Hello everyone, in advance I wanna apologize for my non mother tounge English and for not really coming to an end with telling my story and maybe using the wrong tread for that post.
I‘m not quite sure yet if a self diagnose with HPPD is appropriate for me but I want to tell you about my story, my seizure-similar experiences and my worries about taking meds.
i don’t really know when all of this started.
I‘m 24 now and I’ve been smoking weed regularly since 2015/2016, never had any noticeable problems with consuming it but could always keep it on a kind of moderate level, smoked everyday but usually at night time and never had problems having breaks inbetween for weeks.
August 2019 I went to Indonesia/Gili Islands and „of course“ I had to try one of there mushroomshakes there, Even though I never had drug experiences besides 3 times of mdma and the weed. However, the first mushroom trip was quite pleasing nothing as how I experienced it and the dose was very low as I wanted it to be so I nearly had any hallucinations, my mind felt very clear and I did feel kind of creative. That good and light experience might have taken the my „respect“ of this drug so on that same holiday 2 weeks later I drank another mushroom shake, at night, in my hotel were the atmosphere wasn’t that nice, furthermore my friend I wanted to take it with didn’t notice anything and the dosage was a bit to high for me I guess. I wouldn’t call it having a bad trip, but all of the circumstances kind of freaked me out and I really had to calm myself down throughout the trip. Anyways when I came back to Germany, my home country I ordered some mushrooms from the Netherlands, because I wanted to microdose them, for „selfhealing“ my selfdiagnosed depression that I was to scared to go to a doctor with. In December 2019 I started microdosing for nearly three month, I didn’t feel so much of the positive effects promised but I didn’t stopped smoking while doing it which might me the reason for that, sometimes the day after taking it a felt kinda dizzy and I had that thing called mouches volantes I guess, that seemed like little flys/black dots infront of my eyes, next day I didn’t have anything. Sometimes when I took the dosage in the morning and smoked werd afterwards I got really sensitive to noises which also kind of made me aggressive or I felt like I had to leave the situation. However, all of that stopped when I stopped with the microdosing. At that point I want to say that I hadn’t felt really depressed ever since, anyways I feel like I kind of changed ever since, which I haven’t really noticed as a Problem till a few month ago, that’s why I don’t know if i‘n actually having the HPPD or what it’s caused from. in the past year is started getting more annoyed of people or not really „getting“ their way of living life, I started feeling anxious about talking infront of others and felt Kindle confused when I had too, but it was just in front of my class (i’m studying health science - how ironic I know) and I started isolating myself more, but just felt that I wasn’t as dependent on others as I used too. Then suddenly I started hating the smell and taste of weed, I didn’t like the “relaxing” effects it gave me because I just felt unsatisfied with myself and not good, summer2020 I went on a vacation with my family and didn’t smoke fore 2 month, everything was fine, don’t think I ever felt that good and stable during a vacation in a long period of time. However when I came back to the city I’m studying in and to my circle of friends who is smoking weed excessively I started smoking again too, with the differences that I felt that weed didn’t have any effect on me anymore, I couldn’t smell it, didn’t really taste it, it didn’t make me tired anymore, there was still a slight change but I don’t really know what made me continue smoking, I also noticed that it got kind of Heard- for me to not smoke for a few days because it made me feel really weird, I thought I couldn’t focus as much anymore and I thought I needed it to write on my assignments, I don’t really know. I felt kind of anxious at some points when I was smoking and had those weird episodes which makes me think there might be more connection to seizures.
in the past 6 month it had happened that when I smoked time seemed to pass on “double-time” like really really fast and voices of YouTube videos sounded quite weird, sometimes when was reading it felt like it takes me less then 3 seconds to read through a pages and sometimes I could hear my heartbeat really really loud and thought it was really fast but when was measuring it everything was fine. I found this forum where people are describing similar situation but there is not a clear diagnose to it yet, some people are talking about DEREALISATION but some people are also diagnosed with SEIZURES due to those episodes were there was also found proof for it in brain storms. I can’t find an English tread where it’s described but if you type in everything feels loud and fast into google you can find treads liked to derealisation but also to partial epilepsy.
