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Terrifying hallucinations for years... Could seeking help cause me to lose my license?

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I am terrified of what is happening to me and I can't sit by and let it happen any longer it's been happening for years with no sign of letting up. And I am especially terrified of the following. 

  • Dying while driving(Have come very close)
  • Losing my license when trying to seek help
  • My issue being something much worse than HPPD like a brain tumor or some disease. 

I have had what I think is HPPD for nearly 5 years now. Ever since the first time I took mushrooms at 17. Where I had extremely intense mind bending visuals. To the point where I don't really like telling the story because it sounds like someone who has never taken mushrooms is making stuff up.  I have had symptoms ever since the next day, but for some reason I thought nothing of it at the time. I thought it was interesting. I would see the air shake and move as if I were looking at the hot air above fire, wooden and carpet/wallpaper patterns flow, and doors and walls breathe. Almost every single time I smoked a good amount of weed. And very commonly would happen sober as well. Since then I have done a plethora of more drugs. Cocaine, acid(probably not real), mushrooms, Molly, whatever really. The only common drug I have not heavily indulged in would be heroin. 

The symptoms got bad after the last time I took what I think was acid. I had taken 3 hits with no idea what the dosage was. It was a very strange feeling and did not feel like my previous times taking acid. I had no thoughts. I couldn't really form deep thoughts at all I felt like my brain was being hurt. Not a headache but my brain felt as if it was being damaged. When I closed my eyes all I could see was black with blue dots I couldn't form a mental image in my mind. It was incredibly boring I sat there for about 12 hours alone so unable to think that I couldn't think of anything that sounded interesting to do. So I sat. It wasn't a bad trip, but it was a bad trip. Meaning it wasn't scary but I could not think, talk or do anything really. Just sit feeling incapacitated but fully awake. The weirdest part was my visuals. 

Which again were nothing like any other time I tripped. Normally everything just looks colorful, bubbly, flowy. But this time the world looked normal if not sharper except my field of vision was completely distorted. This will be very hard to describe. Imagine your vision is a video that you are watching in a nice clear normal frame rate. What happened to me was my vision was like a slideshow of pictures, at varying depths and angles that would quickly move. But at such a slow frame rate I could see it happen. It was like my body was sitting still but my field of vision would fly towards whatever I was looking at and would glitch out and change angles and depths quickly, but slowly enough to notice. If you can picture this I'm sure you could imagine it was very nauseating. I could either close my eyes and see blackness or open them and have my vision fly around the room.

After this I have had this same hallucination as well as many others up until this day. My vision will shift forward and back and looks like a lagging video commonly. After this I swore to never touch it again. But I have done everything else since then. Interestingly, each time I had done mushrooms my hallucinations would go away for 2-3 months. I have not done anything besides smoke weed and take low doses of Adderall less than 20mg at a time since august of last year where I took just .2 of Molly. But still have powerful hallucinations every single day. 

The strangest one I've had recently was my entire vision turned into a puddle like view. Like what happens to the water when you drop a pebble in it, thats what happened to the air. I could not see at all but something like that has only happened once. Most of what I see is after images like shown in this video


I can confidently say I see after images as intensely as shown in clip 3 and 5 very commonly. More commonly I see them less strong, like the first clip. Bright flashes of light, random blobs of color, people, animals, and random objects are also common. I see nonexistent people animals and objects in my peripheral vision so often that it doesn't shock me and I pay no mind to it unless if I see it dead on. If I haven't detected it by another sense or know that what I'm seeing is there I assume its a hallucination. Because it probably is. I can usually tell it's like if there is the real world, and then an invisible canvas that my brain likes to project images onto when it is bored.  I also see trails infrequently. Many times my brain will inject a scene in my head. Kind of like when you are reading a book or memory so deeply that you don't even really see the world outside of you because you are looking with your minds eye. My vision changes to that for a brief second or two sometimes. One creepy time I was riding passenger with a friend and I saw a man walking along the side of the road towards us. I continued to look at him dead on wondering why everything about him was so dark. Only when we passed him did I see he was not there and he vanished.

