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Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) Support Forum

jbalsa2

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Everything posted by jbalsa2

  1. Hey guys, just wanted to start this thread as I've started taking a generic form of levetiracetam (keppra) just over a month ago. We started dosing at 250mg twice daily, then moved up to 500mg twice daily, and are now at 750mg taken BID, once at 8 am and once at 8 pm. I should note that with my hppd I experienced quite allot of effects that would be considered schizzoaffective; unusual and uncontrollable thoughts which I had no ability to regulate, involuntary body and eye movements etc. I've been through the ringer with different meds that I've been on in the past, ultimately it took allot of convincing for my psychiatrist to finally be willing to let me try levetiracetam. However after showing him the case study that was done on keppra, he was willing to let me give it a go. The first month that I was on it, I initially felt an increase in psychotic symptoms, and irritability etc. However about 3 weeks in, and after my dosage increase to 1000 mg these symptoms began to stabilize, and I started getting used to the medication. Now we are about a month and a week into treatment, and are at 1500 mg a day. I no longer have uncontrollable schizzoaffective symptoms, and am now pretty much in complete control of my thoughts. Depersonalization and derealization have improved by 70-80%, and visual symptoms are improved by an easy 50%. I sometimes supplement with either Klonopin, alprazolam, or zopiclone, however this is never done at a frequency of more than once or twice per week. Moreover I've completely ceased the use of any other drugs or medications, sticking to a clean regimen of strictly levetiracetam and minor spaced out use of benzos. Il keep this thread updated, fingers crossed that my symptoms continue to improve over the course of the next year, as they have been steadily 😊 Don't give up guys, my life has become easily livable with the regimen that im on now, which is something I could not say about the last 2 years of my life that I've been affected by hppd.
  2. jbalsa2

    jbalsa2's keppra thread

    It is; in the 2 and a half years that I've had hppd, I've never stayed on any one drug for longer than a couple of weeks, besides benzodiazepines. My luck would have it that lamotrigine gave me extremely crippling cerebellar ataxia. I've been on keppra for roughly 2 months now, and it seems to keep me on the good side of symptoms and keeps my psychological drive to keep going up, whereas before I'd always be depressed and resort to using benzos, opiates, or just generally not having a want to keep on living. Now if only I could deal with my spasticity/involuntary psychologically concurrent muscle movement disorder - I think I'd have a pat down foundation built for being able to live a happy and consistent life, without having to worry much about how or when my hppd and other symptoms will stop me from being able to live and have a positive outlook on my future.
  3. jbalsa2

    Baclofen?

    Hey guys, question for those of you that know... I've been taking brand name Keppra for a couple of months now, and it's been working great at helping my neurocognitive state. One thing I've always experienced with my hppd has been muscle spasticity, involuntary body movements and muscle contractions and such - which has been psychosomatic (ie; caused by my brain, and is an active player in my thought/conciousness in causing my muscle movements, if that makes sense) These spasms were drastically reduced by taking benzodiazepines. Im just wondering if anyone has any experience using baclofen? Seeing that it is a GABA agonist that could be taken long term. My thinking, is that keppra gives me neurogenic improvement, while leaving body symptoms untouched. Maybe I could combine baclofen with keppra to give my muscle spasticity and shakes a rest, while also preserving my mental/visual improvement. Any info or experiences are appreciated! Thanks Jason
  4. jbalsa2

    Baclofen?

