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Everything posted by StateOfRegret

  1. That differs a lot. But it seems that for most it is a very gradual process. That's certainly been the case for me. My HPPD was/is fairly typical in most respects: arising from heavy use of psychedelics, visual symptoms dominated by patterning, moving splotches of colour, morphing etc. Some derealization, dizziness, anxiety. Most of it has gotten a lot better over the course of four years, but it hasn't completely subsided. I should mention, though, that Keppra did help with the visual side of things, when it was prescribed to me.
  2. Done. Good idea!
  3. For a long time, I constantly felt like I'd recently taken some psychedelic. With time, this feeling has diminished. It's still there, but to a lesser extent, and I've mostly learned not to be scared by it (this in itself helps a lot, but it all takes time, of course). That being said, benzodiazepines (particularly clonazepam) definitely gave me some short-term relief, but it's not something I dare use on a daily basis. For me, Keppra (Levetiracetam) did provide some relief from the visual symptoms of HPPD, which helped with the general feeling of derealization. Unfortunately, my doctor took me off the drug due to elevated liver enzymes, but this seems like a fairly uncommon reaction. Sorry that I don't have any "quick fix" answer to your question :-/ .
  4. Yikes, now I feel bad for not seeing this sooner :-/ I've been away for a long while, but I've not forgotten you folks. Nor has HPPD forgotten me, unfortunately ;-)
  5. Yes, definitely. But I smoke a lot, in general.
  6. What you're saying is essentially "Just pull yourself together, man. It's not that bad, you're just fussy about it". Well, for some people it just is that bad. I'm not saying that I'm particularly badly off, personally, but I'm not going to pretend that others are not. That'd be pretty condescending. It is true that your attitude can worsen or better your situation somewhat, but this is not the same as saying that the problem is mainly a matter of attitude. Recognizing the fact that attitude plays a role in your mental health does not mean we are to downplay the severity of actual neurologic or psychiatric conditions.
  7. This pisses me off a bit. If you think HPPD is completely negligible, then why are you here? Maybe your HPPD is not so bad. Good for you, then. But don't downplay the struggles of others, that's downright unacceptable. HPPD has driven numerous people to the brink of suicide. Several members here have struggled with it for decades.
  8. My reading speed has gone down quite a lot since I got HPPD. I find it hard to focus on text (which is a bit of a problem, given that I have to read a lot). Letters move around and patterns form in the space between the letters. I wouldn't call it debilitating, but it's definitely an annoyance.
  9. It is difficult to say since there seems to be a lot of individual variability as to what affects the disorder and what doesn't. Personally, alcohol doesn't affect my HPPD except maybe very short term. SSRIs, on the other hand, were clearly detrimental for me, at least in the initial phases (beginning treatment, stepping up the dose). I can't say how they would have affected me in the longer run as I never stayed on them that long.
  10. Hi all :-) I'd like to give an account of my experience with HPPD and related anxiety. I apologize for the length of my post! I'm under the impression that many HPPD-sufferers (though by no means all) began experiencing noticeable symptoms of HPPD after only a few psychedelic experiences. This was not the case for me. I got very interested in psychedelic substances at the age of 16 and did a lot of reading before actually indulging. At the age of 17 I tried LSD for the first time, and had an enjoyable and interesting experience. After this, I began tripping frequently, and by age 18-19 I had gone through 1000mg of 2C-B (another psychedelic compound) and had somewhere in the vicinity of 50 LSD trips. I had noticed slight symptoms of HPPD after using 2C-B quite frequently for a few months (tripping perhaps once every fortnight, sometimes more frequently), but I didn't think much of it. I figured that the effects were probably transient. I then acquired a large amount of 2C-C and some Psilocybe Cubensis mushrooms, while continuing to do LSD once in a while. During the time I used 2C-C, I noticed that my HPPD symptoms were worsening, but I still attributed it to my frequent use of psychedelics, thinking that it would soon die down when I eventually decided to take a proper, long break from using these substances. During all this, I smoked cannabis intermittently, while never becoming a "heavy" smoker by any means. At age 20, I moved to a big city (or at least as big as they come here in Scandinavia) and began studying physics at university. At this time, I made a decision to use psychedelics and cannabis much less frequently. Over the course of the next year, I only tripped a couple of times, and only at somewhat low dosage levels. It was after this period that I realized that my HPPD symptoms (moving coloured splotches, lingering after-images and so on) had not gone away. They seemed to have lessened somewhat, and I paid less attention to them than before. Nonetheless they were clearly noticeable, and somewhat distracting at times. I felt no anxiety in relation to my HPPD symptoms, and decided that they weren't hindering me in my daily life. At this point I slowly began experimenting with psychedelic drugs once again, picking up pace after a few months. Apparently I had not learnt my lesson. A friend and I purchased a rather large amount of 4-HO-MiPT (a psychedelic tryptamine, somewhat akin to mushrooms in