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Do I have HPPD?

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I began using marijuana, MDMA, mushrooms, and Salvia early in high school. I  was raised in Oregon where these were all very commonplace. I can't pinpoint when my symptoms began but for about the last 8 years (I'm 24 now), I've seen carpet blend together, lines in tile move, walls shift, and felt a strong disassociation with other people; all accompanied by a strong, ever-present visual snow. I only recently learned the term for visual snow, which led me here. 

A few months ago, I swore weed off forever when I smoked and it felt like I was honestly tripping - I knew that the weed was making whatever I'm experiencing worse. 

I'm currently in law school and doing very well, but I'm worried that I'll start having issues as my "visual snow" is making it nearly impossible to read (90% of a lawyer's job). The words will move back-and-forth, and I'll have to struggle through the pages. 

I've spent a long time trying to figure out what I have,in order to help myself. It's not the kind of thing that I can share with anyone, without sounding insane. I researched psychosis and different medical conditions but none of them were able to capture what i was experiencing until I came across HPPD. 

I'm honestly terrified and experiencing a lot of anxiety over the visual distortions. I'm not paranoid or having delusional thoughts, but I do feel like I'm in a constant state of tripping. I've felt it get worse recently, which is what prompted the renewed online search. Do my symptoms sound similar to what some of y'all are experiencing? I had thoughts of suicide, not in accordance with any plan, but thinking that that might be my only way out of feeling this way. Some days (weeks, months) are better than others but it's always there. 

If my symptoms sound familiar to some of you, how do you cope with them effectively? How do you lessen the symptoms? I'll do more reading in these pages but If my questions have been answered in other threads I'd love to be pointed in the right direction. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm not qualified to make a diagnosis but what you're experiencing, especially the visual anomolies, is what I deal with.  I too can't use cannabis.  It amplifies the visuals and I lose the ability to communicate.  In other words, it sends me into outer space.  Staying clear of psychoactive substances is an excellent step to getting well.

My advice is to give it hell.  In other words don't let it win.  Stay focused and work toward your goals.  Over time, the symptoms will probably moderate.  Some symptoms may totally disappear.  For the stubborn issues, your brain will adapt.  I've had pretty significant visuals for my entire adult life.  Even if you have hppd you can lead a wonderful life. 

I thought about what you wrote and wanted to add more.  If you're having thoughts of checking out please get some help.  I'm not a religious sort but I view every day I have on this planet as a miracle.  You're clearly a bright person.  Find your path to being well.  I realize law school can be very stressful.  Address the stress in your life and living becomes easier.  I strongly recommend mindful meditation.  It worked for me.

Hang in there!

Edited by MadDoc
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