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3 Months In....


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Hi everyone.


I've spent the past three months searching through the forum for as much information as I could find about what I've been going through. Figured I'd finally make an account and introduce myself.


I got what I think is a fairly mild case of HPPD in June after ingesting psilocybin mushrooms. I had smoked marijuana for about two years before this, and I'd tried mushroom chocolates once about a year before the onset of my HPPD.


I attend university. During the school semester's the only drugs I used were (a lot) of caffeine and alcohol. I only smoked when I was back home. Having very much enjoyed the trip I had on mushroom chocolates (and another mushroom trip I had over Spring break earlier this year) I was looking forward to dabbling in psychedelics in earnest over the summer.


It turns out that wasn't for me. I acquired more mushrooms and two tabs of what I was told was LSD (don't think it was - some research chemical - probably 2c-e) at the beginning of the summer. I took one tab of the pseudo-acid. Had a great time. Took the other tab two weeks later. Even better.


Then things went askew. I had a 2.5 gram trip with one of my best friends two weeks after taking the 2nd tab of pseudo-acid. The first two and half hours of the trip were fantastic, but then things changed. We had been smoking week while tripping - a first for me - and I think it made things too intense. It might have triggered some paranoia in me. When I got up to use the bathroom at my friend's house I felt out of control. My vision wasn't continuous - it was coming in via delayed single frames. My sense of touch was delayed by about 5 seconds. I began to have my first panic attack.


It was the first bad trip I'd had, and words can't describe the hell it was. I'm sure anyone that has had a bad trip can relate.


I got through the night by watching the minutes ever-so-slowly inch forward on my friend's digital clock. I wasn't so out of it that I had lost my sense of time completely. I remembered when i had eaten the mushrooms so I new roughly when I would come down. I felt shaken the next day, but I got through the night. I felt stronger for it.


Then I got it into my head to do something very stupid. Very stupid. I intended to continue to use psychedelics. I remembered a quote I'd read from George Harrison. He said how he'd had a bad trip once and became afraid of psychedelic substances; however, he overcame his fear by having another positive trip. He confronted his fear and prevented any boogeymen from haunting him.


I was inspired. I wanted to do this. I wanted to confront my fears.


I was overconfident and stupid.


I took what I thought was a very small dosage of mushrooms - less than a gram - a week after my first bad trip. It proved to be too high a dose. As I began to trip I realized I didn't want to trip or feel that way, but it was too late. I had already consumed the mushrooms. I was stuck on the roller coaster ride.


It wasn't a pleasant trip, but it wasn't as bad as the previous bad trip. I kept myself as calm as I could and got through - vowing that I was done with psychedelic substances.


Too late.


The next day I was tired. I hadn't slept much the night before. It's always difficult for me to fall asleep following a trip - even a day trip. I was fine though. That night I went to a fire and hung out with some friends. Sober fun. 


Then I went home. Before I went to bed I took a shower. This was when everything went to hell. Maybe because it was so late and I was sleep deprived - maybe because I had tripped one too many times in too small a time frame - but I felt off. While I showered I felt slightly trippy again. This made me panic.


I got out of the shower and took some of the medication I had been prescribed for anxiety the year before (side note: I had been dealing with small amounts of anxiety - no panic attacks previously - and depression since high school). Seroquel. Stuff I hated for making my brain foggy and work slow, but also stuff that had - without fail - knocked me out. My psychiatrist had told me I could take it as a mild sleep aid.


It didn't put me to sleep though. It made me feel more awake. The areas of my brain that I could feel stimulated when tripping all began to tingle again. I began to shake and convulse. I was having another panic attack. All this happened as I lay in bed. Eventually, after an hour or two I fell asleep. 


I figured things would be better in the morning. They were not. I felt just as awful - out of it. I was afraid I had serotonin syndrome. I drove myself to the ER - more stupidity on my part. There, the doctors stared at me like I had three heads, angrily lectured me, and treated me like trash. They hooked me up to an IV and gave me ativan - a benzo - to calm me down. 


Ultimately, after running some tests on me, they sent me home. They couldn't find anything wrong with me aside from my personal testimonial - which they weren't inclined to lend much credence since I was just some loser in their eyes. The doctor prescribed me four ativan in case I continued to have issues.


The next few weeks were hell. Everything felt wrong. Everything looked surreal - flat. I was depersonalizing and having a difficult time maintaining a continuous sense of self. I'd walk someplace in my house and then completely forget where I was, who I was, or what I was looking for. There was one night - within a week of going to the ER - when I completely derealized. It felt like everything was a dream I was passively watching. I've never been that terrified while sober. Since then I've (luckily) not fully derealized again. Instead I just feel...oddly unteathered from reality.


