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My story (any help greatly appreciated)


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Hi guys!

I am a 30 year old male who have struggled for the past three months with what I now believe to be HPPD. It has been hell. I have lived in fear and only wish to get out of this. Would greatly appreciate any positive comments and help from you guys. If my English is incomprehensible I apologize, I am from Sweden.

My symptoms

- Floaters in both eyes

- White snow (correct term?) when looking at white walls for instance. Also these blinking when closing my eyes.

- Feeling of being inside a bubble, brain fog is a term I have seen which I think might suit this well. (This is definitely the worst part of my symptoms). Brain feels foggy and slow, like a small pressure on it. Worstens with head movement sort of, or maybe not.

- I guess this "bubble"-feeling could be DS/DR. It is 24/7.

- Vivid and horrible dreams. Although the nightmare really is waking up, my body thinking things will be normal, and the horrible insight that they are not.

- Gets worse when new stimuli around, and unfortunately with exercise.

- Numb feeling in head, it feels sensitive and especially to head movement.

How it started

It came about really sudden. It was February 3rd or something, a saturday. I had had an intense week, with morning work-outs monday-friday and then work. Friday night I stayed up till like 3 am playing video games with friends, I remember being really tired and thinking I should have stayed home (especially since I had woke up 5 am all days that week for the workout).

Anyway, I think I had something to do saturday as well and then in the evening me and my girlfriend had friends over. I was really tired, only having a light beer. Suddenly, I blinked and was in this bubble. It has been there ever since.

Drug use

Me and my gf have been doing Ecstasy with a couple of friend for a total of 6-7 times for the past year and a half. First time was summer 2015 and last time was this New Years. All trips except one (which was in May 2016 and the trip itself was not that bad, just we had too much making the recovery long) were great experiences, although for the last maybe 3 rounds it has taken me a couple of weeks to return to normal. On New Years I think I had 1 or 1,25 pills. It was a nice trip, although it required some rest afterwards, as I mentioned.

Seeing doctors

Since I had no knowledge about HPPD, I was initially convinced I had MS or a brain tumour. The fear of this drove me into the first panic attack I have ever had. Wish this upon nobody. I had a total of 2-3 panic attacks. I have now seen a couple of doctors. I had an MRI of the brain which came out normal. Blood test were normal as well. The doctors are now investigating weather I have an exhaution syndrom, considering I work and work-out alot. I have not mentioned my drug use, although I doubt they would know what HPPD is.

Current state

There has been no improvement at all really. Apart from not having any more panic attacks - they disappeared once I had the MRI done. It is only during the last couple of weeks I have started reading about HPPD and felt like this is probably what I have got? Although the symptoms did not appear right after a trip, although in pretty close proximity to drug use (1month arter ecstasy, 1 week arter week). Those were not bad trips either.

It really frihhtens me that this seems to be something you have to live with? It sort of feels like a life sentance, only for using recreational drugs a few times (I do not consider myself a heavy user). I mean, I guess I could live with the floaters, and I guess my eye problems per se are not that difficult to live with. But the brain fog (maybe though it is the vision changes causing this?) and the derealizational feelings are horrible, as well as the numb, sensitive sort of feeling in the head.


I do not know if somebody actually will find time to read all this but if you do, I can not express how greatful I would be. If someone could convince me that it is possible to get better from, especially the brain fog, or hear from some one who recovered, I would be so glad. This is eating me up. I want to become my old self.

Friends, can I sometime in the future live a nice life again?

Best regards

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Yes it gets better.

I had severe brain fog myself and it's gone. I had a feeling of being disconnected from other people and living behind a glass wall and it's gone. I did not know if events took place two days ago or two hours ago. That's gone too.

Definitely sounds you like have some sort of DP/DR. Your brain got exhausted from the drug use, now it needs time to recover. Try to live a healthy and active life. Many HPPD sufferers get fired up from exercise, maybe try some yoga or just light exercise for starters. Yoga in general is one of the best things anyone with HPPD and/ or DPDR can do.

Also reflect about your life, maybe take care of things which bothered you all these years. When one has DP/DR, it is always a good opportunity to implement some life changes and think about what you want and what you don't want out of life. 

Don't pay too close attention to people who say that this is a life sentence, it is just not true. If you browse various forums, you see tons of reports of people who improved dramatically, often completely. This "HPPD is forever" attitude is just plain stupid and dangerous, it makes people with this symptoms just more depressed and anxious.

Three months is basically nothing for recovering from HPPD, it is like expecting a broken leg to heal in one day. Give it time and patience, live your life and things will get so much better. You have this one life and it's so short, don't waste it by worrying too much.

Edited by fruitgun
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Agree with Fruitgun. The last thing you should do is panic. Three months is nothing. You really need to understand that you might have this for a long time but that if you're healthy and stay away from drugs you will likely recovery fully. Again, it may take a few years. 

I had very severe HPPD when I first got it. My brain could hardly function, everything looked completely 2-D, anything that moved ever so slightly blurred across my field of vision -- it honestly like living inside a video game and I had to deal with it every single day. 

I don't know how I've made it this far but after two years I've made tremendous progress. But I've been really healthy with my diet which has helped more than anything. I suggest you start eating as many whole foods as possible, cut back drastically on sugar and of course don't to any drugs whatsoever, including caffeine and alcohol.

