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Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) Support Forum

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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/11/2019 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    I used drugs during the 1970s. There were two messages. The message from the older generation was drugs would kill you or you would end up in jail. The message from the younger generation was that they were basically harmless. Both viewpoints were ill informed. Regarding productive lives, I'm nobody special. Just a regular Bozo making his way through "this" (whatever this is). I contracted hppd after taking psychedelics for six years. I managed to get through college, got married, raised two amazing kids (adults now), and have a profession that I enjoy. As I said, I'm nobody special but I never gave up. I picked goals and went after them one step at a time. Sometimes tiny little steps. All I'm saying is that it's possible to have a productive and happy life. Never give up, take small steps toward what you want to do do and who you want to be.
  2. 1 point
    I was doing ok until I developed low back and pelvic pain. Shit changes as you get older and with it coping mechanisms.
  3. 1 point
    I too used to take ridiculous doses but my drug was acid. Why did I do it? I just wanted to see what would happen I guess. Go deeper. We were also under the false impression that it was harmless. The handful of times I've smoked weed since I stopped dosing produced panic attacks and a scary psychedelic effect. My brain felt like it was being run by some alien software. Horrid! I think it's great that you reached out on this forum. You're not alone, there's a whole tribe of us who are dealing with this. Understand, there are people in this forum who life happy and productive lives. I've had this disorder my entire adult life but existence has been sweet. Welcome!
  4. 1 point
    Xanax is a drug. If you've been taking Xanax for years then you haven't really been drug free. I'd remove anything and everything from your routine that even remotely has drug-like effects, including coffee, cigarettes and even excess sugar. In my experience you have to totally reset to figure out what's causing your symptoms to worsen. A few summers ago my symptoms were steadily worsening over the course of two weeks and I finally figured out it was due to nutmeg in a spice jar I was using everyday to flavor my food. I recently had a similar occurrence with mold. You should take stock of what times of day your symptoms worsen and ask what you were eating or doing prior that could have exacerbated your condition. I've had to do this constantly over the last four years and as tiresome as it is it's been really helpful in just making it through the day.
  5. 1 point
    Someone on the visual snow fb group posted this . U guys might wanna read it , The person who wrote this believes that we need a combination of gene and stem cell therapy: '' I spend a lot of time researching how our nervous system works and what may contribute to the development of Visual Snow and other symptoms. Remember that there is a lot of vital information that I do not know, and may greatly benefit our understanding of this condition. Visual snow is described as an "epileptic" firing in the visual system in the brain. NMDA glutamate receptors, which are overexpressed after excitotoxic injury may well be the trigger of an increased spontaneous firing in the nerves. In turn, the brain would decode this increased firing as "visual snow" The idea is that remaining nerve endings have been damaged enough to overexpress NMDA Glutamate receptors, thus increasing their spontaneous firing. There are various factors that contribute to the development of this condition. Everybody first had an initial trigger, and this varies from person to person. Common causes include stress, trauma, recreational and prescription drugs, Lyme, mold, heavy metals, and other toxic exposures. But what they all result in is brain injury and neuronal damage. The consequences of such injury doesn't just cause break in communication between healthy neurons, but a cascade of events that can lead to further neuronal degeneration and cell death. That is where visual snow comes in. Think of a broken radio or a TV where it isn't able to receive and process incoming signals so the outcome is a lot of visual/auditory noise. Our brains behave in a similar manner when there is an interference with proper neuron function and communication. I strongly believe there are some genetic components that play a huge role in the development of Visual Snow and makes some individuals more susceptible to developing it. They are unknown as more research will be needed in this aspect. Medical researchers searching for new medications for visual snow often look to the connection between the nerve cells in the brain and the various agents that act as neurotransmitters, such as the central nervous system's primary excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate. Visual snow can be caused when damaged brain cells emit an excess of glutamate. Many treatments