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I am a 19 year-old ex-drug abuser with HPPD: advice/insight wanted


SKARFON
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Hey everyone, I am 19 years old, turning 20 this year, and I used to abuse drugs a lot, more precisely from the beginning of 2011 until the beginning of 2012. During that year I did MDMA about 20 times, LSD 5 times, mushrooms 3 times, 2c-b 3 times, cocaine & ketamine more times than I can count, as well as trying a variety of drugs like MXE, 2ce, mephedrone, meth, etc....after OD'ing on coke one night I calmed down and quit everything, even weed for 3 months.

By then I had HPPD but it was slowly fading away, until one day in february when I did molly one last time: 7 caps...I don't know what possessed me but I just kept dosing. It wasn't real mdma either it was full of meth and some other unidentified RCs, probably horrible neurotoxic shit because the next day I suffered serotonin syndrome and had to go to the hospital. It was the worst ordeal of my life, I don't want to go into details but there you have it.

That was 4 months ago, I haven't touched any drugs besides weed & beer since that day. And still, I have this constant visual snow in my vision that always becomes quite obvious when I smoke weed, the visual snow is like purple/greenish static but it's in fractals, you know like when you're tripping, but more precisely: can anyone relate to smoking weed while coming down from MDMA and getting trippy visuals? Well, I get those all the time. It doesn't impair me from driving or working but it kinda sucks, I'd like to get a normal vision back. Also, I do get panic attack/anxiety/paranoia symptoms every now and then when I smoke weed.

So there's my background, now here are my questions;

- Will it go away?

- Can I ever smoke weed without the risk of bugging out again?

- Can I ever do MDMA responsibly, maybe once per year starting 2013 or did I permanently fuck up my serotonin receptors?

- Is there anything else I can do? Should I see a doctor?

Thanks for any and all help!

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Id quit hard drugs for good man, chances are you could end up like most of us here, and let me tell you, itll suck the life out of you for a few years. Id quit weed for a while til it goes away, chances are youll be able to smoke again in the remote future, but dont gamble with the rest of your life just to dance around like some ponce to some shitty dubstep for a few hours, it's not worth it. CHances are itll go away if you eat healthy, exercise and try to put it behind you.

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Id quit hard drugs for good man, chances are you could end up like most of us here, and let me tell you, itll suck the life out of you for a few years. Id quit weed for a while til it goes away, chances are youll be able to smoke again in the remote future, but dont gamble with the rest of your life just to dance around like some ponce to some shitty dubstep for a few hours, it's not worth it. CHances are itll go away if you eat healthy, exercise and try to put it behind you.

Thanks for your reply!

I mean, once my brain has "healed" up, could I not do MDMA/LSD maybe once or twice a year responsibly i.e. not overdosing and pre-loading/post-loading without my HPPD coming back? Or is my brain now forever wired to trigger the HPPD every time I do hallucinogens?

I don't think I'll quit smoking weed right now because it helps me remain cheery and positive (I otherwise tend to feel down as the day goes by) and it doesn't give me panic/anxiety/paranoia symptoms badly like it did not long after my serotonin syndrome.

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Idk man. I wouldnt risk it. Just read some of the stories. Once more could be enough to break the camel's back. My symptoms appeared 6 months after my last trip, one night, out of the fucking blue. Started of pretty mild, kept smokin and drinking and now my shits really fucked up. Your choice dude. Chances are youd be fine but chances are youd be left with at least some symptoms for life. Your choice whether you wanna see trails and static forever or not. Not to mention DPDR, panic attacks, depression etc.

The snow might not be too bad, but itll at least hinder your night vision quite badly eventually. I know a kid who is pretty fine in every sense (emotionally,, intellectually), except he doesnt really drive at night because of all the shit that goes on with his vision.

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Thanks for your reply!

I mean, once my brain has "healed" up, could I not do MDMA/LSD maybe once or twice a year responsibly i.e. not overdosing and pre-loading/post-loading without my HPPD coming back? Or is my brain now forever wired to trigger the HPPD every time I do hallucinogens?

I don't think I'll quit smoking weed right now because it helps me remain cheery and positive (I otherwise tend to feel down as the day goes by) and it doesn't give me panic/anxiety/paranoia symptoms badly like it did not long after my serotonin syndrome.

Your brain won't heal up if you keep smoking dank and/or doing hard drugs like molly or acid. As Boogres said, if you wan't to keep having these symtoms go ahead. I don't want to sound like a preppy faggot but heed my warnings, it's not worth the trip.

