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Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) Support Forum


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Everything posted by K.B.Fante

  1. K.B.Fante

    Amoxicillin. Antibiotics & HPPD. Help.

    I really want to thank those who've posted on this site and in this thread advising me to avoid Cipro. This is why it's important to keep a database like this on the Web. I instead elected to see a naturopathic doctor who prescribed me natural antifungals which are much safer than fluoroquinolones. For those contemplating which antibiotics are safe I'd recommend using the search bar at the top of this site to see what comes up.
  2. K.B.Fante

    Blank Stare

    Was gonna say the same thing. In an interview after Barrett had a psychotic break from hallucinogenic drugs one of his bandmates said he had a deep stare where he'd totally black out from reality and just sit there and not flinch while staring into the abyss. When I first got HPPD I had something similar, just not nearly to that degree. Even to this day 3.5 years later I can still catch myself staring from time to time, sorta transfixed on nothing in particular. It usually happens when there's some kind of substance in my body that triggers my symptoms worsening.
  3. K.B.Fante

    Psychedelics documentary

    Whoah, way to go Vice! I actually e-mailed Vice a while back talking about HPPD and I guess they listened. Can't wait for this to drop.
  4. K.B.Fante

    Amoxicillin. Antibiotics & HPPD. Help.

    I was just prescribed Ciprofloxacin for stomach problems but elected not to take it after seeing the stories posted on this forum. I think a lot depends on what type of antibiotic you're taking and how powerful the dose is. Cipro sounds like a nightmare whereas others seem to be OK. If I were you I'd type in some search words in the bar at the top right of this page and see what results you come up with.
  5. I don't know why but lately I've been running into all kinds of info on the benefits of mushrooms, then today I heard this podcast which kinda blew my mind: Additionally, I recently bought some mushroom tea on a trip into the desert and I've actually felt really good on it even though it has small amounts of caffeine due to the chocolate inside. Here's the link: http://mushroommama.com/mushroommama-chocolate-chaga-tea/ There are other mushroom teas you can buy from the same lady and judging by the one I bought I'd recommend trying some. I'm pretty sure most of the mushrooms in her teas have neurogenesis-promoting properties which might be why I've felt so good on them. Anyway, it's pretty clear mushrooms can have some insane brain health benefits so it would be wise to incorporate them into your diet in some way or another.
  6. K.B.Fante


    The best advice I can give would be to stay away from drugs. I know it will be hard going to school but you really don't want to make your HPPD any worse. Your symptoms don't appear to be too bad but if you continue drug use they'll likely worsen. If you feel you have to drink then just try and limit it to a beer or two when you're going out. Also, get in a good exercise routine, stay busy and eat healthy when possible. There's lots of great advice on this forum so if I were you I'd read through as many of the posts as you can.
  7. K.B.Fante

    new here: my story-- a month into HPPD from heavy MDMA + K usage

    Some people get this condition the first time they do psychedelics while some go years abusing drugs before HPPD symptoms appear. You're clearly a member of the latter group which means you're much more invested in the drug culture and will likely find it more difficult to abstain from future drug use, as you allude to above. You really have two choices at this point: Quit drugs and drastically increase the odds of recovering to your pre-HPPD state, or keep doing drugs and keep messing your brain and nervous system up even more. There is no middle ground with this condition. You cannot abstain from drugs most of the time then do acid or MDMA every three to six months, or even once per year for that matter. HPPD is the disassembly of some aspect of the nervous system and brain. Putting them back together takes years and years while tearing them apart takes only a single pill. You have to decide what matters most between your former life of drugs and partying or your future life of inner peace and happiness. Again, you won't be able to achieve both by continuing drugs. This is a decision you must figure out very soon. Most people here will tell you the same thing: Drugs aren't worth it. They are a temporary, hourly high; HPPD meanwhile is often for life. HPPD is a horrific condition that can get increasingly worse with further drug use to the point you wish you were never born. I hope I don't come off as rude but it's important to understand how your life is currently at a tipping point. Once you have HPPD you're already way in over your head. Any further movement in the wrong direction can leave you permanently compromised where as immediate abstinence can potentially save your life. I say "save your life" because this condition can make you suicidal. There are plenty of stories on this site documenting such tragedy. I hope you value your life and happiness more than your current lifestyle that will inevitably end soon enough. It's not too late to turn things around and start new, but if you continue down the path of drugs and partying it certainly will be. Good luck.
  8. K.B.Fante

    Almost 9 months..

