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HPPD without anxiety


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Hey everyone,

It's almost been 2 months without any improvement on the visuals. I basicly got all symptoms you can think of except for the most common one which seems to be anxiety. I can't feel anxious or panic. It's extremly hard to cry too. I've only cried or felt panic when I was using small pieces of Ativan. Thought it should be the other way around..

So I've been completely sober from all drugs and sugar for a month now. I live outside of a small town kind of in the woods so I'm quite isolated here except for when my girlfriend visits. I question myself all the time why she's still around because I''m not that fun anymore.

My problem is that on the days that passes me by, I'm either feeling completely empty. No feelings for anyone and just doesn't care, without any anxiety or regret. I mean I obviously regret getting HPPD but I can't feel it. Comfortably numb you may call it but It's terrible.

On other days (30-40%) I feel kind of high, waking up with an extreme body load. Almost got the feeling of being coked up. This can last the whole day which feels so weird but good in a strange way. I mean how the fuck can I feel good when I barely can laugh anymore. It's just this buzz that makes me sleep super-good as well. I can probably sleep 20 hours a day if I wanted too and my brain would enjoy it. Some nights are hell though.

Can anyone relate to HPPD without anxiety? And having these weird good feelings? Then other days being completely empty and having a hard time to even get out of the bed.

I'm thinking of trying out Wellbutrin but that combinated with my "high" days could get crazy I guess. On my non-buzzy-feeling days I've got no motivation, no lust for life which is ruining my relationships and mind even more so I need something to get out of it. As I experience no anxiety I get quite apathic. Anxiety is atleast a feeling that can force you to do something instead of being a damn vegetable all day.

Did an EEG last week, but I guess nothing will show there so I'm not sure how I'll get my hands on Keppra either. The queues for a PET-scan here is up to 3 months and the days are long while the world is passing me by.

Thanks for your inputs and opinions,

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You're might be in the adaptive stress phase. Your body has basically pulled the hand brake to adapt and avoid further damage. The cortisol hormone (the "brake" stress hormone) is quite high now, too long exposure might damage some parts of the brain.

The "high" days are spikes in neural activity, HPPD flare up basically.

For me those days feel like I'm on a low dose of psychedelics, I also felt the same once when I developed mild serotonin poisoning.

I rarely have such rollercoaster swings now, thanks to the effectiveness of my current medications.

Wellbutrin can counterbalance these "spikes" a bit, by increased dopamine reuptake.

But Keppra is the better option of these two meds, since pulls a gentle brake on all neural overactivity. It can be quite hard to get prescribed right now, the best bet is to do some neural scans and get Keppra approved by an neurologist.

PET-scan seems to be interesting, maybe it'll reveal something?

I've done two EEG's, came out clean as they should be, otherwise it would be pure epilepsy causing the visuals.

My MRI scan found scarring at the right ventricle, which means I could be at an increased risk for getting stroke.

I have not done an QEEG, which is an extra precise EEG. In such a scan, you can see the discrete deviation in brain waves/neural activity which can clinically prove HPPD.

They have QEEG machinery in the Uppsala and Lund university hospitals, but getting such an examination is close to impossible. However, try to get remitted to any of them anyway!

You should rest and let your body repair what it can for now at least. You might have a delayed shock from HPPD onset, which your mind tries hold the defenses against. You might get anxiety later on, if you don't allow yourself to rest up.

Hopefully it doesn't go to burnout..

More on the whole science of stress phases and symptoms here:



Consider this and discuss all issues further with your doctor..

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Thanks for your reply.


Yeah, that's what I've been thinking about, that it might lead to anxiety. But then I might get some other feelings back as well I suppose.

Right now I don't care about the visuals even though I got severe palinopsia and can't go out in the daylight. I don't have anxiety and it's easy to fall asleep. But this emptyness and dissociation makes nothing worth while.

I guess it can be linked to depersonalisation but when I compare how I feel to others, I seem to lack a lot of symptoms when it comes to it. I don't see myself from a 3rd perspective, or feel unreal just emotionally detached, slightly physical.


Yes I agree, it's kind of like a low dose of psychedelics, but I like it, though it's making me very unstable. Feeling high one day and mood is good. Then the other day completely empty and hates everything. Going bipolar god damn it.

