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Everything posted by K.B.Fante

  1. Your story follows a very common theme here, as has been pointed out by above members of this site. I too had symptoms of HPPD from the time I was about 15 until 20. I did a lot of drugs in high school and at some point ended up with visual snow, depersonalization and slight afterimages, all of which are standard HPPD symptoms. After I graduated high school I actually took it easy on drugs my freshman year of college and within a few years I was symptom free. I took a few hallucinogens here and there but was always careful in never taking too much. Well, six years later all it took was a single tab of acid and I was thrown into a world and experience I wouldn't wish on anybody ever in the history of man. It's really clear that you're in a position we all were at one time and ignored. Don't be like us and ignore what your brain is telling you. Drugs don't work for you and your body type. If you keep doing them you'll regret it -- guaranteed. And not only that, you'll regret ever being born. Life on this planet is the greatest gift imaginable. Don't take it for granted. Doing drugs isn't worth it.
  2. Usually HPPD is accompanied by a variety of visual disturbances so if you're just feeling cut off from the outside world, emotionally drained, empty, etc., then you might just be feeling the effects of all the drugs you've been taking. You should really try and cut back, even go as clean as you can for a month or so and see how you feel after that. If you're already feeling depersonalized I'd stay as far away from drugs as possible if I were you, especially hallucinogens. Your mind and body are telling you to lay off. It's best to listen in these circumstances.
  3. I've tried tyrosine, rhodiola and theanine, which I've read can increase dopamine, but this was a while back when I was throwing all sorts of different drugs at my body so I didn't get a good idea of whether they worked or not. Also, I think SAM-e might increase dopamine. That was the one med I actually felt pretty good on. I've just been so sensitive to drugs I haven't stuck with any aside from supplements. I'm much happier with going slow and recovering using nutrition.
  4. I wish someone had told me how long this would take right off the bat, so I'll just advise you to not get too excited about it dissipating over the next month. The truth is if you've had it for seven months you'll probably have it for a long time. Maybe another year, maybe two or three, who knows. But this condition doesn't disappear overnight. Just stay away from drugs, eat healthy, exercise and you give yourself a great chance at recovery.
  5. Hate to keep repeating it but this is yet another instance where HPPD and Visual Snow symptoms are tied to some sort of injury. This is without question a reoccurring theme in many of these studies. I've always felt better on substances that promote dopamine and it seems pretty popular in this community. If I remember correctly I think Dr. Abraham even suggested dopamine receptors could somehow get destroyed after ingestion of hallucinogens. I've taken a few supplements that supposedly boost dopamine, never any pharmaceuticals, and of course altered my diet to allow for more vitamin C which is an antioxidant especially beneficial to those with neurological disorders and one that helps promote the production of dopamine. Sometimes when I eat an orange I even get a little bit of a natural food high!
  6. Honestly, I'm not sure what to tell you. It sounds like you have a severe form of HPPD (I had similar symptoms as you for the first few months before they started to fade) wherein CEVs are your strongest and most disturbing symptom except they occur when you're awake, from what I gather. You have to keep in mind that though there's a general list of common HPPD symptoms almost everyone has a different experience with this condition and many of us have symptoms that seem almost unique to our own personal brain malfunction, as appears to be the case in your scenario. For example, I have severe macropsia. Though there have been a few others who've reported this symptom I've yet to come across anybody who has it as bad as I do. I literally couldn't even see my hand (it was too blurry and big) if I put it a foot in front of my face when I first got HPPD because my macropsia was so bad, and to this day my hand appears completely blurry if I put it a few inches from my face. It sounds like you've seen quite a few doctors and been on your fair share of meds, so I'm not exactly sure trying out more medication is the best route. Is there anything that's made your symptoms better? Perhaps a time when you felt happier throughout all this? One thing that's helped me is to constantly take inventory of my emotions, HPPD symptoms and body in general to see what makes me feel better and worse. It's taken two years but I have a long, long list of things that help and things that don't. It really makes life easier to navigate when you know what to do and what not to do, especially with regards to eating.
