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Everything posted by K.B.Fante

  1. I know this has been discussed before but I just wanted to post this again for any newcomers or for those interested in trying something new to help alleviate their HPPD. I've been on keto for about a week now and even while going through sugar withdrawals I've felt much better than before. I don't know how to describe it but there's a clarity to my well being, a heaviness that seems to be gone. I'm going to stick on it for a while and see how it works out, but in the meantime here's a great rundown of various studies (including excitotoxicity) where keto is shown to have beneficial results: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2367001/
  2. I was listening to a podcast yesterday where someone with a brain injury was talking about how suicidal ideation is a common symptom or outcome of brain damage and I thought it was interesting given I had severe ideation through about the first year and a half of dealing with HPPD. It was also remarkable how similar her symptoms and story were to mine, which is often the case when I hear or read about brain injuries. I've long held HPPD is a brain injury but of course I can't prove it and neither can anyone here until more research is conducted, which unfortunately isn't likely anytime soon. That said, here are some similarities between common brain injury symptoms and my experience with HPPD: -- A "normal" life that abruptly changes after the occurrence of an incident resulting in complete life upheaval (state of abnormality if you will) -- Painstakingly slow recovery over the course of years following a balance of mostly rest with some mental and physical exercise (this would explain why stimulant substances and sometime even exercise often exacerbate HPPD symptoms; a damaged body needs rest, not stimulation) -- Compromised brain cell metabolism and glucose (explains brain fog head pain from sugary foods) -- Headache and head pain -- Difficulty with balance -- Blurred vision -- Visual disturbances -- Fatigue -- Changes in sensory perception (DP-DR could certainly qualify) -- Memory loss and forgetfulness -- Delayed mental processing -- Trouble speaking -- Disoriented sleep patterns -- Poor attention -- Depression and anxiety -- Light and sound sensitivity -- Nausea -- Irritability and mood changes --Inappropriate behavior -- Difficulty with reason, logic or focus -- Personality changes -- Normal MRIs As my condition has improved so have all my symptoms, however what I find striking about the list above is how many of these symptoms I had when I first got HPPD. In fact, I don't know that there's any I did not have, outside of perhaps nausea. I also never got around to taking my MRI but given the normality of those who have and the fact mild brain injuries don't show up in the scans it's also another similarity that shouldn't be overlooked. Part of the problem with identifying HPPD as a "brain injury" is that most of us have seen doctors who aren't trained in identifying subtle injuries outside the pervasive "Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)" category which is mostly defined as injuries sustained through force. However, there are other forms of brain injuries, including mild brain injuries, that break down into many different categories and classifications which could very well correlate with HPPD. The most likely I've found is what's called "toxic anoxia," which is when the brain doesn't get enough oxygen due to toxic chemical interference. According to the Honor Society of Nursing, illegal street drugs are considered culprits of toxic anoxia. Another interesting field of study involving brain injury is that of impaired cellular function and metabolism in the immediate aftermath of the sustained injury. Regardless of what exactly leads to HPPD there can be little doubt that our brains are underperforming, which could be a result of abnormal and impaired cellular metabolism -- essentially, the normal processes of healthy cellular functioning have been interrupted for whatever reason. If you're someone who takes issue with the idea of necrosis then perhaps you will be more comfortable with the idea that the cells in our brains still exist but are simply shocked and unable to perform in high-potency environments. I'm enjoying reading about this stuff so I'm going to continue to see what I can find and will post here if anything piques my interest, however I do think it's important to plant this seed and get the HPPD community open to thinking about brain injuries specifically. If we continue to maintain the attitude HPPD is a beyond our understanding simply because we don't understand it then we likely won't make any progress in getting the medical attention we deserve. I think if we can at least adopt a general acceptance of some from of brain injury it would at least help push us in the right direction medically and away from the much stigmatized psychiatric route we've often pursued. If we push the narrative that toxic drugs lead to brain injury by talking with neurologists rather than that hallucinogens unlock some form of deep-seeded emotional imbalance by seeking out psychiatrists I think we'll have more luck in at least getting some attention to be honest. I really do think the way we phrase our condition can have an affect on how soon we're treated or whether we're treated at all.
