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Is HPPD the same as Visual Snow Syndrome?


K.B.Fante
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Recently while browsing the Net for HPPD-related information and articles I stumbled upon a connection to Visual Snow Syndrome (often referred to simply as Visual Snow). I'm sure longterm HPPDers who frequent this board are already familiar with this but being as I've been here for about six months and only stumbled upon this a week ago I figure it's worth making a post just so that people are aware of the similarities... 

 

Here's the Wikipedia page for Visual Snow: 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_snow

 

Interesting how other symptoms aside from snow include trails, floaters, afterimages, starbursting, tinnitus, etc. -- all of which are common symptoms of HPPD.  

 

A few other websites dedicated to Visual Snow:

 

http://eyeonvision.org/visual-snow.html

 

http://www.visualsnow.eu/

 

There's also a Visual Snow forum, just like the one we have here for HPPD:

 

http://thosewithvisualsnow.yuku.com/forums/63/General-Discussion/General-Discussion#.VvNpKpMrL-Z

 

And here's a few YouTube videos of people talking about their struggles with Visual Snow:

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVDR6w892t4

 

 

Finally, there have even been several posts on this forum about people who've developed HPPD symptoms without the aid of drugs: 

 

http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/5130-hppd-like-symptoms-without-drug-use/?hl=%2Bvisual+%2Bsnow

 

http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/5019-non-drug-related-hppd/?hl=%2Bvisual+%2Bsnow

 

I have a lot of curiosity surrounding this connection between Visual Snow Syndrome and HPPD given it appears they're basically the exact same thing, right? Is there anybody here who knows a bit more on this subject? It is quite interesting how there's not more of a push to unite these two disorders when you consider how many of the symptoms overlap. The only difference I can pinpoint is that HPPD symptoms derive from drug use whereas Visual Snow appears without the use of substance, but in terms of the actual symptoms they're basically the same thing. 

 

Anyway, if anybody has anymore information on this please feel free to post here. I'd certainly like to understand a bit more about the connection between these disorders if anybody has information. Thanks. 

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It largely is.  Of course snow is snow.  But many report HPPD type stuff.

 

The key difference is just the technicality that the definition of HPPD is supposed to be from hallucinogens.  It all comes down to symptoms of the brain processing info with some difficulties.

 

Am thinking of posting about thiamine cocarboxylase on some of these non-HPPD forums and see if anyone there responds as they have here ... that would show a link.

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I guess it's encouraging to me considering people are probably more motivated to study VS knowing it doesn't come directly from drug use, given the stigma surrounding hallucinogens. And still, I find it remarkable how similar these are. As far as I can tell these are the same condition only one is induced through drug usage. This means there are thousands of people out there suffering from this without having done hard drugs, which I never even knew was possible! If anything it gives me hope that sometime soon someone will figure this thing out.  

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There is also the factor that many have gotten problems from drugs but have not heard of HPPD.  

 

A while back was communicating with a long time member of DPSelfHelp.  She said that 20 years ago, DP was always related from some past negative psychological experience ... now about half on the forum have DP/DR that started from drugs.  But there is so much fear that some get angry if one even mentions HPPD.  Perhaps they fear the stigma or fear the possibility that they did this to themselves.

 

Neurology in particular has overlapping fields of information ... even multiple names for the same brain parts because they were originally studied by different people for different reasons.

 

The fact is that far more people have visual perception anomalies than is reported.  Those who were born with them or developed mild symptoms while growing up often think that they are normal (everyone experiences them).  So from the sense of 'common' some symptoms such as VS are 'normal'.  In the end, they are not ideal, but much of life is not ideal anyway.

 

But life, including HPPD, can always be made better if not ideal

 

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