Jay1

Success Stories

97 posts in this topic

Two years ago, when I was 19, I posted on this forum because at the time I was absolutely terrified of the symptoms that I had been experiencingot due to drug use.The heightend sensitivity to light, pronounced floaters, derealization, depersonalization, and severe anxiety were all symptoms that plauged me daily. What made it so terrifying was how sudden it all was. It got to the point that I literally thought I was going insane. That being said, within three months my situation got better. And the key for me, and what I'm sure others on this site have expressed as well, was really immersing myself into an activity, like in my case I took up boxing. Also, abstaining from drugs and alcohol was another critical factor that led to feeling better. What's interesting though, is that even two years later many of my symptoms, such as the floaters, light sensitivity, and other little visuals, still persist. Maybe this never actually goes away, but you do get used to it and for the most part it is not noticible. I still do on occasion drink, but the next day I do notice my symptoms a lot more, especially the more mental dp/Dr ones. But I do try to stay away from other recreational drugs (Smoked weed and experienced symptoms like I had two years ago for a couple of days). overall though things are doing great! I'm attending a great university and things are looking up. I don't mean to brag or anything like that, I just want to let others know that things can get better. Hopefully my story shows that. I never was an active poster on here, I actually forgot about this site completely, but when I did post members were supportive. so when I happened to stumble on this forum I decided to give some positive contribution back, even if it's just a small one. Oh, one more thing, if you are obsessed with your current state and constantly looking up things on the internet, I'd suggest you take a break. That was another thing that helped.

Thanks!

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I'm doing much better myself and I'm only a month and 14 days in. I can ignore the visuals 80% of the time, and depersonalization is still there pretty bad when I think about it, but is completely gone when I dont. I think I will recover for sure. I enjoy getting drunk from time to time.

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I'm feeling so much better that I'm going to stop visiting the forum as it seems counterproductive nowadays. I still have visuals. I'm not cured. What I do have is my mind clear and healthy. I'm feeling good, being drug free and following a healthy life is starting to pay back! :)

 

Hope the next time I come to this forums is to say that I don't even have visuals, and not some fallback.

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I'd say I've recovered of HPPD by about a 70% after almost 9 months. I'd expect to have a 75-80% recovery by the year mark. Some of my problems existed before the HPPD.

 

My cognition definitely isn't as shitty as it used to be, and my visuals are down by about a 60%. No more vertigo, no more paranoia, no more burning sensations inside my skin, no more depersonalization/derealization.

 

Anxiety, depression, some brain fog and head pressure are still there though, and I'm on about 5 meds, but I'm gradually getting off them and I'll finish high school in two weeks.

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I'd say I've recovered of HPPD by about a 70% after almost 9 months. I'd expect to have a 75-80% recovery by the year mark. Some of my problems existed before the HPPD.

 

My cognition definitely isn't as shitty as it used to be, and my visuals are down by about a 60%. No more vertigo, no more paranoia, no more burning sensations inside my skin, no more depersonalization/derealization.

 

Anxiety, depression, some brain fog and head pressure are still there though, and I'm on about 5 meds, but I'm gradually getting off them and I'll finish high school in two weeks.

 

Happy to hear that bro! Still on levetiracetam? I'm doing good too. Visuals still there. But my psychological issues are almost gone with the wind :)

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Meh, I have it again after recovering years ago. Its worse now, but I don't really care, It seems that I have a genetic tendancy to it. Yet I am so confident that it fades for me, I have no true anxiety symptoms. only visual distortion. sucks that I will spend the summer months mostly with hppd symptoms, I enjoy natural beauty.

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Hey Folks, hope everything is going fine for everyone :D

So after a long time i just found back to the forum and alot happened to me in this time.

As may some of you know i did alot different drugs, 73 different ones now in total. ( i can't recommend!)

Untill February i did almost everyday all kinds of drugs, i stopped it now because i moved to Hamburg starting a new life, being a trainee as foreing language correspondence clerk.

Since March i started noticing that my HPPD is really getting better from time to time, without any medication or special food plan .

My Visual Snow kept same, but i have no trailing or ghosting anymore, no afterimages or micro/macropsia and my depersonalisation greatly reduced so much that i only notice it on some "bad" days.

As mentioned the only affecting symptoms are the VS, and Floaters, wich i only see when looking into the sky.

I defenately can say that stopping the Drugs help lot, also i don't care or think anymore about HPPD to prevent a too deep sinking mindfuck, most important is just to live your life without regreting anything.

I really have to thank everyone in this forum as it really helped me to understand and get through this rough times.

I'm on it to keep my life how it is now, and hope that my last complaints also will stop.

Big thanks and good luck people,

Dancetrooper

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what is going on with all of you i think life is not worth living with hppd as there are no success stories. i wonder how one could go on working or anything else while having hppd i feel completely unable to do everything that has to do with performance i constantly feel dizzy, have a kind of slightly vibrating morphing hallucinatory state, derealization, depression and feel exhausted all day and night which is getting worse with any action ive allways asked myself why there is no euthanasia for people having hppd...i dont want to go on with that kind of torture and i have it for 4 month now   

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I'm feeling so much better that I'm going to stop visiting the forum as it seems counterproductive nowadays. I still have visuals. I'm not cured. What I do have is my mind clear and healthy. I'm feeling good, being drug free and following a healthy life is starting to pay back! :)

 

Hope the next time I come to this forums is to say that I don't even have visuals, and not some fallback.

