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My Story (Derealization and Vision Changes) + What Do You All Think?


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Everything changed in my life around december 2010.

I had a severe panic attack in math class while telling my friends about my 'blackout' moment when I first tried weed and blacked out. Now after doing some research I do not know if it was regular marijuana or synthetic marijuana but please continue reading. I started getting sweaty, dizzy, numb, and felt unreal while retelling the story. I now know that I was experiencing symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the ordeal I faced, or so I thought or I was told. 


I was never a big drug user, no lsd, no mushrooms, etc. But I have had sprouts of anxiety my whole life. 

Anyways, days after, I started to develop 'anxiety' and 'panic disorder'. I then started getting 'tinnitus' ( constant ringing in ears), 'Blue field entoptic phenomenon' ( Like seeing tiny white bright dots quickly along squiggly lines in the visual field )  'snow vision' ( snow or television-like static in parts or the whole of their visual fields, especially against dark backgrounds), and some halos during the night time. My vision got so much more blurrier that I ended up having to get glasses. 

All this stuff made my anxiety worse because I didn't know what it was so I was up for many nights because of 'insomnia' for about 3 months. I know I could have died because I stopped eating all together. I literally had no appetite. 

No sleep and eating made me develop ' derealization' so everything became so unreal to me and I wanted to commit suicide so badly to stop the numbness I felt. Everything changed and looked so unreal. I thought people weren't real just things. I began to have severe 'paranoia' and non stop obsessive worrying thoughts that made me feel crazy.

I was scared and alone. My mother didn't help me too much because she would threaten to put me in a mental hospital. All she did was stay in my bed with me at night to help me feel better but I felt so alone the whole time.

I feel like I went through hell on earth. It was the worst feeling I had ever experienced. I didn't leave my house for months as well because I developed 'agoraphobia' so I was scared to be outside and it made me panic a lot.

Anyways... Time has past and I've been through a lot of good and bad things since then. I eat better now, I take omega 3 supplements and vitamins for my health, I stay positive, I've researched and learned a lot about what I went through and I'm able to go out more ( even though sometimes I feel like I'll pass out out of fear, I still force myself to be strong).... I've researched so much that I've come to this website and decided to tell my story to see what yall think. I discredited HPPD because I didn't believe I had all the full blown visual distortions.


I mean the number one thing that bothers me still until this day is derealization and its been a long time. Maybe its my anxiety feeding more into it but I feel as though colors are different shade and sometimes my auditory perception feels like I'm high, like everything is amplified. I still have the BFEP and I still have the Halo's. Every once and a while I will get image burn that lasts for 1-2 seconds but that maybe is just my anxiety?? 

I'm happy I could share my story with you guys. Hopefully you can give me some feedback on what it was I went through and how to deal with anxiety and fear. I just want to live peacefully..


Thank You and Much Love,




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Hope your doing better nowadays.


Only thing I can suggest if you haven't looked into it is to try and take care of the anxiety if you can. If you haven't go see a therapist and try some different therapies from CBT to EMDR. 


Also try meditating as follow members here have done so and had some success. 


As far as my opinion, I guess it maybe hppd but it also might just be a severe stress reaction. So if I had to choose between HPPD or not I'd say No. I came here asking the same thing pretty much and they all said it was mild hppd/or they didn't know. Well my derealization certainly doesn't feel mild.. it actually sucks. Just keep your head up you can adapt.

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Hello, melissa


first of all, sorry for that you are being, I've got hppd too and it's really a shit,  specially in first months...


If do you want to differenciate panic/anxiety diseases with HPPD you can see that video, palinopsia its vey common in HPPD (trails)


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Yea I rarerly have trails or afterimages during the day. Sometimes I get negative afterimages but rarely. The only thing that bothers me is the bfep cause its a constant reminder... And the halos at night, also the derealization makes me panic. I just wish i knew what it was... Anxiety or hppd or idk. Thanks for that videp but i rarely see those and i will try and start to meditatw

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  • 1 month later...

Your story is pretty much the same as mine. Also developed worsened eye vision, and tinnitus (shit!), but no after images, geometrical shapes. Do have visual snow and some minor other visual disturbances. And DP/DR of course, which is with tinnitus the most annoying.  I started December 2011 on this fun road trip. Please tell me where are you from and how old are you? Did you only use cannabis.


I think it is very likely that you (and I) both do not suffer from HPPD, but from a predisposition to severe anxiety disorder, which can explain all the symptoms by itself. HPPD from weed is extremely unlikely according to Dr. Abraham, yet we can easily confuse our symptoms with it, because it has so much in common.

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  • 6 months later...

UPDATE ** I started seeing streaking lights at night (I am amazed cause someone else just posted this a few days ago) whenever I blink I see a streak of light that connects me to the light. ?? Does anybody else have this. I dont have trails from lights but these streak whenever I blink.


I've researched it and people with anxiety and LASIK surgery have this problem. It just sucks cause I have it during the day. Also I notice my negative after images more now. Granted they only last for a few seconds I see them in the landscape while im driving or of my computer screen. -- it seems my vision started getting worse about 6 months off of lexapro which I was on for about 2 years. My anxiety has gotten better, haven't had a panic attack in a long time however I often feel very fatigued... and derealized.


Does this sound like hppd to you guys?? What kind of like streaks does everyone have. 


I went to the opthamologist -- who checked my eyes and said they were flawless, however my eye vision got worse and the different glasses maybe what causes the light streaks. ... 

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  • 5 months later...

Hello .. anybody else have intense like head pressure.. is this because of my allergies... i have an itchy throat as well?? Going to make an appointment to see an allergist, have had this pressure off and on now for almost 8-9 months. Maybe I have lyme disease who knows.


Thank You..


Anybody else had symptoms come on after 4 years or after getting off of an SSRI? 

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  • 1 year later...

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