on New Years I took mdma and it was kind of weird because I needed nearly double the dose of my flatmate even though I didn’t consume it for 3 years in advance, everything felt fine and I felt happy as I always do on mdma. Next day was fine too, but that’s when I started questioning myself more and more, especially because I felt like nothing really had any effect on my mind or my body, like I was non existent. With that I’m talking about the not getting stoned anymore, being able to take very high mdma doses and just stopping to smoke cigarettes without really caring or feeling any withdrawal about it after smoking around twenty cigs for the past 8 years. I got really worried about myself even though I felt good in general, but somehow too good, like nothing really bothered me or could get close to me without the feeling of being depressed.
the experience I made that made me stop smoking weed and being scared of ever wanting to take any kind of drug ever in my life again, also made me go to a psychologist since it made me really panic. I started blaming the weird effect of the weed on me, that I couldn’t taste or really smell it on the weed because I know there was going some bad Chinese chemical cannabidoids around close to the town I’m studying in, anyways when I went to my hometown I brought some of it because I somehow got really used to smoking weed and with that I mean a lot of weed, even though I never had a tolerance with it before or anything I started rolling blunts without feeling anything the weeks in advance. Since I was kind of unsure about the weed after I heard about the chemical Chinese thing I rolled a joint and just put a little tiny amount of it in the joint, when I hitted it first I already felt anxious about it, after 4-5 hits I had to stop smoking because everything started feeling very weird for me again, I tried to do some anxiety meditation and while I was sitting on my Yogamatt my whole body started shaking even though I felt relaxed, the speakers voice got so loud even I lowered my laptops tone to the lowest and everything started speeding up, my environment started looking weird as I everything was drawn (now I know that that’s how it looks when you are derealized) but it was just so much worse then my worst state of derealisation, but somehow feeling calm meanwhile.
However, that’s when I told myself I need to stop, I already had made an appointment at the psychiatrist before that situation but there were still a few days to go which where really horrific.
I posted about those “fast and loud” situations on an neurological Facebook page where people told me about their kids having experienced the exact same and then were diagnosed with epilepsy.
now to the current situation:
I got really really anxious about what could be wrong with me, I thought I just got schizophrenia or really bad psychosis, but it was just a really bad state of derealisation and an extrem depersonalize where I couldn’t feel myself anymore and felt like someone else was talking and people started looking differently and so on and I felt tense and sweaty 24/7. The psychologist I’m still seeing weekly ever since diagnosed me with an anxiety disorder, depression and derealisation symptoms caused by a childhood trauma (my dad was killed when I was at the age of two). She prescribed seroquel/quetiapin at the lowest dose of 25mg, mainly because she thinks it heals for the derealisation which is kept up by anxiety and to relax my mind again. I took it at night before going to sleep, my bad derealisation and depersonalization actually went away and I felt really really good even though it’s a very low dose, anyways, I’m not really feeling fine with taking meds which made me anxious about the seroquel and check on google all of the time as if it was my main problem now. When reading the first “bad” experiences I started thinking about it in a more negative way even though it still made me feel as good and motivated as I haven’t felt in YEARS, which also freaked me out because I wasn’t used to feeling that good. My psychologist wants to give me the control over the medicating and leaves it up to me if I’m taking it or not, if I stop taking it every now and then to control how I’m feeling without it and so on.
right now and don’t really know what to do. I took the seroquel for 1 month now, last week I stopped taking it because I got scared of all the negative side effects I was reading about on the internet. After not taking it I didn’t have any sleeping problems, anyways I don’t feel that motivated anymore and I’m struggling keeping active as much as I did in the Seroquel. I notice those visual effects as “heatwaves”, sometimes a dot infront of my eyes when I’m reading and a thing that I can only describe as seeing the “molecules” in the air but I had those things the past year every now and then without giving them to much value.
now that I’m reading about the HPPD which might be my actual problem I don’t really know what to do anymore.
I’m scared that taking the Seroquel will disturb my self healing process if HPPD or make it last even though it might have vanished in its own after a few more month on the other hand I feel better with the Seroquel but with all the posts about Seroquel not being good for HPPD it gets me worries that I might worsen the situation or as I already said, make it stay even though it might have been gone in it’s own after a few more month.
