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Hello all.


It has dawned on me I have HPPD. At least I think I do. I feel like I am on a low dose LSD constantly. I am really scared.


It started in May. I had been doing psychedelics on and off for three years and came out of a 6 month period of more frequent use of LSD and mushrooms. Guess I did about 10 LSD trips and 5 shroom trips in those 6 months leading up. Moderate to high doses (150-300 ug LSD, 2-3 g cubensis), but nothing extreme.


At first I was fatigued, nauseuos, weak. A bit of depression and clouded mind. Then I started getting this really awful feeling creeping up in me. I can't describe the feeling other than a feeling of disgust. It seems like some kind of hormonal imbalance as it is usually triggered by stress and usually lasts 1-3 hrs. Has anyone experienced something similar? It is extremely uncomfortable and makes me really scared it won't go away.


I was diagnosed with stress, which put me at ease as I was hoping to recover with a bit of rest. However, despite a lot of rest, my condition hasn't improved significantly. I have mild visuals: Glowing colors, snow in the dark, subtle CEVs, pattern morphing. I have the LSD-like headspace, clouded and trouble focusing, mental fatigue. Trying to concentrate on anything for more than a few minuted make my symptoms worse to the point of having to stop.  These symptoms got me thinking I am likely to be suffering from HPPD. Sounds reasonable?


A bit about me: I'm 28 yrs, male. Student of biochemistry, though unable to study much currently. Long history of drug abuse. Mostly cannabis abuse from age 18-25, then cocaine, MDMA, speed age 23-25, psychedelics from age 24-28. Christian faith. No girlfriend. Living alone currently. Have struggled with depression and anxiety throughout adult life, although the last couple of years have been good. Had a psychotic break back in 2012 after a period of meth abuse. What more to say? Please ask! 


Just looking for some support really. I feel all broken on the inside and scared I'll be this way for the rest of my life.

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Yep, sounds like you have HPPD. Welcome to the party!


In all seriousness this sucks and is probably gonna be one of the worst parts of your life, if not the worst. My advice: Don't panic. This is gonna be around for a while so stressing out about it does no good. In fact, stress tends to make the symptoms worse. It sounds like you have anxiety (disgust is commonly related to anxiety disorders) and possibly a psychiatrist, but if not you need to immediatly make an appointment to see one. Same goes for a therapist. And from here on out it's best you start working out and eating healthy. Aside from that there's not too much you can do (obviously stopping all forms of drugs should go without saying) other than wait. It's gonna suck but you just have to keep a positive outlook on things. If you stay healthy, keep off drugs and work out a lot you should start to see improvements in your condition within several months, but because everyone is different it's difficult to say for sure. Bottom line is you have to give yourself the best shot you can at improving.


Good luck!

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Thank you Fante. Your words are comforting.


About acceptance: This is great advice. I'm freaking out about all of this and making it a lot worse. Not knowing when you'll recover or even IF you'll recover is really distressing, and I can't imagine living like this for years and years. I'm making practicing acceptance my first priority, and I can already feel a relief of despair.


Improvements within several months you say? I have a hard time believing you, but if so that's just great! A few months is nothing. I guess time will show. I'll keep you updated.


I have not yet told my doctor about my drug use and suspected hppd. I have an appointment coming up in a couple of weeks and want to come forward with her. But I'm shit embarressed about the whole ordeal. Besides, what can she do about it anyway? It's not like the doctors have a clue about this stuff around here. They could put me on meds (benzos a good idea?), but what else? Anxiety therapy perhaps? Been trough that already many times. All of this makes me unsure of telling this to my doctor is worthwhile.


Am otherwise living clean and eating healthy :rolleyes:  Will be upping on the exercise. Thanks again for your support.

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Well, you don't have to tell your doctor, but why wouldn't you? What is there to lose? I live in a town of less than 20 thousand and thought the exact same thing -- that my psychiatrist wouldn't have a clue about this -- but not only was he well versed in dealing with HPPD, he also is seeing another person as we speak who also suffers from HPPD! The bottom line is that your doctor knows about the mind much more than you and can prescribe you meds if needed. That could be huge as you navigate the far reaches of your mind in the coming months. Trust me when I say you're gonna need all the help you can get.