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I don't wanna sound like a broken record but I'd say quit smoking for now too. My situation was similar to yours. Mine all started with visual snow and and mild HPPD so I quit tripping and taking X but kept smoking.......the smoking just kept my visuals aggravated and I never really gave my brain a chance to recalibrate. A couple months later I tripped again on LSD and a couple weeks later on DMT and then a few weeks after that I got DP and I've had it since. I think if I had dropped everything initially my issues woulnd't be as bad as they are now and I'd probably be able to enjoy a little MDMA from time to time.

But to answer your questions, I think that if you were to drop everything right now for around 4-6 months and be more or less sober, except for maybe a little alcohol here and there, and you gave your brain the rest it needs then you'd prolly be able to go back to taking MDMA and smoking responsibly. I'd go ahead and call it quits with tripping though.....if you really wanna chance it you should stick with shrooms and leave acid alone. But, if you keep indulging now I imagine your issues will get worse until you decide it's time to stop and then the waiting period for you to return to normal will be even longer. That being said, at the end of the day it's up to you.

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Thank you all for your input, I really appreciate it :)

The more I read through this forum, the more I realize that my symptoms aren't as bad as most people around here, I mean I definitely still have symptoms from my past drug abuse but I can still keep my head up. This forum has been very informative and now I'm not as worried as I was. I'm reducing my mary jane use, I've made a rule for myself: no weed before 8pm for now, and after a while maybe I'll be able to take a break again for a month or two. My question is, how does marijuana make HPPD worse when it doesn't affect the same brain receptors as psyhedelics/stimulants?

Besides the visual part, every now and then I still get jaw twitches and trippy "moments", but I can deal with it. I think it's just that my brain is still in the process of getting back on track. I feel confident that I'll be ready for perhaps a shroom trip by this summer, just to kind of reset that psychedelic mindset that drew me towards these drugs in the first place. I was offered a bump of ketamine a few weeks ago, I did it and it was fine, I don't think it affected my HPPD in any way.

In any case, my gut tells me that the best way to overcome my HPPD symptoms is to focus on doing the things I love in life as well as my job, in addition to getting out of the whole drug scene/people. I moved away from my old city recently so it hasn't been hard to avoid it all...

For those of you with truly impairing HPPD, I wish you all the best of luck and hope you'll all overcome your disorder or at least learn how to cope with it and live a happy life. Peace!

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OK so I smoked some weed as per usual tonight and had some pretty intense bad trip/dp-dr symptoms. In fact my heart is still beating fast as I type this. I'm going to quit smoking for a while until I get myself back together. I might want to see a doctor I mean...who can I talk to about this? A psychiatrist? Will I have to take benzos? :(

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Thats prolly all they could give you yea.....How exactly do you feel when you smoke weed now compared to how you used to feel?? This whole thing started for me with weed becoming really psychedelic and trippy. It would put me in that psychedelic head space where I was having like 50 thoughts a second and my mind was all over the place and I just felt really amped up and on edge like when you're trippin balls on acid or something.........*sigh* I miss the old clean highs with no visuals, and all I'd do was sit around and bull shit with my friends and eat until I felt like I was gonna die.

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Thats prolly all they could give you yea.....How exactly do you feel when you smoke weed now compared to how you used to feel?? This whole thing started for me with weed becoming really psychedelic and trippy. It would put me in that psychedelic head space where I was having like 50 thoughts a second and my mind was all over the place and I just felt really amped up and on edge like when you're trippin balls on acid or something.........*sigh* I miss the old clean highs with no visuals, and all I'd do was sit around and bull shit with my friends and eat until I felt like I was gonna die.

You hit the nail on the head right here, I can totally relate.

However, I remember weed giving me similar effects (on rare occasions, usually after consuming alcohol) even before I ever did psychedelics, I've always been a lightweight substance-wise, I think it just has to do with my thought process and whatnot, because weed doesn't always have that effect on me, it depends on the circumstances. As recently as a few days ago, I smoked copious amounts of weed without bugging out like I did last night, I still can achieve a comfortable, even insightful high with weed in the right setting.

It seems to me that certain things trigger that psychedelic bad-trip state of mind when I smoke weed, and I think that the triggers are paranoia, anxiety or general bad vibes, which is precisely what happened last night...I hadn't smoked all day and was feeling kind of depressed, my room mates were out so I smoked a joint to combat the loneliness/depression (I hate feeling down, I do my best to uplift my mood in order to remain my cheery, positive self, and weed helps). After smoking the joint I immediately entered this "bad trip" episode that everyone here is familiar with: dp/dr, fractal visual snow/static, putting my entire life's existence into question, feeling of helplessness...it could also have to do with the fact that the weed was a very strong sativa medical strain.