effects) and some 25C-NBOMe (a potent psychedelic). At this point we were tripping on a weekly basis. After a couple of months, it became increasingly clear to me that a long hiatus from all psychedelic substances would be needed at some point. But I postponed it. After our last exams we decided that we'd kick back and enjoy ourselves with a bit of newly-purchased 2C-C. I had slept poorly for a couple of days, and really should have gone home and laid down. Instead, I went ahead and ingested a dose of the 2C-C with my partner in crime. This turned out to be a mistake. After an hour, I began noticing that I was unable to have a simple conversation with our trip-sitter (a sober friend who, thankfully, was also present). I thought to myself "I really didn't imagine I would get this high from this stuff". About 15 minutes later it was becoming quite uncomfortable. I mentioned to my friend that it didn't feel like any 2C-C I'd ever had before, and he agreed that it was qualitatively different. I asked him if he thought it was something to worry about, and he responded that he wasn't sure, but that it would perhaps become a problem if it continued growing in strength. By this time I felt extremely hot and my heart was racing. We decided that, since this drug definitely did not resemble 2C-C, we had no idea what it was. We experienced some visuals, but mostly it was the physical effects which were completely different from what we expected. I said, that if we had ingested an unknown drug, which still seemed to be growing in intensity, we might have to go to an emergency room, since there was no way of knowing how long the effects would continue increasing in strength. First we decided to take a cold shower, to see if it would cool us down, as we were experiencing something akin to hyperthermia. It helped a little, but the relief was short-lived, and it did nothing to attenuate the tachycardia we were experiencing. To cut a long story short, we went to the emergency room, which was an unpleasant experience worthy of its own report. The nurse said that I had a resting pulse somewhere in the high 120's, which is definitely not life-threatening. By this time, the effects had died down a little. The next day, I felt very close to normal, albeit somewhat shocked. I paid a visit to another friend, who was smoking a potent synthetic cannabinoid called UR-144, but I chose not to partake in light of the events of the previous night. A few beers later, my judgement somewhat impaired, I chose to try some of the synthetic cannabinoid after all. This was perhaps my biggest mistake. A couple of minutes after smoking the cannabinoid I felt a surge through my body, a tingling sensation which spread to every part of my body. I started shaking somewhat, but I managed to ride it out, and within a few minutes I felt alright, albeit somewhat shaken and quite intoxicated. Soon after, I decided to call it a night and went to bed. I awoke the next morning, and this is where things got uncomfortable. As soon as I opened my eyes, I noticed that my surroundins appeared out of the ordinary. I felt quite high - almost as high as I had done the night before - and my HPPD was very noticeable. I hoped that this intoxication would subside quickly, as I had promised to visit my parents for a family get-together later that day. Upon arriving at my parents' in the evening, I still felt just as out of it. I had difficulty following the conversation, and I was beginning to become very anxious about the whole thing. I decided to tell my parents what had happened, as I felt unable to continue pretending. Soon after I went to lay down. Around midnight I went downstairs and watched some TV with my mom, still feeling very high and physically uncomfortable. I had been feeling a constant tingling sensation throughout my body the whole day. This is when I had my first panic attack, something I've never experienced before. It hit me very quickly, beginning with an sudden surge of intense "tingling" in my body. I jumped up from the couch, shaking and feeling as though I was about to lose all connection with reality. This state of sheer terror lasted for perhaps 2 minutes, after which I slowly returned to a less debilitating level of anxiety. The next day I was still in this highly uncomfortable state, and I had another panic attack. This one was different. It kept building for perhaps ten minutes, before climaxing in a severe panic attack. I was shaking uncontrollably, couldn't even stand up, and my mom even ended up calling the medical services, who had nothing useful to say. The next day I visited my doctor, who prescribed a benzodiazepine (Oxazepam) for the anxiety. This helped somewhat. I didn't have a full-blown panic attack after this. But I still spent more than a week in bed, completely unable to do the simplest things. Even watching TV proved too much. I felt over-stimulated by any sort of stimulus, and was plagued by strange bodily sensations (mostly the tingling feeling) and strong HPPD-like visuals. After being bedridden for well over a week, I managed to go for a few short walks, while still feeling very strange and anxious. I have been getting better very slowly since then, and it has now been five weeks since the night I smoked the cannabinoid (and since I ingested the unknown substance which landed me in the ER). I now only take benzodiazepines on some days, but I am still far from functioning normally. Most of the unpleasant physical sensations have lessened greatly (thank God for that). The most persistent one has been a strong sense of dizziness, but that is getting better as well. The only symptom which is still in full force is my visual HPPD, which has a tendency to bring out anxiety as well, since it reminds me of the state I'm in.