use ingredients that work as glutamate antagonists, or inhibitors. Communication between nerve cells in the brain is accomplished through the use of neurotransmitters. There are many compounds that act as neurotransmitters including acetylcholine, serotonin, GABA, glutamate, aspartate, epinephrine, norpinephrine and dopamine. These chemicals attach to nerve cells at specific receptors that allow for only one type of neurotransmitter to attach. Some of the neurotransmitters are excitatory; leading to increased electrical transmission between nerve cells. Others are inhibitory and reduce electrical activity. The most common excitatory neurotransmitters are glutamate and aspartate while the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter is GABA. It is necessary for excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters to be in balance for proper brain function to occur. Communication over synapses between neurons are controlled by glutamate. When brain cells are damaged, excessive glutamate is released. Glutamate is well known to have neurotoxic properties when excessively released or incompletely recycled. This is known as excitotoxicity and leads to neuronal death. Excess glutamate opens the sodium channel in the neuron and causes it to fire. Sodium continues to flow into the neuron causing it to continue firing. This continuous firing of the neuron results in a rapid buildup of free radicals and inflammatory compounds. These compounds attack the mitochondria, the energy producing elements in the core of the neuron cell. The mitochondria become depleted and the neuron withers and dies. Excitotoxicity has been involved in a number of acute and/or degenerative forms of neuropathology such as epilepsy, autism, ALS, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, migraines, restless leg syndrome, tourettes, pandas, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Huntington's, seizures, insomnia, hyperactivity, OCD, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders. (Doctors use two basic ways to correct this imbalance. The first is to activate GABA receptors that will inhibit the continuous firing caused by glutamate. The second way to correct the imbalance is use antogonists to glutamate and its receptor N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA). These are termed glutamate or NMDA antagonists. By binding with these receptors, the antagonist medication reduces glutamate-induced continuous firing of the neuron. This explains why some drugs like clonazepam and lamictal are able to help relieve symptoms in some patients. They help reduce excitatory action in the brain temporarily) Anxiety, depression, brain fog, depersonalizations, visual disturbances (including visual snow, palinopsia, blue field entoptic phenomenon, photophobia, photopsia) headaches, tinnitus, are all common symptoms associated with increased excitatory activity in the brain. Excessive glutamate is the primary villain in visual snow. Included below is a list of things that can lead to excitotoxicity. The list includes trauma, drugs, environmental, chemicals and miscellaneous causes of brain cell damage. (Keep in mind everybody's bodies behave and react differently to various substances) -Severe Stress (Most people that are stressed out don’t realize that once the fight-or-flight response gets activated it can release things like cortisol and epinephrine into the body. Although these boost alertness, in major concentrations, the elevated levels of cortisol over an extended period of time can damage brain functioning and kill brain cells) -Free Radicals – Free radicals are highly-reactive forms of oxygen that can kill brain cells and cause brain damage. If the free radicals in your brain run rampant, your neurons will be damaged at a quicker rate than they can be repaired. This leads to brain cell death as well as cognitive decline if not corrected. (Common causes are unhealthy diet, lifestyle and toxic exposure) -Head Trauma (like concussion or contusion) MRI can detect damaged brain tissue BUT not damaged neurons. -Dehydration (severe) -Cerebal Hypoxia -Lyme disease -Narcolepsy -Sleep Apnea -Stroke -Drugs (recreational or prescription) -Amphetamine abuse -Methamphetamines -Antipsychotics -Benzodiazepine abuse -Cocaine -Esctasy -Tobacco -Inhalants -Nitrous Oxide -PCP -Steroids -Air Pollution -Carbon Monoxide -Heavy Metal Exposure (such as lead, copper and mercury) -Mold Exposure -Welding fumes -Formaldehyde -Solvents -Pesticides -Anesthesia -Aspartame -MSG (Monosodium Glutamate is found in most processed foods and is hidden under many various names) -Solvents -Chemotherapy -Radiation -Other toxic exposures Inside the Glutamate Storm By Vivian Teichberg, Ph.D, professor of neurobiology "The amino acid glutamate is the major signaling chemical in nature. All invertebrates (worms, insects, and the like) use glutamate for conveying messages from nerve to muscle. In mammals, glutamate is mainly present in the central nervous system, brain, and spinal cord, where it plays the role of a neuronal messenger, or neurotransmitter. In fact, almost all brain cells use glutamate to exchange messages. Moreover, glutamate can serve as a source of energy for the brain cells when their regular energy supplier, glucose, is lacking. However, when its levels rise too high in the spaces between cells—known as extracellular spaces—glutamate turns its coat to become a toxin that kills neurons.