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.
During the last 3 months my symptoms increased a lot and I still thinking it’s because Sertraline. I’ve been taking Sertraline 100mg for 3 years now, same with Lorazepam 1g, every day during 3 years.
I talked to my med and he wants to take me off the Sertraline and change Lorazepam for Clonazepam some weeks / months. I am super afraid of withadrawl and also of still using benzodiazepines. My symptoms nowadays are: Severe VS, severe ghosting and palinopsia with afterimages, photophobia, photopsias, nyctalopia, flashes, color problems, apparent movement in objects, kind of bugs in vision, and really mild shaking vision (just on my periphery).
What I can do? Please I need help because my symptoms are so severe nowadays and I don’t want to get them worse, actually I would like they come back at least to last year were they weren’t so noticeable.
I get intrusive thoughts everyday and I need help. I’m 21 years old.
Hello all! I took high grade acid a month ago and had a good trip, although I have been dealing with some very mild static. I think it might be going away but I can’t really tell. I have access to CBD oil, would it help get rid of the symptoms quicker or temporarily? How much should I take at a time? Should I micro dose? Maybe I am impatient; I have been fasting from weed, alc, shrooms, nic, etc for the whole month haha
I’ve been suffering VSS for 2 years into mild and not too symptomatic way, but last month it became so several worse and I want to ask you something about my symptoms because I am super confused and afraid.
Let me explain my case.
About 2 - 3 years ago I tried hashis cigarette from some friends, I had a really bad trip with visual hallucinogens (something that got me super anxious and depressed, I didn’t like the effect).
After some weeks I got panic attacks and much anxiety, so my doctors prescribed me Sertraline 100mg and Lorazepam 1g per day. After some months of getting alright I started getting VS symptom, static dots in my vision like a TV. I went to the doctor but my vision was alright and my brain too, so as it didn’t bother me too much I lived with it for 2 years.
On Summer 2019 I felt so good so I stopped the medication gradually, I stopped the full medication on December 2019. Last month I got too anxious because a medical test. So my VS got worse and I started with flashes in the eyes, palinopsia and severe nyctalopia. I also had a kind of bad tinnitus so I went to the doctor and got treated with Dacortin (corticosteroids).
and also I had to start again with my psychiatrist medication because anxiety and obsessive compulsive intrusive thoughts.
Nowadays my VSS is super severe but I also have some weird, uncomfortable symptoms, and I get something new everyday, I am super afraid.
I have really severe symptoms: VS, palinopsia, nyctalopia, afterimages, really hard flashes at the edge of my vision, spontaneous and random black and bright dots that appear and disappear from the vision quickly, and also I have the perception of looking and object and the object moves so lengt but it only have a seconds duration.
Everyday from 1 month symptoms get worse and worse, I had to stop working because my world is so distorted.
Do you think it’s VSS, or HPPD??
What I can do and how I can be threated? I need help.
I saw a lot of success on Clonazepam and Clonidine or Lamotrigine. Should I go to the doctor to get a prescription of those? I am super afraid, anxious and desesperated.
I also have obsesive and intrusive thoughts about becoming schizophrenic, or suffering it for all the life. I can’t live with that, I feel like living into a psichedelic trip, and I NEVER tried LSD, cocaine, MDMA, or something like that, I have been always fear of these kind of drugs. So what do you think?
Looking for your answer, thanks for your time and attention.
Hello All, My name is Allen. I've browsed this site randomly over the past couple years but was afraid share. I'm in my 30's and have had HPPD 2 for 18 years. I was diagnosed 5 years ago after a seeing countless doctors through the years. Recently I found out my wife was pregnant and I became determined to find a treatment or, god willing, a cure. When I was in my mid teens I took lsd about 5 times and I was a chronic marijuana smoker. The last time I took lsd I smoked weed at the same time and I had the worst experience of my life: My heart began to race uncontrollably, my arms and face became numb; I saw long blury trails on everything and I felt hot and cold all at once. It was so intense that I thought for sure I was going to die. In desperation, I curled up in a ball on my couch, closed my eyes, and began to pray to god repeatedly to make it stop and let me live, until eventually I fell asleep. I woke up the next morning and thanked god I was alive. I swore of lsd forever. Unfortunately that didn't stop me from trying to party with my friends as usual. Every time I smoked weed after that I would have severe panic attacks and almost black out. When I'd drink alcohol I felt like I had a lump in my throat and couldn't breathe. A couple weeks after that horrible trip I woke up to a dull version of the same type of visuals I had the night of my bad trip, I was petrified and began having random panic attacks. I finally told my mother what I did and what happened since and she took me to the doctor. The doctor swore it was depression with anxiety and completely dismissed any lsd involvement. She prescribed me Effexor and xanax. The effexor didn't help at all and it made my heart race. The symptoms were not going away. I was afraid I damaged my brain beyond repair. Shortly after I withdrew from school and became a hermit. The xanax helped a lot with anxiety but the visuals remained. Through the years I saw about a dozen different psychiatrists and none of them knew what was wrong with me and continued me on benzodiazepines and ssri's. I lost my insurance and couldn't afford all the doctor appointments and medicine, so I began getting zoloft and Vicodin off the streets to self medicate. Eventually the visuals became less intense and my panic attacks were less frequent. Although the visuals and anxiety are a part of my daily life, I still manage to function. Some days are worse than others but I forced myself back into society and I got a good job in construction, and married my girlfriend who has been with me through this whole experience. I got off the vicodin with suboxone and continued the zoloft. With the news of our first child, I found a new determination to get rid of this horrible disease for good. I told my doctor that I wanted to try anything we can to make this stop and she agreed to start prescribing me different medications to see what, if anything, will work. She prescribed clonidine last visit and I started it 6 days ago. Unfortunately it hasn't helped my visuals at all and last night I began having strange thoughts and seeing weird images when I closed my eyes. I'll keep everyone updated on how it goes. I'm really hopeful that something will get rid of this for good. Wish me luck and good luck to all of you.
P.s. I am thankful to whomever started and maintains this site. I hope we can get this horrible disease more attention and find a real treatment for it.