    Hmm... That's an interesting experience. I see some potential plus sides, and also some serious downsides. Im going to consider all of that, and bring it up with my doctor. If he decides it would be a good med il go through treatment acknowledging that. I was born severely premature, and almost died shortly after birth, I was put on many different meds to keep me alive, including steroids to aid in my premature growth. Spent 8 months in the hospital post-birth. Then to top that off, I fractured my skull when I was 3 years old. For the longest time I thought that my newly developed muscle jerking and psychosomatic involuntary body movements caused by improper communication between thoughts and my body/muscles were caused by the onset of hppd. But it's only after seeing as much neurological improvement on keppra that I've noticed my spasticity hasn't improved at all. I could be wrong, but I have an inkling of fear that some of these symptoms may be rebound effects that have only just started to appear from my trouble and trauma in my early years. For me medication might be my only aid. On the up side, I can't see baclofen being too intensely damaging if I do a short term trial on it to see how it effects my symptomology before committing to taking it long term. My situation is fucking crappy. Hppd alone is one thing, but finding out that I face neurodegenerative like symptoms from early childhood complications and trauma that are now synchronous with my hppd... Fuck me. I've been diagnosed as having borderline personality disorder, which im almost positive is derivative from my premature birth/TBI. Did you notice any similarity in muscle relaxant/calming symptoms between baclofen and any forms of benzos?
  5. Hey guys, Used to take LSD lots a couple of years back, but never noticed any recurring symptoms until last year when I did LSD 2 or 3 times. Went to bed after the last trip and woke up the next day with HPPD that has stuck ever since. Over the past year I think I've noticed perhaps a 10% improvement in my symptoms. Anyways my question to you guys is how many of you guys have fully recovered from HPPD to the point where all of your visual symptoms have gone away? My symptoms are manageable during the day, but its after I get tired in the evening and when I close my eyes to go to sleep that my symptoms come into play. (IE; when I get tired I start to 'feel' the HPPD in my body, and the static becomes difficult to stop focusing on when I close my eyes to sleep) Thanks for the replies guys, it really means allot to me to be able to hear of other people who have fully recovered and given a time frame on that as it allows me to plan and base my recovery off of.
  6. I didn't have ant bad trips either. My LSD trip that led up to my hppd was a great one, it was just when I woke up the next morning that I realized I had developed hppd. Although bad trips and trauma may play into it a little; I don't think having a bad trip is a solid prerequisite for developing hppd. Benzos are bad because the moment you get used to them, or even start to enjoy the feeling of being on them, it'll make it really difficult to cope without having them. And as just about anyone on this forum will tell you, it only makes things worse in the long run. I have had several run ins with benzo use over the past couple of years, and am finally happy to say I have ceased using them - except for the odd time every month or two. I have not tried acupuncture, but my best guess is that perhaps it can provide some external relief to physical symptoms that you are experiencing - where as hppd is a neurological disorder. So its doubtful it will do much to help your mental side effects. Find what works for you 😊
  7. Remember - if you do decide on medication - don't let a psychiatrist push antipsychotics on you, they don't actually do anything to help cure your hppd. The only two medications I would recommend that you try (If, of course you do try anything) are keppra and lamotrigine. Don't use benzos unless your use of them is super intermittent - ie; once, twice a week. I like to look at it like this; remember when you were tripping, and at some points in the trip you felt like it would never end? And then of course - several hours later, you finally moved into a different state of the trip, and then several hours after that you finally felt 'normal' again? I look at hppd as much like the same thing. You think it will never end, but the more you think about the fact that its still there the more you will get sucked into that panicked mind state. It takes time to progress, but it does progress, in the same way that your trip progressed while you were tripping. The nice thing about meds such as lamotrigine or keppra, in my experience so far, is that they can help your mind state along the way - allowing you to think about other things and not get so distracted by your hppd, which i believe accomplishes two things. One, distracting you from your hppd which eases the process of passing time, and two; by helping your brain to become neurologically distracted from your hppd; which I believe may aid some of your neurology to recover better on its own naturally, by aiding the process of neuroplasticity in the sense that you are actually causing 'less' of your brain to have hppd. If that makes sense. Good luck!
  8. Hmm. Interesting. I've had mine for 2 years now. LSD induced. I did LSD numerous times prior to developing full on hppd, and also continued poly-drug use well into my hppd. Although I've quit nearly all drug use completely. My advice to you - hppd induced by a single trip of shrooms shouldn't be too bad to kick. I would recommend keppra as it reduces symptoms of depersonalization and some visuals, but im hesitant to recommend it as im not sure what the differences are between LSD induced hppd and psilocybin induced hppd. Give it a year or two. And if by that point you still have hppd, perhaps give keppra a try. I can't see it hurting in too many ways.
  9. To you as well. If you don't mind my asking, Gabriel, how long have you had your hppd? Is it LSD induced?
  10. Hey Gabriel. Much better than I was a year ago. Actually a couple of months ago I started taking brand name Keppra, improvement is marked and cumulative. Schizzoaffective symptoms I was talking about a year ago now are pretty much completely gone. My visuals are improving, and I don't really have much to say about DP/DR anymore. I can't imagine my hppd having really any noticeable effects on my a year or two from now, if only mild visual snow.
  11. jbalsa2

