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Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) Support Forum

VisualDude

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  1. Its hard to know why things are quiet. I myself am here only occasionally in recent years. Like Jay mentioned, it can be helpful to talk with others who suffer the same things - to those who haven't, some of this stuff in incomprehensible to them. If one can keep their head cool and patiently look at what has helped others (which is quite varied), then one can try things that might help. ( No bleach though ) Perhaps Covid19 and the hatred that has been stirred up between people in recent years ... there isn't as much participation in forums dedicated to actually help. On some forums that I've visited over the last year, somehow every conversation gets turned political: either loving Hilary or Trump. It is ridiculous. But far worse, it is as if people have given their minds over to demons or other toxic personages. This forum is really a great resource and many have worked hard to help others. Take advantage of this kindness in a good way. And keep ego at bay to learn and perhaps contribute. HPPD is multifaceted and what works for one doesn't work for others with regards medications, diets, and supplements.
  2. Since the topic of anxiety and HPPD is perhaps the most frequent, it might be helpful to understand some of the processes going on. It seems true that most people with HPPD have anxiety issues. A rare few have no anxiety with their HPPD. Then there are plenty that find anxiety aggravates HPPD … and controlling anxiety alleviates HPPD at least to some degree. Most are familiar with the amygdala and one’s fight/fright response. But more is involved. To start with, many brain functions are compartmentalized. Some functions are primarily in one physical location. Others are inter-wired all over the place, but are nevertheless, ‘functionally contained’. A good place to start is with attention and focus. Basically, attention/focus has 3 states: Concentration (learning, reading, etc...) Vigilance (hunting, guarding, etc...) Sleep If you think about it, these are mutually exclusive. That is, you can't be vigilant and sleep. You can't concentrate and be vigilant, etc... These states are determined by the midbrain and executive center. For example, you can override the need to sleep in order to do something (executive). However there is at least one ‘gating’ center (think of a big electrical switching center) that shuts down parts of the brain as well as turning on other parts, depending on ones primary state. See Locus Coeruleus. One example of this is that when you sleep, voluntary movement is shutdown so that you don’t run while you are in a dream about running. Even emotions have ‘gated’ aspects. Usually one emotion is prominent at a time. For example, one usually isn’t happy and sad at the same time. Generally, anxiety pushes vigilance. However, vigilance might not have anxiety. One may be hunting, ever vigilant. However if they are being hunted, then anxiety is most likely. Another brain function involved is visual processing. While technically too intertwined to be truly separate, in practical terms there are two visual processing systems: Ambient visual processing (very fast [few milliseconds], emotional, vigilant) involves primarily peripheral vision but also balance and auditory input. It allows one to duck when an object is thrown at them – without wasting time to figure out what that object is. Focal visual processing (slow [~200ms], intellectual, detailed) involves central vision such as the macula which enables seeing fine detail. This allows one to later figure out that the above object was a baseball. There are other parts of vision as well, such as at least two ‘planes’ of visual data: one you are immediately seeing and the other, what you saw just moments before. So disorders here will cause people to see multiple copies of a moving object. However, for this discussion, it isn’t important to cover any more about the very complex world of visual perception. All these parts of brain function are complexly connected and finely balanced. Thus taking recreational drugs causes temporary alterations in perception. Hallucinogens seem to get the most attention with regard severity of perceptual changes. With HPPD, for whatever reason, one gets stuck with perceptual alterations. These may be temporary periods (‘flashbacks’) or they may be 24/7. Each person's symptoms vary in intensity and which ones they have. All of it is simply versions of the picture you posted above - the brain just can't quite get all the details right, so it shifts and changes perception. Dr Abraham used terms such as ‘cerebral disinhibition’. An over active state with less ‘order’, less in control/balance. Anxiety and panic are also states of ‘excess’. Functionally they are meant to be brief, not chronic. In either case, the increased activity of anxiety means less control. It isn’t difficult to see how anxiety pushes vigilance, which pushes visual aberations, which, in turn, adds to anxiety. One can also see why benzodiazepines may help an individual. These act on GABA receptors to reduce the rate of neuron firing (reduce brain activity). GABA by nature is inhibitory thus handy for 'disinhibition'. Members who are able to control anxiety may have less visual symptoms. In some regards it may be as simple as paying less attention (being less ‘vigilant’) to these aberrations. But people have their own experience and versions of HPPD. HPPD isn’t at all unique in being bothered by anxiety. People with autoimmune diseases may have a flare up due