Jump to content

Lucca, Hppd for 13 years.


Lucca
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello my name is Lucca. I was born and raised in South Africa, Cape Town and have lived here for most of my life. I am a Male at 26 years of age (1994).  I trained and studied to be a Chef and graduated from College in the year 2013. I had been working as a Chef in the industry in various countries since then (South Africa, Spain & France). For the past year I have been running my own business fixing Surfboards. Its a small business only consisting of myself but I am able to pay the bills with the income I make from it. I can also say that my work makes me happy and I am satisfied with my results so far, considering the circumstances, especially here in South Africa where I am currently living.
I developed Hppd & DR/DP when I was in Grade 8. I was about 13 years of age at the time. It had been onset from the use of Cannabis. I did not know what was happening to me at the time. All I knew was that the Weed that I had smoked had caused it. I went on trying not to think about everything that was suddenly happening to me. The difficulty I was experiencing in my academics due to constant visual illusions, derealization (felt like I was seeing the world from 3rd person view which affected my spacial awareness which in turn affected my ability in Sports tremendously), complete inability to concentrate (I have Adhd. That became much worse after onset of Hppd & DR/DP) and the increased general anxiety was all a very terrifying experience at the time. I was too afraid to tell anyone about what I was going through and when I did try come out to tell my friends or family they all just thought I was either lying or overreacting/dramatizing. So I immediately learnt at that tender young age that this was not something I could get help for from anyone I knew and that I just shouldn't speak about it. I believed for a long time that I was the only person in the world who had this very unique condition. So I kept it in as my little secret for many years before finally one day meeting someone else who also had Hppd and who had been to specialists in the field who knew about the condition and who was able to give me very usual advice and understanding of the condition I had now come to better understand.
So eventually I came to terms with everything and decided that I was just going to accept things for what they are and try move forward with my life. I tried to be as normal as possible, in my friends group at the time, which meant I would have to smoke more Weed. Which I did.. Allot more. I remember putting myself deeper and deeper into that psychedelic hole of derealization. I remember sometimes I would smoke Weed and have the best high. And 9/10 times I would smoke and have panic attacks, paranoia, fear, intense hallucinations and anxiety beyond comprehension. This went on for years where I would go for periods without smoking, seen slight recovery, then just relapse and binge smoke back into that psychedelic hole that I seemed to want to put myself in so bad. Eventually when I was 15. Mushrooms and Acid became a thing among me and my friends group. I remember my nickname at High School. It was "Shrooms" which eventually turned into "Grampa". The latter has actually stuck with some of my older friends. But then, unfortunately Shrooms and Acid had become my new "Weed". I would drop Weekly and trip on Shrooms every 2nd-3rd day. Allot of these trips were with different friend groups but I found that allot of my psychedelic experiences regarding Acid n Shrooms to have been Solo trips. Usually just me and my Dog, Max, up in the Sand Dunes just above my parents house where I grew up. I swear there was something about those Dunes that were just so surreal and that made those Trips just a little "more" than any other place that I had "adventured" in at the time. Less to say that those years of my life brought on unimaginable levels of Hppd. Eventually after failing 3 grades and being expelled out of 3 different schools I quit all drugs. Im not sure how I did it but I finally got my education and graduated from Chefs Academy. Still battling with a constant harrowing of Hppd visuals and experiences that just did not seem to diminish over time. Years later I had noticed a substantial recovery in my Hppd Visuals since absence from all Psychedelics (including the use of Cannabis). I believe I had almost made a full recovery from my Hppd where only times of fatigue, illness or use of Alcohol would I get symptoms that were noticeable enough to cause some disturbance to me.
I started Wellbutrin recently to help with some depression that I have been dealing with due to a relationship with a Girl ending (3.5 years). The Wellbutrin helped with the depression almost immediately but brought on extreme anxiety and panic attacks with it. Generally made things very speedy with the high anxiety/panic you would experience from smoking a really big Bowl in an uncomfortable environment. After 10 days I could not carry on anymore. I have recovered from my depression, on the most part and I am functioning normally with business good as per usual. But now what has returned is my Hppd, in full force. Visual Snow, Tracers, Optical illusions and vivid color changes have all returned. It has definitely been a couple of years since I have experienced Hppd like this. It's honestly a bit refreshing. Kinda like visiting a place you haven't been in for many years. Or seeing an old friend after a long time. I definitely wouldn't call it a pleasant feeling as those examples I just gave could possibly be but I would definitely not compare it to the negative feelings that went with the initial onset of the Hppd my first time around. I feel allot more prepared for this, this time. I don't feel the anxiety from the visuals like how I used to all those years ago when symptoms were closely similar. And whats more is that I feel comfortable talking about it this time around. In fact I am here writing this post to share what little experience or advice I can to anyone who may benefit or find comfort from it. If even only just a little.
So what little advice I can give to those of you just finding out that you have Hppd is to just breathe and try focus on the positive, regardless of whatever small positive you can find. Everything can be quite intense in the beginning and it will seem as if it will never improve or go away. Just have patience. In time you will learn to accept everything for what it is and be able to carry on with your day as normal as possible. In time you will notice it less and have it interfere with you less as you get more accustomed to the constant stimuli. I found with myself that once I finally accepted things for as they were and completely stopped all aggravators of Hppd (Psychedlics etc). That my symptoms did improve in time. So much so that I could say I had almost made a full recovery of all my Hppd symptoms in a period of about 5/6 Years from the last time I used any narcotic (other than alcohol. Alcohol definitely makes hppd symptoms seem worse for the day drinking and the days recovering from the hangover, for me at least). So there is hope, even though it might seem as if there is none. So just remember you are not alone and there are other people in this world who have experienced and who are currently going through a similar journey as yourself. For those of you who are looking to treat yourself for depression with Wellbutrin. I would suggest proceeding with caution as it increasingly worsened and completely stirred up my mostly recovered Hppd from within the first 2 hours after taking my first dose. On that note I would like to ask if anyone has had a similar experience with Wellbutrin worsening their Hppd symptoms? I would like to know how many doses of Wellbutrin did they take before ceasing administration and how many days, weeks, months, years have they been recovering from the increased symptoms of Hppd due to their Wellbutrin intake?.
F.Y.I I am on day 2 since my last dose, after dosing for 10 consecutive days at 150ml XL. Symptoms are the worst that they have been in years. I am remembering now how uncomfortable Hppd can be again but I am trying not to let it get to me. Rather just being fascinated by it all and attempting to proceed through my day as "usual" as possible.

