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SSRI, less chanse of remission?


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So, i got HPPD from a couple of hits of cannabis 4 weeks ago which have pretty much ruined my life because of the crippling anxiety, blurry/static vision and slight dr. Anyhow, i read that Abraham said that around 50% makes a spontaneous remission within the first months, which i pray for! But i wonder, do you think that the use of SSRI (Citalopram) will lower the chanses of this? I've been on 20 mg daily for 13 years.

I also take 10 mg of Oxazepam daily now to relieve some of the symptoms and make this nightmare more managable. 

Edited by Hall89
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Hello, 

I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling with this disorder.  I am not a doctor but I have been on an SSRI for years and had very good success with remission of symptoms.  To me, what makes sense is for you to not change anything and just give it time (again I am not a doctor).    I tell everyone the same simple advice that worked for me early on:

  • Stop all drugs (even alcohol for a but if you can) 
  • Get as much sleep as you can 
  • Exercise regularly even if it makes your symptoms worse
  • Eat well 
  • Stay busy with work/ school/ hobby etc
  • Try not to worry 

Anxiety will typically exacerbate symptoms so try and minimize this if you can, take a walk, learn to meditate, do something you enjoy.  You don't have brain damage, you can recover.  I am a 3rd year mathematics PhD student and doing well and I have a long history of psychedelic abuse.  If I can recover you can too! Hang in there buddy and keep reaching out but don't let HPPD dominate your thinking. 

Take Care,

Nick 

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Thanks for your answer! Glad to hear that your symotoms have decreased, which if i may ask? Have the s/blurry vision cleared up?

When it comes to the anxiety nothing but benzos help, i've tried keeping myself busy, but it does nothing, my fear of this not going away and the consequenses it would have completely dominates me atm. I've had to pause my studies because it's too difficult reading on the screen and it feels like the brain fog has robbed me of half my IQ and ability to focus.

But i have stopped all drugs, including caffeine and i get enough sleep. It's quite ironic that i got this since i've only used marijuana at a few ocations in my life and drink 4-5 times a year, eat well and have exercised 4-5 days a week the last 13 years. 

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I understand man, I will say that for me even though it may seem like it did, HPPD had zero effect on my intelligence.  I will tell you (not to worry you) but benzos do come with a warning of long-term side-effects to include addiction and they're not great for the brain... Just keep those in mind.  I do also highly recommend trying to incorporate meditation into your life.  It really helped me with intrusive thoughts, anxiety and overall well being.  Plus it's been shown to be good for your brain!  If you want to talk about getting started with meditation that let me know. 

 

Take care 

Nick 

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Glad to hear that it didn't have an effect on that! Yea, i will get off them tomorrow and try another sedative, like Prometazine, since it isn't addictive. I will also look in to meditation tomorrow! 

 

How long have you had HPPD, what did you get it from, what was your symptoms in the beginning and which remain? Once again, thanks for taking the time to answer!

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No problem, I'm happy to help someone struggling with this; there were several notable people who helped me through and you can help someone when you recover too.  My story goes back 13 years ago when I was 18.  I developed a love for psychedelics and became totally enthralled with them to the point that one night I ate 15 hits of good LSD.  For a period of about 1 year, I consistently consumed hallucinogens on a weekly basis eventually settling on mushrooms as my preferred door.  I think I realized I had visuals that weren't going away about 7 months into it but I kept dosing. Eventually lots of things happened and I decided to stop 2010.  Eventually I felt normal again.  It's impossible to say how long it took because it's gradual then one day you realize things are less strange.  Since then, I graduated undergrad with honors and a degree in math, did 5 years in the US Navy as a submarine officer and now I am a 3rd year mathematics PhD student at a reputable university in the United States.  Unfortunately, after I got out of the Navy I was sort of lost and ended up going back to weed which led me to several mushroom trips that brought the HPPD back.  This was almost exactly 3 years ago.  For me, after that romp the DR/DP came back to life and I had pretty severe afterimages and trails.   I still have some symptoms but they are extremely mind, I actually sort of enjoy the visuals now.  My head is clear and I am happy.  

