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Looking for advice on OCD/Psychedelics/HPPD


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I am a 22 year old who has never used psychedelics and would like minimize risks while using them. I’m looking for any information that this community might have.

I have a long-standing history of mental illness It runs in my family. Depression, Anxiety, and OCD. I tried SSRIs and Benzos. SSRIs actually left me worse off afterwards, and Benzos are not a sustainable option. I had been using alcohol and marijuana as ways to temporarily treat my problems, but these were not good things for me in the long run. A breakthrough came through when I tried Ketamine last fall. Ketamine substantially reduced my Depression and Anxiety, but didn’t really touch my OCD. I haven’t done Ketamine in several months and am still feeling much better besides my OCD. I’ve seen a lot of promising research on OCD and psychedelics.

OCD is really bothersome in my life and that’s why I have decided to try psychedelics. I’m worried about HPPD, and therefore am taking the following precautions:

  1. I’ve heard psilocybin may be safer than LSD? It also has more OCD research.
  2. I’m taking psilocybin in my own house with 1-2 good friends who have tried it before, and we’ve made it a very comfortable environment with music and lights etc.
  3. I am planning to use as minimal as a dose of shrooms (0.1-0.5g) instead of a large one. I’d probably spread each dose out by a few weeks.
  4. I’ve stopped all marijuana and alcohol for the past month.
  5. I have benzos on hand should the experience turn negative for me.

Is there anything else that I should consider? Am I reducing my risks of HPPD with my safety measures?

I already get some minor visual disturbances and distortions which may be due to migraines or some other unknown cause. Every few months I'll get a form of white dots jumping around my vision and objects that appear to move closer/further away from me. It reminds me of what I'd see when on Ketamine.

Edited by GhostPSSD
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If you are prone to hppd, I don't really know that any preventive measure will work. I never had a bad trip and now suffer from severe hppd. Is your OCD really troublesome enough to risk a lifetime of severe mental illness? Hppd is way more than just visuals for most here.

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Thanks for the response. The OCD is pretty impactful, and it takes a physical manifestation where I worry about things with my body. That's why I I think HPPD would be hard for me to handle. However, I am able to function with OCD in the sense that I have a job, did well in school, and am hoping to start medical school within the next 2 years. I'd describe OCD as a large weight that I carry around all day and it spends a good portion of the day at the forefront of my mind with repetitive thought loops.

As I mentioned above, I still carry some of the side effects I got on the SSRIs 5 years ago (some sexual and some emotional/anhedonia/tinnitus related) - so I've been through the works of mental torture. I thought I was dying for the first year after that. I'd always assumed that HPPD was similar in that some symptoms from on the trip carried through afterwards. In an ideal world, I'd take a dose so low that I wouldn't have any visual changes. But maybe that's not how it works.

On one end you have silicon valley folks boasting about micro-dosing and it's getting air time on Vice etc as a cure-all. On the other end i guess they have a risk involved as most things in life do.

I did some research on visual snow and that's totally what I have. They look like white bugs crawling around my vision in circles. I've had it since childhood. Usually is triggered by something like bright white snow or high altitude and lasts under a minute.

If that was the type of HPPD that I had but just doubled or tripled in frequency that would be totally worth the risk due to my OCD, but I guess there is no way of knowing.

I have the psilocybin but I'll have to think on it more - definitely a big choice and if nothing else I'll lean further on the side of micro-dose now. I want to understand more about how it helps OCD and what type of dose I'd need for that.

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  • 2 years later...

Hey, hope you're well! I'm just replying to this to see if you (OP) ended up going through with the psilocybin? And if so, how was the outcome?

I am in an extremely similar situation as you and also thinking about partaking in psychedelic therapy. Any response would be super appreciated. Thank you :)

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