Fallback soon after this post. Been sober since then and recovering again.

 

Hope the next time I come to this forum is to say that I don't even have visuals, and not some fallback.  -_-

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What sort of 'fallback'?

Oh, it seems that I didn't knew what 'fallback' meant. English is not my native language. Setback or relapse would be the correct term. In my case it was drugs. Amphetamines, alcohol and weed for one night. That's what made me go worse again.

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I'm sorry booze. What sort of symptoms have become worse?

Trails, brain fog, visual snow, afterimages, derealization.. All of them that I did experience before, and some new visual artifacts I didn't. But one positive thing is that I have been sober since then. I'm actually improving again. 

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I'm 4 and a half months in and haven't quite recovered yet but its definitely better than after the first month. It truly is a demon like no other. But I feel confident that maybe within a year or year and a half I will be back to normal. Hearing yalls stories gives me tons of hope!

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Sounds like I'm having a similar experience. Had HPPD for 20 years after taking Acid aged 14. Was getting a lot better but, like you, I started taking coke and have had a bit of a relapse.

If be interested to hear more about these MP3s?

Several months ago I mentioned in the introduction forum that I had dealt with HPPD since about 1974 and have for the most part come through it all successfully, though not unscathed by any means. I said I'd share the list of thing that I feel helped me, with the hope that others can find some help too.

----

* Intro: My HPPD started after I'd taken many acid and other hallucinogen trips, smoked a ton of weed, and done lots of other regrettable things over the course of a few years starting at age 14 or 15. This was way before hppd was on anyone's radar. We heard stories of people who tripped and never came down, but didn't believe them. A couple weeks after a particularly unpleasant, anxious acid trip, I started to feel like I was tripping, had visual snow, trails, a feeling of impending disaster, depersonlization, all the classic symptoms. My HPPD had started.

* First stop, psychiatrist: I was prescribed antipsychotics, possibly Thorazine at first, then finally settled on Stelzine, with Artane to prevent tardive dyskenisia. For the next several weeks to couple of months, I suffered terribly with the symptoms, which the drugs did nothing to alleviate, as well as the effects of the drugs themselves. Then, on a followup visit to the Dr., he cruelly and dismissively said words to the effect that I was way more fucked up than I thought I was.

* Second, fighting back: That catalyzed me - I was going to beat this! THIS WAS THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS HEALING. I vowed that I was going to clean up, get off the antipsychotics, and get my act together. I started with all the usual "good lifestyle" choices: eat right! rest! exercise! And I think this cannot be overemphasized.

* Third, refusing to give in: So now I started a long process of simply forcing myself back to normalcy as best I could. I tried various supplements and so forth: even put eggshells in my omelettes because I thought the calcium would help. I don't think anything really did, outside the fundamentals - again: eat right, rest, exercise. I found that walking, hiking, biking was excellent therapy. These basic motor skills are unharmed by the drug effects, unlike things like reading and driving, so were a good basic fallback. Plus the release of endorphins is helpful. Do it. Do it as much as you can. When I would have bad acid trips, walking was about all that I could do, and it was helpful dealing with the HPPD.

* Fourth, getting involved: As difficult as it was, I forced myself to be in the world. I went to junior college. I got a girlfriend. The intellectual activity, and the emotional attachment were really helpful. I eventually felt that I was recovering, even though I still felt depersonalization, and still had visual artifacts, and I was able to function quite highly. I had simply given myself no other choice. There weren't any other treatment options, so I determined that if I was going to be on my own with this, I was going to just plug and plug away.

* Fifth, staying clean: All this time, I assiduously stayed away from any sort of substances. I have to emphasize this to fellow HPPD sufferers: you cannot afford to put any more psychoactive material in your system. When I got too overconfident in my recovery, I started doing cocaine ... and relapsed. After a night of partying, I looked down at my hand and it had the far-away look of depersonalization, the dawn sky was fully speckled with snow, and I cried my eyes out when I crashed into bed. It was back. DON'T DO ANY SUBSTANCES. I had to regroup, get back with my program, go clean again, and work really damned hard to regain my lost ground.

* Sixth, valium when it got bad: Eventjually developed a type of vertigo somewhere along the line, which may or may not have been related to the HPPD. It was like my peripheral vision was out of synch with my body, and it was a chronic feeling of being off balance and of the world moving. It was particularly horrible. So, I saw a vision perception specialist, and took valium - the only drug that ever helped any of my HPPD symptoms. I mention it here because even if the vertigo was not related, I assumed it meant that together with the HPPD it meant I was brain damaged. The valium definitely helped calm the panic about that. Still and all, through this I was able to complete college and live a quite reasonable existence in New York City.