  3. I posted an article a while back about Robert Sapolsky and there might be some relevant information in there pertaining to this subject. You can find that whole post here: http://hppdonline.com/topic/5604-article-on-robert-sapolsky-stress-the-brain-etc/#comment-35473 The biggest thing with all this seems to be how much stress you were under prior to, during and after your inciting incident that gave you HPPD. It seems anxiety is the real killer in all this as it completely compromises your brain's ability to fight off disease and heal properly after injury. Here's a good quote from the article above on this topic: "The hippocampus is the most glutamate using part of the brain. This is so because learning and memory are so vital to survival that this excitoneurotransmitter is used liberally in this area. The energy crisis to the neurons created by excess glucocorticoids means the neuron doesn’t have adequate energy for reuptake of calcium and glutamate. It is through this lack of cleanup that these chemicals hang around longer; thus increasing calcium release into the cytoplasm, which produces enzymes that increase free radical damage to the cytoskeletal membrane of the cell, thereby bringing about cell death or apoptosis. To protect themselves from excitotoxin damage the neurons produce adenosine, GABA, taurine, heat shock proteins, antioxidants, feedback inhibition of Ca++ flow and increase glucose and lactate uptake to improve energy levels of the neurons. However glucocorticoids interfere with these defense mechanisms also." As Dasitmane says, if HPPD is cell death of some sort whether you recover depends largely on how much damage occurred in the first place. If it was merely the dendrites then you can surely rebuild, but if the cell body itself suffers then you're less likely to experience regrowth. But again, much of this depends on the type of drug, how much, anxiety, proper recovery, where in the brain or body the damage occurs, etc. I think it's safe to say that as long as you refrain from doing drugs again, live a healthy lifestyle, eliminate stress and do all the things necessary to promote growth inside your body that you give yourself an excellent chance at a near or complete recovery. I know in my case I've had all kinds of health issues after getting HPPD (everything from benzo withdrawals to anxiety to sugar addiction to thyroid issues to digestive complications to depression, heartbreak, you name it) and yet I've never had any major setbacks that I haven't been able to recover from. It's the exact same theory as trimming a plant or a flower: If you just clip the buds or part of the stalk it will grow back again and again, but if you start damaging the root then you risk killing it for good. In this same vein, nature knows which direction to move for a reason. Flora grow towards the sun due to photosynthesis and dendrites grow towards other dendrites for neurochemical benefits. I think the idea they would grow back and have no idea where to grow or connect to doesn't make a lot of sense, but this is just my opinion on the matter and I could be dead wrong. A few more paragraphs on this topic: "For our growth, development, health and fulfillment we need stimulation rich environments...what this stimulation amounts to would differ between us monkeys...some would like more toys, others more playmates, others would want a bigger playground etc... Big Fun is an attempt to generate more stimulating conditions in which growth is possible. Our brains form a million new connections for every second of our lives, revealing the huge importance of our everyday experiences in making our brains what they are. Boredom makes us stupid--the richness of our environment affects our brain structure. With a more stimulating environment our brains develop denser neuron growth and increase the amount of certain synaptic proteins that the brain uses to relay messages between neurons... When it comes to brainpower they say you either use it or lose it. Fred Gage of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies studied the hippocampus, a brain region involved in learning and memory and skills and found that activation of NMDA receptors affects the survival of brain cells. This study in mice suggests that the survival of newly formed adult brain cells depends on the amount of input they receive, via NMDA receptors - proteins that sit on the surface of brain cells and help them communicate with each other, suggesting that communication is essential for neuron survival. http://www.newscient...-job-to-do.html... This suggests that our interpersonal world, (how well we bond and communicate with others, whether we are repressed and if we easily forgive or hold grudges,) might also have a parallel in how well our own neurons communicate with each other and thereby impact the lifespan of those neurons. This resilience of neurons that communicate well with each other might also be key in how we each respond differently to stress and PTSD. Brains that are repressed or weak in self-communication might be more vulnerable to the effects of glucocorticoids and to neuron damage in general."
