Hello All, My name is Allen. I've browsed this site randomly over the past couple years but was afraid share. I'm in my 30's and have had HPPD 2 for 18 years. I was diagnosed 5 years ago after a seeing countless doctors through the years. Recently I found out my wife was pregnant and I became determined to find a treatment or, god willing, a cure. When I was in my mid teens I took lsd about 5 times and I was a chronic marijuana smoker. The last time I took lsd I smoked weed at the same time and I had the worst experience of my life: My heart began to race uncontrollably, my arms and face became numb; I saw long blury trails on everything and I felt hot and cold all at once. It was so intense that I thought for sure I was going to die. In desperation, I curled up in a ball on my couch, closed my eyes, and began to pray to god repeatedly to make it stop and let me live, until eventually I fell asleep. I woke up the next morning and thanked god I was alive. I swore of lsd forever. Unfortunately that didn't stop me from trying to party with my friends as usual. Every time I smoked weed after that I would have severe panic attacks and almost black out. When I'd drink alcohol I felt like I had a lump in my throat and couldn't breathe. A couple weeks after that horrible trip I woke up to a dull version of the same type of visuals I had the night of my bad trip, I was petrified and began having random panic attacks. I finally told my mother what I did and what happened since and she took me to the doctor. The doctor swore it was depression with anxiety and completely dismissed any lsd involvement. She prescribed me Effexor and xanax. The effexor didn't help at all and it made my heart race. The symptoms were not going away. I was afraid I damaged my brain beyond repair. Shortly after I withdrew from school and became a hermit. The xanax helped a lot with anxiety but the visuals remained. Through the years I saw about a dozen different psychiatrists and none of them knew what was wrong with me and continued me on benzodiazepines and ssri's. I lost my insurance and couldn't afford all the doctor appointments and medicine, so I began getting zoloft and Vicodin off the streets to self medicate. Eventually the visuals became less intense and my panic attacks were less frequent. Although the visuals and anxiety are a part of my daily life, I still manage to function. Some days are worse than others but I forced myself back into society and I got a good job in construction, and married my girlfriend who has been with me through this whole experience. I got off the vicodin with suboxone and continued the zoloft. With the news of our first child, I found a new determination to get rid of this horrible disease for good. I told my doctor that I wanted to try anything we can to make this stop and she agreed to start prescribing me different medications to see what, if anything, will work. She prescribed clonidine last visit and I started it 6 days ago. Unfortunately it hasn't helped my visuals at all and last night I began having strange thoughts and seeing weird images when I closed my eyes. I'll keep everyone updated on how it goes. I'm really hopeful that something will get rid of this for good. Wish me luck and good luck to all of you.
P.s. I am thankful to whomever started and maintains this site. I hope we can get this horrible disease more attention and find a real treatment for it.
By Deleted account
>Visits the doctors about HPPD, doctor doesn't know anything about HPPD
>Tells doctor about persisting drug-induced hallucinations and panic attacks, gets referred to a drug and alcohol service
>Makes it clear that there is no history of addiction or continued use, gets referred to psychiatrists
>Open to suggestion, trying not to be classed as a drug-seeker, I accept the anti-psychotic prescription Seroquel
>Takes Seroquel, makes HPPD worse, notifies doctors of this
>Is offered SSRI anti-depressants for panic attacks, rejected them
>Prescribed antipsychotic Olanzepine (Zyprexa), which doesn't do anything for HPPD, and Diazepam (Valium) for panic attacks, which also does nothing
>Moved to a mental health facility so that doctors can sort medication out
>Psychiatrists conclude that panic disorder can fix itself and that the HPPD visuals are psychotic hallucinations
>Prescribes Aripiprazole (Abilify), and took away the Diazepam, which made HPPD worse, and induced anxiety and hypertension (high blood pressure)
Psychiatrists insist that benzo's are unsafe and should only be used short term due to risk of addiction, despite no history of addiction and the thousands of milligrams worth of any benzodiazepine it would take to actually be fatal.