I understand shame though. I've been extremely hesitant to open up to my friends about this. But after a while you should be able to get over it as you adapt to your condition. Acceptance is huge and it sounds like you're already ahead of the curve on that one. But the real test isn't acceptance right off the bat, but acceptance over and over and over, month after month. If you can accept yourself as living with this for a while, repeatedly, and be totally OK with doing it constantly for however long it takes you to heal, then you're gonna be in really good shape. But again, easier said than done.


In terms of improvement, like I said, everyone is different. Some people have some sort of HPPD for their entire lives. Some get better after years. Some only months. But if you take all the neccesary steps to improve and you stop doing drugs, you give yourself a great chance to get better ASAP. The thing I've found helps the most is exercise. If you can workout and run long distances for an hour or two each day you should definitely see improvements pretty soon.

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Hello my name is Keith and this is my first post here. I need to get right into this.So, I was diagnosed with a very brutal virus when I was 7 years old, paralyzing me from the waist down. This is known as ADEM It led me being treated with cocktails of different medications that made me hallucinate immensely for almost two weeks straight upon first admittance. Fast forward a few years to when I first realized there was something wrong with my vision. I tried explaining it to an eye doctor and he pretty much told me it was because I was tired, so I forgot about even saying anything and tried my hardest to cope with it until the age of 20 when I finally decided to research it. I did not even think about trying to stop taking hallucinogens after this. I was still in denial about it. Taking a quick step back,  In between the ages of 15 and 21, I have had many intentionally brought on hallucinations, heavy usage of MDMA, pot smoking, concussions evolving to epilepsy and a wholesome exposure to the electronic music/rave scene. More recently, in the past two years I was taking 25i/2ci/2cb quite a bit, which really opened my eyes to the whole deal of symptoms I have. I have visuals on a daily basis from the second I wake up until the moments of complete static filling a pitch black room before sleep. I'm still a rave kid at heart so I picked up the hobby of 'gloving' and 'orbiting. If you do not know what that is, to put it in simple terms, its basically 'hand dancing' with strobe lights on finger tips. I suggest looking it up for a better understanding, but I feel that most people here will know what I am referring to. This hobby really helps me with the disorder in the sense that it stimulates my visual symptoms and gives me an escape from the oanic that is sometimes brought on by hppd. Some people find it as a trigger, but I put the hobby before the disorder in this case. I cant just drop th gloves like that, its what i"m pretty good at and what I have passion for. Well aside from my little rant, I've finally accepted that I will most likely live with this for the rest of my life so it is nice to know that there is an actual forum dedicated to every aspect of this disorder. I look forward to speaking with all of you ! Sending good vibes your way.  - Keith



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I know what you mean about disgust. Like my body is producing ridiculous amount of adrenalin and cortisol. Makes me feel rotten and sick.


I would probably tell your doctor, you never know, they might have some brainwave. Benzos are ok if you have alot of self control and can take them here and there, when the anxiety if unbearable. I wouldn't recommend them as a full time med, unless you are at the end of your rope.

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That's interesting Jay. I've told people about this feeling, but nobody seems to understand. It's exactly like you describe it, lots and lots of cortisol. Makes my blood pressure rise and my mind get all clouded. Really uncomfortable. How long have you had this? Has it improved for you? Sorry to hear you have these symproms as well, though I'm glad to hear I'm not alone in this.


Keith - thanks for sharing. All the best to you.


And thanks again Fante for your input and support.

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20+ years now, unfortunately.

I have eased it by working from home, minimising anything that brings about stress and using klonopin sparingly for the really tough days.

Trying to get a good, solid sleep pattern helps too, but that is something that often alludes me. When I'm in an insomnia cycle, the cortisol/adrenaline seems to really ramp up.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I visited my doc yesterday and told her about my LSD use and my hppd symptoms. While she was supportive and understanding, she didn't have much to offer in terms of solutions.

The doctor figured some of my symptoms, like the stess response, were related to anxiety. I was prescribed propranolol (a beta blocker) to ease the symptoms of heightened cortisol levels. I tried this medication yesterday and it seems to relieve the symptoms somewhat, without making the anxiety or hope diminish.

Jay, have you had experience with beta blockers for your symptoms? Is this a common treatment for hppd sufferers?

Otherwise I was told to try not focusing excessively on the symptoms. I suggested contacting a neurologist, but the doctor didn't think the common neurologist would have any knowledge about hppd. We agreed for me to see a psychiatrist if there is no improvement over the next month.

Not much to add. It seems with hppd there is very little the docs can do and we gotta just deal with it on our own for the most part.