    Many here have similar stories and have walked similar paths. Aside from the day-to-day grind of trying to ignore dark thoughts and cope with a broken brain -- which is really putting in lightly -- it's painful to watch the years accumulate and see life pass you by, constantly wondering how different things could have been had you only not taken that one drug on that one occasion. I'm turning 30 soon. When I got HPPD I was 26 and on top of the world. This experience has altered me in ways I never even dreamed possible. I am and always will be a totally different person. But in the end I'm also a better person for having endured this condition. It's a disease I wouldn't wish on anybody in the history of the world. Instead of caving try and take this opportunity as a challenge to become a better person. Yes, you're 40. But 40 is also still fairly young. Most people have midlife crises around this age anyhow. Perhaps your is just a bit more intense. As Jay and many of the veterans have pointed out, this is a horrendous condition but one that still permits a quality and worthwhile life if you take care of your health from this point onward. Life is truly the greatest gift imaginable, even if tainted by constant pain. If you now concentrate on your health, eat real food, exercise rigorously, find inner peace, exercise your demons and work on becoming a better person each day you will find purpose, and once you find purpose you will begin to see life in a new light.
  9. K.B.Fante

    A visit to the neurologist

  10. Just thought I'd post to let everyone know I've had some good success with weight training recently. I've never been into weights because I always liked the feeling of aerobic exercise and have always thought it was the best form of exercise given the links to BDNF, but I've recently been listening to a lot of weight training podcasts and the links between regenerative health and muscle mass is pretty convincing. For anyone interested I'd recommend listening to The Genius Life podcast with Sal Di Stefano which you can find here (second one down): https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/19-how-to-lose-weight-and-get-in-shape-sal-di-stefano/id1379050662?i=1000416587585&mt=2 Anyway, I've been hitting the gym pretty intense for the last few weeks and I have to say I've noticed a difference with my HPPD. I'm pretty aware of which direction I'm going after 40 months of dealing with this and I've really noticed my eyes feel more agile already. Obviously incorporating other forms of exercise like swimming, yoga, running, rock climbing, sports, etc., will give you the most benefits, but I have to say, I think I'm a convert to the weight training world.
  11. K.B.Fante

    A visit to the neurologist

    Doctors have a long history of denying diseases they don't understand or haven't learned about in medical school. For a long time people with MS were told it was all in their heads. Same with even common diseases like cancer. I went to a doctor a few months ago and had an entire list of symptoms I've been having and he basically told me I was depressed and tried to prescribe me an antidepressant. He didn't even try to understand what I was going through. He didn't even listen. And unfortunately he's more the rule, not the exception. As for damage to the optical nerve, I might tend to agree with him on that at least being a possibility. It would make a ton of sense. Also there was a study out of China last year that proved LSD can cause necrosis if I remember right.
  12. K.B.Fante

    Bacopa Brahmi ?

    I thought bacopa made me feel pretty good, if I remember correctly. It was one of the few things I tried that I thought helped and didn't worsen symptoms. I used to take it every day but in small doses. From my experience almost anything can worsen symptoms in large quantities, even stuff that's really good for you. The key to any HPPD treatment is to take it easy and not overload the brain with too much of anything.
  13. This is one of those fads that I have a feeling we'll look back on in a few years and wonder what the hell we were thinking. The reason a lot of people get benefits from this sort of a diet is because for once they're eliminating all the toxic crap they put into their body on a daily basis. You could eat just kale or just oranges and probably get the same sort of results simply because you're no longer ingesting all the hormones and chemicals that are put into our food supply. Don't get me wrong, meat is incredibly nutritious and has all sorts of benefits -- especially for the brain -- but eliminating fresh fruits and veggies is absurd given those foods have absolutely zero negative impact on the body and can only provide more nutrition that our bodies crave to function properly.
  14. K.B.Fante