  7. Here are the links to the visual snow studies mentioned in the video above: 'Visual Snow' -- a disorder distinct from persistent migraine aura https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/137/5/1419/334357/Visual-snow-a-disorder-distinct-from-persistent Visual snow: A thalamocortical dysrhythmia of the visual pathway? http://www.jocn-journal.com/article/S0967-5868(15)00653-0/abstract Thalamocortical dysrhythmia: A neurological and neuropsychiatric syndrome characterized by magnetoencephalography http://www.pnas.org/content/96/26/15222.full Thalamocortical Dysrhythmia: A Theoretical Update in Tinnitus https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4460809/
  8. I've read of a few people trying it, though obviously it didn't work wonders or else it would be more well known around the community. I think choline is often taken in combination if I remember correctly.
  9. Just thought I'd post this video since its apt to the discussion at hand and mentions the site Sara has linked to above:
  10. I have negative afterimages too, but mostly I only see them when I look at bright objects (the sun is the worst) or high-contrast settings (like a black tire against a white wall for example). Thing is, these have gotten better at the same rate as all my other symptoms, so clearly they're all tied together, which would make me think they're more brain related rather than retinal. I know light sensitivity is a common symptom of quite a few neurological disorders.
  11. Thanks for this Sara. I hope people donate. We can't all sit here and complain and then when we have an opportunity to do something just turn our heads the other way.
  12. Was just browsing Google for LSD-related articles when I stumbled upon this from about five years ago: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/scicurious-brain/httpblogsscientificamericancomscicurious-brain20110802sciam-chemistry-day-lsd-a-drug-only-as-good-as-its-receptors/ Pretty interesting summary of the brain on LSD. I'm not sure if there's been more in depth studies since then but I feel this is a good starting point for those who don't understand what happens inside the brain on acid.
  13. Does anybody else have really bad reactions to caffeine? I know many of us here have hypersensitivity to substances, but for me caffeine is a whole different subject. Even very small amounts of caffeine completely destroy me. And I'm not even talking coffee. In the past I've eaten small amounts of dark chocolate, which has caffeine, but I'm at the point where I'm just gonna totally go without chocolate altogether because of how crazy it makes me feel. For example, I had a small piece of dark chocolate two days ago and I still feel the effects. But it's crazy because it's not just as if my symptoms worsen -- they do, but it's more than that. I sorta feel psychotic, a bit out of control, very unstable mentally, and I absolutely obsess over my symptoms all day long and become melodramatically negative about everything in my life, but especially HPPD. I guess I haven't done other drugs since getting HPPD so I don't know how I would react, but man caffeine really does a number on me.
  14. I always thought it weird how many of the symptoms you experience while tripping are the same ones we end up stuck with after getting HPPD. If you look at the questionnaire scores from that study they're basically a list of HPPD and DP symptoms, and yet they're also supposedly the feelings one gets while high on hallucinogens. Also, I find the graphics in that study showing electrical activity inside the brain while on LSD quite interesting. The occipital lobe seems to be most active and this is also where visual snow hypermetabolism occurs and where some people with DP have shown lesions. As I've mentioned in a few posts, I had a really intense sensation of being sucked to the back of my mind while tripping, and that's also a DP symptom as well (seeing the world from the back of your head). I dunno, just seems like there may be something there...
  15. Sugar does the same to me. It used to give me absolutely horrific brain fog but ever since cleaning up my diet and eliminating excess sugar my brain fog has almost entirely disappeared. I've been eating lots of fruit lately and have noticed my body is not handling it well at all. Though I don't have brain fog anymore I'm really lethargic in the morning after I eat and I almost fall asleep during the day afterwords. Sugar doesn't increase my visual symptoms but what little psychological symptoms I have seem to get exacerbated quite a bit, which is the same thing that happens when I ingest caffeine.
