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Everything posted by MadDoc

  1. I think quitting smoking is one of the most difficult things I've ever done. I lost my mind for a month. I have a friend who quit smoking crack ten years ago, but can't quit smoking. Congratulations!
  2. Keeping busy helped me. Focus, be it a hobby, work, reading, meditation (now, you knew I'd throw that in there), or whatever. Keep the mind focused and never stop learning. You're a painter! What a wonderful creative outlet! I took psychedelics basically non-stop for over 6 years. At times, I dosed for weeks at a time. The first year after I stopped was difficult. I started dosing as a kid just shy of my 14th birthday. It took time to relearn how to be a normal enough to functon in society. Stay clean and you should start to readjust. I also felt a deep depression when I quit. Part of that was due to the fact that I could never go back to psychedelics. It had been my constant companion for a long time. I missed that psychedelic "place". Don't make the mistake I did by drinking too much. I spent the better part of my 20s drinking. I was functional and accomplished a lot, but drinking delayed dealing with a lot of issues. I'm approaching 60 and still have visuals (open eyed only) but life is wonderful and I'm happy. Keep fighting, never give up!
  3. I've always felt like an alien mistakenly dropped on this planet. The way I think is just different. I make associations between things that seemingly have nothing to do with one another. People find it weird. I'm pretty sure all the psychedelics I snarfed down had something to do with it. Perhaps it's because I'm getting older, but I no longer care what people think. That being said, it's far more difficult when family doesn't understand. We depend on our family members for support, acceptance, and love. I'm lucky I guess. My parents and siblings are now very accepting of my weirdness. However, that wasn't always the case. Hang in there and take care of yourself. Sure, I'd love to hear your music.
  4. After I quit dosing, I had problems with anxiety and depression through most of my 20s. I self medicated with alcohol and I became something of a workaholic just to keep my mind occupied. When I was busy, I felt ok, when I was drinking, I didn't care, but I could never feel centered. My depression and anxiety went hand in hand. My brain was constantly full of negative chatter that would never shut up. It made me feel worthless no matter what I accomplished. I also constantly put myself down for being such a "burn out" because of the cronic visual hallucinations and CEVs. The anxiety/depression got better once I stopped drinking (I was around 30), my meditation practice (here I go again) finally shut up the negative mental dialogue, and I started jogging around the same time which also helped. I still get the winter blues when the days get short, but it usually doesn't stick around for long. These days, everything just rolls off like I'm coated with Teflon. Part of getting older I guess. That's how I remember it. My 20s were a long time ago.
  5. If anyone has read any interesting, entertaining, mind bending, etc. books, let us know. Thanks!
  6. Welcome. First off, look through the posts under the various topics. There are some bright people who post here. Lots of good advice. Then there's me, who offers repetitive advice (: The only symptom I still have are (eyes open) visuals. What works best for me is staying focused. Work, hobbies, reading, cleaning the house, anything to keep my mind focused. As soon as I lose focus and I stare at anything the visuals start. For anxiety I meditate daily. I've been doing the practice for decades and it really helps. I also can't smoke weed. Makes my visuals intolerable and, for me, it makes me feel awful. As for eye pain, have you seen a doctor? As I said, I have visuals, but have never had any eye pain. I hope that helped, even if just a smidgen.
  7. I've heard from a lot of people who used to smoke weed who can't use it anymore. These are people who don't don't have hppd. I don't know if my sensitivity to weed was just a natural progression that seems to happen to others or if was caused by all the psychedelics I consumed. I know it happened quite suddenly. I was smoking all day every day, then one day I just couldn't. I quit dosing shortly after weed quit me.
  8. I think sobriety is key to making progress. That's the path I took anyway. I drank off and on for the first ten years after I quit dosing. I didn't start to feel pulled together until I quit drinkin'. Weed is impossible in my case. It makes my symptoms skyrocket and I get what can be best described as alien visual thinking. Strange because I used to get weed by the 1/4 pound just for personal use.
