If you're reading this I guess you also have gotten HPPD. I want to tell my brief experience up until now because I remember how lost and insecure I felt in the beginning of all this.
Most drug stories end up being a shit ton of typing so beware. Currently I am 18, briefly my drug history started when I was 14 with weed. I primarily only did weed and occasionally drink and even more occasionally do pills for about a year/ year and a half. Then around this time two years ago I tried psychedelics for the first time. The thing was, it was the research chemical Nbome which i cannot find much about, mine was called 25-D, but we just call it fake acid. Although I have most likely tried a variety of pills at-least once or twice with the exception of using adderal/vyvanse quite a bit during high-school strictly for finals and the SAT. I never did coke or MDMA or anything harder than about that(not even a fucking cig). However this fake acid effected me just as the same as bad coke or molly either way. I did fake acid for about a 6 month period during my 2nd year in HS and I tripped about 8 times during then.
WHY I GOT ITThe first few times I tripped there was little to no consequence and even after I learned it wasn't real LSD I kept taking it because I couldn't find any reason to convince myself otherwise. Towards the last few trips I noticed I was starting to get more 'stoned-silent' where I basically stopped talking after being high as fuck or if a conversation wasn't interesting for me. That was nothing though, the real deal came when I took my last trip of acid since. I took two tabs versus my half or one tab usual trips. To spare details, it was the wildest drug filled night of my life. I saw things while I was tripping and remember going like I am not supposed to see/remember things like this. To this day I cannot decide if it was a good or bad trip, perhaps a mix but if an apple is slightly rotten it's a rotten apple right? For what it's worth I also smoked about 6 grams of weed throughout that entire night because my friends who were babysitting stated that it was the only thing keeping me calm. For a large potion of the trip I was just incredible anxious sometimes for a reason sometimes not and it was a vicious anxiety.
CONSEQUENCE Moving on weeks after this last trip I was basically doing the same things I was doing before, getting high with people, going to parties, etc. But getting high off weed started feeling different everytime I smoked. In the beginning after the trip I just started feeling way more high than I normally would of, and with this fake acid that was actually pretty standard but the effect wore off after a day or two, this was weeks later and I was getting to a solid 8 off a few tokes. This was the end of summer with basically no responsibilities and I just felt amazing everyday but the feeling of the drug culture just was with me. When I was smoking weed I was trying to act like how I would think one would act on acid, but everyone around me was just high and I was the only one feeling like that. School started eventually and I realized I was high basically since that last trip so I said I need to go sober for a while. I only went 9 days sober, and the scary thing was I felt more high and the feeling like I was still on acid while not being on anything. It was a blistering high, I tried my best to focus in school and I was forcing myself to talk to people but I just felt high as a kite. Despite how I felt it didn't effect my ability to learn at all for whatever reason.
Months later Fast forward a few months later I am still smoking weed probably 2 - 4 times a week, but on days I don't smoke I feel the same. Obviously getting high was more real feeling, but it was still shocking me how I could feel like I just smoked a 2 gram blunt when I didn't do anything. I started noticing I had a lot of visuals still from the trip and being a few months later all the symptoms I was having was starting to bother me. I didn't have the visual snow but some grainy texture objects when I looked at them would make that snow like thing that is described happen and it would be running in a direction. I had shapes of different colors and sizes just constantly in my vision all the time. Everyday in one class at school I would just always see a huge pool of purple in the middle of the classroom, at home I would see basically a ghost replica of any object I looked at. For example looking at my Tv then panning quickly to the left and the tv shadowlike thing would follow me and would be different colors on different days. Usually it was grouped together like green and purple and yellow and other days blue orange white. I was getting worried that I damaged myself. I was feeling really high and having those weird vision things that I think only people with HPPD will understand. In addition my former 20/20 vision I noticed I could not read medium sized texts from across a room anymore like I used too, and my vision would go out of focus if I did not force it too very often. On top of all this I was becoming more withdrawn socially and was forgetting who I was. I only knew that I needed to go to school and I liked getting high but I really was losing such a big touch of myself. I would definitely say during this time I was feeling depersonalized/derealization.I also felt really high off anything stimulating, I drank a redbull once and i'll just say i haven't drank another one since, I used to feel like I just had a dab of wax after reading a chapter of a book, etc. Summed up I kept feeling like I was on acid/weed sober, vision was getting blurry as well as seeing tracers and color/shapes, and not feeling like myself.
