My HPPD Guide
Hello guys, I have had hppd for 5 years now, and would like to share the experience i have with what works, and what does not. This guide is panned mostly towards people who have just gotten HPPD, but i hope even seasoned HPPDers will find something useful in this guide. My life with HPPD has been a long road of trial and errors regarding which supplements/meds that are helpful, and if this guide can be helpful to just one person in their Post-HPPD lives, then it has fulfilled its purpose. From my perspective the most important thing about hppd is beeing able to have consistency in your life, waking up in the morning and feeling like you have a connection to the person that you were yesterday, not just emotionally, but in perspective and mind sharpness. This and also how to tame and cure the ocean of anxiety that follows, and often remains for some time after a person has first entered HPPD, or has a HPPD relapse (worsening of symptoms in a person that has already has HPPD)
Meds to kill off anxiety
I first got HPPD when i was 17 years old, at this time, this was a horrible experience for me. I was feeling so anxious that i was reported as sick from school, for 3 months, followed by another 3 months of summer holiday. during this 6 month period, i locked myself in my room at my parents house and was in a very poor state emotionally. The days went by and i was not feeling alot of improvement, i eventually got some Zopiclone (Benzo-ish) from a doctor and felt some remedy from that, but only under the influence. As soon as the effects wore of, the anxiety came back. After a while the visual symptoms, (which consists of a spider web-like formation of floaters) became secoundary, it sucked having it in my vision. But it was the damn anxiety that made life almost unbearable for me. Luckily my doctor recommended Valdoxan (Agomelatin), (because i was not willing to accepts SSRI:s due to the side effects that other HPPD:ers had reported). When i first took valdoxan i was about 5 months into my HPPD. You are supposed to take it before sleep, but i have always taken valdoxan in daytime, cause its just not that sleep inducing, and the strongest effects are felt in the following hours after intake. The safest bet for around the clock anti-anxiety might be to take it both in the morning, and the evening. Anyways, i started to take valdoxan daily and felt immediate remedy. Like the first day i took it, it just killed of the anxiety for me. It was amazing, its not a very strong effect, it just kills that prefoundly felt anxiety and normalizes you. What i like most about Valdoxan is that you dont have to take it forever, after a couple weeks i stopped taking it because i was not feeling that i needed it anymore. At this point, my feelings had been modulated to a much better state, atleast 90% better then my baseline HPPD, seriously. I made the realization that during the 5 months after HPPD, and before taking Valdoxan. I had had a very linear line of anxiety, month 2 was not that different from month 4 etc. This kind of bummed me out and changed my perspective of what anxiety actually is and what causes it: chemical imbalance. Things that happen to us in life can cause our brains to just end up in a certain position, even if the brain hos no desire to be like that, it can be unable to change itself to a better state on its own. Sometimes we must help our brains to change by giving it the right tools (in this case meds) to do so. Neuroplasticity works both ways, make it work for you.
Benzos is probably the most common anxiety-eating med for HPPD:ers, while alot of people seem to get remedy from Benzos, i dont do them. Im just not that anxious anymore. What i need mostly at this time in my life is sharpness and mind clarity. And for that, eating benzos might be counterproductive. But for killing anxiety, its definitely my number 2.
Benzos also have arguably the worst withrawal symptoms of any drug on planet earth, another thing to consider...
Ive seen that quite a few people around this forum are taking RC-benzos, i dont know a lot about RC-benzos specifically. But i am generally very cautious about about RC:s. If one can not obtain benzos through a doctor. Ive heard that there are these marketplaces on the Tor browser, where one can order traditional benzos with bitcoin, and recieve them in the mailbox. Smartest would probably be to order from a vendor located IN ones own country so that the benzos dont go trough customs, and to lower delivery time ofcourse. I would also make sure that i lived in a "Normal" country where 50 Clonazepam in the mailbox would only lead to a smaller fine if confiscated, and not jail-time or a cut off hand. Disclaimer, i condone any illicit activities.
