Hey guys, I thought I would introduce myself and post my own testimony of how I acquired HPPD, and also ask a few specific questions, maybe to provide some solidarity for others, and also seek some advice.
I acquired this disorder following consuming MDMA on a number of instances: June 2015; October 2015; June 2016; and September 2016. I consumed cannabis on the majority of these instances as well. In hindsight, I had extremely minor symptoms from the first three instances of MDMA consumption, and it was primarily the final instance which triggered the disorder and the visual and cognitive symptoms it presents with.
From September 2016, I began to noticeably experience: headaches; depersonalisation; pallinopsia in the form of primarily negative after images but also positive after images, especially of words from screens or pages when reading and screens, although they appear to be progressing to affecting all perceptual stimuli generally; trails and tracers, such as car lights or even my hands in bright environments; visual snow and static, evident mostly in dark environments but present when concentrating on certain spots; flashes of light in peripheral vision; Blue field entoptic phenomenon; cognitive impairment such as memory issues, difficulty with mental visualisation and forming sentences; perceptual difficulties with depth and difficulty with the process of reading (the process itself doesn't seem to be fluent or automatic like it was prior to consumption) which probably coincides with the cognitive impairment which worsens the issues with reading. The prior instances of consumption from June 2015 - June 2016 in hindsight had resulted in milder headaches and some limited visual and cognitive dysfunction, but I had associated this with a co-existing health issue which was diagnosed by a Neurologist at the time (Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity; imagine Coeliac disease but exclusively affecting your nervous system).
Following the final instance in September 2016, I eliminated all substances from my lifestyle, including caffeine and alcohol. I saw no real improvements, and attempted drinking for a period between January 2017 to March 2017 before eliminating it again from my diet, although I began to drink tea and coffee again, which I've maintained thus far - there appears to be no acute exasperation of my symptoms following the consumption of caffeine.
My symptoms - apart from the depersonalisation, which resolved after a few months, and the cognitive impairment which has remained the same - have gradually worsened as time has progressed. I'm currently in my third year of University, and attempting to instigate a healthier lifestyle in relation to exercise, with hope that it may still improve and make my final year of University easier.
I desired to make a few general enquiries to any of you in similar situations:
1) How does condition respond to stimulants such as caffeine? Do you believe it temporarily or permanently worsens your symptoms? Or perhaps impairs the recovery process? My concern is whether caffeine in my situation has caused chronic exasperation of my symptoms despite the absence of an acute exasperation.
2) Is alcohol likewise a problematic substance in regards to the chances of recovery?
3) Have any of you been in the same situation, with your symptoms worsening a year or so onwards prior to their improvement?
4) is there any particular advice you could offer, or perhaps your own anecdotal experience?
5) Have any of you experienced the cognitive and mechanical dysfunction I've described with reading? And if so have you saw any improvements?
As I previously mentioned I do possess some accompanying health issues such as Non-coeliac Gluten Sensitivity which manifests itself with neurological symptoms such as mild Neuromyotonia - minor myoclonic jerks and tremors. I have also attempted the anti-convulsant Keppra or Levetiracetam, but ceased its implementation due to the negative effects outweighing the mild positive effects it provided for visual symptoms.
No doubt I have failed to disclose some information concerning my own experiences, but if you have any questions then feel free to enquire, and any assistance would be greatly appreciated.