Road to Recovery f Since that time in July when I took my last tab, things weren't the same. In January I decided to since I refuse to tell my parents and I refuse to see a doctor, I need to see if I stop smoking weed(which was my primary drug use), and all other drug use, will it make my symptoms better? I went two full calendar months. It was really hard especially being 'addicted' to weed, I never realized that until I made myself stop. Some areas got better but some stayed the same or got worse. It seemed I just had the same consistent feeling of being high as fuck all the time, and there would be periods of the day for a good 10-20 minutes I would just zone out on a wall and look at the fake colors and shapes until I would say I need a nap to rest my brain. I also started meditating more which always gave me temporarily relief but when I finished the feeling would start oozing back in. Going to the gym literally made me feel so high I felt like I could pass out but there was some sweet spot inbetween working out and finishing the workout that made me want to keep going back. I was still very introverted and also started giving up on my friends. This was because not only was I feeling the need to be alone but in addition they were just not the best people to be around so I felt like I was killing two birds with one stone.
I smoked weed again for a week straight in March, thinking I got a little better. All it did was set me right back to January in terms of how I felt and it scared me straight making me realize, IF I EVER WANT TO FEEL NORMAL AGAIN I HAVE TO QUIT DRUGS PERIOD.
The road to recovery was very slow and hard, in addition to it I had to make some semi-credible changes to my life. I went from the great stoner groups to being solo dolo. From the blackout friday nights to going home on friday and reading a book.
Anyone who is still reading what I would say to help with hppd are
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise - Sports, Gym, Walks, Runs, Bike rides, walk ur fucking dog, some sort of exercise you need to do it, make time for it somehow it soothes the feeling temporarily and it almost feels like the more you do it the longer it soothes you.
Stimulate your mind- for me reading books, doing Sudoku puzzles, programming, learning guitar, learning spanish, etc all made me feel better for the time being. This also introduced me into new hobbies to try to get myself away from going back to drugs, although I didn't really stick to them it's nice to know I've tried them a little bit to where If i go back I won't be as hesitant to pick up a guitar and start practicing again. Even doing my math homework would make me feel high but in a more controlled way. Do your homework if you're in school, if you're not seriously try to do something. Although not stimulating videogames made me feel a lot better while I was playing them, i even got addicted because I forgot about my HPPD life while I was staring at a screen.
Meditate- I understand not everyone does but for me personally this helped me in the long run and the short term. yoga would be awesome as well or w/e but if you're desperate meditating is great because you just sit on the floor and try to calm down for 10 minutes and youll just see your mind go wild lol
REST - if possible rest as much as you can as well, treat yourself like you're sick. Especially when getting off drugs. Sleep when you can some people have insomnia I was fortunate to just be able to sleep a lot, so if you can't sleep just rest.
No you can't do drugs anymore. That shit got fucked when you got HPPD. Don't trust me for it but I have drank alcohol a few times here and there because that was never related to my HPPD trigger but Dont do drugs. The one time I smoked weed again after i thought i was better I almost went back with worse symptoms.
Have people- Idk who u can talk to about this, but you need to talk to people. I was literally a hermit and hated it whether it's this website or a best friend/family suck it up and talk. It doesn't have to be about HPPD it can just be about your current stresses/worries it helps a lot.
Stress free environments - Another fortunute thing I had despite losing basically all my "friends" I was relatively stress free. I was just focused on being sober, and would treat myself to say playing xbox on a school night after doing my homework or just saying hey just go lay down in bed and watch TV if it's not going to hurt you later. If you're stuck in stressland I would say tackle what you need to get done, having straight laid out goals and making progress helps you in more than one way besides fighting HPPD.
So that is what I have encountered. I am currently 10 months sober off weed, I don't do pills anymore, and It's been about 16 months since my last trip of acid.
To this day I still have HPPD. But I don't feel depersonalized anymore. I just have the visuals which suck but I am used to them. I very rarely feel high anymore, it's weird as you heal you'll have moments where you don't feel high but then over time it shifts to where you just have moments where you feel high haha. I think I came out of this a better person because I am only 18 and was getting caught up really bad with the druggies and whatnot, and HPPD kinda booted me out of it since i was scared for my health. THERE IS NO PERMANENT DAMAGE GIVEN TO YOU BY HPPD. Life will never feel like how it used to feel but honestly I don't remember what it used to feel like. I don't know if I'll ever trip again because I got what I needed out of my last trip and probably more than I would ever ask for ever again. Recovery is possible