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4 no:es and a maybe
Caffeine, yes, unfortunatly HPPD:ers will never have the same relationship to coffe as they once did. Even if you find that you can have cup and feel just fine, if you continue drinking coffe daily, eventually it will lead to increased brain fog. I would recommend avoiding caffeine anywhere you can find it, Coca cola have small quantities of caffeine in it, aswell as decaf-coffe, which never truly is 100% decaffeinated.
The next 3 will be lumped together, because they are all spices, namely Dill, Parsley and Nutmeg. What they all have in common is that they have small quantities of a substance called Myristicin in them, which is a stimulant, that shares som similairity with MDMA. If you accidentaly eat food with any of them in it, its fine, but for optimal sharpness longterm, i suggest you cook your own food, or eat food that you know contains neither of the 3 spices.
The maybe is Chocolate, or Cocoa. Why? Because it contains a substance in it called Anandamide, which acts on the cannabinoid receptors and can linger in the body for up to 48 hours. I have anecdotally heard of several people that have eaten chocolate in the day, and then later ingested psycadelics or stimulants and ended up with HPPD. I suspect that chocolate is one of, or the main reason for my Ecstacy induced HPPD. What Significance does this have for people that are already in their Post-HPPD lives? It depends, even if i can eat a chocolate bar just fine now. If a person is in the early stages of HPPD, where visual differences are still starting to form in their your vision, i would stay away from Cocoa, as it might worsen symptoms. I would also make sure that i had not eaten any chocolate for the past 48 hours, if i ever were to do drugs again that might worsen HPPD (Something i strongly advise against).
Things that i found useful for energy boost, since i cant drink Coffee anymore
Nicotine has been awsome for me since my baseline energy level is not the highest. Exept for energyboost, Nicotine has several other benefits for hppders aswell as it helps the wires in your brain to connect to eachother. I am certainly not insinuating that anyone should smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, which is very harmful. A much better option is to vaporize Nicotin e-juice instead, or alternativly drop e juice on the tongue for oral ingestion. Regarding e-juices i found that the organic ones are better, because they are often 100% VG (Vegetable Glycerin) and free of PG (Propylene glycol).
PQQ, COQ10 (Ubiquinone) and Coconut triglycerides (Octane oil)
These 3 are awsome for giving me not just an energyboost, but a much better focus in general. I take these daily in a dose of about 40mg of PQQ and 100mg of COQ10 Solved in Octane oil. There is already a product with these ingredients in it, And its called Unfair advantage, sold by Bulletproof.com, but ive found that its cheaper to buy PQQ and COQ10 in powder form, and then Buy Octane oil from Bulletproof (Marketed as Brain Octane on their site) to solve the powder in. While you can eat PQQ and COQ10 as is, solving it in Octane oil will increase bioavailability alot. Octane oil also gives additional energy.
Much can be said about how one should customize his/her diet for the most optimal health. I will keep it brief and firstly say that a gluten free diet might be a good idea. It wont make any prefound changes, but it certainly makes you feel fresher and more focused. Gluten is actually an opiate, which is not only hard for our stomachs to digest, but also gives these damn foodcomas. Excluding Gluten from the diet will prevent this and gives you more energy at your disposal.
Eating the right kinds of fat is essential to our health. My main pick is definetly Coconut fat, which is extremly nutritious and tastes fantastic. I use coconut milk in my cooking every day. Pick number 2 is Fish oil, alot of people eat caps with fish oil in them. I dont, but this is only because i eat fish basically every single day. Lastly, fat from avocados, while the price of avocados is quite high, i try to put a couple of them in my belly as often as i can, because they are awsome. I cant remember where but i read somewhere that there is something in Avocados that stimulates Neuroplasticity (the brains ability to rewire itself).
Apart from staying away from the 3 spices mentioned earlier in the text, i also stay away from Tomatoes, simply because it stimulates inflammation in the body, something that one might benefit from avoiding.
Someone said that if you could recreate the effects that are going on in the brain when you are running and putting it into a pill. That pill would become the worlds most popular. I think there is definitely something to that. Sometimes when ive just been running 20KM and im sitting in the sauna and stretching my legs, and that runners high washes over me, i wonder if this the peak of my wellbeeing? It probably is, and its awsome.