I think that I need to make big changes in the broader aspect of my life. I think that once I'm content with my life situation and free of worry, I might be able to start using drugs responsibly again. HPPD is a weird disorder, most of the time I feel like I'm totally fine and over it, yet other times I almost feel like I've gone insane/schizophrenic. I don't know if I can forgive myself for what I did to my brain, the worst part is that I KNEW that I risking it but I still continued the drug abuse. In any case, no more drugs (besides nicotine, caffeine and beer) for me until I start to feel better again.

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Pre HPPD I NEVER had a bad time on weed. It's surely a sign of something wrong man. Caffeine fucked up my DP, you might wanna think about toning that down too.

I've been reading that, I have 1 extra large coffee every morning so I'll try to cut that out.

Maybe I have a predisposition to HPPD of sorts? My mother did lots of hallucinogens in the 70s if that explains anything.

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You will probably recover if you cut out all drugs (including weed and booze) for at least a few months. Even then I still dont think that you should ever smoke again and should probably drink rarely. Never use another psychadelic or you will regret it.

I dont think you realize how bad the non-visual symptoms of HPPD can be. I never had Derealization for more than a couple of hours at a time and it was still hell. I had to leave school to go rub snow on my face in the parking lot just so I could feel alive. Still I consider myself lucky because some end up with DR for months. Don't do anything that you will regret for the rest of your life. It doesn't seem like people who provoke their HPPD with more drug use recover very often.

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So basically, you're saying I have ruined my brain in an irreversible way that I can never smoke weed again? Or is it just that you guys have such bad anxiety symptoms that the idea of someone with HPPD being able to smoke weed seems impossible? Since so little is known about HPPD, just know that I take every non-scientific opinion on the forum with a grain of salt. It even seems like some people are being delusional, or am I being delusional? It's like, I feel like my HPPD gets bad only when I worry about it, read extensively about online, etc. There seems to be no way of telling whether my brain is actually damaged or if it's all just in my head.

Here is my theory: the main trigger/catalyst for aggravated HPPD symptoms is mainly feelings such as anxiety, paranoia, depression, etc. Cannabis tends to bring out these feelings in certain people, which leads us to believe that cannabis WILL make HPPD worse. Obviously I am not getting high all day like I used to, but smoking weed before bed defeats my sleep paralysis, which I should have mentioned before. I use it medically...smoked a bowl with my room mate 10 minutes ago and I feel good and at ease. Although the advice from all of you fine people on this forum helps a lot, I feel like at the end of the day, only we know what works for us.

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^^^^^You're right. Only we know what's gonna work for us. I think, in regards to weed, it depends on the individual and how bad their HPPD/anxiety/whatever is. You don't sound like you have it too badly at this point so you're still able to enjoy weed. I think that the people telling you to stop smoking aren't doing it with a 100% certainty that it will make you worse but more so along the line that a lot of people's HPPD was made worse by continuing to smoke so there's a possibility it could happen to you too. Which it may not, but it could.

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Im not sayin never smoke again. Just if you do, your brains probably not gonna "heal" back to 100%. Taking a break will let shit reset itself. I was never anxious on weed, but it kept bringing about more and more symptoms. It is what it is. Now a blunt is like snorting a line of ketamine for me. When i got HPPD it felt good.

If had mild DP since may 2011, heavy DPDR since around november 2011.

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So basically, you're saying I have ruined my brain in an irreversible way that I can never smoke weed again? Or is it just that you guys have such bad anxiety symptoms that the idea of someone with HPPD being able to smoke weed seems impossible? Since so little is known about HPPD, just know that I take every non-scientific opinion on the forum with a grain of salt. It even seems like some people are being delusional, or am I being delusional? It's like, I feel like my HPPD gets bad only when I worry about it, read extensively about online, etc. There seems to be no way of telling whether my brain is actually damaged or if it's all just in my head.

Here is my theory: the main trigger/catalyst for aggravated HPPD symptoms is mainly feelings such as anxiety, paranoia, depression, etc. Cannabis tends to bring out these feelings in certain people, which leads us to believe that cannabis WILL make HPPD worse. Obviously I am not getting high all day like I used to, but smoking weed before bed defeats my sleep paralysis, which I should have mentioned before. I use it medically...smoked a bowl with my room mate 10 minutes ago and I feel good and at ease. Although the advice from all of you fine people on this forum helps a lot, I feel like at the end of the day, only we know what works for us.

