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Need Your Input !! HPPD or Anxiety ?? Or both??

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I just wanted to get a couple of more experienced members take on what has happened to me over the past years.


Just to clarify:


Drugs That I have Done: 

Aderall -- Would Use it to Study and Sometimes when I used to go out. Once or twice every month

Weed-- Probalby once every 2 weeks From age 18-20

Alcohol- Would drink a lot and mix with weed

1/2 pill of ecstasy-- Didn't really feel much

Smoked Synthetic Weed-- 2/3 Times and My buddy had a trip on it and I had lasting anxiety from it for about a week but that was it. 




What Happened:


After My buddies bad synthetic weed drug trip, (even though I didn't have a bad trip, just anxiety/panic), I would get extremely anxious when hung over and couldn't smoke weed anymore.


Age 20 -- Then after about 9 months, I took aderall to study and BAM I had this wicked panic attack after psyching myself out about permanent psychosis of marijuana, synthetic weed permanent effects because I was thinking about my buddies bad drug trip and something bad might have happened to me.


My symptoms: (for the past 3 years) 

I see squiggly moving shooting stars in my vision and this is very hard to ignore. I see it in the sky mainly and on ALL light colored walls. There just these silver shooting things moving around.


I have some static vision at night time, but it's not that bothersome unless I psyche myself out


Halo's around street lights at night time, and around headlights of cars sometimes. Slight trails and slight afterburn on images.


Worst System: DEREALIZATION-- where I feel like im slightly stoned. I think when I wear my glasses it freaks me out too much. Seeing things to sharp. 



I've had this for the past 3 years so what do you guys think it is. HPPD?? Anxiety?? PTSD?? 


Any thoughts would be appreciated


Just a heads up note, I went to psychiatrist and he said it maybe anxiety but doesn't think it's HPPD after looking at my past drug use...


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I would say you have what I would call pre-hppd


I had very similar symptoms after i first did lsd... They caused me some anxiety, but didn't really affect my life on a day to day basis, like full hppd does.


I would strongly suggest never doing any drugs again, you never know which experience will take you from where you are now to the living hell that is full blown hppd.


I hope this doesn't sound like I am belittling your problems

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No and thank you for the input.


Yea I haven't done any drugs in about 3 years and it's roughly stayed the same, so its either that or some sort of high state anxiety. 


I've talked tos ome people where this went away with zoloft etc, but mine kind of stayed the same.


I'm glad you can be productive and functional and I am working on that. 

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Some symptoms got better (depression mainly) but generally it stays the same... crazy visuals, feel like i am tripping, anxiety.


It has stayed the same for 19 years now.

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That feeling like there is going to happen its baaaad. I was at a psychologist today and se said observe your sensations without a judgement and it Will get better. She said its going to be hard. It works with other People, some with other problems like chronic pain or whatever.

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Since some have developed HPPD with just taking drugs once, the doctor isn't correct is saying it isn't HPPD based on your having a relatively light drug history.  It doesn't require having a history of LSD. 


Also, Halos, 'sunburn' and trails are not symptoms of anxiety.  Some of the other things described can be from hyperfocus/hypervigilance that characterize anxiety.


Very common with HPPD is anxiety.  Few can tolerate weed without problems.  And many (most?) have problems with alcohol bothering them ... typically anxiety flairs the next day.


Seems you have a mild case but it is persistent - over 3 years now.  Or as Jay described, pre-HPPD.



All that aside, you (and everyone) does well to address anxiety.  Chronic anxiety make it worse and certainly makes life worse ... who needs that!


So learning techniques to control your thought and reactions is beneficial.  And there is no point worrying.  Just enjoy life.


Did you ever try medications?  Obviously Aderall isn't something you should mess with ... at least at whatever dose you took and felt worse.

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So you feel like you've been tripping for 19 years?? Like that panicy feeling?? 


Or does that come and go at will. 


That is 24/7, with the exception of the times I take Klonopin or get drunk, which helps make me feel a bit less trippy.


Day to day though, it is the feeling of having taken around 1/2 an average strength tab (but with none of the fun, insightful feelings)


The anxiety and panic can fluctuate though, depending on where I am and what I am doing.

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Yes I have tried medications before -- took klonopin for a month but didn't do much for my anxiety.


Tried lexapro for about 1.5 years and it did a good enough job, but the visuals where still there yet I simply did not care about em.




I have a feeling a maybe that it's a  combination of both (mild hppd + anxiety) or just hypersensitivity. I mean the only time I get after burn is when I really stare at something and move my head away, and even then it only lasts for a few seconds. 2ndly the only time I see trails is when cars (headlights) are moving by at night on the freeway. If cars just slowly move by me at night I really don't see it at all. I don't see trails on just lights, but If I move my cell phone at night I see a streak of light from the screen that follows it, (which maybe normal but anxiety makes me think more about it).


As for the streaks (few), (halos around streetlights), bfep, It may just be extreme sensitivty and a thin retina + migraine. My girlfriend and a few of my friends say they see halos around street lights at night and I wear glasses and so do they, they just never gave it much thought. 


I did have anxiety as a young child (separation and such and had my first panic attack when i was around 6-7 years old) 


The only thing that bothers me are these 1000X silver nats in my vision that show up from anything from my computer monitor to the sky, to the tv, to a white wall.


I don't see anything morphing into anything,or sliding or anything of that sort.


Sometimes I have like balls of colors come into my vision but that is probalby normal too. 


The thing I don't understand is it all came on about 8-9 months after the last time I smoked herb, from having anxiety about an exam and studying (low does of aderall) and I just got a panic attack after psyching myself out and thinking about the bad experience to much, after that  I had constant anxiety and these visual symptoms came on...


All I know is I've been told it's Mild-hppd,PTSD,panic disorder,anxiety etc. etc.


The one thing that WE all need to work on is these visuals CAN'T/WILL not hurt you. Why fear them. Work on your anxiety and it will all work itself out. That is what I am in the process of doing.



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