  9. I'm no expert on hppd. I can only speak from my own experience. For me, hppd is most definitely NOT a degenerative disease. In my case many of my symptoms eventually dissapeared. Anxiety dissapeared first, CEVs were the next to vanish. I'm not sure if I ever had a severe case of DR/DP. I think I did to some extent but I also think it was less severe than what others are dealing with. I felt like I was on a low dose (sometimes not so low) of acid 24/7. That feeling is either long gone or I'm so used to it I no longer notice. As for hope, there's plenty. There's nothing special about me. I got an advanced degree, got married (still married after 37 years), raised two wondeful kids, and have a happy life. I hope I didn't sound like a pompous jerk saying that. I'm just trying to communicate that even with HPPD, you can follow your dreams and live a happy life. I've had this disorder for a long time and still have significant visuals. However, life is wonderful and I'm happy to wake up each morning to be able to live another day. That may sound ridiculous, but I'm a ridiculous human and that's how I feel. Anyone who has read my posts knows I basically say the same thing over and over. I want anyone who suffers from this disorder to have hope. Never give up. Hang in there, and take care.
  10. My visuals never went away. However. They're really the only symptom I still have. Well, not exactly. Sometimes, usually after exercising, I get those moments where I stare at the floor, the visuals start, and the space (mental and physical) sort of bends. During these brief moments, I feel totally detatched. Fortunately, I can just snap myself out of it. The remnants of DP/DR I guess. Understand that my visuals are probably permanent because I dosed so often for years. Yours may fade if you stay clean. As for medication, I've never taken any so I can't comment on that. Hang in there and take care.
  11. "Deliver Us" by Christopher Robinson and Gavin Kovite. An American tale for sure. I really enjoyed reading this book. Excellent writing but not overly heavy duty.
  12. These spheres perched on our shoulders are our reality interpretation devices. They're a biochemical unit that somehow allows us interpret reality well enough to survive. For some reason they're amazingly overbuilt. Technology changes fast, information comes in at a flood, and we still manage. What I found so fascinating about psychedelics was I could look into my own mind and examine what made me, "me". Mental spelunking for lack of a better term. Granted, what I interpreted in that state was not reality. The point is that my brain allowed this. Is it just a flaw in the software, or is there a biological imperative for having this functionality? Some have referred to this as "crawling up one's own ass" and perhaps they're right. Because we are human, we are flawed. This includes our interpretation of reality. People who have never used drugs experience things that simply don't exist in a physical context. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that long term psychedelic use burned in this kind of response in my case. As I used to say years ago, reality is up for grabs. Thank you for enduring my babble. Oliver Sacks was an excellent writer and a great mind.
  13. The problem is, I don't think I'd know "normal" if I experienced it.
  14. I've seen some threads on this forum decompose into insults and shouting matches. We all have opinions, perspectives, experiences, and information we've obtained from various sources. If someone posts something you don't agree with, pisses you off, or seems like misinformation, please reply in a constructive and courteous manner. Before you post, think about what you might say if you were talking to the person face to face, and don't forget to be kind. We're all struggling with a difficult disorder. Remember, we all have the goal of being well. Let's help each other get there. Thank you.
  15. This also sounds like depression. Sometimes depression can make you hyper aware of your emotions as the brains bombards you with negative messages. Another symptom of depression can be a feeling of being emotionally numb. I guess depression and DP/DR are like circles that intersect. Depression is pretty common in people who have recently given up drugs and/or alcohol. It takes a while for the brain to feel good in an unaltered state. I'm no expert on any of these disorders but, like most humans, I've gone a few rounds with depression. It's a tough opponent.
  16. I took Coq10 for a number of years. My doctor thought it was a good idea mostly because I refused to take prescription medications for moderate BP issues due to job stress. It didn't help my visuals get any better, but it didn't make them worse. I can't remember the dosage. I don't take Coq10 anymore because meditation leveled my stress out (of course I had to throw in a plug for meditation). I hope it works out though. Just because it didn't reduce my symptoms, doesn't mean it won't work for you. We're all different.
  17. I never really had a bad trip. The closest thing to a bad experience was when I was dosed with some rather nasty acid. However, once I realized what had happened, things went ok. For me, I think it was taking too much for too many years rather than a single event. I did have periodic visuals after my first dose but I think the repeated dosing is what cemented my symptoms. When I stopped dosing, I think my anxiety was in part caused by reentering society after spending so many years in a psychedelic bubble. No trama, no horror show, simply brain rewiring. That's me, we're all different.
