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HPPD since childhood?


SeeingStars
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Hi there. Due to a messed up childhood situation that I won't detail, I ended up being exposed to chloroform pretty systematically for some time. I don't know how early it started, but it lasted years, and then abruptly ended when I was six years old.

Hallucination (brightly colored flashes, black shadowy "flashes" in peripheral vision, visual snow on neutral backdrops, buzzing gold haze, floating colored blobs) has been such a normal feature of my life that I never even bothered to question it most of the time. In fact, until I was in middle school, I even thought everyone hallucinated, I thought it was just normal. When I realized I was on my own with this one, I sort of just shrugged and didn't think about it much. I'm so used to the colors and flashes that I can pretty much ignore them most of the time (unless I'm extra sleep deprived or stressed). I did not even link it to the exposure to drugs until later, when I became interested in why I seem to have this hallucinatory tendency that others do not seem to have.

I pretty much ignored my hallucinations for over a quarter of a century. I am finally more interested in them now that I've been dealing with and processing my traumatic past. I was surprised to learn today that there's a diagnosable disorder associated with this lasting drug effect, and even more surprised to learn that extreme stress and dissociation seems to be associated with it. I do have the stress and dissociation too, but I assumed it had more to do with my PTSD than with these random visual disturbances I've comfortably lived with my whole life.

Not sure I would be diagnosed with HPPD… I certainly have the persistent hallucination, but it doesn't bother me much, and that seems to be a key feature of the "disorder." In any case, I'm interested to know what you all think. Thanks in advance.

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I'm sorry to hear that seeing stars I too have horrible hideous visuals that haunt and taunt me every day.. There is a lot of testimonial experiences in regards to pharmaceutical drugs and natural on here from peeps that have a practical view as well as a good under standing of the pros and cons. I'm just starting to dive into it myself while learning all about it. I don't have much experience with it yet but I can recommend a few good fellas who do.. Visual, Onedayiwillsailagain, StateofRegret, and probably lots more. I will soon but I don't want to give u advice yet in that area.. I'll see u on the forum and wish u well. Hppd24years

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Kudos to you for dealing with your situation, SeingStars :)

It's hard to tell if what you're going through is pathophysiologically similar to HPPD - the speculated mechanism of action of chloroform certainly differs drastically from the usual drugs which cause HPPD (the "psychedelics", the 5HT2A-agonists). However, some people are known to suffer HPPD-like symptoms induced by a plethora of drug and non-drug factors - and they sometimes benefit from "HPPD medication" anyway. Look at Visual, his symptoms were caused by environmental toxins, but he still benefits from some medications otherwise used for HPPD. :)

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Thanks for the replies, and for the compassion. Means a lot!

 

The thing is, and I almost feel guilty for saying this (seeing as how many people suffer), the hallucinations don't actually bother me. 99% of the time it's a non-issue, and once in a while it's a very slight annoyance. Yes, they exist, and they are pretty much constant. But, because they don't cause any distress, I'm not sure I'm interested in trying to medicate it away.

 

Perhaps I should not be posting on this forum at all, as it seems that the real defining trait of HPPD is to be distressed (by the hallucinations)--and I'm pretty fine with it all.

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It's often a question of intensity (and of desensitization as well, I guess). I had moderate HPPD for a few years, the visuals didn't bother me significantly either. Once it got worse (continued drug use) it started bothering me somewhat.

Coexisting disorders (anxiety, panic disorder, DP/DR etc) make it harder to deal with the feeling of "unreality" that the visuals often create.

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