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So I developed this whole thing 6 years ago when I was 17, now I’m 23

A summer of multiple trips on mushrooms and then a strong trip of 3 hits of acid that left me extremely terrified. 

My biggest problem was seeing thousands of faces in everything, which started from seeing some scary looking ones while tripping. After the LSD, I didn’t fully come down for sometime and developed all the typical symptoms of HPPD (visual snow, tinnitus, etc.).

I swore off all drugs and subtances of any kind for months, and within the first year really did nothing but drink rarely, which didn’t effect me much besides things being worse during a hangover. I also never took any sort of medication for depression or anything. 

As time went by, I kept living life and things got better to the point where I stopped noticing faces everywhere and the other symptoms improved for sure, they didn’t ever completely go away but without a doubt improved. There was one point I remember seeing a face on the floor and thinking, wow I haven’t even thought about that in a long time, which was quite reassuring. All of my symptoms didn’t get in the way of my living a completely normal life. 

HPPD became so accepted by me that I knew I’d deal with it forever, but the level of it was so tolerable, I knew I’d never have any problems as long as I never did any psychedelics or smoked weed again. It would have its ups and downs, but always was at a manageable base line.

My diet has consistently been good, I’ve consistently exercised and meditated, my life up to about a month ago was extremely enjoyable and borderline perfect. 

I really didn’t even consider myself to have HPPD any longer, I forgot about the word itself, and just knew I had a slightly different perspective on things.  I could drink coffee and alcohol freely without worsening anything.

Then, there was an extremely hot day (116f) where I got heat exhaustion at work, took a break and felt ok for the rest of the day. I had a red-eye flight at the end of this long day, and never managed to get any dinner. I tried to sleep on the flight but never really got much. Upon reaching my destination I noticed my symptoms were bad but I knew why, and anytime they would get bad I’d always be able to tell myself that with some rest and recovery they would get better. That day I started noticing faces in things again and had a small panic attack, but pulled myself out of it by knowing how things always return to their normal. I didn’t sleep much the next night either, but napped sufficiently the next day. By this point I felt fine, I thought to myself that whole experience was weird but I’ll be fine. The next day, after having to wake up extremely early for work, again in the excruciating heat, I noticed things being bad again, particularly seeing more faces and snow worse than I had at any point since originally getting HPPD. 

Its been about a month since, and early on I kept up with the mindstate that it will all blow over. I’ve made sure to work out, eat right, and meditate as much as I can. I also started taking fish oil, and NAC. 

Now this is all I think about, things were so good and now they are worse than ever, I think I’d be a lot better off but my mind is in a constant loop about it and I don’t know how to break that thought process. 

Im wondering how/why things got so out of control, and Im looking for some advice on how to stop the obsession and wondering if things will return to how they were or if I’ve permanently made things worse? 

I find it so strange that things got so good then went bad after such a long period of time, while I never retried Psychedelics or even smoked weed again.

Edited by Dsutton
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Stress and lack of sleep are the key reasons for spikes in symptoms (outside of drug use). The good news is they are almost always "just" spikes and you will get back to baseline, it might take a few more months, just keep on fighting.

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