to getting upset. A doctor once told me that anxiety is to AIDS as are maggots to a dead body – the person deteriorates more rapidly. So the continual advice that members post about controlling anxiety is valid. And some find their ‘flashback-phase’ goes away when calm. None of this means HPPD is just an anxiety disorder. It may simply be made worse by anxiety – as are many aspects of life. The underlying reason for a person having HPPD may be plasticity (adaptive rewiring) or some sort of actual injury (damages synapses). This is a debate that seems to cause more fear than being useful. In the end, it is irrelevant because one simply has a problem now and needs to get on with life as well as find ways to manage it better. Somewhere Dr A commented that HPPD usually goes away in time. The best advice to live as health a lifestyle as they can. Including techniques to reduce anxiety (medication, nature hikes, mindfulness, etc…). Jay1 has already mentioned this. Hope this is helpful
  3. Since you got it from a "bad trip with visual hallucinogens", that is defining point of HPPD that is not VSS. But really, the diagnosing belongs to doctors who understand the disorder(s) --- good luck finding one. Also, to some degree the point is mute because there is no established medical protocol to treat either. You just have to try things with doctor(s) who are willing to help. Finally, people don't become schizophrenic or die from HPPD or VSS. It can just be very unpleasant and for some, interfere with work. The visual problems are 'illusions' not hallucinations. The anxiety (which most, but not all, have) can be reduced both medically and psychologically. As you already know, this picture produces the illusion of movement. If you are interested in understanding how this picture works, it relies on the brain's calculating dimension and distance. Most are familiar with the fact that having 2 eyes allows 'binocular' vision - understanding distance. A lesser know process is that the brain relies on contrast and shading to do the same function. In the case of this picture, the artist simply does shading deliberately inconsistent. So as the brain tries to figure things out, because it is inconsistent, the results are inconsistent, switching to one perspective then another. This creates the illusion of movement. As for HPPD, movement of 'static' objects is cause by the brain being uncertain as to what it is seeing so perspective again switches around creating the illusion of movement. Likely you will find the magnitude of effect depends both on what you are looking at and also the overall brightness. With HPPD, slight uncertainties can also affect attention/focus. Uncertainty drives one to vigilance which can increase anxiety. Explaining this (and hopefully people understanding this) can help one understand what is going on and thus help reduce anxiety about it - though it can still be annoying.
  4. Glad it is helping you Trazodone affects so many receptors, its hard to know what is helping (other than it overall 'quiets' many circuits) See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trazodone#Pharmacology It states in this publication http://www.facesofhppd.com/uploads/1/0/8/8/10884075/hallucinogen_persisting_perception_disorder_and_flashbacks_2013.pdf "Abraham & Duffy (1996) hypothesized that HPPD is a disinhibition of visual processing related to a loss of 5-HT-receptors on inhibitory interneurons." The 5-HT receptors that are inhibitory are the 5-HT1 and 5-HT5 receptor types. If there is a loss of these inhibitory receptors, how can antagonizing (reducing the effect of) the remaining ones help? ... since there would be even less inhibition. Would not agonizing (increasing) them increase the inhibitory effect and thus problem? This publication (which was primary to the thread you attached) attributes the effects to 5-HT2a receptors which are excitatory: https://www.erowid.org/archive/rhodium/pharmacology/risperidone.palinopsia.html Risperidone strongly reduces all serotonin and dopamine actions. Yet while there have been the occasional member here that does well, most complain strongly about this med. The patient they report having visual illusions with resperidone was also taking trazodone and clonazepam One of his last works before retiring, Dr Abraham tested increasing dopamine activity without altering serotonin activity and had 30-50% success. But no long term trials have been done. (Before learning about Dr A, I started using dopamine agonists with consistent improvement (though not 'cured') for over a decade.) Unfortunately, HPPD is complex to resolve. But it is good to know someone else has got help. Please keep us informed in the future as to how you do and if you need to stay on Trazodone. Thanks
  5. It is important that neurotoxicity, including that from hyperactivity (regardless of being glutamate or other neurotransmitters), involves the accumulative effect - that is, total toxic burden at the time. The visual from LSD are attributed largely to one class of serotonin receptor which caused visual processing to go on overdrive, not to mention other effects such as 'ego-loss'. So while LSD is less damaging than crack and meth, it still can add to the burden. MDMA is essentially an immediate acting SSRI without sedating effects. So the increased serotonin can be toxic. For example, pollution and anxiety both increase toxic burden. So, theoretically it would be safer to use recreational drugs while calm and happy and in clean mountain air ... rather than while stressed and in a polluted place. [Disclaimer: this isn't a recommendation, lol.] It is kind of like the proverbial 'straw that brakes the camels back'.