I apologize for my poor grammar and word order. I hope this piece above can be easily enough understood and I hope it can bring some sense of hope or strength to someone battling with their Hppd. Just remember you're not alone in this world with this. That has been something that has given me strength. 

Edited by Lucca
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Lucca yes tried it years ago . Nothing significant good or bad came from taking it . But I get what you mean I've taken other meds that has caused a HPPD Spike several times over a 40 year period suffering with HPPD. The spikes always go away and return to base over time and I guess that depends on what you took and for how long . I was on painkillers for years 20 years  and even titrating down caused a huge HPPD spike . Our Nervous systems are so sensitive too medications and taking the wrong medication can cause spikes in HPPD . But it will return to base and quicker if your focus is on something else . Most really bad spikes only lasted say 6/8 weeks and they then gradually went down to baseline . 

Stay strong you will be fine .

Nice chatting  to you.

best wishes Rob 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the response Robbie. It brings me closure and reassurance to hear that. This is probably my 3rd real spike in Hppd since initial onset 13 years ago. I have confidence in a couple of weeks time the symptoms will gradually subside back to baseline again. Was good to hear from you. 
Best wishes.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Thank you for sharing! I'm real sorry to hear about your struggles and that it has flaired up for you. I can't even imagine how horrible it must've been to get this disgusting disorder at such a young age. I'm curious, did your visual snow actually go away with the years or did you just get used to it? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi. My visual snow was bad in the beginning. From 13 to about 23 I had visual snow. I must admit that from 13 to 17 I was just making it worse from all the smoking, herb. But from 17 to 23 I did see improvement after I stopped all smoking weed and taking psychedelics. Where it got to the point that I could barely even see it by 24 years of age. 

I found though that once I became more comfortable with the Visual Snow and tried paying less attention to it that it slowly started going away. It takes a really long time so watching it and waiting for it makes it seem like an endless journey. So I’d say just try and work out a coping mechanism and accept it for what it is and just know that one day it will go away. Just don’t do anymore narcotics (even avoiding alcohol would help, but absolutely stay away from psychedelics & herb). 
it took me just under 6 years (clean of all psychedelics & herb) to make a full recovery from the visual snow. And i tell you it gets to a point where it won’t be gone yet but it really won’t bother you either. You eventually stop getting anxious about it and find it doesn’t really effect your coordination & concentration anymore and then eventually you start struggling to see it before one day it just stops showing up. 