Big fuck you to every single doctor out there who hasn't done their research and has treated every HPPD patient like this. I have already explained to them that the most effective treatment for HPPD include anti-convulsants, but they do not listen. Instead they want to chuck as many anti-psychotics and anti-depressants at me as possible, hoping that I will come across one that will eventually kill me. These doctors are not here to help, they are here to kill and deny effective treatment. Even if addiction were a problem (which is not if you do not abuse medicaiton), I'd rather be addicted to a drug than have HPPD for the rest of my life. Now I will proceed to seek medication illegally because this medical system has failed me.
I'm still searching for a medication to treat my anxiety problems that won't simultaneously aggravate my HPPD. As many of you know, that is one tough nut to crack. My immediate thoughts:
SSRIs: Seem somewhat effective for my anxiety. Aggravates visuals, had to discontinue. At least HPPD symptoms returned to ''baseline'' upon discontinuation. Benzodiazepines: Greatly attenuates my anxiety (particularly etizolam and clonazepam) and helps HPPD symptoms as well (particularly clonazepam). Very addictive, not a long term solution. I build tolerance to benzodiazepines pretty quickly. Buspirone: Seems too ineffective to be worth it (never actually tried this one) Pregabalin/gabapentin: Seem to have many of the same pitfalls as benzos, plus some extra common side effects(?) Beta blockers: Ineffective in managing my anxiety, since it doesn't primarily manifest with tachycardia, tremors, flushing etc. Atypical antipsychotics: Seems like a dangerous combo w/HPPD (particularly risperidone). Older/atypical antidepressants, such as TCAs: Never tried any of those. Very interested in hearing personal experiences or ideas about any non-SSRI antidepressants useful in treating anxiety, particularly about how they interact with HPPD. Thanks in advance, folks Hope you're feeling all right. Looking forward to hear any and all thought on possible anxiety medications w/HPPD.
I had kind of a failed experiment today. I had soaked some tobacco in Damiana tincture last week, and decided to smoke it today. Apparently, smoking it isn't the best idea. Felt kind of high but good for an hour or so, but thereafter I felt unusually strange and fogged out, and just generally felt like shit. Thus I proceeded to drink coffee in a vain attempt to recuperate somewhat from that. Of course, I just felt worse because of that, so in the end I decided to take some Oxazepam, seeing as the last time I had a benzo was months ago. The first time I took Oxazepam I had 10mg's and thought it was overkill. So today I took 5mg's, and guess what? Overkill. At first I got some heightened anxiety, which smoothed out over time and then I just kind of dazed off slowly, to somewhat of a zombified state I am in now. I've had much worse, but this is tiring as well. Actually I think I'm "coming down" and I'm slowly starting to feel better.
So my question is: Does anyone have any experience with Oxazepam here? And what dosage is most effective for you?
This has only been the second time I have tried it, and it's just too much for me. Perhaps if there's a next time, I'll try 2,5 mg's.. Kind of hard to split a 10mg pill any smaller than that. Just hate the sedation that comes with it..
Has anyone looked into using Huperzine A as an adjunct to HPPD treatment?
It is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (and as such prevents the breakdown of acethylcholine, thus increasing the available acetylcholine). Just as importantly, it is an NMDA antagonist, a class of drugs which have been shown to reduce benzodiazepine dependence, including tolerance and withdrawal symptom severity, something I'm sure would benefit many HPPD'ers.
Note that some NMDA antagonists are well-known dissociatives (such as Ketamine, PCP and DXM), but from what I can gather, it is entirely possible to reap the benefits of NMDA antagonism without experiencing psychotropic effects (please bear in mindt that the three examples mentioned are not purely NMDA antagonists, but have more complex pharmacodynamics, with affinities for several different receptor systems which may all contribute to their unwanted psychotropic effects).
I've collected a few articles on the effect of NMDA antagonists on benzodiazepine dependence, and highlighted some bits pertaining to NMDA antagonist treatment of benzodiazepine dependence in blue. I've also highlighted a few sentences pertaining to treatment of benzodiazepine dependence with AMPA antagonists in red - another area worth investigating further.
