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Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) Support Forum

cosmiccharlie

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  1. Hi Tyler and welcome to our little community. First I know it can be daunting to try and come to terms with this condition; it is scary stuff and can be very debilitating. With that said a healthy fear is probably a good thing to keep us from making the same mistakes. It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and are aware of the best actions you can take i.e. exercise, sleep, eating healthy... Definitely keep that up. Time is another friend of yours, the longer you abstain from drugs the better you will get, believe that and it will happen. I also recommend trying to learn meditation. For me, my condition is often brought out by some anxiety or fear. I have found that meditation has a way of neutralizing anxiety and helps me live in the moment and be grateful for all that I have. Positive thinking is an excellent tool to combat HPPD. You can also take solace that your drug history doesn't seem to be as excessive as it can be and many people on this forum are not so lucky. I myself took more than 15 hits of good acid in one night. That certainly did a number on me. And I kept tripping for another year before I realized I had to stop or I would never be the same. That's one of the more terrifying aspects of this disorder for me; I can forget how to be me! You will find as your progress that HPPD intensity varies and discover the things that cause it to flare up. For some its caffeine, for me its sugar and lack of sleep as some examples. The point is it is very possible to live a normal productive happy life with this condition. It may very well leave you entirely or become barely noticeable over time. The major factor in recovery is not using psychedelics, it's almost guaranteed to make things worse. I myself abstained for about 8 years, pretty much completely recovered and then I started smoking weed again. This worked to alleviate my anxiety for several months but then I started tripping again and it brought my symptoms back with force. I had 7 mushroom trips in about 7 weeks and one DMT breakthrough. I have since stopped and things are much much better. I have almost one year completely sober and doing really well but I had to pick the pieces up and start from the basics. I don't want anyone to make that same mistake. But sometimes we have to fall down to learn. Anyway, I'm sort of rambling now. Welcome to the site. We are here for you. Try and stay positive and off drugs and life will open up again. I wish you the best. Nick
  2. Hello, I’m sorry to hear about all you have gone through; life can be very difficult and each of us have our own battles. From my experience if we focus on our problems they only get bigger. In the age of the internet this can have terrible results because there is an endless stream of information available that can make us feel worse about ourselves. My advice to you is to try and not focus on your condition or the troubles from your past. Therapy can be very good with the right person to address what’s troubling you. Meditation is also an incredible tool that is free and can be very effective for treating depression, anxiety and other issues. The important thing with meditating is consistency; it’s like working out. You will not reap the benefits unless you put in the time and energy. It also is a subtle business that comes only after a few weeks of practice but then eventually one day you realize everything is okay and as it should be. For mediation it’s always worth investing in some course to help learn the basic techniques and ask all of your questions. These are typically pretty cheap and you only really need to attend a few classes. Anyway it sounds like you’re on the right path. Remember the ‘here and now’ is all we can influence and all that matters. It’s so easy to forget that. Keep pushing forward and believe things will get better and they will. Keep seeking peace and you will find it. I’ve messed up so many times but those low points provide lessons. Also hope is essential to keeping a good additude. Take care and keep posting on this forum. Nick
  3. You said you don't have an outlet, maybe you can create one. Find a healthy distraction from what's going on. I am filled with anxiety as well and I know it can be absolutely debilitating; I also have OCD. What works for me is keeping busy. I go to the gym a lot, I play chess, I read, meditate and I go for long walks. Find something that brings you joy and can take your mind off of the current situation. Keep coming back to these forums, when you share your problems with others I have found that it has the effect of making them seem smaller. A lot of anxiety I think is rooted in our perception of the situation, and often times that perception isn't even logical and therefore not sound. Anyway hang in there, believe that it will get better and it will. Take Care, Nick
  4. Hello, I tried microdosing mushrooms last year and ultimately that mixed with smoking weed and also eating higher doses brought my HPPD back after several years. My personality is such that I have a hard time controlling my impulses and with psychedelics I always want to go deeper and see what is there. Everyone is different and I believe that mushrooms when used properly can be very beneficial for a number of problems such as depression, anxiety, spiritual funk etc. However that being said I don't know if it makes sense that they can help with HPPD. At the same time, there is no way of knowing one way or the other; we simply do not understand the brain and psychedelics enough to give a definitive answer. The things that have worked for me have been staying sober, exercise, eating well, sleep and meditation. Again, everyone is different. My advice to you would be this: think about what your motivation is, Do you want to eliminate your HPPD? Are you searching for spiritual answers? Do you want to treat depression and anxiety? Now which one is the most important to you? If eliminating HPPD is what your goal is then you need to accept that micro dosing can exacerbate your symptoms. If you are okay with that and willing to risk it then be careful, stick to a regiment and keep a journal and see what happens. Remember to stop if your symptoms really start coming back, and be wary of eating higher doses. If they do come back just stop and they will eventually fade and your experiment will be complete. If they don't, remember they always can so don't be reckless like I was. Anyway, I wish you the best of luck, let me know if you have any questions and let us know how things go. Remember be careful and most importantly Be Honest with Yourself. Take Care, Nick
