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Is HPPD toxic anoxia?

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I was listening to a podcast yesterday where someone with a brain injury was talking about how suicidal ideation is a common symptom or outcome of brain damage and I thought it was interesting given I had severe ideation through about the first year and a half of dealing with HPPD. It was also remarkable how similar her symptoms and story were to mine, which is often the case when I hear or read about brain injuries. 

I've long held HPPD is a brain injury but of course I can't prove it and neither can anyone here until more research is conducted, which unfortunately isn't likely anytime soon. That said, here are some similarities between common brain injury symptoms and my experience with HPPD:

-- A "normal" life that abruptly changes after the occurrence of an incident resulting in complete life upheaval (state of abnormality if you will)

-- Painstakingly slow recovery over the course of years following a balance of mostly rest with some mental and physical exercise (this would explain why stimulant substances and sometime even exercise often exacerbate HPPD symptoms; a damaged body needs rest, not stimulation)

-- Compromised brain cell metabolism and glucose (explains brain fog head pain from sugary foods)

-- Headache and head pain

-- Difficulty with balance

-- Blurred vision

-- Visual disturbances 

-- Fatigue

-- Changes in sensory perception (DP-DR could certainly qualify) 

-- Memory loss and forgetfulness 

-- Delayed mental processing 

-- Trouble speaking

-- Disoriented sleep patterns

-- Poor attention

-- Depression and anxiety

-- Light and sound sensitivity 

-- Nausea

-- Irritability and mood changes

--Inappropriate behavior

-- Difficulty with reason, logic or focus

-- Personality changes

-- Normal MRIs 

As my condition has improved so have all my symptoms, however what I find striking about the list above is how many of these symptoms I had when I first got HPPD. In fact, I don't know that there's any I did not have, outside of perhaps nausea. I also never got around to taking my MRI but given the normality of those who have and the fact mild brain injuries don't show up in the scans it's also another similarity that shouldn't be overlooked. 

Part of the problem with identifying HPPD as a "brain injury" is that most of us have seen doctors who aren't trained in identifying subtle injuries outside the pervasive "Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)" category which is mostly defined as injuries sustained through force. However, there are other forms of brain injuries, including mild brain injuries, that break down into many different categories and classifications which could very well correlate with HPPD. The most likely I've found is what's called "toxic anoxia," which is when the brain doesn't get enough oxygen due to toxic chemical interference. According to the Honor Society of Nursing, illegal street drugs are considered culprits of toxic anoxia. 

Another interesting field of study involving brain injury is that of impaired cellular function and metabolism in the immediate aftermath of the sustained injury. Regardless of what exactly leads to HPPD there can be little doubt that our brains are underperforming, which could be a result of abnormal and impaired cellular metabolism -- essentially, the normal processes of healthy cellular functioning have been interrupted for whatever reason. If you're someone who takes issue with the idea of necrosis then perhaps you will be more comfortable with the idea that the cells in our brains still exist but are simply shocked and unable to perform in high-potency environments. 

I'm enjoying reading about this stuff so I'm going to continue to see what I can find and will post here if anything piques my interest, however I do think it's important to plant this seed and get the HPPD community open to thinking about brain injuries specifically. If we continue to maintain the attitude HPPD is a beyond our understanding simply because we don't understand it then we likely won't make any progress in getting the medical attention we deserve. I think if we can at least adopt a general acceptance of some from of brain injury it would at least help push us in the right direction medically and away from the much stigmatized psychiatric route we've often pursued. If we push the narrative that toxic drugs lead to brain injury by talking with neurologists rather than that hallucinogens unlock some form of deep-seeded emotional imbalance by seeking out psychiatrists I think we'll have more luck in at least getting some attention to be honest. I really do think the way we phrase our condition can have an affect on how soon we're treated or whether we're treated at all. 

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I’ve had several TBIs in my life and found that Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Therapy was beneficial. The treatment didn’t seem to do much to put a dent in HPPD though. That being said, I do believe brain damage may have something to do with this disorder. I’m particularly reminded of a guy who was trying to acquire nsi-189 for carbon monoxide induced brain injury. If he had said he had taken hallucinogens I would have said he had one of the worst cases of hppd I’ve seen. So many similarities. 


That’s a scary thought—but it doesn’t mean it can’t be managed or even essentially corrected. I’ve had experiences with the right combination of supplements and medications where I was happier and cognitively sharper than even before I got hppd. Unfortunately, in the past I’ve gotten complacent when I’ve felt better and screwed myself up by trying something I shouldn’t thinking I’m “normal again”. 

Good news is, longevety research is all about regrowing the brain. We’ll see some major breakthroughs in our lifetime that I have no doubt will benefit those with hppd.

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KB Fante....I think you are on target! I suffered a concussion many years after onset of HPPD that resulted in visual and sensory disturbances other than what I had from HPPD. 

The very trauma of damage causes emotional and psychological effects as well which can include depression and anxiety.

One can treat the symptoms but the core matter is the brain damage. Sometimes the brain repairs itself, sometimes the damage heals or the brain simply rewires!

I believe, like you, that it is imperative to look at HPPD FIRST as brain damage from a chemical substance. Layaside the stigmas associated with the whole psychedelic aspect. 

So, we discover the chemical alterations and the symptoms they produce? 

If we were accidently poisoned by a substance, no doubt research would take a priority. 

This is how we must look at Psychedelics minus all the culture surrounding it's history and use.

Take away the aspect that HPPD is self inflicted. 

Take away the fact that the very substances that cause HPPD are and have been illegal.

Then perhaps there would be a greater concern.

Who are these mad sorcerers who make these potions to begin with? And why?

Can we talk about that??



Edited by Kaleidoscope
Misspelled, mistake....
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