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Comorbid ADHD & HPPD: Trying Keppra


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So a couple months ago I started having HPPD symptoms: visual snow, anxiety, tinnitus, problems with contrast, night vision, visual acuity (sharpness vs cloudy), depth perception kinda, halos, glare(light sensitivity). My symptoms were very distressing at first, but they aren't really that bad(especially compared to many people on here it seems). I've gotten used to a lot of them, and I don't really seem to have the brain fog and DP/DR a lot of people on here have, maybe on occasion but for the most part I'm free of them. Its only been 2.5 months so I'm hoping my sypmtoms will decrease/go away, though if they don't I can live with this. My main problem is I also have ADHD though, which complicates things, because taking my stimulant medication has made the snow and other visuals far worse, though it helps with adhd symptoms. I stopped taking my medication, and I was already having school problem, which really stresses me out. I heard from some people on keppra that it could improve my symptoms and maybe even make it so I could try my stim adhd meds again, though the data is rocky. I decided to try it out, and just started my Keppra regiment today with 500mg. I'm going to try this for around a month or so, hopefully the side effects aren't problematic &/or reduce or go away quickly if I have them. I'm optimistic that it will improve my symptoms, even if marginally. But the great thing is, even if it doesn't, I'm really taking it to see if it will allow me to take CNS stimulants without exacerbating my symptoms. For people on this site, as few as there were, that tried both Keppra and CNS stimulants, it seems to be a 100% success rate, so I'm hopeful. Also would be nice if I could drink on occasion without a 3-4 day HPPD exagerated hangover. 

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I've been on it a few days now. I didn't take my adhd meds the first few days just to see how keppra was in my system. It gave me severe brain fog, some DP which I had not really had, and made me drowsy as hell. It got better over time, but I felt kind of clumsy, intoxicated, and dumb throughout various parts of the day. My visuals haven't changed that much, though my anxiety seems far lower. The biggest feature though seems to be, while my visuals do get slightly worse when I take my adhd meds still(though that may change in the future), I don't seem to notice it? Like, there's an increase in the amount of noise in my vision I believe, but it seems in my peripheral vision, and its a lot easier to ignore. Not sure, still testing it out. If I weren't so impatient and not doing school, I would probably do a month of only Keppra to see how it affects me. As it is, I am on Keppra and Adderall, and being pretty productive. Will keep this updated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alright it's been a couple weeks. Be aware this is comorbid ADHD and HPPD so YMMV. 

So far, success actually! keppra on its on own made me really tired, lethargic, and lots of brain fog(though thankfully, keppra rage doesn't seem to affect me noticeably). I rarely had bouts of DP before which I was happy about, but the first week of keppra had many periods of detachment. As I stated before, I was planning on being on keppra a few weeks first and then try my ADHD meds but these side effects made me want to quit in less than a week. So I started taking my adhd adderall meds to experiment with. Now since for most of this time I've been on both, Its hard for me to narrow down which one helped with what etc, but they do seem to be helping.

Do I still have symptoms? Yes, keppra by itself did not seem to help visual symptoms much. However, together, keppra and adderall seem to work synergistically for MY symptoms. My adhd meds seem to remove keppras noticeable side effects like lethargy and brain fog. Keppra seemed to remove this build up of exponentially increasing visuals I would get after taking my adderall for several days. Without keppra, after a few days of adderall I would have constant large black splotch artifacting, the walls would be melting, etc. Very, very distressing and anxiety producing. My visual symptoms still increase from baseline when I take my meds, just not to nearly the same level, nor do they seem to "build" over several days of taking it(I can see how much it helps when I miss my 2nd keppra dose by several hours, symptoms increase pretty immensely). Having this consistent "new baseline", makes getting used to the symptoms MUCH easier, and my quality of life has improved immensely. My ADHD has also been helped somewhat, I am more productive with what I put my mind to, though putting my mind to doing something productive is still difficult, so I'm still struggling with school a bit. 

So, would I suggest others give Keppra a shot? Yes, definitely. Though how much it affects your particular visuals can vary quite a bit it seems, and it does come with some annoying side effects(though for many they go away or are heavily reduced with time). For people with comorbid HPPD and ADHD, absolutely try keppra. I had been doing pretty badly in school(part of the reason I experimented with hallucinogens) and finding out I had adhd only AFTER getting hppd seemed like a one-two punch. Me not being able to take the meds really made me feel kinda hopeless. Keppra + adderall xr have given me a lot more hope for the future. Now I just need to work on better scheduling, and dedicating myself to my work :)

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