* Seventh, vision therapy: because the vertigo seemed vision related I went to a vision therapy specialist, but I think it was helpful with taking my focus away from HPPD visual symptoms. Search on the web for vision therapy modalities; I just briefly looked at http://www.visiontherapyrocks.com, and it looked like it had some good links.

* BREAKDOWN * Then I had a psychotic depression. I have no doubt that the HPPD had made me susceptible. But the short version is that I ended up hospitalized, then underwent ECT and was put on an antidepressant.

* Eighth, recovering all over again, antidepressant therapy: I believe the ECT helped, as well as the medications. I have been taking carbamzepine and SSRI's (Prozac and Zoloft), and for the most part have been completely unbothered by my HPPD for many years now. Coming out of the depression was a slow road, and I'm sure it was related, but once recovered, my symptoms of HPPD no longer bother me, even when I am aware of trails, afterimages, or snow. The vertigo disappeared too!

* Ninth, PTSD treatment: after several trying years, and some unrelated traumas, I decided to look into PTSD treatment. The treatment modality was hypnosis plus EMDR (look it up). In treatment, I realized how traumatic the experience of the drug use and the resulting HPPD had been. The trauma treament I underwent made a huge difference for me in reducing the intensity of my memories of the horror of those times, and helping me integrate more fully.

* Tenth, ongoing work on my Self: I continue to work all the time on understanding my mind and feelings. My current work is around Focusing (http://www.focusing.org/newcomers.htm) and it is a useful tool for opening up to exploration of feeling impressions, and guiding one's travel through one's experience. We have worked on my history of HPPD symptoms and it has really helped me feel relief from some of the superstitious and irrational thoughts that were an unconscious burden I carried after all those years of trauma.

-----

So that's my success story - I never got totally over the HPPD, and I continue to have personality difficulties that I think are related to all the drug use at such a young age. I still can see more prominent after-images than I like, I see visual snow, I can see faint trails. But I am free of the feelings of dread, free from the depersonalization, have had several long-lasting relationships, have several kids, a BA degree, six-figure income, and am here if I can help any of you!

Recap:

1. Antipsychotics, probably not useful.

2. Fight Back! Make a committment that you are going to beat this.

3. Refuse to give up, stay on a program of eat right, rest, exercise, exercise, exercise. I found that sugary crap made symptoms worse. Do veggies! Lots.

4. Get involved. Even though you are in a bad state, try to force yourself to engage in any way you can. Chat up the grocery clerk if nothing else. Try to read, study, do things you (used to) enjoy.

5. Stay clean. Don't even think about doing a little of this or that. Even though coke is not a hallucinagen, doing it set me back years.

6. Try diazepam and related. I found no shame in relief through valium. Do it through your doctor.

7. Try various vision therapies. You can learn to change the focus of your attention, and a sympathetic vision therapist could be really helpful.

8. I underwent hard-core depression therapy, it's not something you can ask for at your Dr.'s office. But I wonder if ECT helped my HPPD! It's possible that the SSRI's and the Tegretol have helped. I just don't have clean data here, for obvious reasons.

9. Try PTSD/EMDR treatment. You are undergoing a traumatic experience, and the trauma just reinforces the HPPD as well. I believe that the PTSD nad EMDR treatments could be excellent help. If you contact me, I will provide a link to a specific practitioner who has MP3 recordings you can buy which may be helpful to you as they have been to me. If there is enough interest, I would contact this person and request a series of custom-made recordings for alleviating the stress, anxiety, and traumatic feelings that go with HPPD.

10. Try Focusing. "Clear a Space. Feel the feelings. See how you would characterise, describe the feeling. Find resonance with how you describe it. Ask yourself what makes it feel the way it does? What does the answer say about it? What does it need, and what is in the way of it feeling better?" This is somewhat like the line of thought that goes into a focusing session, but check the website at focusing.org

I hope this helps, even a little. Please let me know if you have any other questions, if you want to find out about the MP3's, or Focusing.

Hang in there. Don't Give Up!

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I received a direct message from a user that popped up in my personal email box today regarding a success story post I made on here several years ago.  It's one of the first ones on this thread.  The direct message actually surprised me as I pretty much altogether have moved on with my life. I saw there were others that I'd missed and I apologize to those people. I did not mean to ignore you. I was happy to see that my post had given people hope.  I thought I'd stop in here to give a brief follow up and update.  I'm now a fully functioning human being.  I'm not perfect but I don't feel like I have any disorder that didn't exist before my ill fated trip.  It's kinda crazy to say but I feel like a stronger, more independent person now post HPPD.  I'd never go through that again if I had the choice but for those of you in the middle of this, there is light at the end of the tunnel and even a chance to better yourself.  I'm now a graduate student at a reputable university working on my Master's degree. I have prospects of going on to earn a pH.D. I'm proud of myself for having the strength to go on and so should all of you that are staying strong.  I'm sorry to neglect the forum for so long but I literally had not thought about HPPD in such a long time. I hope you see that as a positive sign that one day the thought may never cross you mind except when you see an odd email in your inbox :)  God bless you all.  I thank everyone on this forum that provided support and I in turn hope to do the same.

Red

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