I don’t want to try out other things but since the LAMOTRIGIN is used for epilepsy and epilepsy might show the same symptoms of the derealisation I had that I now think came from the HPPD rather then from child trauma I somehow think there could be more connection between it and I should try it out but also with that I’m scared that it makes the HPPD manifest and that it will have even worse negative side effects then the low dose of Quetiapin I’m taking. I’m reading that best thing is not taking anything which I feel too but on the other hand I felt so much better with the Seroquel and now that I’m not using it my brain fog and my unmotivatedness and my anxiety makes me feel worse and tired and I actually need to function.
I don’t really know what answers or inputs I’m hoping to get from this post of myself I just felt like I need to share everything that’s going through my mind even though it might be kind of confusing. I don’t really feel supported with those thoughts by my psychologist because as I mentioned she’s leaving it up to me if I take it or not. But I just don’t know. I can’t and I don’t want to talk to her about thinking that I have HPPD because I’m scared that she doesn’t know how to treat it and neither does anyone else around where I come from.
I smoked first time 0.2 No effect, no withdrawal.
I smoked week later 0.2 acid Panic attack, little trip, lasted 15mins. Withdrawal, irritable 3days.
Smoked month later 1.0 (Strong unknown, not wet(i think non acid) high fun
Next day 1.0 high fun.
Here we go... First strange thing i noticed, third day i was high in afternoon without weed. Normal week, clear brain. I drunk 0.5l of vodka and next day i got all visual snow symptoms. I was so stressed that i damaged my brain for 2months. Last 2months (4months of visual snow) i started to see things.. some sort of faces or eyes in front of me. Faces and strange objects in corner of eye.
I'm not in psychosis. I know whats real and not even with depersonalization. I can imagine sounds(that happened before, like dog bark or something) or stuck them for minutes.
I'm schizophrenic or what? These hallucinations are so strange... Will i heal after all? For now ofc i want to heal my hallucinations but visual snow is destroying me too.
I hope we will all heal from this.
P.S. I stopped everything after visual snow. No drugs, No alchogol, fuck this shit really.
Hi Everyone! It's very rare for me to use online forums however due to this disorder being so rare I thought it'd be the best way to meet new people who have experienced similar things.
My name is Neve, I am 18 years old and currently a University student in England. I've never been that adventurous with drugs and up until university I had only ever touched weed, even then it only being a round 5 times (first time being 15 years old).
When I started university, naturally, I became more exposed to drugs and tried LSD for the first time and again a week later. Both trips I really enjoyed and got the typical experience (enhanced colours, sensations, patterns and sound etc..) It wasn't until I experienced 'flashbacks' on a random Tuesday night. My flatmates were smoking weed however I didn't due to feeling ill. I'm not sure if it was me being ill or the secondary smoke or the combination however I began to experience the same visuals and sensations as I did on my second trip (which was a lot more intense). I was convinced I had accidentally took acid or something..
One of the main things I noticed was colours changing/morphing into new ones, floral patterns and materials looking like they had layers; almost as if things were floating and breathing. At first I thought it was quite cool and I viewed it merely as a pleasant visual that would last a few hours. It has been almost 3 months since that experience and nothing has changed.
It would be interesting to see how having HPPD has affected peoples lives. I try and just go with it, however, recently I have been struggling with it. I have never suffered with mental health issues (not that intense anyway) yet since starting university, my anxiety has been at its peak. Whenever I feel stressed or tired, my visuals enhance thus increasing my anxiety often resulting in panic attacks. After lots of research reading articles, watching documentaries etc, it seems incurable and something that I may just have to live with. Again, it would be really nice to meet people and learn about each others experience with Hallucinogenics.
This might be a long one, but here goes. I've been looking at this site since the end of November, and I think I've found what's been affecting me.
I'm 22-years old; a college student living in student accommodation away from home during term. I've occasionally experimented with drugs since I was about 15 (in social groups, never alone), but it was only in the last year or so that I ever tried ecstasy or LSD – not something I've done often but I found them quite positive experiences. Both times I took acid were quite low doses, and generally njoyable experiences. The only thing I noticed was that I often get bad anxiety from smoking weed since the first time I tripped; before acid this never happened. The experiences were so positive that I became a little bit obsessed with psychedelia; the music, the art, all the hippy stuff basically. For weeks after my trips I felt more clear-minded, focused, happy and just generally appreciative of life – even when COVID lockdowns became a part of our lives last March.