All of this was accompanied by a tremendous amount of anxiety. I couldn't sit still. I was afraid to go to bed. I couldn't snooze in the morning because within minutes of gaining consciousness I'd feel anxious again. The Saturday night after going to the ER, I took an ativan before going to bed. Two hours later I woke up shaking - having another panic attack. My body should not have reacted that way. No one I have talked to knows why it did. Since then I've been too terrified to take another ativan.


I slowly developed visual snow and slight afterimages to go along with the flattened vision I was experiencing. Sometimes patterned walls would appear to bleed into themselves as if I was tripping. Other times the room would seem to breath like I was coming up. Sometimes when i looked at text on a white computer screen it would appear to wave back and forth. Sometimes, when I closed my eyes the visual snow patterns I'd see would appear to bleed into themselves. It was torture. I didn't want to see the world around me because it felt strange, but I couldn't escape that surrealness by closing my eyes. I felt trapped.


Briefly, I pondered suicide to escape what I was feeling. I probably would have tried to take my life if I hadn't tried to twice before during the previous year. I'd been to those dark places before and come back. It wasn't fun either time. 


I went to see therapists and psychiatrists - none of which were any help. The therapists wanted to frame me as a drug addict - make me feel guilty. I decided that was not a positive way to integrate my experiences into my psyche so I stopped going to see them. I didn't need any more negativity. I often felt like I knew more about HPPD than the psychiatrists I was talking to - having to explain the condition to them. No help there. 


My relationship with my parents was sorely tested. They, understandably, did not react in a graceful manner. My dad was more interested in expressing the anger he was feeling than supporting his son who he knew was in great distress. My mom - having never done any drugs other than alcohol - tried her best to support me but simply did not have any understanding at all of what I was going through. 


More than anything though, I was confronted with the horrific realization that everything I was going to have to deal with everything I was experiencing alone. My parents couldn't help me this time. It forced me to grow up.


During this early time I began obsessively reading these forums, bluelight, shroomery - anything I could to gather information. I decided to commit myself to doing everything I could to aid any possible recovery I might have. I stopped taking any and all drugs - psychedelics, weed, alcohol, coffee, cold medicine, OTC painkillers, everything. I committed myself to eating healthier - more fruits and vegetables - and to exercising 5 to 6 days a week. 


I tried various supplements with varying success. I tried fish oil and flax oil, but both gave me throbbing migraines (which I apparently get now). Eventually, I discovered magnesium - truly a godsend. It helps me relax and makes my visual snow more fine - more easily ignored.


So that became my summer. Recovery. And here I am, three months later, at the beginning of another semester of college. 


I feel infinitely better than I did during those first few weeks. Very little anxiety. I haven't had a panic attack since that night on the ativan. The walls no longer breath. Things no longer look 2D. Patterns rarely bleed into themselves anymore (though a rock wall did today). The bleeding patterns when I close my eyes have almost faded away completely. The visual snow is still there, but it's much less distracting than it used to be. I still have moments when I feel unteathered - slightly derealized - but these moments are happening less and less, and there are moments now when I truly can forget about everything that's happened to me and truly feel normal. 


All of which makes everything sound a little more positive than it is. Like I mentioned earlier, I get mild to decent migraines every so often now. There are still moments when I'm overwhelmed by regret and wish I could rewind time or just feel normal again. I continue to feel slightly off, I continue to remain sober (which often leaves me feeling alienated within the college social scene), and I have a raging case of tinnitus at the moment (I don't know if it's in any way related to HPPD - could it?), but I keep on keeping on. Hopefully, I'll continue feeling better.


Anyway, that's my story. Sorry it was so long. Hopefully there aren't a ton of typos. I didn't really intend to write that much. It just felt very cathartic to let everything out. 


I'm coming here for perspective and support, because - often - I'm still full of doubt regarding the possibility of my recovery. Based on my timetable of symptoms, does it seem like I will make a full recovery?


I know that's the million dollar question that everyone with HPPD would give anything to have answered - and I know it's impossible to know - but I figured I'd ask anyway.


I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you.

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  • 5 months later...

same thing happened to me i had a bad trip on 25-i . thats what fucked up my psych. a week later i took lsd. i was going crazy until i took a dab then i was back in reality. then 2 months later i took 3.5 of mushies which felt like 10 grams cuz i was derealized in my apartment pacing backand forth without weed THE WHOLE TRIP. 17 minutes after taking the mushies i was taking a shit and my arm looked wierd as fuck i was derealized. the next 6 hours were living hell. fucking hell. almost called 911 even though i was in my apartment alone. 


i felt like in cartoonland the next day 


a few days later i smoked weed and thats when the visual static and visuals started. 


weed makes it better for me, but when the hangover happens i get derealized and suicidal. 


do meditation and yoga for mind strength training, even though being in the moment might not be so fun with floaters. 


i notice that its usually a bad trip, then a few more drug uses, then its hppd. downhill from there? idk. hopefully i quit weed and wont have to find out

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