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Echoes01
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i'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but i thought i'd check in to see how all my fellow hallucinogenic victims are doing. my story is long and tired, and i'm sure would sound very familiar to many of you. i acquired self-proclaimed hppd almost 6 years ago this year, and i almost immediately began to take clonazepam and trazodone to treat it. after 4 years of over-medicated nonsense, i took it upon myself to ditch the drugs altogether, and for the past two years i've been getting by naturally (i still smoke weed, sue me). this choice has been a mixed bag of good, bad, and confusing feelings. i go through waves of good periods and bad periods. my visuals are still ever-present and strong, but they don't bother me at all anymore. i've adjusted to them in the best way possible. i have problems with excessive fatigue, migraines, and nausea that did not exist before i took medication, which to me is evidence enough that pharmaceutical drugs are just as dangerous as hallucinogens, especially when used in the long term.

aside from all of that, i feel like i'm managing my life extremely well, and i'm significantly happier and more productive than i was while on medication. if anyone is interested in hearing what i do to manage my symptoms naturally, i'd be happy to go into detail for you. i don't find spending a lot of time on these support forums to be helpful whatsoever, so i try to avoid them if i can, but i figure that since this place is up and running again, it wouldn't hurt to try and offer assistance to those who were in the same position i was in 5-6 years ago.

some of you may remember me from the old board. i recognize Jay, shaolinbomber, and 1998. not sure who else is still kicking around, but i'm happy to see you're all still kicking. :)

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alright mate.. good to hear from you.

glad to hear you are off the meds too, i don't think it is the best way to deal with this... The real healing comes from battling this, in my opinion.

how was your experience coming off the benzos?

and yea, please share any tips on how you are coping.

All the best, Jay

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it's certainly not all good. keep in mind that when i say i manage my symptoms, i don't mean that they're gone. i still experience a whole bunch of different visual/mental/physical sensations all the time. the way i feel on a daily basis is clearly not the way a normal person is supposed to feel. i get brain fog, anxiety, periods of hopelessness, depression etc. i barely pay attention to my visuals anymore, but they're all there. i can wave my arms around and see thick, long trails if i pay attention. positive and negative after images, physical feelings of floating or sinking, everything breathing and flexing in and out. it's a bizarre experience. i often have trouble communicating well with other people, but other times i'm completely fine. i smoke weed because when i'm smoking it regularly i don't get migraines. did i mention i get blindingly bad migraines? they're a product of benzodiazepine withdrawal that i still experience years down the road. luckily they're rare, i've only had a handful; less than a dozen. i experienced all of these symptoms while on medication as well, and they were worsened upon withdrawal for a very long time. it's been over two years since i discontinued valium and just over a year since i finally quit trazodone. i have periods where these symptoms are EXTREMELY bad for months at a time. it waxes and wanes, and lately it seems like they flash back and forth even more quickly, which is good in a way, but also unpredictably bad.

the way i cope with it is to push the fuck through it, no matter how awful i'm feeling that day. it's as simple as that. i stopped making excuses for myself. i started working out 4 days a week, lifting weights, intense cardio. i started eating a high protein diet. i eat a high protein small meal or snack every 2-3 hours. limiting my simple sugar intake has been extremely helpful. i stopped drinking all juice and all fruit. for carbs i eat oatmeal in the morning, and rye bread an hour or so before working out. i eat LOTS of raw vegetables. no caffeine, no cigarettes, and very recently i swore off alcohol. i got a job and i went back to school. i focus on making money an and try to stay productive in class. just doing things that challenge my state i find to be extremely difficult, yet rewarding. instead of spending all my time trying to figure out HPPD, i just maintain progress in some other area of my life, and everything improves as a whole. i feel like i have more reason to live now than ever before in my life. this doesn't mean every day is good, but there are moments, and i cherish them. and things are steadily getting better. i don't feel different than i did a month ago, but compared to how i felt in the fall, i feel like a million bucks. it may take years, but i maintain that i will be okay someday. patience and hard work, folks.

i feel like medication isn't so much battling HPPD as it is ignoring it.

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i feel like medication isn't so much battling HPPD as it is ignoring it.

Couldn't have put it any better... and when you ignore a problem, it generally bites you in the ass, sooner or later.

One question, what is the thinking behind cutting out fruit/juice? Is that part of the fitness plan or something to do with hppd?

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Vitamins do help. Sounds like he is trying to get as much as possible from the raw veggies. There's lots of different types of diets that are perceived to be healthy in different ways. He wants to limit his sugar as much as possible. Lot's of fruit juices contain high sugar content: http://www.bbc.co.uk...health-17731052

Personally, I'm just trying to have a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. The only thing I need to work on is limiting my sweet intake. I eat them every day, can't help myself!

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i might try it then. maybe il cut out the fresh juices. eat more raw veg. anything else ud recommend?

stay as healthy as you can. i recommend intense exercise. take up a new sport. join a martial arts gym. brazilian jiu jitsu and boxing are generally so intense that you don't have time to think about HPPD. focus on making your life better in ways that have nothing to do with HPPD. there is no magic bullet cure. you need to trial and error your way to something that works for you. find a reason for living that doesn't involve feeling good.

you shouldn't expect any of this advice to remove your HPPD. i still experience full blown HPPD nearly every day. these are just things i do to help myself keep pushing through.

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