    Year 3

    I got HPPD three years ago now. I've made many posts here during that span and have tried to make a post every year around my anniversary. I'm a little late on this one but I actually take that as a good sign. It means I'm not as obsessed with my condition and therefore am getting better. I guess I've already said everything I need to in other posts. I can't really summarize everything that's happened to me over the last three years without writing a book. There's just so much that's happened ever since getting HPPD. I've had all kinds of additional health problems since and am currently in the process of dealing with another health issue that's really taken a great toll on my life. It's just crazy looking back now after three years. I'm not even the same person. I've learned so much about myself, my family, my health history, the world, life, everything. It's crazy to say but this whole experience has absolutely made me a more complete person. I really think my brain had faulty wiring from an early age and that, as painful as this experience has been (I wouldn't wish it on anybody in the history of the world), it was necessary for me to finally face my past and overcome demons that had haunted me silently since the day I was born. I still have many visual problems but they're very manageable now and don't really interfere with my daily routine, which is absolutely remarkable to say -- just absolutely astonishing considering how bad my HPPD and DP were even a few years ago. I truly had a terrible case of HPPD. My brain just totally crapped out. The amount of pain I've had to deal with every day for the last three years is nothing short of inhumane and mind blowing, to be quite honest. So the fact I'm able to cope with HPPD after all this is truly astonishing. It just goes to show that this condition is something you can heal from, although it takes more work than you could have ever imagined. If you want to get better you have to eat real food, exercise every day, do as many healthy habits as you can fit into your day, and most importantly you have to never give in or never give up. If I had a dollar for every time I thought of killing myself over the last three years I'd be a very wealthy man. But I never did. And look where I'm at now. I'm so happy to be alive and I feel like I'm seeing the world through a totally different set of eyes and a brain that very few people on this planet would understand. Life is so beautiful, and it's only that way because of what I've been through. Anyway, I imagine I've got another two or three years before I can say I'm totally healed, and I honestly may never be quite 100 percent again, but I'm OK with that. I'm just so grateful to even be alive at this point, I'll take anything I can get. If anybody has questions I can try and answer below. I think I have a pretty good idea of what HPPD is and how to cope and heal, but of course I'm no doctor and neither is anybody here. But I do think it's important to keep this community alive and pass on knowledge so others may benefit. As long as you stay away from drugs, eat healthy, exercise, remain mindful day in and day out, I think you'll give yourself a great shot at recovery.
  15. Curious if anybody's heard some of Michael Pollan's interviews for his new book on psychedelics, and if so what your opinion is. Here's a good interview he did for Fresh Air: https://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-air/2018/05/15/611301978/fresh-air-for-may-15-2018-michael-pollan-on-the-new-science-of-psychedelics?showDate=2018-05-15 I've long subscribed to the glutamate toxicity theory as has been mentioned above, however I've always remained open to other ideas if they made sense. The only thing I feel pretty comfortable saying is that HPPD is the result of axon damage or death to some degree across multiple areas of the brain, likely in the limbic system and likely in connection with the parasympathetic or sympathetic nervous system. I think which nervous system is damaged depends on how the damage occurred, however. For example, excitotoxicity would likely affect the sympathetic given fight or flight is stimulatory while a stroke of some kind would be parasympathetic. One thing I find interesting in listening to Pollan's interviews is his repeated mentioning of the Default Mode Network (DMN) and how during psychedelic trips it basically goes offline. Depersonalization symptoms are essentially the result of a malfunctioning or nonexistant DMN and given the connection between DP and HPPD it's not too far of a jump to suggest HPPD is the result of a damaged DMN or simply one that never reboots due to lost connections or damaged axons. Many parts of the brain are connected through lengthy axons and I'm wondering if during the downregulation of the DMN when bloodflow decreases some of these axons are damaged via stroke of some kind. Also, with regards to glutamate, one of the biggest triggers for excess glutamate inside the brain is inflammation. If you eat a diet high in bread (wheat being the most inflammatory food known to man), oils and other inflammatory foods (essentially the standard American and Westernized diets) then your chances of having some sort of autoimmunity sky rocket. I also don't think we should entirely rule out the hypothesis that HPPD could be the result of our brains attacking our own brains after the ingestion of drugs which could very well mimic invaders our brains are already used to attacking.
  16. A few weeks back I made a post about nightshades worsening or at least aggravating my HPPD symptoms, which you can find here: http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/5431-nightshades/ Interestingly enough, after eliminating nightshades for the past few weeks I've felt much better, however yesterday after eating lunch I noticed my symptoms became aggravated in the same way when I consume nightshades, caffeine and other stimulants. When I analyzed what I ate that was different from previous days I realized it was granola I'd recently purchased with a large amount of nuts, but especially sesame seeds which are high in glutamate. In recent months the subject of glutamate has come up in multiple different posts, some of which you can read below: http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/5399-glutamate-and-some-theory-about-visual-snow/#comment-34148 http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/5337-possible-relation-in-paws-and-hppd/#comment-33768 http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/5371-negative-reaction-to-caffeine/#comment-33951 http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/5336-old-article-about-the-brain-and-lsd/#comment-34024 In addition, several months ago while browsing the Web I came across an interesting connection between glutamate and Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), which has some overlapping similarities to HPPD. In fact, a user of this site recently complained of symptoms that align with RLS: http://hppdonline.com/index.php?/topic/5450-hppd-from-weed-alone-rare-experience/#comment-34486 RLS is often treated with drugs that have had similar success in alleviating symptoms of those in the HPPD community, primarily benzodiazepines, dopaminergic agents and opioids. But like HPPD these are no cure for RLS. Also similar to HPPD is the high correlation between emotional stress (especially anxiety) and RLS, as well as certain stimulating agents such as alcohol, caffeine and SSRIs which have a track record of exacerbating RLS symptoms. In recent years RLS has been linked to chromic inflammation, and like many ailments in Western society it appears most of this can be traced back to poor diet. Not surprisingly after drastically altering their diets to eliminate excess added sugar, alcohol, refined carbs, caffeine, dairy, red meat, chicken, potatoes, excess salt, gluten and other glutamate-rich foods many people with RLS have entirely reversed their condition as their bodies have become less inflamed over time. High levels of glutamate are toxic to the brain and are linked to other neurological issues such as migraines (which have an even stronger connection to HPPD and Visual Snow Syndrome), ADHD, obsessive thinking and racing thoughts, Huntington's Disease as well as autism. Foods high in glutamate: Wheat Dairy (including cheese, yogurt, etc.) Eggs Tomatoes Broccoli Nuts and seeds (especially walnuts and sesame seeds) Mushrooms Potatoes Monosodium Glutamate (also known as MSG, often found in asian dishes) Beef Broths Gelatin Hydrolyzed anything Peas Malted anything "Natural Flavors" Soy Anything fermented Molasses Canned foods Pretty much anything in store-bought sauces and cannes such as salad dressings, catsup, BBQ sauce, etc. Here is a more detailed list of foods containing glutamate: http://www.dramyyasko.com/wp-content/files_flutter/1279663001Neuroprovokers8.pdf For those looking to ease HPPD symptoms perhaps a diet low in excess gluten and other glutamate-rich foods, in addition to the many neuro-inflammatory items listed above, is a good place to start.
  17. 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/
  18. K.B.Fante


