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I've had HPPD for three months, I've made progress, but I'm still looking for answers


K.B.Fante
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Hello everyone, my name is K.B. and I'm very glad I've finally found a place to talk about HPPD!

 

I have some questions that I'm sure many of you have had before, and I'll get to those shortly, however I feel I should first give you a brief rundown of my story...

 

I'm 26. I've done plenty of drugs in my lifetime, however at the time of contracting HPPD I wasn't doing hardly any -- not even drinking alcohol at a very regular pace. That said, I did smoke lots of weed in high school and when I turned 21 (legal drinking age in the States) I pretty much became a full-blown alcoholic for about six month, drinking myself to sleep on a near nightly basis. Throughout my life, often while smoking weed, I've had some form of visual snow although it's never been anything too intense -- just enough to notice it really. I've also seen "tracers," however these have mostly been dark scratches on my eye and not wands of bright color as I experience now. Additionally, I have a history of mental illness. I had pretty severe depression between about 17 and 20 and from 21 on that has turned into anxiety. My family also has a long history of mental illness including depression, anxiety, alcoholism, bi-polar disorder and various forms of psychosis.

 

As for my trip...

 

I had done acid twice before, mushrooms probably a handful of time, lots of cocaine, ecstasy, pills, etc. I've also had some bad experiences with some of these drugs (mostly due to anxiety) but never anything that serious. I had one bad trip on mushrooms when I was about 16, but again, I was over it pretty quickly.

 

When I took acid this time around I only had one hit, but I soon found out how powerful even one hit of acid can be. It was intense from the start. I was laughing my ass off but I also had to sort of monitor my mental state as I could feel myself slipping into a really severe state of altered conciousness, which I wasn't exactly comfortable with. Still, I was good for about 45 minutes. Unfortunately I got separated from the group of people I was with (we were outside wondering around) and at that point I couldn't really control my mind anymore. It got quiet, I got scared and I totally got sucked into the deep depths of my mind. It truly felt like an unrecognizable place of infancy and insecurity. Life simply did not feel real anymore.

 

Fastforward about half an hour later and I found my group again. Things instantly got better. I became happy again and even went on to having an incredibly awesome trip after that. But as I soon discovered, the damage had already been done. Even a bad half hour of an overall good trip was enough to give me HPPD.

 

The symptoms really kicked in about three to four days afterward. As I'm sure you're all well aware, this was an extremely nerveracking time for me. I thought I just lost my mind. I had no idea what was happening to me. At the same time I also thought this would go away soon, maybe within a few days, maybe several weeks, but I never thought in a million years it'd take as long as it has arleady.

 

Truth is, I've come a hell of a long way in the last three months since getting HPPD. I now know what it is, I have a doctor, I'm eating healthy, staying busy, keeping a positive mindset and most importantly, I'm drug free. I haven't had a sip of alcohol in two months. (I've also noticed caffine worsens the symptoms significantly, so no coffee either.) I truly feel if you want to beat this thing, staying away from drugs should be your first and most important step. Any altered state of visual conciousness will only make the symptoms worse and set you back further. With HPPD you need all the help and progress you can get. If there's one thing I've learned so far it's that you cannot sabatoge yourself. You cannot be your own enemy if you want to defeat your greatest challenge!

 

I wanted to share my story more than anything. I'll be hanging around here trying to learn as much as I can about this from here on out, however I do have a few questions for the community...

 

First, does anybody have any idea of how long I can expect to suffer from HPPD? I know this is a terrible question given everyone is different and has more or less severe symptoms, however I am curious for those who've stopped drug use completely and taken on a healthy lifestyle, does this ensure rapid growth and a complete recoverey? I've noticed tremendous improvements already (I'm pretty much back to normal psychologically and emotionally) however I also notice that after three months this thing is still very much there and will likely be around for a while. I'm just trying to get an idea of how long that might be.

 

One of my biggest problems is the speed of objects. Fast objects blur together, like cars driving by, hand movements, birds, etc.. This, like most all of my symptoms, is improving but it's still a slow process. I'm just curious if anybody else has had this happen to them. I really think at this point this is probably the toughest thing to try and ignore.

 

Also something that's bothering me is my pupils. They're constantly dialated, even in the sunlight. Again, this has improved a lot already but it's slow. Anybody else have this?

 

I've read about a contrast between HPPD and something called Alice In Wonderland Syndrom (AIWS). I think I have both, however I always thought the AIWS was just part of the HPPD. In short, AIWS is basically where objects are disporportionate, enlarged, and unrealistic. Just curious if most HPPD users have these symptoms as well or if this is perhaps a characteristic of those who get HPPD from hallucinogens.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read and I look forward to interacting with many of you,

 

-- K.B.

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Brandon,

 

I definitely had hardcore derealization symptoms early on, really for about the first two months, but those are pretty much gone now. Same with my emotional stability. I had really severe depression the first month or so but I that's totally gone now.

 

At this point my biggest problems are still visual. Fast-moving objects tend to blur together. Hands, especially when people are moving them while talking, is the most difficult thing to deal with at the moment. I sometimes have a hard time hearing what people are saying because I can only focus on their hands moving.

 

As I said, I've made lots of progress over the last few months but I've also put myself in a position to succeed. I eat extremely healthy every day (lots of nuts and grains), I take ice-cold showers every day (this helps tremendously with depression and anxiety), I exercise every day (the best way to improve brain elasticity), I meditate every night and I'm keeping busy nearly 24-7. I also don't do any drugs at all, not even caffine, and I think the combination of all these has really helped me over the last few months. But the visual stuff is still there and I guess I'm just wondering how long I should expect that to go on.

 

Thanks for the reply.

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