Effect of NMDA antagonists on rapid tolerance to benzodiazepines
We have reexamined the effect of NMDA antagonists [(+)MK-801 and ketamine] on rapid tolerance to chlordiazepoxide. (+)MK-801 and ketamine blocked the development of rapid tolerance to chlordiazepoxide, but this effect was dependent on the dose ratio of the NMDA antagonist to that of the benzodiazepine used to produce rapid tolerance. Furthermore, NMDA antagonists blocked both learned and unlearned tolerance to chlordiazepoxide. It appears that in addition to impairment of memory and learning, NMDA antagonists may also influence some other mechanism involved in the production of drug-tolerance.
The NMDA receptor competitive antagonist CPP modulates benzodiazepine tolerance and discontinuation
Benzodiazepine discontinuation is characterized by a syndrome of increased activity and reduced seizure threshold that is similar to effects mediated by the glutamatergic system. To elucidate the involvement of the glutamatergic system in benzodiazepine tolerance and discontinuation, we administered lorazepam, the NMDA antagonist CPP, and the combination of these compounds either concomitantly or consecutively to mice via osmotic pumps and evaluated pentylenetetrazole-induced seizure threshold, open-field activity, and benzodiazepine receptor binding during and after chronic administration. Animals receiving lorazepam alone developed partial tolerance at 7 days and complete tolerance at 14 days to the anticonvulsant effects of lorazepam. This effect was partly attenuated by CPP coadministration with lorazepam. This combination produced only partial tolerance. A reduction in seizure threshold was observed 4 days after discontinuation of lorazepam alone. This effect was abolished by coadministration of CPP with lorazepam and by CPP administration during the withdrawal period. Benzodiazepine binding in most structures examined was significantly reduced at 14 days during chronic lorazepam administration (versus 1 day), and coadministration of CPP did not alter this decrement. After lorazepam discontinuation, binding was increased at 4 and 7 days versus chronically treated animals and versus vehicle within the cerebral cortex. This effect was abolished by coadministration of CPP as well as by CPP administration during the lorazepam withdrawal period. These data support the involvement of the glutamatergic system in benzodiazepine tolerance and discontinuation.
Diazepam dependence prevented by glutamate antagonists
Long-term treatment leads to tolerance to and dependence on benzodiazepines. Abrupt termination of benzodiazepine administration triggers the expression of signs of dependence. Mice withdrawn from chronic treatment with diazepam showed a time-related evolution of anxiety, muscle rigidity, and seizures between days 4 and 21 after treatment discontinuation. A period between withdrawal days 1 and 3 was symptom-free. Surprisingly, during this "silent phase" the susceptibility of mice to alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-tert-butyl-4-isoxazolepropionate (ATPA) and kainate seizures and the magnitude of monosynaptic reflexes mediated by non-N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) mechanisms were enhanced. In apparent contrast, the "active phase", between withdrawal days 4 and 21, was characterized by increased susceptibility to NMDA seizures and enhanced magnitude of polysynaptic reflexes, which are NMDA dependent. Treatment of mice with alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate (AMPA) antagonists 1-(4-aminophenyl)-4-methyl-7,8-methylenedioxy-5H-2,3-benzodiazepine (GYKI 52466) or 2,3-dihydroxy-6-nitro-7-sulfamoylbenzo(f)quinoxaline but not with the NMDA antagonist 3-[(+/-)-2-carboxypiperazin-4-yl]-propyl-1-phosphonate (CPP) during the silent phase prevented signs of dependence. In contrast, treatment with CPP but not with GYKI 52466 during the active phase prevented the symptoms. The development of tolerance to and dependence on diazepam was prevented by concurrent treatment of mice with CPP but was not prevented by GYKI 52466. These data indicate that NMDA-dependent mechanisms contribute to the development of tolerance to diazepam and to the expression of signs of dependence in mice after termination of long-term treatment with diazepam. Nevertheless, the non-NMDA-mediated silent phase is essential for triggering the symptoms. Therefore, AMPA antagonists may offer a therapeutic approach for preventing dependence on benzodiazepines that is an alternative to NMDA antagonism.
If anyone is interested, I'd be more than willing to upload the full texts of the mentioned articles. Also, speculation (as to mechanisms and whatnot) is most welcome! :-)