    jbalsa2's keppra thread

    Reacting allot better to name brand today - none of the tiredness that I got yesterday. Can confirm name brand keppra is significantly better for symptoms than generic. Still getting a little bit used to the adjustment from generic to name brand.
  12. jbalsa2

    jbalsa2's keppra thread

    Well then. Have to make this note for anyone whose interested in trying either generic levetiracetam or keppra. For me, there is a tremendous difference between the generic brand of keppra that I used (manufactured by Aurobindo) and the UCB name brand keppra. Generic - Made me feel really stimulated and restless, always had to be moving around allot and never felt tired on it. Name Brand - Only been on it for 2 and a half days, but the name brand version has carried none of the stimulation that the generic has, and has actually made me extremely tired, to the point where I feel the need to nap mid day. This never happened with the generic - although sources say that the tiredness you'd get off keppra typically only lasts for 7-14 days before your body adjusts. Just thought I'd note this information, as the name brand and generic versions of keppra feel like completely different drugs to me... In a way that's very easily distinguishable between the two.
  13. jbalsa2

    jbalsa2's keppra thread

    Update! Brand name Keppra is continuing to work wonders for me. Just a couple of things I've noted since being on it, and more specifically the brand name version. One of the side effects of hppd I've always experienced was icons on my phone screen or letters on my phone's keyboard would always appear to be floating or shifting around. On keppra this effect has almost completely subsided. Letters and icons now appear completely stationary - glued in place if you will. Another effect I've noticed - I can drink alcohol regularly again without it having severe consequences on my hppd. Alcohol just flows freely as it did before acquiring hppd, both in terms of how the alcohol effects me during my period of drinking, as well as the day after. My hangover feels like just an alcohol hangover, and not a full blown flare up of my hppd symptoms as it normally is. When I wake up the next morning, my hangover is specifically an alcohol hangover while my hppd symptoms pretty much remain at baseline. Exciting stuff!
  14. jbalsa2

    jbalsa2's keppra thread

    Started taking the UCB brand name pills (Brand name Keppra) Oddly enough I found that there are significantly less negative side effects with the brand name version. Notably less tension, and headaches/head pressure that I'd get from the generic version. Which is odd considering they should be identical. Just thought I'd note it.
  15. jbalsa2

    jbalsa2's keppra thread

    Quick update - still on 750mg twice daily. I've just switched to keppra brand (UCB) 750mg tabs. Im excited to find out if I notice a difference between the generic and name brand versions and will post the results here, though I think differences will be negligible. With income support covering 40% of the cost of the med, im only paying around $140 a month for the name brand version of keppra. My improvement is still very much prevalent. A week later and my visuals are seeking to calm down quite a bit. The intensity, depth, and hold on my anxiety that the visuals have are much reduced. Here's to hoping that after a year or two on this med I can rid myself of the V.S. completely, as it's one of the only effects of hppd that I currently experience to much extent anymore.
  16. jbalsa2

    Mirtazapine and HPPD

    @Onemorestep am just on keppra now. Im going to hold off on posting any threads, and stay on keppra for a full year. So far after 1 month and 1000mg split twice daily I've noticed a drastic decrease in DP/DR and about a 30% improvement in visual snow and visual symptoms. Increasing to 1500mg daily tomorrow. Im going to stay on just keppra for a full year, fingers crossed a year of this can cure my hppd, as my symptoms are already hugely improved. 😊
  17. Hey guys, Just thought I would add a quick post for anyone who's interested. I saw my psych doctor a few days ago, and he's decided to start me on an antidepressant called Mirtazapine. Mirtazapine is a tetracyclic antidepressant, one that is relatively new to the market compared to most tricyclic and SSRI anti depressants. It's day 3 now, and so far I am absolutely loving this medication. I had let my psych doc know that most SSRI's that I have tried have exacerbated my symptoms by a fair margin, and that I had to stop taking them. He gave me this one to try out. As with all anti depressants and HPPD, it does affect the way you perceive the HPPD a little bit, but what separates Mirtazapine from other SSRI's is that Mirtazapine plays nicely with my HPPD. My visual symptoms have not gotten any worse, although the way that my body perceives the HPPD is a little bit different. What i'm loving about this med is that it's pretty much completely taken care of depersonalization and derealization, while also working wonders for my depression and anxiety. I think once you've found a med that tackles DP/DR and anxiety and depression all at the same time, it makes dealing with the visual symptoms a very minor disturbance. Not everyone has had luck with mirtazapine, but I guess im one of the lucky ones here, as it is easily the best medication if taken for my HPPD by a long shot. Just thought I would start a topic as I really believe that this medication is worth a try if you find yourself struggling with DP/DR and anxiety+depression all at the same time. If any of you guys have questions feel free to ask! I'm on 15mg once daily, and il be staying at this dosage for a full month before I titrate. The maximum dosage of this medication is 45mg daily.
  18. jbalsa2

