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20 years now - my story


KeepFighting
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Hi folks

 

I've had HPPD since I took four acid tabs in 1995 at the age of 14. I'm 34 now and I've never told a soul  ... until now!

 

It was a great comfort when I stumbled over this site a few years ago. Before then, I didn't even understand what was wrong with me. I knew it was connected to the acid - as I had pretty intense visuals etc - but just thought I was some sort of freak. This was back in the mid-1990s remember, so there was no internet, and no information. I just thought I'd royally fucked up my head (well, I had).

 

It's never felt right to tell anyone about it. I've always been worried what people's reaction would be. And maybe I also hoped that if I never spoke about it, one day it will go away. It's got a bit better over the years, but I can't believe it's not been 20 years. I've had it longer than I haven't had it. I can't remember what it's like to "see" normally.

 

For the first few years I was in a pretty dark place. I smoked cannabis at the time, and suffered bouts of intense anxiety. I even went to the doctors at one stage (he didn't know what to diagnose). Thankfully things got a little better - I decided to cut down the weed use, focus on school and ditch a bunch of idiots I was hanging around with who were no good for me.

 

I think the way I've dealt with it is to try to be successful. I quit smoking, which felt like a huge achievement, went to uni and got an English degree, and now have a fairly decent job and am relatively happy.

 

But things can still be quite bad sometimes. The visuals, static and a sort of "flickering" perception are the main things. I seem to be fine for a few months, and then have moments of despair, when I think "what the hell have I done, when will this ever go away". I stupidly took cocaine a few times this year, and it seems to have made things a bit worse. I'm hoping it's just temporary.

 

I just want to reach out to you guys and ask if there's anything I can do to make things better? Will it EVER go away? Does anyone know definitively what causes HPPD? The strange thing is my friend took the same acid as me - at the same age - and seems fine.

 

One of the most depressing things is it seems to have affected my concentration levels. I struggle to follow complex films sometimes, for example, and start to daydream so easily. Does anyone else get that?

 

I've never sought out medical treatments, as I've always been worried they would only complicate things. Are there any natural remedies that REALLY help?

 

There are three things I try to remind myself of all the time:

 

- I've got a decent family, friends and a fairly comfortable, safe, enjoyable life (not everyone can say that)

- Maybe if I didn't get HPPD I would have gone on to try heroin and ended up in an even worse state - maybe even homeless or in prison.

- However stressful or despairing the visuals can be, I remember I'm not blind. We can still see, watch and enjoy the world around us. It's just a bit weird sometimes.

 

Some other things that have helped a bit:

 

- I've found exercise to be a huge help. It clears my head and I think the endorphins must help.

- Music. Sounds obvious, but there are some piece of music that have really helped me through the worst times.

- I take a strong fish oil tablet every day. I think this might help concentration levels and slightly reduces visuals - but maybe it's just placebo.

- Alcohol. Obviously doesn't agree with everyone, but I've found a few drinks at the weekend really helps me relax and feel "normal" again for a little while.

 

That's basically my story. It would be great to get some feedback or any tips / information / help regarding recovery. Even just a "hello" from a fellow sufferer. This feels like quite a big deal for me to talk about it all.

 

I suppose the best thing we can all do is just accept it, and try to move on with life, right?

 

T

 

 

 

 

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Focusing on the positives sure helps. Also in response to the day dreaming easily part, I sometimes get so stressed out and high anxiety, I often just shut down my brain almost every time something stressful happens especially when I am dealing with school. I would sit there "day dreaming" but not thinking about anything, I just shut down

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Hi, i'm part of the 20+ year club too and seem to have a similar story to you... started with LSD at 14 too, unfortunately added mdma/speed/shrooms/coke into the party mix as I got into my later teens, which made my hppd much worse.

 

Sounds like you are doing everything right though and have a good, positive attitude to it all (the main key to survival, i think).

 

I have tried most every medication going and nothing really works for me as a cure, though clonazepam is a great magic bullet for social events and other anxiety inducing times. Just be very wary of it's addiction potential, if you go down this route.

 

Other notable meds that help some have been keppra, lamictal and sinemet. Supplements that have help some have included 5htp, melatonin, inositol, lion's mane, vitamin B supplements... Search the forum, some people have huge stacks of supplements.

 

All the best and welcome to the forum,

Jay

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Thanks for the replies

 

To be honest, just posting on the forum last night has given me a bit of a boost. It feels good to have "spoken" about HPPD for the first time, even if it was just an anonymous internet post.

 

Hoping to experiment with some supplements now and see if they make any difference. Have posted on the thread to see if I can get some good feedback.

 

You're right, the main thing is keeping positive. I just try to keep busy with fun things. I'm lucky that I enjoy my job I suppose, and have recently started learning to play the bass guitar.

 

I still have some very low episodes though, so hoping I can find information on here to help me keep progressing, and keeping the dark times at bay.

 

Cheers

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Welcome to the forum! On this same subject, I totally agree about this place being a refuge at times. I just went on vacation for about a week and didn't check this board the whole time and now that I'm back it feels really good to be on here. It's just nice knowing there's other people -- lots of other people -- out there who struggle the same way you do and understand exactly what you're saying.

 

20 years is a long time. I'm closing in on six months and am having some trouble coming to terms with the fact that I'm likely gonna have HPPD for a while. I don't know how long exactly but I do know at the rate I'm progressing it's gonna take a lot longer than I initially thought to get through this. Perhaps I won't ever fully recover my vision, but as long as I can get to a point where I'm happy again that's all I care about.

 

Making peace with HPPD is probably the hardest but most benificial thing you can do for yourself. Constantly trying to fight something that can't be defeated only wears you down and renders you hopeless. I think a big part of the HPPD recovery process is just acceptance. It's important to differentiate between what you can control and what you can't. I also firmly believe in routine: working, eating right, exercising, etc. Staying busy and taking your mind of thinking about HPPD can probably save your life.

 

Anyway, good to have you on board. Hopefully you find peace in dealing with this if you haven't already.

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