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K.B.Fante last won the day on March 20

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  1. Seems like this site is more active after a period of latency with a lot of newer members, unfortunately. I thought it might be a good idea to cull some of the more comprehensive and informative threads into one place so people can browse them for information as needed. I'd suggest people add to this thread as they see fit. "Bit of an idea for possible CURE. Has some weight to it." http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/1250-bit-of-an-idea-for-possible-cure-has-some-weight-to-it/& "Finding the cause. To find the cure we need to know the cause." A follow up to the above thread. http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/1438-finding-the-cause-to-find-the-cure-we-need-to-know-the-cause/& "'THE HPPD Stack' - let's create one" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/3474-the-hppd-stack-lets-create-one/& "Medication Trial: Dr. Abraham" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/302-medication-trial-dr-abraham/& "Why NMDA antagonism?" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/2280-why-nmda-antagonism/& "Dear Readers from the Dana Foundation Story:" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/1921-dear-readers-from-the-dana-foundation-story/#comment-15227 "Has anyone tried Coluracetm" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/2118-has-aneyone-tried-coluracetam/& "Comprehensive Bibliography I am using" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/109-comprehensive-bibliography-i-am-using/#comment-409 "The thread about dopamine agonists and supportive agents (e.g. levodopa and reuptake inhibitors)" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/495-the-thread-about-dopamine-agonists-and-supportive-agents-eg-levodopa-and-reuptake-inhibitors/#comment-2944 "History of HPPD: Section 2 of 5. Available in PDF" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/306-history-of-hppd-section-2-of-5-available-in-pdf/ "What specifically caused your issues??" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/738-what-specifically-caused-your-issues/ "RELEASED: Initial Results of COMT-inhibition Study conducted by Dr. Abraham" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/1346-released-initial-results-of-comt-inhibition-study-conducted-by-dr-abraham/ "dna methylation/epigenetics" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/680-dna-methylationepigenetics/ "telling parents" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/241-telling-parents/ "AGGRESIVE ADVOCACY" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/1003-aggresive-advocacy/ "Success Stories" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/1267-success-stories/ "Hey! so who all has speech problems due to their HPPD" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/952-hey-so-who-all-has-speech-problems-due-to-their-hppd/ "before/after HPPD" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/874-beforeafter-hppd/ MASSIVE HPPD ARTICLE DOWNLOAD ACCESS (30 MOST IMPORTANT FREE) http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/689-massive-hppd-article-download-access-30-most-important-free/ "Alcohol's effect on hppd" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/501-alcohols-effect-on-hppd/ "Movement" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/forum/11-symptoms-descriptions-discussion-debate/&sortby=views&sortdirection=desc "Can't feel pleasure. Dopamine receptors destroyed?" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/1275-cant-feel-pleasure-dopamine-receptors-destroyed/ "Klonopin vs. Xanax vs. Valium - how do they compare?" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/989-klonopin-vs-xanax-vs-valium-how-do-they-compare/ "My profound experience with levodopa/carbidopa (Sinemet)" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/479-my-profound-experience-with-levodopacarbidopa-sinemet/ "The big 'if': Coluracetam trial" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/2236-the-big-if-coluracetam-trial/ "Thiamine Cocarboxylase" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/5027-thiamine-cocarboxylase/ "people's benzo experiences" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/578-peoples-benzo-experiences/ "CBD Strains of Marijuana" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/1417-cbd-strains-of-marijuana/ "Keppra vs. Clonazepam" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/355-keppra-vs-clonazepam/ Benzo wd syndrome -- psych questioning its validity" http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/1147-benzo-wd-syndrome-psych-questioning-its-validity/
  2. I really think a lot more people totally recover than what's perceived. It just often takes a really long time and it goes away so slowly that people leave these boards when they're feeling halfway decent and never return to share their success stories. Still there are plenty around and many of the members here are making headway in their recovery even if they're not totally healed yet.
  3. Yes, I have visual snow. It was really bad at first but it's gotten a lot better over the course of two years. I still have it at night and when I look into the sky but it's improved so much that it doesn't bother me anymore really. Same goes for many of my other visual symptoms. I still have them but they've finally decreased enough to where they don't bother me that much day to day. When I'm driving it's probably the worst as cars still blur when I pass them and my eyes can't shift fast enough to focus on everything that's passing by but again, it's a small part of my day that doesn't drive me nuts anymore. I'm very thankful to even be in this position as I had really severe HPPD and DP for a while. You can grow new brain cells. A lot of the foods above help, same with exercise. Perhaps try eating healthier and exercising more and see how it makes you feel, but be sure to give yourself enough time. Healing doesn't happen overnight!