    Mirtazapine and HPPD

    Stopped taking it, worked good for the first few weeks , then started to have negative reactions. Sigh :( Trying out sertraline and clonidine now.
  19. jbalsa2

    Mirtazapine and HPPD

    It is beyond me, One thing I can say is that Mirtazapine is continuing to have a profound effect on my pathology. Its now day 4 on my initial dose and I feel like the old me, the me that existed before I ever had HPPD. Don't get me wrong the visual snow is still there but it's just become a fact of life. A simple visual phenomenon that has only a minimal effect on who I am. My depersonalization and derealization no longer exists. I guess I'm just lucky in terms of my pathology in that my visual symptoms have remained exactly as would if I wasn't on the mirtazapine. Perhaps worth a try if one was really looking for relief. My 2 cents
  20. jbalsa2

    Mirtazapine and HPPD

    Hmm that's weird, goes to show how everybodies neurology is a bit different, as it's day 4 and mirtazapine has absolutely no effect on my HPPD. wha medications are you currently taking?
  21. jbalsa2

    Mirtazapine and HPPD

    Yeah that's really interesting. I'm on day 4 mom mirtazapine, no worsening on visuals to report. But As far as the way I feel, I feel fantastic. To each their own I guess. @dayum_son how long where you on it for, and at what dosage?
  22. jbalsa2

    Mirtazapine and HPPD

    Its actually an antagonist at 5ht2a, although some people have reported worsening of visual symptoms on mirtazapine. So far my visuals are exactly as I would perceive them when I wasn't taking an antidepressant. This medication seems to differ in side effects from person to person, as for me, I'm well immersed in its antidepressant activity, and my hppd symptonology has been left untouched. This could prove useful for people who are depressed and can't take SSRI's due to their hppd.
  23. Hey guys! Have some exciting news for all of you who suffer from depersonalization or derealization. I've been in in an inpatient care centre for a little while now to try out some various treatment options for my HPPD. Currently I am titrating up on lamotrigine to try and help with visual snow, as well as buspar to treat some of the anxiety that has come with my HPPD as an alternative to benzodiazepines. But the most exciting thing is that my doc has started me on an anticonvulsant called topomax. About an hour after taking it I feel a slight stimulant effect, however my depersonalization and derealization is completely gone while I am on it. My thinking and mental state becomes tactful and present, with no brain fog. I'm on 25mg before supper time, and we'll be increasing dosage gradually, as well as adding a morning dosage. The effect I get off 25mg at supper time lasts for about 6-8 hours. Just thought I would share this information with you guys, and hopefully it excites and helps you guys as much as it does me! If any of you guys give it a go, please post here and let me know how your experience goes.
  24. jbalsa2

    DP/DR SUFFERERS! TOPOMAX!

    @TheMythos my psych doctor is likely going to put me back on benzos for a while, and I think il use that opportunity to test out Keppra. I've also heard success stories of people using Naltrexone, so i might also give that one a go as well.
  25. jbalsa2

    DP/DR SUFFERERS! TOPOMAX!

    Its been 5 days now since I stopped taking all 3 meds, buspar, topomax, and lamotrigine. I would say by far buspar had the worst side effects - but after being on doses of these meds for 3 weeks, and stopping all of them at the same time, I'm more or less back to baseline. Topomax I would say is definitely not a cure on its own, but can be useful at aiding in dp/dr symptoms. What's nice is that the lowest dosage (25mg) has an immediate effect, and I don't believe topomax on its own had a tremendously negative impact on my hppd or baseline as the buspar did. I'm seeing my outpatient psych next tuesday to see what my options are. Might give keppra a go.
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