ive just had mine come back now after 3 years since my first and only full recovery. As mentioned above I took some adhd/antidepressant medication for 10 days and it totally reversed my recovered state of mind. It’s been just over a month now and the visuals are up and running again. But already I have seen an improvement in them just vs 4 weeks ago. I’m feeling confident that in another 4 more weeks I should be at that point where the visuals don’t bother me anymore and then just a matter of time before they eventually subside completely again (I’m optimistically hoping for) 

I hope this has given you some kind of reassurance or hope. Just remember it takes time and work. You got to try develop ways to live with it. Accept and tolerate it. And then you’ll find everything will start working itself out. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Lucca said:

Hi. My visual snow was bad in the beginning. From 13 to about 23 I had visual snow. I must admit that from 13 to 17 I was just making it worse from all the smoking, herb. But from 17 to 23 I did see improvement after I stopped all smoking weed and taking psychedelics. Where it got to the point that I could barely even see it by 24 years of age. 

I found though that once I became more comfortable with the Visual Snow and tried paying less attention to it that it slowly started going away. It takes a really long time so watching it and waiting for it makes it seem like an endless journey. So I’d say just try and work out a coping mechanism and accept it for what it is and just know that one day it will go away. Just don’t do anymore narcotics (even avoiding alcohol would help, but absolutely stay away from psychedelics & herb). 
it took me just under 6 years (clean of all psychedelics & herb) to make a full recovery from the visual snow. And i tell you it gets to a point where it won’t be gone yet but it really won’t bother you either. You eventually stop getting anxious about it and find it doesn’t really effect your coordination & concentration anymore and then eventually you start struggling to see it before one day it just stops showing up. 

ive just had mine come back now after 3 years since my first and only full recovery. As mentioned above I took some adhd/antidepressant medication for 10 days and it totally reversed my recovered state of mind. It’s been just over a month now and the visuals are up and running again. But already I have seen an improvement in them just vs 4 weeks ago. I’m feeling confident that in another 4 more weeks I should be at that point where the visuals don’t bother me anymore and then just a matter of time before they eventually subside completely again (I’m optimistically hoping for) 

I hope this has given you some kind of reassurance or hope. Just remember it takes time and work. You got to try develop ways to live with it. Accept and tolerate it. And then you’ll find everything will start working itself out. 

Thanks for answering, it appreciate it alot, because having the visual snow actually going away and not just getting used to it seems VERY rare, and it is without a doubt my worst symptom today, so you gave me some hope! What were all your other symptoms that went?

Oh trust me, i'm never touching any drugs again, but my case is a bit ironic, because i got this hell of a disorder after the fourth time that i tried cannabis, prior to that i had never tried anything else than alcohol 4-6 times a year, caffeine daily, opioids for a week after a surgery a few years back and zopiclone a dozen of times last year against insomnia. Or well, i have been on an SSRI for 13 years, wich i'm certain drastically increased the risk of getting this since they act on the same receptors. Many of those that i've talked to with HPPD have actually been on antidepressants, so i hope that both HPPD and this severe interaction becomes more known in the future so that people know the severe consequences that these drugs and meds can have.

I hope that you make a full recovery again mate!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes. I remember my visual snow initially started after my first bad trip on cannabis. Which was my third time ever smoking it. The first two times I smoked low grade stuff where as the third time was some well grown indoor.
The snow is the one that takes the longest to heal from, from my personal experience. Definitely a strong link between hppd and SSRI’s, absolutely. I personally cannot touch antidepressants without them sending me on some sort of hard ‘acid trip’.

The hppd I experience is vast. My current spike that I’m going through is nothing compared to my DMT & Acid days 11 years ago. Right now I’m experiencing visual snow, halos, tracers, the colors i see look all like a japanses cartoon. I don’t know how to describe it better.. small things can look big and big things can look very small. Judgment and interpretation can be difficult at times. Hard to distinguish what an objects actual size is. It’s hard to signify things sometimes. All static patterns are constantly warping and moving. Like the spots on my carpet look like there is constantly a sea of ants swimming over it. Symmetrical patterns like cub boards and doors vibrate and flash colors. I don’t have the words to describe what it looks like when I look at a light. Nighttime hppd is always worse. Especially when I’m tired after a hard day at my work. 
but all subtle enough for me to ignore it most of the day and get on with life. Where as 10 years ago it was bad. Really bad. I had developed a strong speech impediment. I struggled to hold a conversation with another person in the worst of it. The visuals were so strong and so out of this world that i became alienated from everything. I struggled to look at my own parents because I hated seeing them that way through my eyes. It got to the point where i lost that feeling of connection with them, and everybody else I knew or met. Was some very scary times which at the time i never realized how bad it was and how seriously I was frying my brain by ignoring the hppd and always taking the trip to the next level. There was a time where I believed i was some sort of shaman and i had this gift of the third eye (i still did not know that it was hppd then). But in reality i was just cooking my brain like an egg. It wasn’t until the one day I overdosed on magic mushrooms and had an epileptic fit, tongue locked and foaming from the mouth, did I only then catch a wake up call and get my shit together. Quitting all drugs and venturing onto the road of recovery. I still drink sociably, occasionally, but don’t touch anything else and for years now. I quit cigarettes along with the drugs back then so don’t smoke either or even drink coffee. I’m living a relatively healthy lifestyle. Exercise daily, watch what i eat. I’m a Chef by profession and love my work. I’ve been running my own business since Covid hit and have been surviving successfully with it. Now just had my vaccination and finally about to get back in the kitchen. So I’m happy to admit that things worked out for me in the end and if I could I wouldn’t change a thing from my past or my hppd because it’s what has made me the person I am today. Which I am happy to be. 
 