* As befits a potentially hazardous substance, glutamate is kept safely sealed within the brain cells. A healthy neuron releases glutamate only when it needs to convey a message, then immediately sucks the messenger back inside. Glutamate concentration inside the cells is 10,000 times greater than outside them. If we follow the dam analogy, that would be equivalent to holding 10,000 cubic feet of glutamate behind the dam and letting only a trickle of one cubic foot flow freely outside. A clever pumping mechanism makes sure this trickle never gets out of hand: When a neuron senses the presence of too much glutamate in the vicinity—the extracellular space—it switches on special pumps on its membrane and siphons the maverick glutamate back in. This protective pumping process works beautifully as long as glutamate levels stay within the normal range. But the levels can rise sharply if a damaged cell spills out its glutamate. In such a case, the pumps on the cellular membranes can no longer cope with the situation, and glutamate reveals its destructive powers. It doesn’t kill the neuron directly. Rather, it overly excites the cell, causing it to open its pores excessively and let in large quantities of substances that are normally allowed to enter only in limited amounts. One of these substances is sodium, which leads to cell swelling because its entry is accompanied by an inrush of water, needed to dilute the surplus sodium. The swelling squeezes the neighboring blood vessels, preventing normal blood flow and interrupting the supply of oxygen and glucose, which ultimately leads to cell death. Cell swelling, however, is reversible; the cells will shrink back once glutamate is removed from brain fluids. More dangerous than sodium is calcium, which is harmless under normal conditions but not when it rushes inside through excessively opened pores. An overload of calcium destroys the neuron’s vital structures and eventually kills it. Regardless of what killed it, the dead cell spills out its glutamate, all the vast quantities of it that were supposed to be held back by the dam. The spill overly excites more cells, and these die in turn, spilling yet more glutamate. The destructive process repeats itself over and over, engulfing brain areas until the protective pumping mechanism finally manages to stop the spread of glutamate." Recent research has confirmed that hypermetabolism has been primarily found in the right lingual gyrus and left cerebellar anterior lobe of the brain in individuals suffering from visual snow. The definition of hypermetabolism is described as "the physiological state of increased rate of metabolic activity and is characterized by an abnormal increase in metabolic rate." Hypermetabolism typically occurs after significant injury to the body. This means that the brain is trying to compensate for the injured areas in the brain by increasing metabolism to meet it's high energy demands. It is trying to function to the best of it's ability under the circumstances. Normally the body can heal itself and regenerate under the right circumstances. But it is extremely difficult for the central nervous system - which includes the spinal cord and brain to be able to do so, due to it's inhibitory environment which prevents new neurons from forming. That is where stem cells come in. Stem cells are an exciting new discovery, because they can become literally any cell in the body including neurons. This is an amazing scientific breakthrough and has the potential to treat a whole host of conditions. Scientists are currently doing research and conducting trials. Excitotoxicity can trigger your "fight or flight" response. If the brain and the body remain in the sympathetic fight or flight state for too long and too often, it is degenerative; it breaks us down. If this cycle continues, then eventually the system burns out. It is this cycle that results in autonomic nervous system dysfunction. The results are disastrous, digestion is shut down, metabolism, immune function and the detoxification system is impaired, blood pressure and heart rate are increased, circulation is impaired, sleep is disrupted, memory and cognitive function may be impaired, neurotransmitters are drained, our sense of smell, taste and sound are amplified, high levels of norepinephrine are released in the brain and the adrenal glands release a variety of hormones like adrenalin and cortisol. I believe in order to find a treatment or cure for VS and it's accompanying symptoms, we need to address the underlying cause, reduce the excess excitatory activity in the brain, repair the damaged neurons, regain proper communication between neurons, rebalance the autonomic nervous system and prevent further cellular damage. We also need to figure out what genes, if any come into play. There is still a lot we don't know about the brain because it is such an remarkably complex organ. ''
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