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Sharing my story, 100% recovered

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I'm making this post mainly because I want to help people who just found out they have HPPD and are struggling to find hope, mainly because most people who recover don't remeber to come back to say so (like i did haha)
But yeah here we go:
I did mushrooms for the first and only time 5 years ago, when I was 16. I had never used any other drug besides weed twice. The trip was awesome, one of the best days of my life, but things started getting strange 4 days after that, when I started feeling extremely sad and depressed for no reason. Then in the next day, a strong head tingling came along with some tinnitus, photosensitivity, after images, visual snow and an extreme anxiety and panic which I have never felt in my life. Those were so strong that I couldn't concentrate in anything and I all did for two weeks was laying on the bed horrified of what the heck was happening and researching about it (when I found out about HPPD). In the thrid week, the head tingling and anxiety started going away, but on the other hand I started getting some DPDR and more intense visual snow, and the first month was basically it. 
Then, I wasn't thinking I could ever go back to normal and I just stood 100% sober, tried to stay as healthy as I could and things did not get better, but I kept doing it anyway. Three months after the beggining of the symptoms, they started diminishing to the point I could make through some days without thinking about them, and 4-5 months after I got it I still had the symptoms, less intense, and I was already living my life totally ignoring it, and they were still there but not affecting me at all. 
It is hard to tell when exactly the symptoms went away 100%, probably between 7-8 months after I got them, but it was so gradual that I wasn't paying attention to them anymore.
But basically that's it, I was talking to some friends some days ago about drugs and I remembered about when I had HPPD and how this forum helped me to feel better in a way that I was not the only one suffering from this condition, and I really hope you all can get through it. And also, I know that my case was absolutely not a severe case, more like a mid case, but I think a really important step in my journey was to stop waiting for the symptoms to go away and try to accept them and keep living my life. It is not always possible, but if it is for you, its worth it trying.
So yeah, just wanted to share my story and that it's totally possible to recover.

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Thanks Gabriel! It's so helpful to see these success stories. 

There seem to be many people who join the site, post a lot for a few months, then leave... I can only assume the majority are recovering (backed up by stories like your own and DMs I get). 

Great to hear this is no longer affecting you and i hope you go on to lead a happy and healthy life!

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  • 1 month later...

Thank you for your story, Gabriel! Truly. I think I posted this (and bothered poor Jay1 by sending him a panicked email, lol, to which he kindly responded to and his words of comfort and wisdom helped tremendously.) I have had HPPD for about 25 years. I got it in 1998, two months before I turned 20. It was BAD. Blah blah…fast forward, to make a long story short, for Halloween I sprayed three cans of pink hairspray in my son’s hair for his costume. We were not in a well ventilated area; basically we were both “huffing” the fumes from this hairspray, more so my son, who is my youngest and is only 15. About a day and a half later he came to me describing classic HPPD symptoms. It about killed me. I have been praying his symptoms will go away. So to hear your story gives me so much hope. My son is very healthy and I’ve been letting him sleep in and take it easy so he can “rest his brain” lol. I love this forum and I can’t even tell everyone how much I appreciate them sharing their stories, fears and advice. Back when I got it, no one had ever even heard of it including myself. Now it is a recognized disorder and science has taken great strides to try to figure out what causes this and how it can be helped. Thank you!!!

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@AF44 This is horrible and I am sorry, but don't blame yourself, it's not like you were offering him drugs, you couldn't know that. At least he has the luck of having someone in the family who knows what it is and what it is like! To be honest, if it was triggered by a hairspray, it would come anyway later in life, probably triggered by some medication. I am sure it won't be serious and he will learn to be careful, I mean it definitely saved him from drugs.

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Thank you!

I thinks it’s so odd that I got it, and he got it.  I believe in God and I think He makes everything happen for a reason, even bad things. I thought the same thing…I was doing a lot of acid and smoking tons of weed. As soon as I got HPPD, I never took drugs again. Who knows what road I would have gone down? Maybe I would have tried other drugs like heroin or cocaine. Being 15, maybe this will prevent my son from wanting to try drugs (to my knowledge he has smoked pot, and “done cough syrup” at least once that I know about.) I didn’t even think that stupid colored hairspray would have so many hideous chemicals in it that it could cause this to happen! But I suppose it’s like when people huff glue and bug spray and all that other crazy stuff. Thank you for responding! I do feel better about the situation, everyone here has been so supportive and has given me good advice and hope! It’s only been a month, so hopefully his symptoms will start to die down. His worst symptom is “motion sickness.” That’s what we call it. But by “motion sickness” he means that he feels like he is swaying and moving around while he is sitting or standing still, and that objects appear to come towards him, they “breathe” and warp, he sees the wavy vision (he describes it as the heat that comes up from a bbq, I totally know what he’s talking about because I remember having that.) Basically the way he’s describing things makes it sound like he is stuck on the carnival ride from Hell. That’s the part I’m most worried about. He has the visuals and I think the DP/DR, but the “motion sickness” is the worst. Then I myself start to panic when he mentions it! He doesn’t mention it often, he’s pretty stoic, so I know that when he brings it up, it must be pretty bad. Luckily I am a stay at home mom, so I can be here for him 24/7. That’s a blessing!!

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