So don’t worry about it, your visual snow. If you’ve just smoked weed a couple of times, believe me, the visual snow will heal. For me weed is what always targeted in worsening my visual snow. Where as acid and shrooms were allot more on about colors, tracers, halos, vibrations and creating friction on static objects. Like optical illusions etc.. 

So basically don’t stress. It will take a long time (roughly 5/6 years for me) but you will eventually recover. There will still be times in your day like when you look at the sky or when in a really dark room that you may notice it but ultimately it gets pretty close to a full recovery. At least from my experience it did.
just learn to tolerate it and work on a way to getting used to it. Life becomes much easier once you get ahold of that. And then you’ll one day recognize it getting slowly better. But the less you focus on it’s recovery, the faster your recovery will progress. If that makes any sense?  
 

cheers. I’m glad I’ve been able to share with you some of my personal experiences on hppd and I hope it’s brought you some consolation. 🤙🙂

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Lucca said:

The hppd I experience is vast. My current spike that I’m going through is nothing compared to my DMT & Acid days 11 years ago. Right now I’m experiencing visual snow, halos, tracers, the colors i see look all like a japanses cartoon. I don’t know how to describe it better.. small things can look big and big things can look very small. Judgment and interpretation can be difficult at times. Hard to distinguish what an objects actual size is. It’s hard to signify things sometimes. All static patterns are constantly warping and moving. Like the spots on my carpet look like there is constantly a sea of ants swimming over it. Symmetrical patterns like cub boards and doors vibrate and flash colors. I don’t have the words to describe what it looks like when I look at a light. Nighttime hppd is always worse. Especially when I’m tired after a hard day at my work. 
but all subtle enough for me to ignore it most of the day and get on with life. Where as 10 years ago it was bad. Really bad. I had developed a strong speech impediment. I struggled to hold a conversation with another person in the worst of it. The visuals were so strong and so out of this world that i became alienated from everything. I struggled to look at my own parents because I hated seeing them that way through my eyes. It got to the point where i lost that feeling of connection with them, and everybody else I knew or met. Was some very scary times which at the time i never realized how bad it was and how seriously I was frying my brain by ignoring the hppd and always taking the trip to the next level. There was a time where I believed i was some sort of shaman and i had this gift of the third eye (i still did not know that it was hppd then). But in reality i was just cooking my brain like an egg. It wasn’t until the one day I overdosed on magic mushrooms and had an epileptic fit, tongue locked and foaming from the mouth, did I only then catch a wake up call and get my shit together. Quitting all drugs and venturing onto the road of recovery. I still drink sociably, occasionally, but don’t touch anything else and for years now. I quit cigarettes along with the drugs back then so don’t smoke either or even drink coffee. I’m living a relatively healthy lifestyle. Exercise daily, watch what i eat. I’m a Chef by profession and love my work. I’ve been running my own business since Covid hit and have been surviving successfully with it. Now just had my vaccination and finally about to get back in the kitchen. So I’m happy to admit that things worked out for me in the end and if I could I wouldn’t change a thing from my past or my hppd because it’s what has made me the person I am today. Which I am happy to be.

Jesus christ, if that's "mild" compared to your "old" HPPD you're one of the strongest persons that i've talked to. That you've managed to get an education with such severe HPPD is beyond me, i almost killed myself and mine is much milder than yours. I presume that you got depersonalization and derealization on top of all your visuals? Did you get the head pressure and tinnitus as well? And would you really not have changed a thing if you could go back with the knowledge and experiences that you have today? Surely you would? I mean, who doesn't want to have a clear vision and good mental health? Personally i would gladly have sacrificed a leg and my ability to speak to go back in time and prevent this from happening.
 

