocessed data.

 

 

Hope this helps rather than confuses.

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