Like Fruitgun said, your brain is injured in some way. It needs time to heal. But as long as you give it time, rest and the proper nutrients it needs to regenerate you'll likely be back to full health again. There's lots of great information in this forum so I'd read it up and down if I were you. 

Stay positive!

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I agree with these replies.  Don't panic and be calm.  I've never taken MDMA so I'm not familiar with it.  However, there are some folks in here who can describe the symptoms they've experienced.  Give yourself some time to get well.  These are powerful drugs that, in some people, can have short term and/or long term effects.  Avoid any drug use for a while to see if your symptoms improve.  Even if you find you have negative symptoms that linger you can still live a long, productive, and wonderful life.  So, be calm and let it run its course.  If you can find a doctor who isn't useless he/she may help as well if you're open about your drug use.

On a side note, I lived in Stockholm when I was a kid.  Great experience!

Edited by MadDoc
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Guys, I cannot thank you enough. I even cried some from your positive answers. Really. I have read them over and over. I guess I need to hear from others who have had it. I am quite deep down in dwelling on this, blaming myself for destroying my life.

But I need to turn away from those thoughts. Firstly, I will nerver use drugs again: obviously some people can do it over and over but for me this is my body telling me never to use again.

Because my doctors believed this to be exhaution syndrome, I have really changed my life a bit the last months. I am more tired than before so I sleep alot, at least 8 hours a night. I eat healthy. I replaced coffee with tea. As of today I will quit snus which is a kind of tobacco we use in Sweden. I keep alcohol to a minimum.

What do you guys think of work-out? I will definitely look into yoga. But if the brain fog increase during exercise, should I take it easy or is it even good to force the brain to get used to the exercise?

I guess I have also seen friends a little less then I usually do, again because I thought this was from exhaution, and all I needed was to rest alot. But I guess now things point to HPPD, it would be better if I just try to live normally?

Again thank you for taking time to answer me. I dont know you guys and yet you do it to help a stranger. You are really good people.

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Exercise is important but equally important is to not overdo it. If your brain doesn't handle lots of exercise then you should listen to it and take it easy. It sounds like you may have been overworking yourself before you got HPPD so that could be part of the problem. This is why yoga could be beneficial. I really think, as Fruitgun said, yoga is especially good for HPPD because it activates the parasympathetic nervous system which seems to be inaccessible for a lot of us with anxiety. I would recommend hot yoga if possible. I've always, always felt way better after doing hot yoga. 

I would say just remember to go slow with exercise. Start with light jogging, yoga, a bit of weights, and then steadily increase. If your brain is feeling overworked then listen to it and stop. You'll be able to work out hard again but you need to gradually work up to it. 

If you're not meditating already you should be. Meditating has helped me tremendously over the last few years since getting HPPD and has totally changed my life. 

Here's a post I made about food a while ago that's really helped me: http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/5344-a-routine-thats-helping-for-newcomers-especially/

You said you drink tea, which is great. Tea had helped me a lot. Just watch out for caffeine. Green tea, black tea, oolong, etc., all have caffeine. I'd recommend chamomile, tulsi and especially hibiscus since it's one of the best antioxidants. You need to eat as many antioxidants as possible to help your brain. Cutting back drastically on sugar, refined carbs, alcohol, etc., will also help your brain a lot. Turmeric is a good one too. 

As far as friends go, you should definitely still hang out with them if you feel comfortable, but I know it can be really difficult. Just tell them what happened and that you can't do drugs and you need some time to yourself. They'll understand. 

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You haven't destroyed your life.  I took psychedelics for 6 years and I ended up with visual hallucinations that, I'm assuming, will never go away.  But you know what?  Life is wonderful and I feel fortunate for every day I wake up on this planet.  You experimented with drugs.  Lots of people do.  Give yourself a break.  More importantly, give yourself some time.  The healing process can be slow.  A positive attitude can go a long way to helping you recover.  I'm no big shot expert on hppd, far from it.  But I have had it for a long time and I found getting focused and getting on with life was the best medicine.  Hang in there and don't despair!

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Okay so I don't have any personal experience with HPPD as I've never taken hallucinagenics before, but before you detest my advice I have suffered quite a bit from depersonalization and panic attacks in general.

first off the foggy feeling is just Depersonalization, which, goes away if you're capable of calming down. Chances are the panic attacks stopped cause you went into the state of dissociation. My advice, try to meditate everyday using a thing called hemisync (do research on it), this will help you learn how to call down. Also try some ADHD medicine like vyvanse if you can, I'd be interested to see if that helps with the fog as it helps me.

youll be fine don't worry, live and learn. Just use this as a chance to push yourself to get the psychiatric help I'm sure you needed before it started anyways.

also, the fact that it didn't happen directly after a trip leads me to believe you just developed dissociation (DP/DR) by consequence of being too stressed, then had the drugs to blame it on so then created a self perpetuating spiral. I would recommend you go to a therapist and psychiatrist and get tested asap.

other than that, just try to not think about how you feel (I realize it's near impossible), do literally anything it takes, preferably find something that's productive and maintable... but if you can't handle it and need some coke... I mean whatever keeps you going.

please note I'm not a doctor and would highly recommend you go to one. But I do promise it gets better and can be completely overcome from my experience, don't give up hope and never stop fighting :) 

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