In other news I've been working out a lot the last couple of weeks. So far, it seems to help me cope better, although it hasn't lessened my symptoms.

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Pretty sure I actually tried Propranolol too... Back in those days though, I equated everything to the visuals, if a med didn't improve my visuals, I would stop. But It might well have helped with stress and anxiety. Keep us up to date on your progress.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Short update:

I've been exercising a lot lately, and feeling physically very good. My mental state is also positive and content, and I am coming to terms with the situation.

My visual symptoms are about the same, but I'm not too bothered. What bothers me the most is the lowered stress threshold and high cortisol levels that gives me brain fog and makes me feel out of sorts.

To my great relief, I have found propranolol to be very effective in this regard. A 20 mg dose 2-3 hrs before any potentially stressful situation works like magic, something I'm very grateful for. I'm slightly worried about addiction and long term side effects though, so keeping use at a minimum.

So yeah, its looking good at the moment!

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  • 2 months later...

So its been a couple of months - a couple of shitty months. Despite a lot of exercise and "doing it right", my symptoms are not improving.

Christmas was horrible. Family drama and out of control anxiety. I saw several docs, expressing my despair vividly. After many rounds I was eventually given a little diazepam which got me through the holidays. I am now enrolled for therapy starting March and an anxiety management course starting April. The docs don't seem to have much of a clue what to do about my hppd, but outlook of getting professional help is a relief nonetheless.

I am now prepared to trial meds, as I no longer seem able to cope on my own. Visual symptoms have increased to the point of being clearly noticeable most of the time, and the stress/high cortisol issue is prevailing.

Diazepam works wonders. It leaves me completely symptome free, and able to experience emotions and bond socially for a change. I imagine clonazepam would work even better. Knowing there's something out there that works is comforting. However, there is no way Ill be subscribed any more of the stuff any time soon. I have a few doses left for emergencies.

The propranolol is a patch for the stress/high cortisol issues. It sometimes helps, sometimes doesn't. It does nothing for the visuals, headspace or the emotional and social issues. In addition its got some uncomfortable side effects like dizziness, slight nausea. Overall not a good solution.

I'm looking into escitalopram for anxiety, but I see warnings against SSRIs on here, which makes me wary. Anyone have any experience with this? Is it really a bad idea?

I've been using a bit of hydroxyzine for sleep. It works well for the purpose and in addition provides slight anxiolysis the day after. However, I think it might be a bad idea considering its anxiolytic effects are mediated by serotonin receptor (5HT2A) binding (wiki). We want to stay away from everything that affects serotonin receptors, right?

I have bad experience with lamotrigine, and reading on here it doesn't seem too helpful. I am willing to look into levetiracetam (Keppra) though. My concern is dependence and rebound hppd. Anyone got some advice regarding levetiracetam?

Any advice about medication is HIGHLY appreciated at this point. As well as any advice on how to ride this out in general of course.

Hoping to hear from you.

Yours truly,


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Hello about meds i cant give you advice because i tryd a lot of here in hppdonline buth with no results or had to stop because there side effects buth my doktor give me anti-psychotics because he tought i had psychosis and yea it took me a year before i discoverd by my self i had hppd and noth psychosis i didnt managed to quit since a month its prety strong stuff because of dopamine rebound

What i well have experience is with sport

What for exercise are you doing?

I think exercise are noth enoufh to geth the real benefits from sport it took me 3 months when i start to feel the first realy improvment and its month 13 and i wil conform if am cured to stay 6 months without meds i am now 1 month med free and didnt need it for a sec

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Yeah, antipsychotics are worthless for hppd. Glad to hear you've made it through and come off those meds.

My regular studio work out alternates between spinning and strength exercise, about three times a week total. During winter I ski cross country and planning to start road racing in the summer.

I'm not understanding you completely. You are saying it takes three months to get benefits from exercise?

I've been exercising regularly for the last half a year now. It seems to be helping the same day and a little the day after. Not sure what it does for the hppd long run, but will stick to it nevertheless. Its beneficial in many ways and a great way to spend time.

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Yea i mean sports that contain cardio are a lot more effective in long term and because the are hard to stick on and they give you realy benefits once your condition improved and yea when you have hppd its a lot more times harder then a normal person

Its very cool you do skie i wish i could do it to buth its to expensife for me and keep doing what you love is the best way to deal with hppd and should speed up recovery

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