  16. Jay is right on. I was actually thinking about the idea of "pre-HPPD" last night because we were talking about it in the Caffeine thread. In the article Sara links to the doctor mentions if you have visual snow to stay away from drugs. Well, I had visual snow in high school (which I also may have contracted from drugs), but I kept doing drugs and then I got full-blown HPPD and DP. If someone had told me about this I never would have taken acid and never would have gotten to where I am now! So yeah, just don't do drugs ever again and you'll probably be fine. Also, working out, eating healthy and perhaps finding a therapist will help you a lot.
  17. If you have HPPD you'll definitely notice it. If all you have is visual snow consider yourself extremely lucky.
  18. This is the thing: Whether you have Visual Snow Syndrome, HPPD, Depersonalization or any other cognitive disorder with similar symptoms, it's abundantly clear these disorders all overlap with many shared experiences and yet each have different ways of arriving at these conditions. HPPD is obviously triggered by hallucinogens but many people with DP are triggered by weed or panic attacks while some people are simply born with Visual Snow -- and yet the symptoms are the same. Just in terms of HPPD, it's worth noting people end up here after taking all sorts of different drugs that have different effects on different brain regions and neurotransmitters, and yet again they share the same symptoms. If HPPD was exclusively the result of some sort of serotonin dysfunction then why do people who take benzos (GABA) amphetamines (dopamine, norepinephrine) ketamine (NMDA) and pot (cannabinoids) also end up with the same symptoms? Genes play a role in everything, but then again so does your environment. For people who seem to be born with this condition perhaps, as you suggest, there's a genetic disposition but what about those who take hundreds of drugs before getting the same set of symptoms? If it was just genetic they would have gotten HPPD from the very start, no?
  19. I guess I was just repeating what I heard on the radio. The challenge raised over $100 million in the U.S. so I imagine all that money has done something to help get research where it's at today with all their new breakthroughs. I didn't realize Visual Snow Syndrome had so many overlapping symptoms as HPPD. I always just thought it was snow and that was it, but reading Jen Ambrose's Go Fund Me page she even mentions depersonalization-derealization symptoms. Clearly there's a connection between VSS, HPPD and DP-DR. They're all basically a list of the same overlapping symptoms with variances depending on severity and drug use. Therefore any research into any one of these conditions will likely prove beneficial to the others. On a side note, the visual snow study Ambrose links to at one point mentions how there's noticeable hypermetabolism in the lingual gyrus and cerebellum -- in fact, those are the only differences they note when compared to the control group. Hypermetabolism is often the result of injury and the cerebellum is particularly lined with Purkinje cells which are GABA-related neurons (and in a roundabout way we're again back to GABA). The study also mentions how cerebellar disease is linked to difficulty with depth perception and vertigo that can be caused by "infarct," which is a small localized area of dead tissue due to loss of blood supply. I guess I just find this interesting because my poor depth perception is probably the most severe of all my HPPD symptoms and the neurologist I saw a few months ago also mentioned I had symptoms of a stroke. When I was on the acid that gave me HPPD I distinctly remember the feeling of being on the verge of a bad trip, being completely overcome by a sense of childhood fear and feeling a sudden jolt as if I were being sucked to the back of my mind. It was the weirdest feeling ever, but it only lasted about 10 minutes or so and then I was able to come out of it. Nevertheless, I've since been convinced it was that 10 minutes where I contracted HPPD, I'm just not sure how or what happened. But given all the connections to strokes I keep coming across, knowing how bloodflow in the brain changes during hallucinogenic drug use and the role anxiety and nutrition plays in brain health (I had terrible anxiety and diet in the months leading up to HPPD), I don't think it's far fetched to imagine a temporary loss of bloodflow could have caused brain damage -- at least in my case.