  4. Glutamate, GABA and acetylcholine are the three neurotransmitters that have come up time and time again in my Google searches based on my symptoms either improving or worsening. I made a post about glutamate a while back here: http://hppdonline.com/topic/5453-glutamate/#comment-34490 And one about the category of vegetables called nightshades, which are anticholinergic, which you can find here: http://hppdonline.com/topic/5431-nightshades/#comment-34336 I also made one about caffeine and its inhibitory affect on GABA: http://hppdonline.com/topic/5371-negative-reaction-to-caffeine/#comment-33944 All these categories of foods make my symptoms worse. If these transmitters are the fuel for the interneurons of the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems then it only makes sense that the foods they're found in have an enormous effect on HPPD symptoms. One area of interest I'm increasingly warming to is the vagus nerve, which controls parasympathetic nervous system function. The vagus nerve runs to many different parts of the body and specifically controls stomach function, which I've had terrible problems with recently. A diet high in sugar can damage the vagus nerve and cause damage to the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the nerves. Well, I've had a very high sugar diet over the course of the last year as well as prediabetes due to an under-active thyroid (also connected to the vagus nerve) and all of a sudden my visual symptoms have gotten increasingly worse. In the past I've had symptom flare ups due to diet (mostly caffeine and nightshades), however once my stomach problems began my visual symptoms have gotten significantly worse and stayed that way 24-7. The vagus nerve controls exhalation, which I find interesting considering I had a very difficult time laughing when I first got HPPD. It was as if I couldn't breathe or exhale properly. This has improved over time but I thought it was really strange at first. It would make sense if my vagus nerve was damaged that I couldn't exhale properly, as laughing is a strictly exhaling activity. I know tinnitus is a commonly shared symptom for many of us. There is a connection between the vagus nerve here as well, as shown in this study where stimulation of the vagus nerve resulted in decreased tinnitus: http://www.utdallas.edu/news/2011/1/13-8021_Findings-Show-Promise-in-Battle-Against-Tinnitus_article.html I can't remember where I posted it but my first introduction to the vagus nerve was through this article, which links it to depersonalization -- another shared HPPD symptom -- and provides ways to stimulate it: https://www.selfhacked.com/blog/28-ways-to-stimulate-your-vagus-nerve-and-all-you-need-to-know-about-it/
  5. This is interesting to me. In my amateur Google research I've come back to the occipital lobe time and time again. It'd be interesting if more people posted results as we could possibly find a connection here...
  6. Seems like nothing shows up, so I'm not sure I should even get one. I've searched the site for "MRI" and pretty much all anybody's said is that they don't show anything for HPPD. Just curious if it's even worth it and if anybody has had first-hand experience with this.
  7. I don't get how you arrived at your conclusion from reading this article. A), we don't know what part of the brain is affected in HPPD. If it's the hippocampus then this articles doesn't really apply because it's well documented to be one of the few areas of the brain where neurogenesis is proven to occur. But again, we don't know this either way. And B), this article doesn't say anything about humans in particular or mention anything about how certain brain regions cannot recover from damage, only that it's not known how many regions are capable of neurogenesis. Traditional brain science is almost getting turned over on a daily basis. Things that were considered set in stone even a few years ago are frequently up for debate with every passing study. It's well established that different parts of the brain connect and overlap when compromised, so even if HPPD results in cell death in brain areas that aren't well studied there's no need to believe they can't be fully healed. The problem with seeing this article as proof that we're out of luck is the simple fact that people who get HPPD do fully recover -- many, in fact. This has been well documented on this site and across the Internet. Though it takes many years for neurogenesis to run its course the countless recovery stories on this site alone are all the proof you need that whatever part of the brain is affected by HPPD clearly has the ability to regrow or reconnect and execute the functions it performed prior to damage.
  8. I don't think you need to worry about stuff like this. I've been scrolling this forum for years and have read plenty of posts from years past yet I've never come across anyone who's had symptoms worsen from vaccines or any other standard medical practices really. Just as long as you stay away from drugs I think you're OK.
  9. It will eventually, it's just gonna take many more years of suffering before it becomes more widely studied and actually becomes understood and acknowledged in the medical lexicon. More and more kids are doing drugs and getting HPPD every day which means more and more will start showing up at doctor's offices. As this continues doctors will eventually have to acknowledge something is up rather than just dismissing it. Again, it's just gonna take a long time. People have to speak up though. How many people come here in the far corners of the Internet instead of writing to doctors or medical professionals? I've said it many times, but unless we decide to band together and actually get noticed this condition is going to continue to be overlooked for many years than is necessary.