12 hours ago, Lucca said:

So don’t worry about it, your visual snow. If you’ve just smoked weed a couple of times, believe me, the visual snow will heal. For me weed is what always targeted in worsening my visual snow. Where as acid and shrooms were allot more on about colors, tracers, halos, vibrations and creating friction on static objects. Like optical illusions etc.. 

So basically don’t stress. It will take a long time (roughly 5/6 years for me) but you will eventually recover. There will still be times in your day like when you look at the sky or when in a really dark room that you may notice it but ultimately it gets pretty close to a full recovery. At least from my experience it did.
just learn to tolerate it and work on a way to getting used to it. Life becomes much easier once you get ahold of that. And then you’ll one day recognize it getting slowly better. But the less you focus on it’s recovery, the faster your recovery will progress. If that makes any sense? 

I really hope that you're right, but i'm preparing for the worst; that it wont. So did really all of your symptoms go away? It must have been such a relief for you if so! I quess that it happened gradually or did some just vanish over night?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yea, I think everyone i knew was quite surprised when I graduated from Chefs Academy.
yes, the depersonalization was so severe back then as I can remember but also healed up eventually. Actually it healed faster than the hppd to some degree and it still has not returned despite my hppd returning.
I remember with my depersonalization back then. I was on the first Team Rugby and Waterpolo and ended up getting dropped from them. I’ll never forget the one Rugby practice where I couldn’t even catch the ball being passed to me in a simple exercise. I just couldn’t get it right. My spacial awareness and coordination was that of a Brick. 
the head pressure and tinnitus never went away. The ringing never stops. It is more predominant at night and generally fluctuates in waves at random throughout the day. But that has definitely always been a constant for me. But after 13+ years now I forget that the ringing i hear is not normal. It really doesn’t bother me anymore. Hasn’t for years, I don’t let it. Just like the visuals you eventually get used to everything and it slowly stops bothering you as much as you slowly realize and accept that this is your new ‘normal’. But then gradually in time your vision will slowly start to correct itself. It’s definitely not something that you just go to sleep and wake up the next morning better from. Not from my experience at least. It’s a very slow, gradual decent in stimuli and illusions. But I definitely noticed hallmarks along the way of the progress my recovery was making. I remember the one day just after when I turned 23. I told my girlfriend at the time that I couldn’t believe how clear my vision was and how my depersonalization has recovered. That I almost felt as if I had made a full recovery and I just remember realizing this at the time and laughing about it, in joy and relief. And it kept getting better from that point until recently when I took these meds. 

honestly I wouldn’t wish hppd on my worst enemy, if I had one, or to have anybody else experience what it’s like to see the world this way. But I would have no idea what kind of person I’d have become or where my life would have led me. Maybe for the better? But maybe I could have ended up worse, in other ways. I believe what i went through taught me a greater sense of compassion for the world and others. I feel that it humbled me in many ways and I feel that I have gained allot through it all. And i am happy. Life is good and definitely worth living. 
there was a time when I thought I’d never escape “the demons” as i used to refer to the incredible hallucinations back then before i knew it was hppd. I honestly believed i was some sort of schizophrenic but different where I only hallucinated but knew it wasn’t real and that i had to keep this a secret from everyone or else they’ll think I’m actually crazy. It was a horrible and lonely time those first few years after onset. Going out with friends or family but not being able to tell them that you’re literally on another planet. Yea, that all sucked. There is allot that i wish I could have avoided or not have gone through. But then I just always think that all those gnarley times were all important pieces in building the person who i am today. So after all that I think I could  say that if I were to go through it all again I would. Although I know for a good 10/11 years of my life I would have disagreed with that thought and have said “not a chance, probably rather die!”. 
maybe because I know I’ll never have to go through that again is why I say this but in all honesty if time travel existed and there was a way to make me relive all those experiences and years in deep hppd again. No, I definitely would choose sobriety and avoid all drugs and aggravators of the condition. Absolutely a no brainer. But having already had gone through all that crap and making it out to the other side. I can say that I’m happy to have gone through those psychedelic days. To have come out stronger and happier on the other side. But I only say that because I will never go back. 

Give it a couple of years. You’ll see the visual snow slowly getting better and the pixilated getting smaller. Just try and accept it and live with it until then. Recovery can be different for everyone. And by the sounds of it. Your one shouldn’t take too long. I’d say give it 2/3 years? By then you should have noticed a substantial improvement. I don’t think you’ll be going on 6 years like I did to get your vision back. But nevertheless just plan for the worst as you are and just try accept it. While remembering that eventually one day it will get better. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.