  20. Very true Sara. I've thought about this a lot. A big reason why there's not a stronger push to discover treatment or even a cure for HPPD is due to lack of awareness. I know one member (hope1, I believe) set up a website recently to try and push funding and awareness but I'm not sure if he got very far. Here's an interesting news story I heard the other day on the radio: http://kuer.org/post/university-researchers-take-step-forward-treating-neurological-diseases#stream/0 Essentially the "Ice Bucket Challenge" from a few years ago that went viral and helped raised millions for ALS research actually had a huge impact to the point where scientists are closing in on a possible cure. The same could be done for HPPD or any other disorder, it just takes some effort!
  21. This is what I find so interesting about it. Normally, even though I still have most of many of my HPPD symptoms and even though I know it's gonna take a while before I'm completely healed, I'm OK knowing this because I've already made so much progress and I'm finally in a good place with my condition. I also generally have no problem ignoring my symptoms most of the day. But when I have caffeine it's like my entire perception changes, my personality, everything, and all I do all day long is obsess over my symptoms and how I still have HPPD after two years. Again, it's not just that my symptoms appear to worsen, it's a total transformation of my psyche and perception, which I find fascinating considering there are people out there who can drink two cups of coffee and fall asleep an hour later, wake up refreshed and feel no change in their personality whatsoever. The article above mentions how caffeine essentially binds to adenosine receptors, therefore preventing the those calming neurotransmitter byproducts from permeating the brain and allowing glutamate and dopamine to run wild. Clearly there's some sort of connection there, but is it due to the prevention of adenosine -- which has an inhibitory effect on the central nervous system -- or the increase in availability of glutamate and dopamine which have the opposite effect?
  22. Also, found this article about caffeine's effect on the brain: http://lifehacker.com/5585217/what-caffeine-actually-does-to-your-brain I think it's interesting the part about GABA and glutamate, which are intricately connected and suspected of playing a large role in HPPD by many members of the community here.
  23. I was also wondering about this recently. I haven't drank it two years since getting HPPD and I don't have plans to start anytime soon, but I was curious if anybody's heard about someone who's healed from HPPD then relapsed after just drinking...
  24. MadDoc is correct about the pathways. I had terrible anxiety off and on for most of my adult life, but ever since I made a concentrated and holistic effort to address it I've basically seen those pathways fall by the wayside. Like HPPD there's no cure for anxiety, but there are many different treatments that work and if you combine them all you can really begin to make a difference. For me, I'd say the most important has been diet. I eat a loosely-based paleo diet, no gluten (increases anxiety), potatoes (increases anxiety), excess sugar (increases anxiety) and junk food (increases anxiety). This has worked wonders for me and on days when I don't eat well I can tell. Eating changes your gut and hence your neurotransmitters so there's really no better way to alter your brain chemistry than through eating. Yoga is also great. It trains your brain and body to handle stress, therefore when stressful situations occur you're more ready to tackle them without worry. Meditation is also 1A behind food. It's worked wonders for me over the last few years. I really think it's transformed my brain after practicing nearly ever day before bed. I think half the battle of anxiety is not understanding what's happening inside your mind, not being able to take a step back and really examine your thought process. Meditation totally changes this and has entirely rewired my brain for as far as I can tell. I literally don't even think the same way I used to after meditating for two years. I'm much more at peace with myself and my thoughts and am finally an expert at watching things from afar, which I never could do before. As far as supplements go, I think a B-complex vitamin, magnesium, passion flower, fish oil, and lavender tea have really helped me out. I also hear taurine is good for anxiety as it promotes GABA. The combination of all these has really helped me transform my brain. I haven't had anxiety in about a year now and I think it's largely due to a combination of all this stuff.
  25. Man, that's crazy. I didn't think an over-the-counter drug could cause full blown HPPD. Sounds like it's a nervous-system stimulant that acts on dopamine and serotonin, which certainly isn't something I imagine is great for our condition. I just can't believe it had such a severely negative effect. You should definitely talk to your doctor and let them know this happened, maybe even get in contact with the manufacturers if possible. There are a lot of stories from people who've relapsed so maybe you can read their posts and see what they said. I imagine if you healed once you can heal again.