  10. I have stomach problems similar to GERD. I basically have to follow all the same protocol. Best thing that's helped me is cutting back drastically on fat, citrus, spicy foods -- anything that will irritate your insides. However the best thing I've found is balancing my stomach PH by eating alkaline foods which are basically just green veggies. I make a smoothie in the morning that's mostly spinach, chard, dandelion greens, parsley, cucumber and then a little non-alkaline fruit like banana and blueberry and man it makes me feel great. All that said, I've had the roughest stretch of my life outside of two years ago when my entire life collapsed about six months after getting HPPD. I have a thyroid issue, gastrointestinal problems, HPPD, broken bones in my foot, a pulled muscle in my abdomen, I've run through all my savings and can honestly barely make it through the day sometimes. One thing HPPD has taught me is to just keep going no matter how painful everything is on a daily basis. I feel I've damn near perfected the craft of living is absolute misery 24-7. I'm just happy I've made enough progress on the HPPD front to see the light at the end of the tunnel -- even though it's still far away.
  11. Pretty much puts the nail in the coffin for me at this point. We know have numerous studies showing proof of cell death from multiple hallucinogens. Now how we get this information to the general public is the real question... I don't get why the 5htp2a receptor needs to be activated in order for the cell death to occur though. That's serotonin, correct?
  12. Never had a huge problem with this myself but I do know that anything in excess is bad and that too much of this can also mess people up emotionally, especially when young.
  13. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15569527.2018.1423620 This could certainly explain mydriasis and a lot of the visual aspects of HPPD, but not all of course. What about DP, anxiety and all the other crazy mental stuff that goes along with it? I wonder if the nerve damage is widespread, effectively running from the eye to the back of the brain where other visual processing occurs. This could certainly explain the DP feeling of viewing the world from the far back of your head I guess...
  14. Best thing that helped my anxiety was diet. I'm convinced I had underlying inflammation which triggered anxiety my whole life and played the key role in getting HPPD. Once I went paleo, stopped eating processed foods and added sugar, my anxiety completely disappeared. Recently I have been diagnosed with inflammation in my stomach and what do you know, anxiety was back again like clockwork. Also, meditation and therapy worked wonders for me. If you do a combination of all those, plus exercise and stay active socially you won't need pills. Whatever you do, if you do decide to go the pill route, stay away from benzos unless you're really disciplined and can handle it.
  15. The biggest correlation with HPPD and any noticeable personality trait is anxiety, but people with anxiety often have depression too, and it's now known depression can often times be the result of inflammation; inflammation activates the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) as do many drugs (including LSD), and so in my opinion it's not too far of a reach to suggest HPPD is the result of nervous system burnout or overstimulation. There's also many stories of people who recover at around the five-year mark, exactly the same times it takes new neurons to grow inside the brain. I know I'm certainly one of these people. Obviously there needs to be research but unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) there simply isn't enough people getting HPPD at the moment to change this. Research is by and large funded privately, so unless some super rich person gets HPPD or knows someone who has it and wants to fund research, there's just not a lot of hope. Our biggest ally in this fight is the DP-DR and Visual Snow Syndrome communities, both of which seem to be growing at a rapid pace. These conditions all overlap so if we want to bring about change our best bet is to create a single foundation or some sort with them.
  16. I don't get it. If it cured you in 2012 why are you just posting now?
  17. You could still just be experiencing the acid in your system. Sounds like you did a lot. For me, HPPD didn't kick in for about two days after I took acid. There was a period in between where I was totally normal, although exhausted and a little out of sorts, but it wasn't until I woke up a few days later when all my symptoms arrived. I know others have reported a similar pattern, which I should note is the same as common brain injuries. Give yourself some time before jumping to conclusions. If you still have these symptoms a week from now then perhaps you can revisit whether you think you have HPPD, and even then it's not the end of the world, though I know it seems like it. The best thing you can do right now is be patient, stay calm, treat your body well and avoid further drug use.
  18. If you had it really bad you wouldn't need to post something like this, you'd just know it. Don't do drugs again, live healthy and be thankful you aren't living in a dreamland acid trip everyday like many are. As long as you stay away from drugs you should be alright.
  19. Just want to point out this drug belongs to a class called quinolones that have a link to nerve damage: https://www.webmd.com/brain/news/20130826/fda-strengthens-fluoroquinolone-warning If you have HPPD you should not be taking these types of antibiotics.
  20. I thought it made my symptoms worse but I can't say exactly because I was taking other things at the same time. It's not gonna heal your HPPD, if that's what you're asking. Might help you sleep better though.