  18. Hello. So, you only took MDMA that one time? Do you have a history of taking psychedelics? If that's the only time you dosed, then that's good news. Some of your symptoms sound hppd like and some of them sound like normal visual imperfections (star like shape when looking at lights). You may just be noticing the after effects of your chemical experience which should resolve fairly quickly. I would stop taking psychoactive drugs including cannabis for a while, several months at least, six would be better. After being clean for a while, see how you're doing. Try to keep focused and don't spend lots of time examining each possible symptom. Of course, the best way to avoid hppd or to keep it from getting worse is to avoid chemical entertainment altogether. Please understand that I have no medical training and I'm not an expert on this disorder. I'm just an old guy who's had it for a long time. Take care.
  19. I first dosed shortly before my 14th birthday. I've also wondered if dosing so young might contribute to getting this disorder. The thing is, the "kids" I dosed with didn't seem to contract hppd. I believe they see the world through a stranger lense than most even as adults, but no hppd. Granted, the "people i dosed with" is rather a small sample size and not statistically relevant. I did have one friend who became very depressed and checked out early. I'll never know if dosing/hppd contributed to her depression or prompted her early departure. I'm just happy to be here today.
  20. I don't see through your eyes, but floaters can be perfectly normal. If they increase over a short period of time it might be a good idea to get your eyes checked. You may just be noticing them simply because you're looking for symptoms. Drug sensitivity seems to be very common especially when it comes to cannabis. I used to smoke all day, every day. It made me feel normal. Very suddenly it made me feel tense and even a tiny amount would make me feel uncomfortable for hours. It also made my visuals intolerable. It might be a good idea to stop taking psychoactive substances to see if your symptoms persist. Understand that hppd can be far worse than what you're currently experiencing. Some of us are prone to getting hppd, other aren't. If you're symptoms don't go away, you may be in the unlucky minority. Regarding Ayahuasca, I never tried it but I smoked my share of DMT. I recall that it would shake the foundations of reality. I don't know for certain if it contributed to my hppd symptoms but it certainly didn't help. Please understand that I'm not trying to give some anti-drug lecture. You posted in this forum so I assume you have some level of concern. Drugs cause hppd, so to avoid it, avoid drugs. Take care of yourself and thank you for "listening".
  21. I'll echo what others have written. Stay away from psychoactive substances. Give your mind and body time to level out. You don't say how long it's been since your last dose, but understand, it can take a while to find clarity. Try to focus on something, anything, that can get you up and moving and try to stay focused. Also, don't be too hard on yourself. Most of the people I dosed with ages ago report no signs of this disorder. We're just unlucky, we're not bad people. Take care of yourself.
  22. There's no question, it does get better. Never underestimate your ability to heal and to adapt. Life is weird, all we can do is the best we can do.
  23. It's not a matter of thinking that visuals are dangerous, they're not. However, they can be very distracting. If I look at a carpet in a room, slight color and texture variations immediately assemble into shapes. If I keep staring, these shapes get more and more complex and start to move. Colors will often start to appear in the shapes. If I look away it vanishes, but if I look back it starts all over again. It's distracting! They cause no harm but it isn't an easy thing to live with. The best thing I've found is to not pay attention to the hallucinations. Stay focused, stay on task. For what it's worth.
  24. I've had visuals for decades. It can be very difficult. I've found that staying focused really helps. Work, school, hobbies, reading, learning to do hand stands, anything to keep you mind focused on the task. I find that meditation (here I go again) helps with mental focus. It's really just mental focus training when you get right down to it. Being able to read was the hardest part for me. All sorts of shapes would form between the words and would move around. I no longer get visuals when I read. I have no idea why. Mental focus perhaps. Hope that helps.
  25. Back in the early 70s it was referred to simply as "burnout". Most recovered from burnout, some didn't. Strangely enough, out of all the people I knew who used acid heavily for a long time, I was the only one who reported hallucinations that never went away. Go figure. Then again, a friend of mine who just seemed burned out became dysfunctional and passed away quite young. I suspect he had hppd symptoms.