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ferret

Theory on how to get rid of visuals (worked for me)

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Hi, for my full story read the "halucinations at night" topic.

I know that the visuals i experienced weren't as severe as what some others have gone through and I only had them for a few weeks so if what I say doesn't make sense to someone who had it worse please don't be offended but i think I have overcome my visuals and that others can too. I believe that all of the symptoms I experienced were due to the anxiety that stemmed from taking shrooms. If anyone had visuals (for longer than just a flashback) without any anxiety please let me know. If you feel that you're anxiety was caused by visuals it is possible that you just experienced a flashback and the resulting anxiety is what prolonged the visuals.

I am quite convinced that anyone will see static and other visual disturbances if they look for them. When I was seeing static on everything I made two extremely important observations:

1. I didn't notice them when I was distracted.

2. Anything pixelated/segmented stood out to me.

Observation 1 made me think that maybe I was imagining the symptoms.

What I mean by observation 2 is hard to explain. My shower curtain has a floral patern on it but it is made out of rather large pixels, before convincing myself that I had HPPD I saw flowers, after I saw the pixels. Almost everything (leather, some wallpaper, textured paint) has small sections on it that can kind of resemble what seeing static looks like if you look at it. When I realized that I was noticing all of these textures I realized that I was Hyper-sensitive to static-like visuals. I believe that by worrying about seeing visuals I was teaching my eyes/brain that these visuals were dangerous to me and therefore significant, which intern caused me to see more visuals.

I live in Maine. We have snakes here but no venemous ones. Because I have no reason to fear the snakes around here I could very easily walk past one without noticing it at all. However someone from a place where venomous snakes are common might visit me in Maine and notice all of the harmless Garter snakes that I wouldn't because he is used to having to worry about snakes. He may even briefly mistake some sticks for snakes and jump a little.

An example that more of you would be familliar with is call of duty. A new COD player may not notice the snipers head moving slightly in that window, but once they get used to playing the game every slight movement will jump out at them.

The point of these examples is that we can change what we notice by teaching are brain to look for certain things. Sometimes we will brieflly see things that aren't there like the sticks as snakes. If i look for visual disturbances i can stilll find plenty (static/ weird bright spots/ afterimages). But since I have started ignoring them i've stoppped seeing them. Sometimes I'll still see visual snow when I wake up in the middle of the night (which happens way to much) but I just don't let it bother me and close my eyes and it goes away. Don't train your brain to see these disturbances just ignore them and they will go away.

If this theory doesn't seem plausible to you read a little about somatoform disorders and it might make more sense.

If you disagree feel free to tell me why.

If this helps you please let me know.

If you want more details of what I went through go to the "hallucinations at night" thread.

I'm not saying that this idea will work for everyone (especially those with worse symptoms or those who have been acknowledging them for longer) but it has worked for me so far, i hope to be back at 100% in a month.

Good Luck!

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i fully agree with this, ive said afew times on here that the way i got over the worst of my HPPD was just ignoring it, not letting it get the best of me, and that itself would cause my visuals to get milder. if you dont giv in to the panic, then it's alot easier to deal with

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Had mine for a long time... Considered it to be psychosomatic and worked with many therapists on how to deal, or ignore, my visuals... Tried out all the coping mechanisms, but nothing has really helped. I have been coping fairly well with the anxiety and guilt driven by my HPPD, but after the fact the visuals were still there.

Even if something has no texture, it is like TV static... If something has any texture it is very fluid. The only thing I can really alleviate through mindfulness is the glowing and the halos. But even then they are just a little more see-through... But still there. Tracers never get any better, and even when I am very calm and distracted, as soon as I open my eyes the movement is back.

I am really glad this has worked for you though, man! Props that you were able to figure out how to cope and decrease the intensity of your visuals through mindfulness. I would have never been able to piece that one together without help from someone else i.e. a therapist. I am a believer in that I can make my symptoms easier to manage, but no mater how hard I try, they are still there. I will try practice some humility and give it another shot though! Thanks for the advice. Like you said, a lot of people with mild to moderate visual symptoms would benefit from this for sure, especially if they are new to HPPD. But after a year or so it is hard to distract myself.

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This is key, I have had HPPD for a year and a quarter now, but it really doesn't bother me anymore. No anxiety, even though I have a healthy dose of DP and a broad array of moderate visuals. One day I just realized that me constantly checking my symptoms and thinking about how bad it is to have HPPD/DP was only adding to my pain, so I just stopped. My quality of life has vastly improved, and though my first wish would be to get rid of this, I wouldn't be lying that HPPD, particularly DP, is something I find fascinating to be enveloped in.

I haven't been visiting this forum here because I just want to move on, I have bigger things to worry about now.

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That's great to hear! I'm glad you are moving forward. There is a uniqueness aspect to it for sure. I won't lie, I sill get frustrated at times, but not so bad as I have been. It is amazing that some of you guys can do this stuff on your own!

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ferret this idea has ran through my head so many times over the past 2 months, and i couldn't have said it better than you did. But the thing is how do I rehabilitate my brain into not thinking in terms of constantly looking for hallucinations? Its weird because At first my main symptom was seeing circular patterns in the snow but after a little bit I started thinking to myself how much I wanted to have more static instead of seeing circles. By the next week I was seeing more static and the circles were almost gone. Then I started thinking how much static annoyed me and how trailers would be better than static. Then by next week I was seeing less static and more trailers. Does anyone see what I'm getting at?