After lockdown during the summer of last year I partied with friends for a couple of days straight; lots of alcohol, ketamine, and on the last day we all took a some of ecstasy. The afternoon of the day I came home I began experiencing what I think was serotonin syndrome; I got waves of panic, heart palpitations, agitation. It was very unpleasant, and it stuck in my mind long after I felt better.
My current predicament was triggered by a caffeine-induced panic attack at the end of last September; I saw a flash of light in my peripheral vision after drinking black coffee, which led to continuing anxiety, visual disturbances, panic attacks, and negative thought loops – all these symptoms seem to come in waves, there's days or weeks when they're far less apparent and times when they feel overwhelmingly intense. I even got an eye test and was prescribed glasses for slight nearsightedness, but they said there was absolutely nothing wrong with my eyes from what they could tell. I had an ECG and a blood test at the doctors too, and they said there didn't seem to be any health issues that they could see – which is good news.
Visual disturbances include visual snow (VS), prolonged after-images, floaters, blue sky ectopic phenomenon (a swirling or rapid movement effect on skies – especially on a bright blue day), as well as occasional perception of movement or lights in peripheral vision, “cracks” or vein/branch-like after-images in my field of vision just after blinking for a few minutes after I wake up, and flashes of light when the eyes are closed (when trying to sleep).
These visual disturbances often create a sense of anxiety, and distract me from everyday tasks. The anxiety tends to get worse if I'm hungover, at night, and especially when I’m trying to fall asleep. I’ve also been experiencing occasional high-pitched ringing sound in my ears (more the right ear than the left one), heart flutters/palpitations, a slight feeling of nausea (generally worse after eating), and a sudden sense of dizziness or disconnection which may trigger mental panic or turmoil. Episodes like this don’t happen frequently, but are usually accompanied by a hot feeling in my face and an over-sensitivity to noises and sensations around me, with even a relaxed living room feeling chaotic and overwhelming.
Unpleasant episodes like this tend to happen on days when I spend a lot of time ruminating about my condition. My mind often gravitates towards the idea that I may have a serious mental disorder – especially schizophrenia, despite not demonstrating the symptoms of this disorder (delusions, complex hallucinations, hearing voices, etc.). It’s more of a fear that I am experiencing what comes before a psychotic episode (prodromal period), and a feeling of helplessness and panic quickly grows out of this.
I spend a lot of time Googling symptoms of various mental illnesses as way to reassure myself that I’m not psychotic, but sometimes I think I’m subconsciously trying to confirm that I am – however labored the justification may be. I think a lot of this is mainly down to the visual issues, but also the general ‘out of sorts’ feelings I’ve had. When I’m feeling particularly out of sorts or anxious, my mind tends to feel jumbled and chaotic – a fuzzy psychedelic feeling in my mind’s eye where it’s difficult to clearly visualize things properly or think clearly. This feeling can be intense and distracting, and it often makes me feel lethargic or low on energy.
I also have trouble sleeping, or rather trouble going to sleep before 12 am. This isn’t a new thing; it has been a recurring issue for me for the last four or five years, but never as consistently problematic for my mental health (being due to anxiety or visual issues), and I was rarely ever kept awake when I wanted to sleep. These sleep problems often mean I wake up and fall asleep again multiple times every morning and struggle to fully get up before 11 am, and I think this effects my productivity for the rest of the day. I don’t feel well-rested when I wake up, so I think this messes with my mood throughout the day.
Today I had the worst panic attack of my life; in broad daylight on a pleasant day at home surrounded by my family. I haven't taken anything (even alcohol or cigarettes) since before Christmas, so that hasn't added to my problems thankfully. I began to fixate on the sense of movement in my peripheral vision and visual snow, which set off my anxiety in an extremely intense way and it has taken all day to calm myself down.
After talking with my parents we agreed it might be time to see a doctor; this isn't going to go away easily and I just want to rule out any other possibilities.
Apologies for the length of this post, I just had to get it all out. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I would appreciate any advice. I will post an update if my symptoms change, and I'll try to keep up to date on any future developments.