  6. Love your positive attitude ! It is also true that many things that have been discussed are buried in the past, often not easily seen.
  7. When people post as he did, it is best to not get too caught up in it because the manor was unreasonable. Why? Troll? Egomania? Just over exuberant? Who knows. But his 'style' is not unlike people popping onto forums and posting, "If you just pray to Jesus sincerely enough, he will miraculously cure you". The reception to this is negative for obvious reasons. [ And if one is into the Bible, it grossly misrepresents the whole situation we live in now ]. The whole topic of controlling anxiety has been discussed and will be discussed and will remain an important tool. But anxiety <> HPPD.
  8. This is true of most diseases and disorders. Why don't you (and other members) let the doctors do the diagnosing - they are the ones who defined the disorder. Read more posts. Some have no anxiety. Some are actually glad to have the visual anomalies. I personally know one on the DPSelfHelp forum. You think you know all Native Americans? So your personal experience make you knowledgeable about everyone's personal experience? n=1 is a very small sample for statistics Clearly you are very impressionable. Perhaps you have learned to turn on or off HPPD at will. Patent that, you'll make millions and put the cartels out of business. Again, leave the diagnosing to the doctors It would be 'cool' if a little CBT would solve the problem. Read the posts. Plenty have tried CBT and other psychological techniques. You seem to be focused on your perceived reality. You need to respect other peoples experiences and not just your own. Nothing wrong with discussion anxiety and it's effects, etc. It is your manor of 'discussion' that provokes negative responses Please do. Dr A has published many papers regarding the long term aftereffects of LSD, etc. And these do not declare anxiety being the root of the problem.
  9. Not everything wrong is a conspiracy. Habits too can be hard to break. This study indicates the old suggested dosage being 400-600 IU/day was based on preventing rickets. This study also puts the normal daily dose "around 8000 IU for young adults and thereafter" https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5541280/pdf/jpmph-50-4-278.pdf Because D toxicity can be nasty and take 6 months for levels to drop to normal, one needs to monitor high dosage taken long term. D absorbs in adipose so heavy people may not show good serum blood levels for some time ... then if they start losing weight (especially quickly) their serum reaches toxic levels with its consequences. K2 does prevent bone loss which happens with excessive D but one can't count on it being a fix for taking too much. Now if very high doses has cured you HPPD, great! How many months have you been taking 50,000 iu a day for? Or has it just been one week? You also said earlier that "most of the symptons have been solved/restored on there own" ... so what does D do for you specifically?