Also I do have a lot of anxiety left from a very intense trip that turned bad for an hour and a half. Although my next (and final) trip was a lot more enjoyable and left me feeling like a hippy, I dont think I'll ever be able to forget that one intense trip.

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Classic psychosomatic induced symptoms... How long have you had HPPD? 2 months? It seems like, if you had an especially intense trip, one could be somewhat traumatized... Keeping a portion of their psychological energy in that certain state. It happens a lot in different contexts, but serious stress (good or bad), can lock people into a certain frame of mind. A good example of this is the 40 year old man who dresses and acts like a teenage thug. Maybe a portion of your consciousness and awareness is somewhat "stuck" in the frame of mind you had during your trip?

I'm just thinking this is a possibility from what I've gathered hearing stories from people who have had the disorder for at least a year, and people who have had it for just a few months. For anyone who has not had HPPD for a long period of time, I would suggest seeing a therapist. Especially if your symptoms followed a particularly "bad trip". It seems like you guys are able to somewhat control the intensity of the visuals through beliefs and thoughts about the way you perceive the symptoms... This leads me to believe that your HPPD-like symptoms may not be caused by physiological damage or changes... But rather a conscious or subconscious choice of how you chose to observe the world around you. In doing this, you lose some of the control used in the first place. I.e. cs1234 would rather chose to see the tracers over the other symptoms, but in doing so, the tracers became more evident and therefore became a more relevant symptom to resent. It might sound negative, however, there is a significant amount of good news in this process. Because your symptoms may be driven by a choice to perceive what seems more enjoyable, you may have a good opportunity and a good chance to process through some of these beliefs that are driving your symptoms. This goes along with the psychosomatic aspect that I am hearing from your experiences... If your visuals indeed are a physiological manifestation of mental processes, then they are not rudimentary at all. In fact, if you have control over one symptom, why not have control over HPPD as a whole?

To cs1234, I know exactly what you mean... Mindfulness is a great tool, and if you are noticing that your symptoms are compounded by obsessing over them, then that is the first step in figuring out why they are there and where they come from. As for me, I've had minor HPPD for about 4-5 years and pretty intense symptoms for almost 2 years. I've tried every possible coping mechanism to deal with it... And have only made mental progress over the last little while. The visuals are about the same intensity no matter what I think or do about them.

Did your HPPD start on the "bad trip" or the happy one after? Mine didn't come from any sort of bad experience. Most if not all my experiences were pretty great... But I've done psychedelics of all shapes and colors in excess... My experience that aggravated the initial symptoms was not bad, but it was very intense... An accidental overdose for lack of a better word.

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Well my first trip was by far the best day of my life, but I did notice that the day after if I tried really hard to de-focus my eyes and keep it like that for over 15 seconds I would see distortions and movement until I focused my eyes again. After the bad trip I saw circular patterns off and on for the next 3 days. Sometimes it would be really big and sometimes I wouldn't see anything. I'm not sure if that was the only symptom I had during those 3 days but I know now that I was hallucinating when I shouldn't have. However, over those 3 days I retained the mindset that it takes 3 days for acid to leave one's system completely and that I would stop seeing it after 3 days. Sure enough, after 3 days of sobriety they were completely gone. My last trip, exactly one week after the 2nd, was for the most part enjoyable. This trip was the first where I would see large rainbow halos around lights, and that's one of my main least ignorable symptoms right now. I had a hot flash during the trip and my vision got completely inverted (or at least it seemed like that) for a split second which freaked me out, but I recovered before the trip turned bad. In fact I dropped another 1/2 tab after the trip was almost done a little before midnight on new years eve, and I didn't think it did much but while my friends all went to sleep I stayed up and the geometric circle pattern never died down until I fell asleep. For the last 3 hours (from 4am to 7am) before I fell asleep, I got this really calm feeling that I know I'll never be able to recapture. Maybe it was the feeling of my mind being permanently altered? Over the 2nd half of my 2nd trip and the majority of my 3rd trip, I had slight paranoia that made me a little uneasy until I came down to the point of 0 distortions. I got really high the day after my 3rd trip and when I went on my computer it looked like the pixels on the computer screen were forming all kinds of different shapes. I know for sure that what your saying is true and my hppd is mostly caused by anxiety that I got from the bad trip, but I can go a couple hours forgetting I even have a disorder and then look into car lights and see huge starbursts or walk into a dark room and immediately see static without thinking about it. Also some days I can wake up in the morning thinking HPPD is almost cool and that I'm special but later in the day get scared by it and have increased anxiety. These emotions towards HPPD seem to correlate with my thoughts about tripping...sometimes I crave acid really badly and would give anything to trip again without worsening my HPPD and other times just the idea of having strong hallucinations scares the shit out of me.

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I think the best way to start ignoring them is by distracting yourelf. Everytime I could go a few hours without thinking about my issues I would gain a litle confidence that they could go away. Sometimes it would be ruined by walking into a dark room and seeing it covered in visual snow, but other times I would find my self in a dark room and seeing fine, although once I realized that the snow would quickly appear.

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I think that when I was feeling good and writing this topic I forgot how hard it can be to ignore the symptoms. I know it can be really hard to ignore the visuals sometimes and I feel really badly for anyone who has it more than me. There is definately something more than Hypochondriasis that causes the visuals (although it can make them much worse) but I still think that the best treatment is to ignore them as much as you cannot worry aout it. I've only had two bad days in the last week and a half, so I really think/hope that this will all be behind me in a month.

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