  4. I think Sara is right in that there could be different levels of symptoms affecting different regions of the brain and different neurons. Visual snow might not be a result of neurodegeneration. It could instead be a result of a chemical imbalance only. And yet, if there's neuronal die off then there will of course be an imbalance that follows which will trigger visual snow. I'm just theorizing here but I think the idea this is multifaceted is certainly one to consider. The bottom line, however, is that visual snow and palinopsia seem to be inextricably linked to HPPD, so whatever is happening in the brain to cause other HPPD symptoms is clearly very related to whatever is causing visual snow and palinopsia. If you find the cause of one you will likely find the cause of the other. Let's remember though, HPPD stands for Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder, meaning HPPD technically applies more so to those who've taken hallucinogens and ended up with lasting visual and perceptual disturbances afterwords. Though many people come here without having taken hallucinogens they still have similar symptoms (some without having have taken any drugs at all!), so there's clearly a variety of differing ways people end up with similar symptoms. For me, I took a hit of acid two years ago and have never been the same. I was on top of the world, happier than I'd ever been in my life, and went abruptly into a living hell and altered reality after the drug. So for me, the drug was clearly the main culprit in my condition. I was "normal" before and very much not normal afterwords. However, I've steadily progressed at a minute rate consistently since that time because I haven't taken anymore drugs and I've lived a healthy lifestyle. Even when I didn't sleep for three months my condition didn't worsen. I've also thrown a million different supplements and herbs at my brain hoping at least one would give me immediate improvements and nothing really worked that way -- and yet I still kept steadily improving. This, to me, is the pattern of growth: steady, slow, long lasting improvement of symptoms over the course of years. This is the same pattern of improvement for most brain injuries. There is normalcy, an incident that damages the brain and a resulting period of years where the brain slowly but steadily heals. If I strictly had a chemical imbalance of neurotransmitters then surely one of the hundreds of supplements and medications I've taken would have made an immediate difference in my condition, but that was never the case. The only slight improvement I had was with benzos, but it was very subtle and nothing close to what people would refer to as "cured." My visual disturbances were all still very much there, hardly affected at all, front and center. Additionally, my brain fog was very telling. Brain fog is a broad term but I'm confident the type I had was caused by microglia cells which are basically the brain's first responders against damaging agents. I had severe brain fog for the first year or so but after I totally cleaned up my diet and introduced many different anti-inflammatory foods and herbs my brain fog essentially disappeared completely -- the only one of my symptoms to have abruptly ended in such extreme fashion. Microglia cells get turned on and stay turned on throughout the course of their lifetime until something acts to signal them they're not needed anymore, which I think is exactly what happened with my diet. There was damage inside my brain, microglia were going nuts, and only after I reduced my brain inflammation through healthy eating did they die off. Obviously if you suffer a brain injury you're going to have inflammation, but if you can counter that with a healthy anti-inflammatory diet then you will of course reduce that inflammation and therefore the microglia cells, which is what I think happened in my case. As for neurodegeneration, it can be reversed. For a long time it was believed humans only had a certain number of brain cells and that they would die off as we aged, but this has been proven incorrect. This video is a great introduction to this concept:
  5. Like I said, it's crazy how many supplements that are supposed to be good for you can really mess with those who have HPPD. I think you might be on to something about it being a stimulant. So many herbs have stimulant qualities and we all know people with HPPD don't handle them well. The key is to really microdose. I take stuff that's stimulating, especially in large amounts, but I just take very very small doses of it. If you're still into the brain-boosting mushroom thing you might try reishi mushrooms. I'm currently taking them and I think they're helping quite a bit.
