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.
Been on and off this forum since I got HPPD 6 years ago but never posted.
I'd had a solid 4 years of stability and thought I was well on the road to accepting the condition and dealing with my new life. (I got HPPD in 2014 after taking LSD for the first and only time - tho I had been doing MDMA and Weed for a while before).
Sadly that all changed early this year. I took on a massively stressful project at work late last year and by the end of Jan my DP/DR was suddenly through the roof (no change in visuals tho). I was getting jamais vu every day and getting these emotions/memories that just didn't feel like mine. I tried to just keep going with the hope that it would recede again ... it didn't. Unfortunately, It's been like a perfect storm with Covid-19. When Lockdown happened I was stuck by myself for like 2 months and it just spiralled. In short I now realise that I'm properly depressed in a way I've never been before. Obviously, I'm freaking out cus I know how SSRI's can go down. I tried 1 10mg amitriptyline (TCA) just before LD and it just made me feel super narsty so I didn't continue (no affect on my HPPD tbf tho). I've read some people do ok on Wellbutrin but I've also seen people say it doesn't work for long. I've been wondering whether anyone has had any experience with taking MAOi's - I've searched thru previous posts and haven't found much (apologies if I've just missed it I'm not really with it atm)? TBH I'd be really grateful for any recommendations at this point.
TLDR: Has anyone tried MAOi for depression - any feedback on how it affected their HPPD?
Im totally aware I do this but now my kids ( well, my youngest kid! ) has noticed and this has turned into family ' lets poke fun at Dad' thing - if only they knew the cause!! Hah! :-$
So, anyway, I have a really weird thing, and I quantify if my thinking, if I touch things 'they will be ok and won't start moving again', i.e., start tripping again! I mean, when I'm in the car, I regularly flick/tap the windscreen with my nail on my middle finger, sitting at home I do the same on tables if I'm walking past a wall to the wall, even lying in bed, ill often reach out and trap the wall, also to make sure its all still 'there'!!! My daughter says I often tap my self too, usually on the forehead, I mean, wtf!!! LOL
Sometime I STILL have that sinking feeling when you are falling deep into trip, that horrible feeling in your mouth too, and wake up sweating and tap the wall to make sure everything is all right!
Crazy I know, and note, I'm 27 years into living with HPPD so am pretty long in the tooth, and honestly, since joining this forum, completely at terms with it knowing I am not insane, or crazy, or on an endless trip ( even tho I think I am to an extent ) or the only guy in the world to have had 'this' happen to him!
Anyway, just one of my MANY brain bending quirks I have after many years of abuse! Double note, 8 years drug ( coke ) free, 20 years Acid and 'E' free. Still enjoy alcohol, and caffeine, and I must confess, taking Vallium on a few long haul flights recently was pure bliss, although also reminded me of some dark times during the 'downers years'!!!
Anyway, anyway. maybe its just me, thought id throw it our there anyways!
Im 19yo, I developed hppd a year and a half ago and always checked this forum, but never had an account.
at the age of 12, I was diagnosed with anxiety/depression and since I was a kid I felt what we call dp/dr, visual snow and tinnitus. I used to treat anxiety taking sertraline, but stopped before drugs.
After starting smoking weed and doing some ecstasy, mdma, mda and cocaine accidentally (who gave it to me told it was mdma), I noticed a lot of worsening in my symptoms, I noticed that I had palinopsia too, I freaked out and got really bad, for like 9 or 10 months.
I did everything to get better (really everything). Took some benzos to chill out (Clonazepam, Alprazolam and Diazepam), did acupuncture (I think that helped), started eating better, exercise, treated my spirit with a sensitive woman, a lot of things.
Nowadays, I think my symptoms are like they were before drugs (?) but they definitely got better and some vanished, but now I know that I have palinopsia too.
I drink alcohol, I roll my own tobacco and sometimes take a good amount of xanax. None of these make me feel worse.
My question is, these days my anxiety is on maximum state, my doctor recommended me taking wellbutrin, because he knows I will never touch ssri's and I don't want to get addicted to benzo s, do you guys think taking it has a chance to bring back my old symptoms and worsen the ones that I already have?
ps. Once, when I was "recovered", I gave weed a try and it didn't increased my visuals symptoms in a way that I noticed, but gave me a trigger on my anxiety in the next days.
Thx and greetings from Brazil (Is my english that bad?)
I hope all of you guys recover from this thing that we suffer.
I don't know why I've got hppd, the symptoms started years after my bad trip. I used to smoke a lot of "spice" when I was a teen, one time I had a really bad trip, strange hallucinations, and a panic attack. Years after, hppd like symptoms occured, like trails, afterimages etc, but I can't find a cause except maybe anxiety.