Hi everyone. This is gonna be quite a long read, but I tried to make things as short as possible. I sincerely thank those who read the entire thing for their consideration. I apologize is if this is in the wrong section; if so, please move it.
I recently came upon an online book/thesis that suggests many theories and their implications concerning the left and right hemispheres of the brain. I provided a link to the paper at the bottom of my post. It covers many topics, but I will only include the main points in this post so my explanation makes sense, however I would strongly suggest reading the book in its entirety, as I found it to be quite enlightening and thought-provoking.
What this book suggests is that due to a prehistoric forced change in diet and additional factors of the last 10,000 years of human history, our brains have actually degenerated. Again, I'll remind you that this is an extreme shortening of the theory and data and any skepticism should be addressed to the book that I have linked.
Basically, it seems that the left hemisphere seems to control the functions of time, speech, and figurative thinking. It is also the theorized hemisphere that is damaged, and is also the dominant hemisphere of the brain. The right brain is theorized to either be undamaged or much less damaged than the left, and seems to control direct(rather than figurative) viewing and memory.
It would perhaps be easier to just get down to why I believe this is relevant to HPPD. My father died in November of 2009, and I subsequently began noticing the symptoms of HPPD without knowing what HPPD was. I experienced panic attacks and the derealization/depersonalization effect, in addition to very mild visual snow. I overcame the dr/dp quite quickly and never went to the doctors or anything. I then became very interested in psychedelics and tried mushrooms this past September. Afterwards, I had quite bad dr/dp and once again experienced panic attacks. I feared I was being overcome by schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder. During this time, I was aware of the striking similarities to my mental condition following my father's death. Let me mention that I still was not aware of HPPD at the time.
Some of the symptoms that I experienced that fueled my paranoia and anxiety were a reduction in mental dialogue, figurative thinking, and memory recall. What I mean by a decrease in figurative thinking is that when I looked around and viewed things before this decrease, I was almost half-imagining things at the same time. Sometimes it was as if I was looking at it but consciously I wasn't. I hope this explanation is satisfactory, although it doesn't feel like it lol.
Anyway, my hypothesis is that, upon consuming the shrooms, the dominance of my left side was reduced and I leaned toward more right hemisphere functioning and consciousness. Thus, the figurative thinking and constant mental dialogue that are characteristic of the left hemisphere decreased and the literal viewing and graphic thought processes of the right hemisphere took over. The book I have linked describes how our left hemisphere seems to get paranoid and worried about losing control of the brain, as may be demonstrated in not only every-day situations of normal people but in the cases of those who suffer from autism, schizophrenia, and multiple personality disorders.
Perhaps these effects of a lean towards the right hemisphere fueled my instinctive fear of being overcome by schizophrenia and other mental disorders. The anomaly appears, however, in the reduction of memory recall. Such a symptom would be more characteristic of a lean towards the left hemisphere from the right when one considers their main functions. However, and I don't know how much of this is urban myth or confirmed science, but when one is under certain states of consciousness, they are unable to remember things from other states of consciousness. I remember this most from the movie 'Beerfest' lol but it seems to have roots in reality as well. PTSD, for instance, includes total memory recall of a certain period of time, and can sometimes be triggered by a setting that mimics this period of time. Therefore, my capablity to recall memory didn't necessarily decrease, but my ease to recall memory from different states of consciousness (which almost my entire life would consist of, since we're normally dominated by the left hemisphere) would have decreased.
Maybe what psychedelics do is, considering their possible impact on the pineal glad (located in the center of the brain), is balance the brain and reduce the domination of the left hemisphere. What HPPD may be is the re-establishment and possible hyper-establishment of dominance of the left hemisphere following an experience that balances the hemispheres of our brains. This might also provide a hypothesis for the visual snow effect. The effect of visual snow, as it appears over everything within the visual field, is very similar to the ability of figurative thinking. It is as if you do not actually see things literally, as one experiences with more emphasis on the right hemisphere, but there is a veil and distortion to your perception of everything. The visual snow might be the left hemisphere exerting dominance over, and interfering with, the direct viewing function of the right hemisphere. The left clearly isn't as good as the right at this function, and may indeed not have this ability whatsoever, and so instead of actual literal viewing, we see this staticky, scratchy screen.This connection may be somewhat shaky, especially with my admittedly poor description of figurative thinking, but I think it is definitely worth consideration.
I hope this link works. If not, let me know.
Let me make clear that I am not condemning nor endorsing any activities or action. Anyway, what do you guys think?