Protect your Eyes
After i got HPPD ive become a bit more introverted, which has its positives and negatives, however, ive realised that a big chunk of my day is spend sitting behind a computer screen, while i enjoy this lifestyle, computer screens put strain on your eyes. To minimize this, an IPS screen is preferable over other screen types. Another good tip is to download a program called Flux, with it you can lower the light spectrum of the screen. It will look yellow, but you will get used to it. And your eyes will thank you. I bought myself a pair of Gunnar glasses to, but i rarly use them anymore. Since Flux does the trick for me. Oh, and also gojiberries, which are great for helping maintain optimal eyesight.
Racetams and choline
Taking racetams and choline has been shown to be helpful to some individuals with HPPD, ive taken aniracetam aswell as piracetam with choline, and it does increase focus a bit, but not very prefoundly. Its also important to take an adequate dose of choline to avoid adverse effects. Ultimately im a bit unsure about how i feel about the racetams, i would prioritize other things before them. But it might be worth it for someone who wishes to increase their mind sharpness. Choline as a supplement on its own tough, is a great supplement for memory enhancement.
(Im hopeful that more Nootropics with usabillity in HPPD cases will come out in the future, if they do, ill make sure to include them in this Paragraph in a secound edition)
This list could be made very long, but these are couple of the ones that i found to be helpful.
L-theanine (suntheanine) not the green tea extract one, green tea has caffeine in it.
Inositol (a bit of caution with this one, overdoing this makes me feel weird. But in right doses helps me with OCD)
What to do for recreational enjoyment
Alot of people in this community advocate complete sobriety. And while i cant argue with that standpoint. Complete sobriety has not been an option for me. With that said tough i would definitely stay away from drugs if i had recently gotten HPPD, or a HPPD relapse. Because in this time its vital for the mind to heal.
Alcohol is something i drink maybe 2-4 times a month. And its one of those things that i just do, it makes me relax a bit, stumble into some interesting conversation with friends, play Black Jack etc, i have never felt any adverse effects to my HPPD from drinking alchol, with one exeption, ill get to that. Alot of alcohol spirits are spiced with different things, and the 3 spices mentioned earlier in the text are present in some of them. Flashback, my ex girlfriend had these ritalin pills prescribed to her, and when i was 18, and ignorant of how to properly manage HPPD. I popped ritalin with her now and then, i did real amphetamine aswell a couple of times. And while i never got a relapse from these kinds of stimulants, i did feel a bit of increased snowiness in the vision aswell a slight tinnitus ringing in the ears after doing them. Anyways, i stopped with that stuff and returned to only doing Alcohol and ciggarettes for a while. Things were stable with my HPPD but after a night out in the mist, i experienced a hungover with an additional stimulant-adverse-effect to it. I was adamant to getting to the bottom of it all and eventually found out that my favorite spirit (Captain Morgan Original Spice Gold) had Nutmeg as an ingredient in it. As soulcrushing as this was, i understood that it was time to move over to non-spiced liquers from now on. And thats where i am still at today, i mostly drink Vodka, Light Tequila, and White Rum. Since making this change i havent had any adverse effects to my HPPD.
I also enjoy Gluten free bears quite alot, which also has Hops in them. Hops is FUCKING amazing, it almost deserves a Paragraph of its own. You can purchase hops in pure form and make tea from it. Drinking hops tea soothes my soul.