    Bit more of an update: So after my gluten binge I've tried to cut back but I haven't entirely eliminated it from my diet. I've gone a handful of days here or there without it, then maybe a couple with it, and I've noticed I still get symptoms even after eliminating gluten for a good five days from my diet. So basically there's some form of a buildup inside my body that can only be diminished or completely destroyed by eliminating gluten for vast periods of time, likely weeks or months on end. The worst offenders are without question gooey, sticky breads in large doses (think donuts, processed sandwich breads, etc.), as I've noticed immediate and lasting negative effects when I eat these as opposed to a small cookie or some broccoli (which has high glutamate for a vegetable) for example. What I find so interesting about this is how all these internal symptoms that I saw completely disappear after eliminating gluten for a couple years have suddenly re-appeared. I mentioned them above but one of the others that I've noticed is my tinnitus has returned as well, which I haven't had in over a year. The other mental symptoms, which I can only describe as feeling almost schizophrenic (racing and overactive thoughts, loudness inside my head, etc.), have also returned and I haven't had these for over two years at least. The most important aspect of all this is that when I have eaten tons of gluten and really overdosed I sorta get the same feeling I did as when my trip went south and I felt my brain go to a really dark place which I'm convinced is what gave my HPPD. One of the things about the acid I took that day was that I felt my brain heating up to a point where I almost couldn't handle it. Other hallucinogens I'd taken always made me feel good and relatively calm, but this drug -- whatever it was -- sorta did the opposite and made me feel anxious and caused my mind to race like crazy and given the hyperactive relationship to how I feel when eating too much gluten to the day I got HPPD I'm kinda convinced that excitotoxicity is the culprit here. I mean, here I am three years removed from the trip that gave me HPPD and yet when I consume too many hyperactive glutamate-containing substances I feel exactly the same as I did that day, only at a much, much lower level obviously. I also remember how these similar symptoms were really prevalent in the first few days and weeks right after I got HPPD -- I honestly felt like I'd contracted schizophrenia -- but how they completely went away in time and especially after changing my diet. Point is there is absolutely a connection with the same feelings I had when I initially got HPPD and the feelings I have now, three years later, when introducing large amounts of glutamate into my diet. I also have lots of inflammation inside my body due to additional health problems I'm having which contributes to glutamate excitotoxicity. Here is a great summary of that connection in case anybody is interested: http://www.rlcure.com/glutamate.html I know not as many people here are interested in finding out the source of HPPD but after digging into this for years and reading all kinds of studies and reports and of course all the valuable information on this site and doing constant trial and error in my own life with foods, drugs, supplements, etc., I'm at this point convinced that HPPD has some sort of connection to excitotoxicity and cell death. We of course don't have solid scientific evidence but the number of correlations that exist are just absolutely overwhelming at this point.
  19. K.B.Fante