The point I would like to drive home is that we are all different; personality wise and physically.  Some people can tolerate hallucinogens/psychedelics beautifully and use them responsibly with little consequence.  Since you appear to be so sensitive to weed I would take that as a sign to stay away from these substances all together.  They are powerful, and I do believe can actually help people if used correctly.  Unfortunately there appears to be a class of people who can just not tolerate them for whatever reason.  For you, take solace that you had a fairly low exposure to drugs so that probably means you'll make a complete recovery.  How long will that take?  No one can say, just let your body and mind do their thing and try not to worry.  

You will be fine. Just give it time, have hope and never give up.   

Take Care,

Nick 

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That was calming to read, thank you! But what was your symptoms the first time? Did you have the brain fog, anxiety, blurry/visual snow and did they go away completely? I feel that the brain fog and anxiety is the worst atm, really cripples me.

 

Yea, i will never go near weed or any other psychedelics again. Same with alcohol and caffeine, don't want to risk anything.

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The blurry vision and visual snow did go away completely both times.  The effects that lingered then and I still experience now are moving surfaces, swirling patterns etc.  This is likely an artifact of LSD.  Yes, the anxiety can be debilitating, sometimes I think this disorder is primarily centered around anxiety.  I have distortions which produce anxiety which make the distortions worse which makes the anxiety worse etc... I think the brain fog is also from anxiety, anxiety produces cortisol which hinders cognition.  Just try and occupy your time somehow, I played lots of chess and exercised a lot.  Eventually things get better.  

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Posted (edited)

That's good to hear, do you remember how long it took? That's my "only" visual disturbances, or well, i'm sensitive to light as well, see halos around street lights and have a hard time looking at pc screens (flickers). The first week i did see a light move for a few seconds and an object "pulsating" as well, but no more since then thankfully.

I've read some and it seems that those that get it from weed generally gets it milder and less visual hallucinations.

 

Yea, there really is nothing worse than strong anxiety, hope yours gets better! I am however sure that the brain fog isn't because of that, because i've had many periods in my life with strong anxiety and never experienced it before, this came with the HPPD. Also, since this started i've been on the BETA-blocker Propranolol which hinders the body from producing stress hormons, my heart would probably have exploaded by now if i wasn't.

Edited by Hall89
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Hey hall! 
 

the time line is very person specific. I would say you are lucky and you’re a is most likely less severe. But who knows! 
 

stay away from the benzos. They feel like the only thing that helps in these situations but they are terrible foe your brain. I’m sorry that you feel so bad but daily benzo use will come back to haunt you. I still have ptsd from withdrawal from them...

 

it is best if you can do without drugs at all, but if you absolutely must take a gaba drug gabapentin is better than benzos. 
 

You’re body will be the best tool you have to heal as far as we understand this disorder right now. No hallucinogenics for you my friend you are super sensitive!

 

(I had been on ssris for over a decade when my hppd first started. I decided to stop them (gradually!!!) and I noticed that I felt better every time I reduced the dose. Years later I tried citalopram for 8 months. It only causes low grade anxiety that went away when I stopped. In fact I did cold Turkey on the 10mg citalopram not intentionally, but simply because I felt so much better not on them).

Edited by Onemorestep
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Thanks for your reply, i've been of the benzos for three days now! I am however bound to continue with my Citalopram, i have tried to taper of them very slow a couple of times over the years (- 1 mg each month), but when i come down around 15 mg i haven't been able to handle it (anxiety, more migraines etc). I believe that since i started eating them when i was 18, before my brain was fully developed, it has grown dependant of them, i might be wrong though. So i hope that i can heal from this despite being on them, like Charlie above. I also read a case report were the HPPD patient got on Sertraline, which temporarily increased his visuals after each dose increase, but after 6 months his HPPD went in to remission while on them.

 

Oh trust me, i will never go close to any drug again. If i had known about HPPD prior to this i would never have tried weed. I pray daily that i will get my clear vision and cognition back, because i really don't know how to go on without them.