Smoking weed with HPPD is highly controversial. But i still do it occasionally, i do it because i enjoy it, and i havent had any adverse effects from doing it, again, with exeptions. I prefer smoking weed before taking any other type of drug to be honest, it makes me calm, some people claim that its creativly a quality killer, but i just dont agree with that at all. Ive made some seriously good Concept art during the influence, aswell as other stuff which my sober mind is very pleased with. It calmes me down as good as a benzo, but it does 1000 other things aswell. I do glorify it quite alot, but i think rightly so, it is an awsome drug, objectivly. That said tough, it might not be suitable for everyone with HPPD. And smoking weed with HPPD requires an extra level of caution and attention to what it is that you are actually putting in your body. And if you are not willing to go the extra mile to make sure that you protect your own minds wellbeeing, i would advise against smoking weed at all. So, what ive found is the weed thats best suited for me is specifically strains with a THC content of 15-20% THC, 0,8-2% CBD and Indica dominant, i would go as high as 22%, but this is where im starting to feel my limit. Alot of popular cannabis strains have 25% or even more, that is something that is noteworthy. For example i tried an OG kush strain with 24% THC, and this was to much for me, it didint blow me out of the water, it didint worsen my HPPD, but it was just a to strong hitting effect for it to be enjoyable. The same strain tough, but crossed with Pinapple, (Pinapple kush) giving it 18% THC and 1,5% CBD, was absolutly fantastic. Everyones limit is their own, and finding where your limit lies is key to enjoying Cannabis. I have tried 5/5 strains with 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD, and that was just weird to me, it was not unpleasent, just underwhelming. Another thing worthy of mentioning is that you can boost Cannabis by ingesting Pinapple (yes, the fruit) and also Mango, its definitely noticable for me, which i found hilarious the first time i tried it. These fruits actually allows THC to cross the blood brain barrier and gives a stronger effect allround.
The most important thing about Cannabis for HPPDers is ofcourse the SOURCE it comes from. Alot of people here have claimed to have relapses on Cannabis and to even have gotten HPPD from just smoking Cannabis itself. While i dont distrust these anecdotes, i do question the SOURCE that the cannabis came from, and the quality of the Cannabis. One time i experienced adverse effects from smoking cannabis. A sea of anxiety swept over me, it was painful, but it stopped eventually. What i had smoked was indeed Cannabis, but not only that, it was also SPICE, as in Synthetic Cannabinoids, a nasty drug, this was also during a time that alot of fuzz was going around in the media about kids dying from smoking Spice-blends. How do i know this? I drug tested myself, and both Cannabis and Spice where marked as present my urine. And to be honest it was just so blatantly obvious to me, but i wanted to objectify that mess anyways. Someone said that there is a whole generation of younger people in certain areas of the world, that have never experienced Natural Cannabis at all. The Police force in my country have made statments that about 70% of cannabis confiscated have been found to contain additional synthetic cannabinoids in them. And the number could be even higher, the latest urine drug test available can not sense all of the new variaties of RC Cannabinoids. Is there one single person in here that has gone into a dispensary in California, or in Vancouver, or a Coffeshop in Amsterdam, and purschased industrially grown Weed. And getting adverse effects on your HPPD? If so then i would love to hear you story. It is a well known fact that natural THC itself cannot overload the Cannabinoid receptor, synthetic cannabis on the other hand, can, and easily does so, hence why it causes overdoses and deaths. The moral of the story is that if you cant get proper weed, dont smoke. Wait, until you can instead. And if weed is not your thing, then dont touch it. I care for my fellow HPPDers and i think some of you seriously underestimate the magnitude of shit weed flouting around on the streets.
Im not a big fan of opiates, but i have tried a few like Oxycontin, Tramadol, and Morphine. Doing opiates is very euphoric, but can be dangerous, not only because of the addictive properties of the drug. But also just the strong effects of it, i was nodding out on morphine at one time and it was just to much to be pleasant. Its safe from a HPPD perspective tough.
I hope for us as a community to create a guide for HPPD, however, it might be the case that people experience HPPD diferently, and thus, this guide might not be representative of all HPPD:ers. As ive mentioned earlier in the text, i got HPPD from ecstacy, I have a spiderwebb of floaters that follow my vision, if i do stimulants, like Ritalin or even Caffeine i experience brainfogg and tinnitus ringing in my ear. Please tell me what you think about what ive written, wheter you agree or disagree. I consider this a draft, and would like to add alot more to it in the future. Im considering writing a book about HPPD. But would need more perspectives to do so. Much love, Cureseeker