  21. Exercise, therapy, mental health groups, eating healthy, work, etc. will all help tremendously if you do them on a regular basis. Turmeric was probably the best natural antidepressant I've tried.
  22. To piggyback on this subject and what I posted in David's thread, what essentially got absorbed into the culture from the 60s was the idea that drugs were the key to "expanding your mind" when in fact it was Eastern philosophy, Jungian psychology, the foundations laid by the Beat poets and Avant Guard art and of course the war in Vietnam. All of these things collided and though drugs were a part of it they were't the only part and yet past generations have really looked past how holistic the 60s were. Meditation, spirituality, philosophy, enlightenment and seeing the world differently is where so many from that era ended up, with better lives, more happiness, more peace and understanding about the world, and yet popular culture just seems intent on linking the 60s to LSD as if it was the catalyst that revolutionized everything. I apologize for ranting but I've been studying on this era lately and it's just all the more frustrating to be in my position, to know there were all sorts of cases of mental collapse related to LSD and drugs back then and yet everyone just overlooked it and wrote it off and never seemed willing to admit that these drugs weren't all that safe. Did they expand people's minds? I know many people have felt that way, but they also ruined people's lives and nobody wanted to admit that fact. Long story short: If you truly want enlightenment you must obtain it through sobriety, through healthy living, through vulnerability, through volunteer work, through friendship, family, understanding history and artistic expression and everything else that makes being a human worthwhile. Hijacking your brain with chemicals for a few hours of increased dopamine isn't going to expand your mind. It might make you feel good, then again it also might get you HPPD. But living a sober, healthy lifestyle brings nothing but positives and can open you up to becoming an authentic, joyous human being in ways you never thought possible.
  23. I'm honestly convinced the Baby Boomer generation is the source of so many problems today. They were a huge reason for why Trump got elected. They harbor most of the racist beliefs in the U.S. They're materialistic. They aren't all that keen on science. And as you've alluded to, they don't seem particularly interested in admitting anything that came from the 60s was damaging when in fact that whole era ripped the U.S. apart. My dad is a perfect example. All he did was brag about how much drugs he did when he was young. I looked up to him so of course I tried to do the same. Look where I ended up. Also, as you've stated, there's such a strong inclination to disbelieve HPPD because by doing so they'd have to admit LSD isn't the miracle drug they all thought it was. My only questions is where neurology comes into all this. HPPD is so clearly a brain malfunction and needs study in that regard. I don't at all see HPPD as an emotional disorder with neurological side effects but rather quite the opposite. It's the visual distortions that precipitate the emotional struggles. It's so obvious based on the decades of this disorder existing and on my own experience that the standard mental health practitioner has absolutely no clue what this is or how to deal with it. I really feel like this is something that needs the attention of neurologists given our symptoms align so much more with those that brain specialists spend a lifetime analyzing.
  24. I don't consider myself old (I'm 29), but I honestly can't believe all the drugs kids are doing these days. They're all manufactured and have names that sounds like Star Wars robots. These just don't sound safe on a surface level. Who's making them? What's in them? Is there any organic compounds or is it all just chemicals mixed together? I never knew HPPD existed prior to getting it but if someone had approached me about trying some of these new-age designer drugs I would have suspected they weren't safe to begin with. I'm not at all trying to say this is your fault, so please don't take it that way. I feel bad for you just like I do anyone that gets HPPD. I just don't get why people are putting all these mystery drugs into their bodies these days. When I was growing up, which really wasn't that long ago, it was just weed, shrooms, acid and occasionally a painkiller or some cocaine here or there and that was it. I really worry about HPPD growing exponentially with all these new drugs out there...
  25. I think there's a cure, it's just a matter or where it exists and when it will be discovered. Who knows, it might already have been discovered. With how much emphasis there is on brain research these days I wouldn't be surprised if it's sooner than most expect. Some of the stories Stamets tells in the interview above are just mind blowing. He's talking about totally curing chronic stuttering, hearing loss and other brain disorders by even a single serving of psilocybin mushrooms. Obviously that doesn't seem like a great idea for us, but perhaps there's something to it. Again, I think a huge problem is that many of the drugs we've taken to end up with HPPD are extremely low quality and likely entirely removed from how they'd be found in the wild. I imagine the sorts of mushrooms Stamets takes are vastly different in makeup and effects.