  6. So I just searched "glutamate" on this site an about 150 different results popped up. Datismane's "CURE" thread is by far the most scientifically introspective on the topic of what causes HPPD and I think everyone here should try and read through it at some point. He suggested a link to glutamate excitotoxicity four years ago (three posts from the top):
  7. Just because you get symptoms slowly doesn't mean it isn't neurodegeneration. Many neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's come on slowly over the course of years and even decades. Last week a member of this forum posted a link to the first published study I'm aware of that proved hallucinogens can be neurotoxic: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/14821234_Degeneration_of_Purkinje_cells_in_parasagittal_zones_of_the_cerebellar_vermin_after_treatment_with_Ibogaine_or_harmaline So we now know hallucinogens have the ability to cause necrosis, aka cell death. In addition, we also know many people who get HPPD suffer from anxiety. Science has confirmed that with increased stress follows increased cortisol which creates a surplus of the transmitter glutamate: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181836/ In addition, we know glutamate produces free radicals which attack and kill brain cells: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1134%2FS000635090905011X But glutamate is also excitotoxic, activating and killing NMDA receptors, which are the same receptors targeted in certain hallucinogenic drugs: https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/excitotoxicity.htm Finally, it's thought glutamate is the missing link to signal necrosis after ischemia (loss of oxygen) wherein during even a very brief episode of blood loss glutamate is activated and thus triggers cell death: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301008213001305 On the topic of blood flow, it's also been noted how LSD and other hallucinogens can decrease blood circulation in certain parts of the brain: http://www.nature.com/news/brain-scans-reveal-how-lsd-affects-consciousness-1.19727 I'm just saying, between anxiety and chemical drugs there's plenty of potential for excess glutamate, loss of blood flow and a possible triggering of necrosis. When I saw a neurologist this past winter he said he didn't know what happened to me but that I had symptoms of a stroke. I also know that in the weeks leading up to taking LSD I had a period of extreme anxiety where I didn't hardly sleep for about 10 days. It was without question the worst acute stretch of anxiety I've ever had. So for me there almost had to be some sort of a glutamate overload, and I assume for those who suffered from anxiety already prior to taking drugs or had a really bad trip that triggered an incredible release of anxiety and glutamate there's a good chance they were in the same boat as I was.
  8. From what I gather HPPD has a pretty vast spectrum of both severity and number of symptoms. I know when I first got it I didn't necessarily outright hallucinate but if I stared at any sort of pattern for more than a few seconds I'd basically start seeing things within the patter and my vision would begin to twist and morph and essentially it was like I was still tripping on acid. After two years that symptom is gone yet I still have afterimages, trails, snow and DP, so it just goes to show how bad it can be for some people as opposed to others. We're all suffering though, so it's important not to diminish the pain of others just because you might have something worse off than they do.
  9. Lion's Mane is a mushroom made into a supplement because of it's cognitive health benefits, but it's important to keep in mind it's still just a mushroom. You can't heal HPPD by eating lots of a single type of mushroom. Blueberries are one of the best brain foods in the world, but you're not going to heal your HPPD by eating a pound of blueberries every day. It's not a bad idea to take Lion's Mane, but you need to keep your dose low so that you can handle it and just keep taking a small amount every day over the course of months or even a year to see the benefits, and even then they're likely not going to be anything otherworldly. There's no cure for HPPD, but if you take a holistic approach and don't overdose on supplements and give yourself time to heal and time for everything to add up, then you'll likely see results.
  10. So it seems like there've been a lot of posts here recently from first-time users, those new to HPPD, wondering if (A) they indeed have HPPD and (B) if so, how they go about treating it. It's been established that immediate and lasting abstinence from drugs is perhaps the most important factor in healing, followed by living a healthy lifestyle, exercising, eating right, meditating and so on. This formula has worked well for me and many others and I'd just like to share a bit more detail about what I've been doing over the last nine months that has really jumpstarted my recovery into a higher gear. Sleep It all starts with a good night's sleep. You need at least six hours and preferably no more than nine. That seems to be the goldilocks zone for a healthy sleep cycle that won't leave you tired or drowsy the next morning. Sleep is when our brain's repair cycle occurs so it's important to allow yourself to heal at night otherwise you're not giving yourself a good chance to heal from HPPD as a whole. Before bed I always meditate using binaural beats. I focus on my body, where I'm tight, where I feel stress, and I always try and loosen up, ask myself why I feel that way. I also focus on my thoughts and ask why they are that way. If I'm relaxed, I ask what