  10. Would like to see data on that one
  11. I've taken 15,000 iu / day for a couple weeks but decided to back down to 10k. At 6 months of 10k/day, and prior to any osteoporosis meds, D3 (D 25-Hydroxy) was 82 and the active form (D 1,25 DIHY) was 62. These are both roughly 80% into the range. A couple years later with the meds Forteo and Prolia at the same time, D3 was 52 and the active form 72. Forteo is a synthetic portion of parathyroid hormone (PTH). Both work by stimulating the conversion of D3 to its active form. Am told this happens in the bones and the kidneys. But don't know about in the brain, although both forms cross the BBB. While the D3 I take has K2, last spring found some high dose vitamin K1 and K2 and have been taking that https://www.allergyresearchgroup.com/full-spectrum-vitamin-k-90-softgels It seemed unnecessary to work with anything higher. I may drop to 5,000 iu soon when finishing Forteo. I make so much calcium oxalate that there is concern of causing kidney damage due to microcrystals (rather than stones). This is uncertain but simple enough to drop dose for a few months then retest for stones [ LabCorp has a urine test for stones called Litholink ]. I eat high protein which causes oxalate. If I eat low protein, then don't feel as well, eat more carbs and feel even worse. The whole thing may be the meds, D, or just me. But I've always eaten lots of protein, fat and calcium since being a child. Am 58 now and it ain't killed me yet, lol. So this is what I've been doing and why.
  12. Good article. A note about dosage. The maximum daily dose long term is 4,000 iu without blood test monitoring. [ Ref missing right now but that is for all adults worldwide ]. To put this in perspective, if you are in the sun a lot, the the skin will make up to 10,000 iu a day. I post this because lots of articles about the danger of Vitamin D as well as many doctors feeling one only needs 200 iu/day. If I find the ref I'll post it but one can be safe with the above dose indefinitely. I am currently taking 10,000 iu for 3 years now (with blood tests). Since am on multiple meds for osteoporosis, am utilizing a lot of D. Thank you also for mentioning K2. Bones need it (osteoblasts) to mature by mineralizing. It is very effective at preventing plaque from calcifying as you mentioned. Again doctors are scared of K, (1 and 2) because it interferes with blood thinners ... but again one usually shouldn't be on a blood thinner. As for D helping HPPD, it would be interesting to see how many people it helps. It doesn't do anything overt for me. But its broad health benefits are respectable. One should take it anyway. If they can be tested, aim for mid to above mid range. Long term minimum, even if in range, is inadvisable.
  13. I've tried Propranolol with minimum helpful effects. However sexual dysfunction was worse. To see if the opposite would help SD, tried Salbutamol (pill form of albuterol) which is adrenergic β2 receptor agonist. Was concerned about trying since common side effects are tremor, anxiety, headache, muscle cramps, palpitations and sleep problems. Already have these problems but tried it anyway. It actually helps vision (especially feeling disconnected) and helps RLS and anxiety and SD. Tremor a little worse but nothing of concern. Also helps breathing as I have asthma and this is an asthma med. Naturally this was surprising and am still working with it. Taking it (4 mg) only AM and noon so its mostly gone by bedtime. It would seem odd that to find anyone else that albuterol helps with HPPD symptoms. But I am one of the few that find coffee is relaxing rather that stimulating.
  14. For what its worth (and in theme of the thread), the use of testosterone helps depression. It is well know that low T causes a depressiveness. This article is about using high dose testosterone for major depression. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30427999 "Testosterone treatment appears to be effective and efficacious in reducing depressive symptoms in men, particularly when higher-dosage regimens were applied in carefully selected samples."
  15. Interesting that selegeline helps you. I've used it and it was helpful. Problem was doctor moved and other docs were afraid. By the time I tried it again, it wasn't all that helpful. I have RLS bad. Doesn't bother me but bugs others including my wife. First time using selegeline, it stopped and the change was so significant that at night my wife kept worrying I had died since I had never been so still. Later docs tried Abilify and the restlessness came back (had been much quieter for months after selegeline). Trying selegeline again had no effect on RLS. Typical with HPPD (and the like), one change can make something that worked no longer work. Just like 1 dose of Ritalin rendering Keppra useless. As for ADD and ADHD. It very much involves distraction. Seeking quiet settings is vital for study or accomplishing anything. Meds that 'quiet' can help provided they don't sedate too much. Then there is CBT to learn to observe when one starts to wander, then step back. It takes work but it helps. Dopamine can quiet but it can stimulate. Same with Testosterone. Both are know to help with focus, though T more with pursuing goals. IMO it is not a coincidence that some with HPPD have low T just as do most with a mild brain injury.
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