  11. Hi Bugger, The anxiety is still quite bad, though I have perhaps grown more used to it, which might sound a bit strange. The visuals are still around in the form of coloured splotches and some geometric patterning and "movement" of textured surfaces etc. I think that the intensity may have gone down somewhat, though not drastically. In short, it is essentially business as usual. Last summer I tried Keppra with mostly positive results but had to stop due to liver issues. I believe that I have described this somewhere on the site :-) I'll try to find that thread and elaborate later - I'm on the phone right now. Ps. What are you studying?
  12. Hi Megan, welcome to the forums Perhaps you could describe your symptoms. Describe what makes you consider whether you have HPPD. If you want to read about other people's experiences with HPPD, I recommend that you read some of the threads in the Introductions subforum - there are lots to pick from My personal story is Here.
  13. Hey all! I'm still searching for a medication to treat my anxiety problems that won't simultaneously aggravate my HPPD. As many of you know, that is one tough nut to crack. My immediate thoughts: SSRIs: Seem somewhat effective for my anxiety. Aggravates visuals, had to discontinue. At least HPPD symptoms returned to ''baseline'' upon discontinuation. Benzodiazepines: Greatly attenuates my anxiety (particularly etizolam and clonazepam) and helps HPPD symptoms as well (particularly clonazepam). Very addictive, not a long term solution. I build tolerance to benzodiazepines pretty quickly. Buspirone: Seems too ineffective to be worth it (never actually tried this one) Pregabalin/gabapentin: Seem to have many of the same pitfalls as benzos, plus some extra common side effects(?) Beta blockers: Ineffective in managing my anxiety, since it doesn't primarily manifest with tachycardia, tremors, flushing etc. Atypical antipsychotics: Seems like a dangerous combo w/HPPD (particularly risperidone). Older/atypical antidepressants, such as TCAs: Never tried any of those. Very interested in hearing personal experiences or ideas about any non-SSRI antidepressants useful in treating anxiety, particularly about how they interact with HPPD. Thanks in advance, folks Hope you're feeling all right. Looking forward to hear any and all thought on possible anxiety medications w/HPPD.
  14. Hey 415! Thanks for your comments. After trying mirtazapine for a bit longer (it was a couple of months ago, so I can't recall exactly how long, but I think it was 5 or 6 days) I can definitely relate to the "pro-depressant" comment. I'm not usually prone to depression but I felt absolutely anhedonic and grim and was a general pest to everyone in my vicinity while taking it! Definitely not pleasant. I'd have to agree that it is somewhat anxiolytic, though.
  15. Hi all, hope you are doing well. I have been suffering much worsened anxiety lately, to the point that I have daily (relatively mild) panic attacks and feel anxious constantly. It has affected my sleep as well - something that never used to be a problem. Long story short: I'm considering taking an SSRI, probably escitalopram (Lexapro) or citalopram (cipramil and others). I'm interested in your thoughts regarding SSRIs in combination with HPPD. I'm not looking for a cure for HPPD, just for the anxiety, but needless to say I am worried about exacerbating my HPPD. Any thoughts and (especially) personal experiences are much appreciated.
