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Hi again. Flare temporary or permanent?


mycall81
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I wonder if I can pick your brain. It seems like you all have some sort if grasp on what improves/exacerbates people's symptoms.

I'm a 33 yo, 15 year "recovered" HPPDer. No specific identifiable trip that caused it all those years ago. I did LSD ~ 4 times, ecstasy ~ 5 times, mushrooms twice, and smoked a lot of weed before it onset. I recall 1 very bad trip on mushrooms but my symptoms did not start right afterwards. I do remember taking a gravity bong hit that caused a panic attack and legit, immediate flashback that may have triggered everything. Who knows?!

Anyways, I was initially treated with Klonopin and SSRIs 15+ years ago. It seemed to help, so I went off to college and figured my problem would eventually resolve. I continued smoking pot a ton throughout college and for years afterwards. I did have occasional phases of despair and hyper focus on my visuals and derealization, but all in all, I was stable on Paxil, alcohol, and pot.

I graduated from college, time passed and I grew a bit stagnant with my life. Was working in a restaurant despite my college degree, partying all night, and just going nowhere. I abstained from any hallucinogen use by the way. Just smoked loads of weed and drank.

I decided that weed wasn't helping my lack of motivation, so I quit, cold turkey. I focused my sites on grad school, took my prerequisites, interviewed, and was accepted. I moved to a new city, met all new friends, and became a professional in the medical field.

There were times that I resorted to focusing on the symptoms that used to plague me so much (trails, floaters, negative afterimages). This was usually when I was very anxious about a clinical rotation or something, but it would pass with no scone thought after a week or two. I was taking a dose of Paxil 15 mg. When I was VERY anxious, I would have my psychiatrist Rx me some 0.5 mg Klonopin to take as needed, but this was infrequent.

I have been working for the past 2 years and have had minimal focus on my visual symptoms. It has been as though they weren't even noticeable unless I actively searched for them. Occasional I would obsess over my floaters, but otherwise, all was stable. Felt calm. Considered myself "cured".

Things changed about 2-3 months ago.

I had been dealing with an "on again, off again" long distance relationship that caused a ton of stress in my life. I was not eating, not sleeping. I was obsessing on social media, constantly asking friends for advice, thinking of the worst case scenario. That lasted for about 2 months. I resorted to taking Klonopin ocasionally to help fall asleep. I probably took 0.25 to 0.5 mg every third night for a month. It definitely helped. The entire time I was dealing with the break up, I didn't ever dwell on visual issues.

Things calmed down with my anxiety but I was still beside myself about the girl. During Christmas time, while home with family and old friends, I was having some drinks and decided that I'd join my friends in a joint. It had been 8 years since I'd smoked pot. It was fine. Didn't have anxiety or anything. Felt fine the next day. A few days later, another group of friends were smoking, and I figured, "screw it", I'll smoke again. Again, no big deal. Felt fine afterwards. A couple days later, I smoked a third time. This time I was very high. Didn't panic or anything, but needed to go straight to sleep. I remember waking the next day a bit foggy, in fact, for a few days I felt regret for smoking and found myself dwelling on it, dissecting how I felt and if it caused any changes. I didn't notice any immediate alterations or exacerbations to my visual symptoms.

That was 3 months ago. I told myself I would never smoke again because I felt a bit of brain fog, perhaps some depersonalization, but nothing really visually disturbing. I did however hit a joint 1 more time while on a ski trip. Again, I didn't notice any immediate changes to my vision, at least not any severe ones. Maybe some poor night vision.

2 months ago, I got real drunk and passed out and felt what seemed like CEVs with swirlin geometric patterns which I can never remember having. Since then, I have felt increasingly more spaced out, staring beyond objects, and experiencing pressure in my head. Understandably, I have grown hyper aware of all these things and began looking for visual issues. I see floaters constantly, enough to really affect my work. I see negative afterimages MUCH more readily. I notice trails off of most things now, especially when looking for them.

My biggest issue is that I have a daily headache that comes and goes. I still have a pressure in my head and I feel just out of it. Headlights are INSANELY bright and starbursting more than I have ever noticed. Glare KILLS my eyes. I even noticed a few objects wavering when I stare at them. These symptoms all seem to be worsening despite no recent alcohol or pot.

I apologize for such long story, but I thought it necessary to give u my background.

My question is this...have you heard of weed causing this intense of a recurrence of HPPD symptoms? I can't for the life of me imagine that smoking weed a few times would cause such a drastic shift in my perception. It is affecting every aspect of my life. I am obsessing over it, thinking that I just put myself back 8 years because I was stupid. Ive heard weed can exacerbate symptoms. Does this mean temporarily? Permanently? If only temporary, how long have you heard it takes to normalize??

I have a history of migraine with aura and wonder if this may be some form of persistent migraine aura like visual snow, although, I don't have too much static compared to those folks. When I obsess over it on forums, I convince myself that this is permanent.

I see Dr. Abraham occasionally. He believes this is due to weed of course and doesn't have a crystal ball to determine if this will improve.

I thought my shit was under control. To the point where I didn't even notice it. Now I'm a basket case. I take Paxil 15 mg still. Haven't had a Klonopin for over a month. I'd rather avoid taking again unless necessary. I wonder if having taking a few of those added to this recurrence. People would say the stress of the break up contributed, but I had no focus on visual symptoms when dealing with that.

Again, sorry for such a novel. I am in need of some tried and true guidance at the moment. Needless to say, I'm done with weed.

Thank you for your time.

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Probably a combination of stress, alcohol, weed and what sounds like a mindset to dwell on, and look for, symptoms.

 

I rarely say this here, but this might be an occasion where using klonopin (sparingly) might get you out of this... Just to try and shift your mindset back to not noticing the issues as much.

 

re: light sensitivity, I would try wearing sunglasses as much as possible. Even in the house while watching tv or using the computer... Works wonders for me, no headaches or sensitivity any more.

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My light sensitivity went away after about the first 10 months

 

Anyone??
Very concerned.
Has never been this bad.
Anyone with concurrent migraines?
Anyone had their light sensitivity, especially to glare and headlights, go away???
They are triggering immediate headaches.

 

My light sensitivity went away after the first 10 months

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