    Should I get an MRI?

    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.
  20. 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.
  21. I've posted about autoimmunity before but didn't get too much in terms of responses. There's a good number of people here who have them, including myself, so it wouldn't surprise me at all if there was a connection, especially considering how many people have anxiety which is essentially the emotional version of autoimmunity. If your brain and body are constantly looking for invaders and then actually find them it makes sense they're so prepared to fight that they actually cause damage to themselves in the process.
  22. K.B.Fante


    Just an update on this: Due to some health issues I've had recently I've been somewhat required to eat gluten again in large amounts for the first time in about two years. I'm talking three times or more daily, with the vast majority of my calories coming from gluten products, mostly breads. It's interesting because at first I actually felt better than before (likely due to the fact my body can't handle a lot of the other healthier foods I normally eat and the fact breads are infused with B-vitamins which always seem to help), but after about two weeks I noticed I my health started to deteriorate like crazy. My body just started to feel clogged and lethargic, especially my eyes, but the biggest issue I've had has been mentally. My depersonalization symptoms have shot through the roof (visual symptoms not so much, however). I just feel completely mentally unstable, like the volume has been turned up to 10 inside my head, I feel anxious and on edge, almost schizophrenic, highly sensitive, and just like I'm stuck inside my brain rather than my body. It's crazy because I've eaten TONS of gluten in the last few weeks and as I said, at first I didn't noticed a difference, but as time went on it seems the accumulation of glutamate began to take it's toll. This same sort of pattern has occurred with other foods in my diet including nutmeg, nightshades and caffeine. I've posted about them here, but I find it interesting I can now add glutamate to the mix. All of these substances share a common bond in that they're essentially hyperactive drugs when taken in large amounts. I know there's a study (at least one that I know of) where gluten was removed from the diet of schizophrenics and many showed tremendous improvements to their condition. I also know there's a lot of cases where people from third-world countries without much access to gluten are suddenly introduced to the Western diet in the U.S. and elsewhere and immediately develop mental instability and in some cases have to be hospitalized. Anyway, this is just another in the growing list of foods that I would recommend people limit for the benefit of HPPD. It's not that you can't enjoy some pizza or bread or baked goods every now and then, but clearly if you make these foods a foundational pillar of your diet you're probably not giving yourself any chance at healing or even coping with HPPD.
  23. I've experimented with fasting quite a bit as well as keto which has the same effects. Fasting too long and eating keto can be dangerous for some people with additional health conditions so you really have to study up and make sure you're doing it properly. (For example, don't eat tons of protein just because your going keto and don't crash your blood sugar by eating candy and ice cream once you break your fast.) That said, I've noticed a definite improvement in my symptoms when doing these. You just feel lighter, like your brain is finally running on the type of fuel it needs. The problem is you have to do these for long periods of time to really feel the benefits and it's tough, especially going keto. As long as you eat healthy whole foods, limit your carb intake and do intermittent fasts for 12-18 hours per day I think you'll see mostly the same benefits as going all out with keto or multi-day fasts. Again, the key is doing a little every day rather than a lot a few days a week. To heal HPPD takes a completely lifestyle change, not a magic bullet.
  24. 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."
  25. 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/

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