  16. I've been meaning to post this for a while, but here it is, my experience with Keppra. I took Keppra for a little over two months, taking 500mg/day for the first five days and 1000mg/day for the remaining two months. Before beginning Keppra treatment I had all the usual bloodwork done and all looked fine. During the period where I took 1000mg/day I had blood tests done twice and both showed elevated liver figures - I don't remember the details, but my ALAT/ALT was twice the upper boundary of the normal range (indicating liver problems). Since it hadn't decreased at all by the second blood test after beginning Keppra (which was about a month after the first one) my doctor recommended that I didn't increase the dosage and advised me to perhaps taper off if the medication wasn't having substantial positive effects. Now, I didn't feel anything remarkable during the treatment, but it did seem to have some effect. It seemed to reduce after-images/palinopsia, which was great. It seemed to do very little for general "patterning", but it may have helped this a little bit as well. It made me pretty confronting and unrelenting. I seemed to fall out with a few people while taking it, which is unusual for me. It may have helped general anxiety somewhat, but not much in any case. So, all in all, not remarkable nor a complete let-down. Oh, and if you take Keppra, remember to get blood tests for liver function!
  17. I actually have some tianeptine somewhere in a drawer. Never really gave it a fair try, but it's on my to-do list. Afobazole even more so.
  18. Painting; Appreciating your writings! Would love to hear more details on your afobazole experiences (I realize that I'm pretty much just repeating my post from Sep. 17th )
  19. Very true, 415 ! It's also worth noting who funded the medical research in question (Yes, I'm ''in science'' but I don't have delusions about the infallibility of the so-called scientific method )
  20. Chris: Yep, certainly takes discipline. Oh, and good to see you posting again . I tried a single dose (15mg) of mirtazapine yesterday night. I'm not going to make any statements wrt effectiveness yet, just wanted to say that so far, it hasn't affected my HPPD as far as I can tell. It did make me extremely tired, though. I slept well but awoke feeling exhausted and felt 'zombiefied' for hours. Upon returning from university I fell asleep again and awoke late in the evening. One of the possible side-effects is strange dreams. I had some pretty strange ones while napping, but then again, that's not too unusual for me. I think I'll postpone giving it a real try for another week, until I have some more time on my hands.
  21. 415_STYLEE: Sometimes your posts come across like medication adverts "Always avoid SSRIs, take Wellbutrin, it will remove your depression and give you confidence!" Anyway, saying that bupropion is good for anxiety is probably a bit of a stretch. Many anxiety sufferers feel worse using it, due to stimulation. Anxiety sufferers are different, but most don't do well with stimulating drugs. In short, Luukzorika21: If you're looking for advice on the general effectiveness of different anxiety medications, don't ask here. Look at crazymeds, crazyboards, socialanxietysupport or similar sites. If you're looking for info on the interaction between anxiety medication and HPPD, ask here Also, have a look at my anxiety medication thread. Wish you all the best!
  22. I went through the same thing recently. My symptoms spiked as well. I just took aspirin + codeine to knock down the fever and aches that came with the flu, that helped a bunch. Taking a benzo would be perfectly acceptable in my opinion, though. Hope you feel all better soon, a-a
  23. I did take high-dose B-complex but not faithfully. Anyway the "rage" part really wasn't all that bad. I didn't fall out with friends, just had a few heated interactions with people I didn't know very well I really felt no side-effects which would deter me from continuing treatment. It was only the liver thing. As for interactions with drugs or alcohol; no. I didn't drink any alcohol at all or use any other medication except for very sparse benzodiazepine usage (less than once every fortnight during that time). I would love to continue Keppra treatment, but the liver involvement was a bit worrisome. It has to be said, though, that ALAT values twice the normal range isn't that bad. It's no worse than what one would expect if on a high daily dose of some NSAIDs, for instance But it was high enough that my GP recommended cessation and recommended against increasing the dosage (which is what I would have done, had the liver issues not surfaced).
  24. Hm, something prone to causing jitters/anxiety is probably a no go for me, but I appreciate the suggestion
  25. Hey Visual, thanks for your reply :-) . It is not unheard of, though. Look up levetiracetam hepatoxicity if you're interested It is relatively rare, though. wrt "Keppra rage"; I wouldn't so much call it rage, in my case, but there's no doubt that it was a manifestation of the same side effect that people refer to as keppra rage (sorry if that came out a bit convoluted ). I didn't feel angry, just very "direct", stating my opinion without much thought to how it might affect other people emotionally. I'm still considering what to do now. Trying lamotrigine seems like an option since keppra did have some positive effects for me.