I don't see this visual snow that seems to be so common my vision is crystal clear when objects and the air aren't moving around. I don't hear things either. I don't feel any mental deficiency my daily life is just a walking trip visually. I've adapted and been used to it for many years now but an incident shortly ago made me realize that if I don't figure something out I could die. I was driving through this tunnel here. It is the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel for the lazy. If you watch a few seconds the video I'm sure you can imagine the effect that would have on someone with our condition. 


Being in a very tight space going 60-65mph in this tunnel with the constant flashing rings of light, cars all around me and seeing the same scene for as far as I could see caused me to have ridiculously bad hallucinations. The cars all around me were stretching, leaving trails and after images in each one I could not tell where they were. The lights darted at me and flashed I was so certain I was going to pass out of fear, crash and die that I nearly stopped my car with no care of whatever consequences. Instead I kept screaming at myself to be able to make it through and drove about 20 mph under the speed limit. I had such a bad anxiety attack from this I could not move. My entire body was numb and shaking and I could hardly breathe. After getting out of the tunnel I pulled over on the side of the road put on my hazards and sat there shaking for over an hour.  This happened twice more on the way to work. 

For those who have made it through this post thank you. And would you please answer some questions?

Do these symptoms sound like HPPD?

Why has mushrooms given me relief despite being what first caused this? 

Could I lose my license if I told my story to my doctor? 

Could I say something else or downplay the severity just so I can get an MRI or something and make sure it's not a brain tumor? 

I know I should not drive like this. Please don't say this I know. If I am not high the problem will most likely not occur but if I am high it is guaranteed to. So I don't smoke while driving anymore and have been managing driving in this condition for years now. Thank you in advance.

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Your doctor will probably tell you not to drive, but they can't take away your licence. Should they have ample reason to believe that you are a threat to others and yourself, they do have the ability to notify the DMV, and recommend that your driving privileges be temporarily suspended. 

Your symptoms seem consistent with HPPD. (I am not a medical professional) 

There have been annecdotal reports of mushrooms bringing relief to people, as well as exacerbating some cases of HPPD. 

What's your relationship with your doctor like? Just be truthful and mention that you're having alterations in your visions. That'll usually be enough to get authorization to get an MRI. The MRI won't find anything related to HPPD, as no actual structural damage had occurred, but it can help put your mind at rest by ruling out any immediate life altering diseases. CT scans won't show anything either (kind of regret getting one, but somehow managed to delude myself into thinking I suffered a stroke due to the whole Panic attack out of fucking no where, aphasia, head pressure, adrenaline induced shaking, stiff neck, and giant black sperm floating across my central vision, still waiting for those radiation powers to kick in/). ""

Is your doctor aware of your history of substance-use? Moreover, do you have any reason to think that your doctor will discriminate against you should you divulge your substance use? If you just describe your symptoms, you may be able to get an MRI, but your doctor may also go down the rabbit-hole and order a whole bunch of tests as well to exclude any other treatable disease that display similar symptoms.  Don't downplay the severity of your symptoms, you'll just end up being frustrated (and there will be plenty of that to go around as you try to get treatment for a disease that is an orphan disease/not many doctors and even some mental health professionals are not aware of). You may also have to be a bit more proactive in your advocacy, and look to find those open minded and intelligent doctors who would be willing to help you in your journey of recovery. I certainly had to change my PCP.  And after all that you may find that a lot of people on these forums will probably be better informed on HPPD than most doctors are.



Edited by Azureazalea
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Would you recommend taking mushrooms again? I'm worried it will increase my symptoms but anyway to get rid of this would be life saving. I've made an appointment tomorrow to speak with my doctor. Who I do have a good relationship with and doesn't know of my drug history. I'm going to tell him I'm seeing flashes of light, distortions in the air and blurbs of color. As well as being very forgetful with brain fog. And request an MRI to check for tumors. I'm just too scared to tell him how vivid my afterimages and trails are as well as seeing people and animals vividly. I think if I told him at times I cannot tell exactly where something is just the area, he would definitely notify the DMV for a reexamination of my license. I've seen cars stretch 2-3x their length from trails and afterimages when i'm stoned it's awful. 

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