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Hello. My name is Jose and I live in San Diego and I have HPPD that is caused from 20 years of drug usage. I am 34 and started using when I was 14. First it was pot, then a little drinking, then it turned to psychedelics such as LSD and then mushrooms, and graduated to meth, cocaine, and then PCP.

I first experienced HPPD when I was 17 and I went to a rave and took about 8 hits of acid at once. I was gone frying for about 4 days straight. I thought when I permanently saw the static snow vision never leave me that it was "cool". Now some 15 years later it is not cool to still have it. I am telling you I would smoke weed and then boom, break into this crazy psychosis that would have me tripping out hard, melting into my own fantasy land, thinking I was going to die, begging God to let me come down off of it. Life was a nightmare. I had depersonalization, would cry because I was literally in a bad world. The world we live in became a scary, trippy place. After a nervous breakdown and near suicide attempt to get me off my trip, I finally calmed down. I went to see a doctor because amazingly enough I had insurance due to me being a bing partier and having a great career. I always managed to hold a great job and still be able to party my butt off and come to work. The atmosphere at work of being alone in a quiet cubicle while coming down really made it easier to deal with. Sadly, human interaction scares me because I have these facial distortions when I stare too long in a conversation. My mind drifts. Anyway, let me stay on track.

After the breakdown I got a DUI and I sobered up. This lasted 4 months and man they were the GREATEST four months of my life. I was in good shape, eating well, no alcohol, no drugs, and my mind was clearer than ever and I was anxiety and HPPD free. Then after four months my birthday came around, and all hell broke lose. Well, I was tougher mentally but the panic attacks would come after drinking when I had hangovers. They were the worst. Although I hadn't touched pot or drugs in almost 3 years, I thought I had beaten the HPPD. Then a month ago I was drunk and met some shady people on my block and started to tweak again. Then do blow, then drink, all on 3 day weekend bingers. So from the end of Sept 2011 until this past weekend, 11/12/2011, I was doing it hard again. Tweak, weed, drinking, cigarettes, and steady diet of death. Then I came back to work this past Monday the 14th, and the HPPD packed up and decided to join along for the ride. I have been on a permanent HPPD trip from hell ever since, and I know the only way to stop it is to do this:

DO NOT DRINK, DO NOT DO DRUGS. Stay away from caffeine, and no cigarettes!!! Seriously, it WILL go away but you need to stay away from the people, the bars, the triggers, the MUSIC, anything that can make you want to party, do away with it. Expel it from your life. And WORK OUT. It helps. Laugh. Find a hobby, cook, and most of all, if it helps, find God. You don't have to be all hardcore bible thumping former gangster saved type a' dude, just find a higher power to beleive in to get you through.

For me, I need to be homebound for a good month before I attend my meetings at Kaiser. I don't do N.A. or A.A. I do a general group or see a therapist. Even THIS is a support group to me.

Then after a month of home "detox" and the gym and eating I finally get outside and take a meeting in slowly. I go to church again. i start enjoying activities such as the movies or eating in public and driving when I am sober.

And finally the home stretch of staying clean. I understand what all of you are going through. I thank God I found this site. I went to my Therapists and Psychiatrists and they say HPPD "is not officially recognized". I say fuck them. One, they never did drugs, and two, they either catagorize it as Schitzophrenia, or severe anxiety or drug addiction. I still say fuck them, They have no idea this really exists. Until someone in a medical journal says it is ok to treat HPPD and they develop a coures where the freakin Therapists meet their mandatory 20 hour training in regards to "HPPD" will they realize this is for real.

I am here to support ANYONE and ALL of you. Thank you for listening. God bless. -Jose in San Diego.

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Very interesting story and I can relate to a lot of it. But, and I hate to say it, the advice zigzags between the obvious, banal and downright useless. "Don't do drugs" is something I think we can all agree on. Alcohol and caffeine are probably best avoided but are unlikely to perpetuate the disorder on their own, especially if only consumed in moderation. I doubt cigarettes have much, if any, effect. Excercise, eating healthily and keeping your mind occupied are all likely to be beneficial, of course. As for the "most of all" part, well, this is hardly the place for a metaphysical debate, and if it helps people in some way I suppose that is all well and good. But personally, I would rather come to a scientific understanding of the causes of the disorder, what exactly is going on in the brain, and how it can be fixed. And I am very pleased to have found a site where intelligent people are seeking to do just that. I doubt this course of action is the "only way" to beat the condition but congratulations for doing so all the same (I assume given the date of the post and the lack of follow ups this was achieved again?).

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      TLDR: MDMA bender gave me HPPD --> SYMPTOMS: "acid pattern" is undeniably noticeable in my skin and other things like walls and certain kinds of surfaces. It does come out more when I pay attention to it but it's distracting on other people's faces and I have to try not to pay attention to it when talking to people (especially people with freckles). I also have visual snow, trailing, and generally a bit of brain fog. It also really affects me on the computer when I'm reading (right this instant) because the letters are swaying. It gets much worse at night and with anxiety or attention, BUT this is NOT all in my head or purely because of anxiety/attention. I noticed one morning that the "acid pattern" didn't go away, and this is undeniable: It is still here and it wasn't here before. I have some other symptoms as well but I'll stop rambling here because Ive told the main points of my story and explained my symptoms.
      In conclusion :
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      I also am just intellectually interested in all of this stuff... I like to speculate about what exactly happens within this particular kind of psychedelic pattern recognition and what it means in the big picture questions about reality and consciousness. Anyways.. thanks again if you read this and I hope to chat with some of you ~
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