I did during the day to make myself relax. If I'm nervous I ask myself what I did or perhaps ate that made me feel stressed or energized. This shouldn't be a period of deep thinking, rather of deep awareness. It's a great way for me to recap the day, figure out what I did right and wrong that helps me sleep well at night and recover as a whole from HPPD. I also go to bed early and sleep in a very dark and cool room on a very firm bed. This is the best setting for getting good rest. If you can tune out noise that helps as well. On nights I feel I'll have a hard time sleeping I drink tea before bed, preferably chamomile, lemon balm, lavender and other "sleepytime" teas that have lots of good, natural healthy herbs that promote rest but also don't leave you feeling groggy the next day. I'm a very firm believer teas have helped me sleep well and recover and they're proven to be incredibly good for you too, especially chamomile. I've had a difficult time reading lately, but I'd recommend reading a bit before bed if you can. Maybe this is a magazine or a book, but you should try and dim the lights, avoid the computer and TV and really prepare yourself for sleep as if it's a sacred act. Also, avoid eating lots of sugar or carbs before bed as these can disrupt your sleep. Morning Exercise Routine When I wake up I have a very set routine. First I make my morning exercise drink. It's important to hydrate in the morning but rather than just drinking a couple glasses of water I'll drink my "exercise drink" followed by a glass of water. In my exercise drink I boil a cup of holy basil tea, then I squeeze a lemon wedge, add a half teaspoon of turmeric, a pinch of Himalayan sea salt, about five to 10 drops of bacopa tincture and then occasionally I'll add very small amounts of other ingredients like cayenne, pine pollen, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera juice or passionflower tincture. Many of these ingredients do one of two things: They either clean your system out or promote brain growth and a positive mood. They're also some of the healthiest foods in the world. I think this tonic has done a lot in helping me maintain positive bodily health as well as a positive mood in route to healing my HPPD. Turmeric and some form of adaptogen (bacopa, holy basil and ashwagandha work best for me) are the most important elements of this drink for my overall well being. I also have rotated many other things in and out and never overdo it since adding too many herbs can be overwhelming mentally. It's always important to start small and work your way up and never add too much stuff at one time. After I hydrate I then go on a run every other day, preferably about three miles. After I run I stretch, do some yoga poses and lift weights. I only do this every other day, however, because you can easily work out too much and cause your body damage. It's very important to rest and allow your body to heal. If you wanted to do some very light workouts every day I think that'd be OK though. Either way, working out in the morning when cortisol is low is the best. It's also a great way to start the day off right and get blood flowing to the brain to allow it to work well the rest of the day. No matter what type of workout I do I always try and push myself to do some brief high-intensity exercises -- but never too much! -- as this is the best way to create BDNF which is the main ingredient in growing new neurons. After working out I eat breakfast -- the most important meal of the day. This usually entails some form of a veggie stir-fry, fruit, organic yogurt, eggs, etc. Whatever it is I always try and eat mostly vegetables with a little bit of fruit, perhaps some form of meat for protein. Then I take certain vitamins along with my meal, those being B-complex (Country Life co-enzyme are the best in my opinion), digestive enzymes (Now Foods are the best for me), selenium, sunflower lecithin (helps brain health and neurogenesis) a combination D and K vitamin (since you need K to go along with D) and fish oil. I've also added a few other really good supplements occasionally, like reishi mushroom capsules (a superfood for brain health) and spirulina (another superfood), but I've mainly stuck to the above for about nine months with good success and no side effects. Additional supplements I will likely try in the future that are good for brain health are phosphatidylcholine, ginkgo, lion's mane and vinpocetine, but again, I don't want to overload so I'm going to try them one by one in order to see if they affect my mood or cognition negatively. Lunch Getting your blood glucose under control is key for brain health so I try and avoid snacking while eating three times a day, about four to six hours apart, and never eat too much or indulge in too much sugar -- which I admit is very difficult, though I try. For lunch I try and eat more cold foods, maybe some probiotics like kombucha or fermented veggies, sea veggies, nuts, bone broth, a salad (celery artichoke, olives), tuna or sardines, etc. I also eat a tablespoon of olive oil and a bit less of coconut oil. These should be in everyone's diet, especially those trying to heal from HPPD, as they are some of the healthiest fats out there. I also take zinc during lunch and sometime afterwords I might make up some mint tea or just any type of tea that doesn't contain caffeine and won't make me drowsy. Dinner At night I do something similar to breakfast, mostly veggies but of a different variety. I eat more potatoes, peppers, zucchinis, mushrooms, onions, garlic and usually some protein whereas in the morning I eat more green veggies. It's just about mixing up different types of veggies really. I