 

In which ways did you feel better of them if i may ask?

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I believe in time you will heal on your own :) a few people on here (myself included) reaaaallly pushed the envelope. It’s a slippery slope and no one here really knows what happened unfortunately.

 

ssris gave me a lot of weird physical anxiety in my abdominal area. It was highly distracting and a huge relief when I came off them and it disappeared. But I would say if you feel better on them, it’s not going to change much. 
 

first time I got hppd I was on ssris and it was better on them than off. When I got hppd BAD that’s when I couldn’t tolerate them anymore. Kinda forgot about this. 
 

Give this some time and then return to us if it’s still a problem in a year :) if you really can’t handle the anxiety, or your cognition seems to worsen overnight, try some gabapentin. 
 

baclofen returned my cognition to me. Probably because of this: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24838625/

 

... but who knows. It also gave me anhedonia after 8 months of high dosing. Not exactly a case study haha. 

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On 3/22/2021 at 11:18 AM, Onemorestep said:

I believe in time you will heal on your own :) a few people on here (myself included) reaaaallly pushed the envelope. It’s a slippery slope and no one here really knows what happened unfortunately.

 

ssris gave me a lot of weird physical anxiety in my abdominal area. It was highly distracting and a huge relief when I came off them and it disappeared. But I would say if you feel better on them, it’s not going to change much. 
 

first time I got hppd I was on ssris and it was better on them than off. When I got hppd BAD that’s when I couldn’t tolerate them anymore. Kinda forgot about this. 
 

Give this some time and then return to us if it’s still a problem in a year :) if you really can’t handle the anxiety, or your cognition seems to worsen overnight, try some gabapentin. 
 

baclofen returned my cognition to me. Probably because of this: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24838625/

 

... but who knows. It also gave me anhedonia after 8 months of high dosing. Not exactly a case study haha. 

Thanks mate, i really hope you're right, because this decreased cognition and shitty vision is driving me nuts! Besides Dr. Abraham i also read this: 

"A large portion of cases spontaneously resolve within a year. In some situations, the symptoms can persist for years and decades

https://thedrugclassroom.com/video/hallucinogen-persisting-perception-disorder-hppd/"

So it would be wierd if it lasted more than a year for me since i've just tried cannabis at a few ocations in my life and never used any other drugs except alcohol 4-5 times a year.

Thankfully the anxiety has improved ALOT the last couple of days. I quess that the chock of it all is subsiding.

How was it the first time you got it? Did it heal and did you get your vision back?

Thanks, i will look in to it! I've ordered NAC as well since i read that it might help.

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The first time I got it I didn’t realize I had it, tbh. Symptoms subsided within 6 months if I remember correctly. yymv but I was using harder drugs than you and I imagine that is in your favor. Some symptoms may take longer to go away than others. Don’t assume one is linked to the other. Different brain regions, different rates of recovery time, different symptoms etc. 
 

Most of my visuals have subsided in intensity over the years. Some aspects of them gone. I did a LOT OF DRUG man so don’t sweat it. If mine got better you’re will absolutely get better. You’re on the right track. Man I wish I had stumbled across this website before I took traditional psychedelics and really poked the beast... my life would probably be very different. Can’t look back now though. You, on the other hand, have a very bright future ahead of you.


This will probably be a year where you periodically feel stronger anxiety than you are used to, but be assured it will pass. And it will not return unless you use drugs. 
 

a lot of hppd can resolve on its own or get better with mild therapies. What you don’t wanna do is get yourself in a place where you need to try and do surgery with the sword that cut you. It’s rough (and maybe dumb who knows) trying to find chemicals to dig oneself out of a whole chemicals put themselves in. 

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Really? What were your symptoms that subsided then?

I'm glad that some of your symptoms have subsided! Which of them are gone? Oh i'm with you there! If i had known about HPPD i would NEVER have gone near weed.

God i hope you're right! Do you know of anyone that's made a 100% recovery?

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