I go by J. About a year and 2 months ago, I drank a full bottle of Delsym 12 hour (I believe it was a 5-ounce bottle, with 800mgs or so of Dextromethorphan Polistirex). I didn't really think about dosage or how high I would be for how long, I just chugged it down in a self-destructive, lazy attempt to get high. Following this, I went out with friends. I went to a local pizza place, and that's where it kicked in. For me, one of the telltale signs of a DXM is looking in the mirror and not being able to recognize myself. This happened while staring at a reflective window in the pizza shop, so I knew it had worked. The night went relatively well, even when I got urged by friends to do a stand up at an impromptu comedy show thing, managing to do it somewhat well.
When I went home, though, the problems started. I should state that, at the time, I was a junior in high school. My usual routine was to hang out early, get fucked up, and try to come down in a timely manner so when I had to go home I would at least be functional. I had made a mistake, though, in that I was wildly high when I had gotten home, about 6 hours after drinking the bottle. I had school the next day, so I thought maybe I could just sleep it off. When I laid down, however, it only got worse.
It started with my vision, as I began to see visuals. It wasn't anything intense, just some spirals of light and some "breathing" of walls, but it was not something I had experienced in the 2 prior times I had taken DXM, albeit at much lower doses. I began to feel semi panicky, but in the words of my idol, "buy the ticket, take the ride". Things went on like this for a few hours, until I got a burning sensation in my abdomen. It was sort of like when you touch something uncomfortably hot, but prolonged. This was worrying because I couldn't find any literature about this on Google, which in my mind was the first sign I was dying. I hopped to the bathroom in a weird, involuntary jerk, hobbling there. I then peed one of the darkest orange pees I've ever had and then immediately threw up. This is what the night would turn into, with the visuals getting progressively darker the whole time. Each time I would get up, I noticed more and more how off everything was. My whole vision was starting to turn, and when I paid attention seemed like turning the FOV high in a game or a dolly zoom. It felt like the world was turning, and then, all the sudden, my vision blacked out, like an old TV turning off, with everything condensing into a small point before going dark. To be fair, this may have just been me passing out or falling asleep, but when I could see again this did not register.
At this moment, I was sure I was dying. I was 100% positive my body was dying and my brain was too. At this point, one of the weirder things I noticed was that unless the lights were off everything became a blotchy iridescent spot, like when you stare at the sun for too long. I think this is called photo-bleaching, but it didn't make sense. Whenever I got the chance to look in the mirror at my fake self (or whatever a good name for the DXM mirror person would be), I always looked to see both signs of jaundice, as I thought maybe my liver failed and that's why I was dying, and to see if my eyes were dilated, in case my father woke up and caught me. I never noticed it though.
This whole experience went on for 2 days, or at least 48 hours straight. I had suffered some sort of nervous breakdown, I think because I was lost completely, especially as I went back to school and everything began to get weird. After this, for about 2 weeks, I both couldn't feel the lower hemisphere of my body (or get erections) and continued to get the sunspot thing. Another thing that happened, although I can't quantify it, was that everything looked off. It was like my depth perception and size comparison got shut off. I tried to tell my friends and even described how I thought I needed to go to the hospital. They all reminded me that it was A.) Probably just afterglow or maybe serotonin syndrome and B.) My dad would kill me if he found out. I took this into consideration and waited it out.
The next many months were interesting, as I began to adjust to my weird vision. I developed alcoholism in the winter months, drinking nearly every night. I started to, with some pattern, smoke weed. I began to intensely smoke cigarettes. I survived a suicide attempt brought on by extreme depression.
Now, nearly 18 and with finals wrapping up senior year, I've reached a new point. My vision is either fixed, to some extent, or I've adapted to it. My depression went away, and now I only irregularly drink and smoke weed (in party settings) and smoke cigarettes and drink caffeine. I have a steady job and grades are good. I still have some problems though.
- I've developed some sort of panic disorder/HPPD after that trip. Every small thing that happens, whether it be a small hiccup while swallowing or anything, leads to this awful onset of panic attacks that bring on more physical symptoms, strange convulsions, spasms, etc., which cycle into worse panic attacks. It's kept me from sleeping almost every night since then.
- I still have visual effects, not unlike described symptoms of HPPD. I have perma-tracers, not noticeable unless it's dark. Anything contrasted, colors, light v dark, etc., shakes violently around against each other. Staring at any one thing for too long turns it into static, like a kaleidoscope but with no borderlines. It is really distracting and limits my concentration.
As these two problems persist and get worse (and new ones arise), I've come to the conclusion that I have HPPD and some mild general anxiety disorder. As I move closer to college and my adult life, I am trying to find solutions to these issues which I believe are fixable.
That's why I've come here, and I hope people can help me and vice versa along my path recovery.