also take magnesium, another digestive enzyme and more fish oil with this meal. Then afterwords I make up a health dessert of oats, coconut flakes, organic honey, chia seeds, hemp seeds, coconut milk, a few blueberries and a variety of different healthy spices, especially cinnamon. Additional Health Notes There are certain foods I basically structure my entire diet around. These are some of the healthiest foods in the world and especially so for brain health. They include: Celery, Artichoke, Basil, Parsley, Red Grapes, Tea (watch out for caffeine!), Turmeric, Olives, Organ Meats, Grass-Fed Beef, Free-Range Poultry, Wild-Caught Fish, Coconut Milk, Blueberries, Avocados, Bone Broth, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Pumpkin, Cruciferous Veggies (better when cooked!), Beets, Garlic (wait 10 minutes after cutting before cooking for best benefits), Ginger, Apple Cider Vinegar, Cinnamon, Algae, Figs, Aloe Vera Juice, Onion (best eaten raw), Apples, Chicory Root, etc. Additional superfoods: Cacao (dark chocolate has caffeine so don't eat too much!), bee pollen, algae (spirulina and chlorella), hemp seeds, chia seeds, goji berries, coconut, maca, acai, camu camu, kelp, aloe vera, noni, etc. Omega 3-rich foods (your brain desperately needs these at all times for repair): Cod liver oil, mackerel (by far the most), salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, egg yokes, etc. High fat foods (ditto to the above): Nuts (macadamia especially) and seeds (chia, flax, etc.) cruciferous veggies, avocados, wild-caught fish, free-range eggs, olives, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, coconut, dark chocolate, etc. Probiotic foods: Fermented veggies (kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, etc.) kombucha, full fat plain grass-fed Greek yogurt, etc. Prebiotic foods (probiotic foods eat prebiotic foods to function): Chicory root, Jerusalem artichokes, dandelion greens, garlic, leeks, onion, asparagus, etc. Also, I try and avoid gluten if possible. It's been linked to all sorts of different cognitive disorders and health problems so I think while I'm healing I'm gonna try and stay away from it as much as I can. The good news is there's so many different gluten-free options out there that you can still basically eat whatever you want, even pizza and sandwiches. Anyway, this schedule is really working for me. Recovering from HPPD has been a very slow process but I really think eating right, exercising properly and giving my brain the fuel it needs to heal has been a huge turning point in my recovery. Just thought I'd share my routine to perhaps give people an idea of a safe route to follow in case they're unsure of which direction to go in trying to heal. Some of the supplements above might not work for everyone so it's really important to take this with a grain of salt and ease into things slowly. No matter what path you chose to heal from HPPD I think living a healthy lifestyle should without question be the centerpiece, and I think as long as you abstain from drugs as well you give yourself a great shot at healing, even if it takes a few years. Good luck everyone!
  11. I'm the exact same way. I think HPPD makes us more susceptible to those side effects. In general I've had tons of success going the natural route though. There's all kinds of herbal remedies to mental health issues that, as far as I can tell, work just as well as pharmaceuticals and are of course much safer.
  12. Have you improved at all? How'd you first get your HPPD? And I'm a bit confused -- did you take something that made it worse?
  13. I don't think it's as simple as increasing or decreasing glutamate. Neurotoxicity stems more from a rapid increase of glutamate during a short time that causes all sorts of different reactions -- including potential strokes, biochemical cascades inside the brain and so on -- that lead to necrosis. Even after neurodegeneration when glutamate returns to normal levels the damage has already been done. It's sorta like a bomb, I guess: It takes a lot of different elements interacting at the same time to cause an explosion but once the blast occurs you can't just pick the pieces up and put them back together. Like you said, I'm sure the aftereffects of HPPD are far reaching and have an impact on many different types of cells and pathways inside the brain, but I still think the idea that neurotoxicity of some kind makes a lot of sense.
  14. A lot of the symptoms overlap but from what I gather the "levels" just depend on how severe your symptoms are. So if three people have afterimages, one has them for .5 seconds, the next for two seconds and the last person for five seconds then the last person has much worse afterimages than the other two. Same principle applies across the board, however those with "full blown" HPPD also have a lot more symptoms than someone with mild HPPD. In addition to standard snow, afterimages and halos, someone with really bad HPPD probably has DP-DR, head pressure, streamers, brain fog and so on.
  15. You have to be careful with supplements. Everything you put in your body affects your brain to some extent, even the stuff that seems harmless. Also, supplements are business and you have remember their goal is to always sell more of their product so they'll almost always recommend you take way more than you need. I can't tell you how many different supplements I've tried that I thought couldn't affect my mind yet ended up making me feel crazy. My rule is to always start off microdosing, see how I feel, then if I like it I increase the dose. But no matter how much I feel good on something I almost never end up taking what the bottle recommends.