That's great that you seem to have some kind of success with your meds. I'm going to call my neurologist tomorrow and see if it's possible to try it out and I'd like him to refer me to Linköpings university for a PET-scan. If I won't be allowed for a trial I'm probably going to try Wellbutrin out. I hope it doesn't interfere with any kind of eventual healing.


Why a PET-scan would be my choice is due to the latest Visual Snow Syndrome research where they used this technique:


It was quite hilarious as I did my first EEG last week, I asked the doctor about a QEEG. She had no clue at all of what it was and smiled at me asking me if I'd read about it online! Uhm.. yea? It exists in Sweden too doesn't it?.. No answer to that.

Well thanks to you now I atleast know it does and where to find it. I need to get diagnosed in some kind of way in hope to get some kind of insurance to be able to move on with my life.

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Indeed, getting diagnosed properly is the best way to pin-point the issues and alleviate, control them, or at best, cure them.

It's damn frustrating, and a horrible stress factor, to walk around knowing what the problems are but not getting recognition and treatment for them..

It'll be a relief when you get your diagnoses on paper, no matter what they might be!

I wish you the best of luck! :-)

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hi, yes, i have hppd without anxiety

at first, was very anxious, because i was the idea of lose my head

after leaving the antipsychotics and other remedy, as 2 months (I felt dead inside) and large rebound effect that this caused, I had no anxiety, and this was in June

i only have a DR/DP, strongest visual snow, "morphing" visuals in the perifery vison(alleatory, like salvia), palinopsia and "ghosting"

the must horrible thing is the DR

I can not smoke marijuana for my visual trigger and was practically blind of the visual, really trippy, i realy like an autenthic schizoprenic


in resume, not have anxiety, and my dr/dp are same like before


hi, from argentina

ah, i have 17 years old

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Hello Argentino,


Great to know I'm not alone about that. I wonder whether it's good or not though. I mean anxiety is damn frustrating but it feels like both of us feel quite numb inside. I think that if you have anxiety then maybe you can have happier moments as well and isn't totally turned off emotionally. Skip the anti-psychotics and weed I would say. I've got a lot of your symptoms as well and nothing is improving so far. Hang in there!

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Sorry for hijacking the thread, but I found the one chart that was linked very interesting. After 10 months of suffering, though without fatigue as a symptom at all, I suddenly started getting pretty severe fatigue. I've now been suffering from this for about a month, and it seems to be slowly improving. Can this be explained in terms of stress-response?

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SFT:  Yes it does sound a lot like a stress-response.. Like you've been on full speed, and then the hand-brake is pulled. From stressed out and anxious, to numbness and fatigue..

It's very good that you're slowly improving, that means your stress curve is beginning to normalize. Allow yourself to rest it out, keep away from stress triggers (your response will be to get worse fatigue now) and you might recover in a not too distant future..

That it's been 11 months and your improving, is a good prognosis! Because, the longer these "stress-curves" last, the chances of recovery gets slimmer. 11 months seems like a very long time, but the body is able to take a hell of beating before going over the tipping point..


Wish you the best on the road to recovery!

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Thank you man. 


For around 9-10 months I felt as if I was on a stimulant 24/7, even while sleeping. Still, my condition was very very good from around month 7-9. Now it seems the hand-brake is pulled as you say, though sleep itself is still sub-par. Is this curve a one-time thing, or could it continue to fluctuate back and forth between over stimulation and fatigue?


I found that Swedish page you linked helpful as well. Do you have any more information about this? I can read Swedish if that's needed. I'd like to learn everything about how the process is thought to work from the alarm phase to homeostasis. 


Edit: I was also anxious in the first phase, but more anhedonic and apathetic now. 

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It can fluctuate a lot, depending on what level of stress you get bombarded with. Gas and brake can even begin coming at once in the worst burnout phase, as neither the levels of the "gas" stress hormones (adrenaline, noradrenaline) or the "brake" stress hormones (cortisol) never drops down. This can lead to permanent damage to some parts of the brain, and the rest of the body as well. Even deaths have occured in previously healthy young people with far gone burnout syndrome. Not to be taken lightly in other words..

There's a book by a Swedish scientist, specialized on stress which is both easy read and has a lot of examples and illustrations. It was released a couple of years ago but is still very up to date.

Aleksander Perski - Ur balans: om stress, utbrändhet och vägar tillbaka till ett balanserat liv


Aleksander Perski - Out of balance: about stress, burnout and roads back to a balanced life


Info on the scientist, there's an "in English" button in the upper right corner.


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