Weed is a Hallucinogen. It is a weak one but it is still is a hallucinogen. Hallucinogens tend to make HALLUCINOGEN persisting perceptual disorder worse. It makes sense to me, but make your own decision.

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Well, I only have a small amount of herb left for tonight and after that I don't think I'm gonna buy any for at least a month after that...it's hard because weed helps me sleep like a baby without any sleep paralysis, and although it increases the visual part of HPPD (when I'm stoned and I focus on the visual snow/static it turns into almost 2cb/MDA-like color swirls/fractals, no shit!), it can also put me in a wonderful head space that allows me to cope with every single non-visual symptom if no bad vibes trigger them. When I'm not stoned, well-rested and not stressed out, I still have some visual snow/floaters/etc but it's honestly bearable, I even tend to forget about them entirely for several hours at a time. Currently my sober HPPD visuals are comparable to the ones I was having even during my 3-month break from weed/booze/etc towards the end of last year, before my 2 consecutive overdoses.

I read about another member acquiring a medical marijuana card and smoking exclusively high-CBD low-THC strains in order to help with non-visual symptoms without inducing any anxiety/paranoia. I'm considering getting a card myself since it's legal where I live...

Weed really has become a catch-22 for me at this point...it improves the mental aspect but worsens the visual aspect. I really don't want to end up replacing it with benzodiazepines after seeing my mom struggle with pharmaceutical addiction during my youth.

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Did you have sleep paralysis prior to HPPD? I had one case of it about a year before HPPD and haven't had any after but HPPD has messed up my sleep/dreams in some crazy ways although I am now sleeping normally again (except I now keep a light on).

Weed really has become a catch-22 for me at this point...it improves the mental aspect but worsens the visual aspect. I really don't want to end up replacing it with benzodiazepines after seeing my mom struggle with pharmaceutical addiction during my youth.

The mental aspects will pass with time, It is the visual ones that often linger.

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Did you have sleep paralysis prior to HPPD? I had one case of it about a year before HPPD and haven't had any after but HPPD has messed up my sleep/dreams in some crazy ways although I am now sleeping normally again (except I now keep a light on).

The mental aspects will pass with time, It is the visual ones that often linger.

Yeah I remember experiencing sleep paralysis on occasion as a child so I know it's not drug-related;

I'm actually dealing with the visual aspects better as time goes by, even though they are still constantly there, I deal with it. If I don't let them cause me anxiety, they barely impair me.

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You can most likely smoke herb again, I would just take a break from it for 3 to 6 months. I got mine when I was 18 and took a break from everything for a year, I started smoking herb again and besides increasing the visuals when I'm high, I'm fine with it. I haven't done acid, shrooms or dmt since then, but I still take mdma, ketamine, dxm, and nitrous without any permanent increase in visuals. I've never had any dp/dr just the visuals. I know how you feel though it sucks having to take a break but it definately decreased the visuals. If I had kept on tripping I believe I probably would have freaked out at some point and be way worse off. I would stop trippin for at least a year, take a break from smoking for awhile, and be careful with alcohol and benzos seen so many friends get hooked, especially when they couldn't smoke.

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You can most likely smoke herb again, I would just take a break from it for 3 to 6 months. I got mine when I was 18 and took a break from everything for a year, I started smoking herb again and besides increasing the visuals when I'm high, I'm fine with it. I haven't done acid, shrooms or dmt since then, but I still take mdma, ketamine, dxm, and nitrous without any permanent increase in visuals. I've never had any dp/dr just the visuals. I know how you feel though it sucks having to take a break but it definately decreased the visuals. If I had kept on tripping I believe I probably would have freaked out at some point and be way worse off. I would stop trippin for at least a year, take a break from smoking for awhile, and be careful with alcohol and benzos seen so many friends get hooked, especially when they couldn't smoke.

That's the shitty part man...you know how hard it is for guys like us. Herb and booze are helping me cope with life right now, and if I quit I'll probably become a hermit and be stressed out all the time...plus I'd have no social life, I mean fuck, can't I enjoy a couple beers and a few bong rips several nights a week? That's therapy for me dude... I can quit weed for a month or two I guess, I think I'll take a break all summer starting mid-June. I don't really vibe with people who aren't at least mildly into booze and drugs, you know? I'm attached to the electronic music scene, that's what I'm into and I don't want to change it...so now it's all about learning how to cope with HPPD on an every day basis; at this point I've accepted my fate and choose to move on. I don't have time to let HPPD make me anxious and keep me from enjoying life. I'm still young and refuse to let my past drug abuse keep me from being myself....

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