  5. Just as Jay mentioned, no one can answer those questions. We don't understand the underlying mechanism of HPPD or psychedelics for that matter. If you do your research you'll come across some explanation of LSD or Psilocybin 'mimicking' the role of serotonin in your brain but that's still speculation and probably not the whole picture. Maybe we will fully understand them someday but probably not before we have a better grasp on the brain. The brain is certainly still a mystery. The moral here being when dealing with these substances you never know what you're going to get. And this varies wildly from person to person. It all comes down to what you want out of life; what are your goals, what makes you happy. I can almost guarantee you that drugs will not bring happiness, they do not bring stability and they typically do not promote personal or spiritual growth. I used to be convinced that LSD and Psilocybin were the answer to 'finding myself', uncovering my spirituality and transitioning to a higher level of thinking. This lead me to binging on them (15 hits of acid in one night ) and HPPD and substantial regression which almost cost me my marriage and opportunities that were in front of me. Not to mention my personality. I think the most debilitating aspect of HPPD is the loss of self, the visuals are just distracting and of course bring guilt because they are a constant reminder that we fucked up. But knowing you used to be someone else and not knowing how to go get that back is very strange and depressing. I'm not trying to preach to you. We all have to make our own decisions but there are some things that cannot be undone or will take years to undo. The mystery of the mind is also in how resilient it can be if you give it the proper conditions to recover. So there is always hope! But if you have HPPD now and continue to explore the trippy life it will likely get worse. This is just from experience and the reports of others. The longer you let it get worse the longer it takes to recover and the more difficult it will be. Also on the subject of people dosing more than you: do you really know that they are okay? People are great at putting on a front (including myself) to escape the possibility that things really are not going well. I did just that. Not to say that there aren't people who can responsibly use these substances without problem but what's important is if you can. You know in your heart whether it's time to stop or not. The fact that you're here and seeking help is a great indication that you're mature and care about your life. Think long and hard about whether drugs are worth your happiness. Again not trying to preach but this is something I had to deal with and it's not an easy question. It can become an identity issue, especially when most of your friends are still exploring. You have friends here, please continue to reach out. Life is beautiful, sometimes we just have to step back and realize that. Take care and please keep coming back!
  6. One more important fact is MORE PSYCHEDELICS WILL MAKE IT WORSE! This makes sense and most people here will tell you this. I'm not trying to tell you what to do but you have to be careful. I love tripping but I have lost my right to because I overdid it and that's okay. Trust me on this one; you want to stay away from mushrooms, DMT and LSD. I made the mistake of recovering pretty much completely then years later I started taking mushrooms again and it brought back my old symptoms. Anyway good luck and take care!
  7. As you read through this site you will likely hear similar suggestions from people who have been dealing with this disorder. First off, from what I have experienced and read visuals are not a reflection of 'brain damage' they are likely some optical disorder that we have yet to pinpoint; a sensitivity to light or whatever you want to call it. However the cognitive impairment that I have experienced I am almost certain that it is due to anxiety. Anxiety brought on by the visuals and the regret and guilt they bring. Anxiety is a powerful driver that can be debilitating. So my advice to you is to cut back on the weed (trust me it's only going to exacerbate the symptoms) and make yourself busy. Find a hobby that you can throw yourself into, could be school, instrument, anything healthy. Get plenty of sleep, eat well and exercise regularly. All of these things will reduce anxiety. If the visuals don't go away immediately it's okay, you have to give it time. The important thing is to not dwell on it because there's nothing you can do but try and get better, you can't undo the past. Plus you can take solace in the fact that you're very young and from what I can tell mature since you've identified the problem early. I myself took significant doses of LSD around your age for extended periods and didn't realize I had HPPD for a few years. But once identified I followed the above recipe and eventually they diminished greatly. Please reach out if you have any questions, concerns or just want to chat. Take care and be well.
  8. It's so interesting how different we all are. I have been on 100mg Zoloft for OCD for several months with decent results and little to no worsening of HPPD symptoms.
  9. Hello There, My suggestion to you is the common remedy you will find on this site. Live as healthy as possible, find an exercise routine that works for you and stick to it. Eat well and sleep well. Learn to meditate and stick with it. All of these things combined will help your brain recover and ultimately lead you to a more peaceful existence. I really believe that much of our HPPD symptoms manifest themselves from anxiety and some form of drug induced PTSD. Things will get better and it is important to believe this. The changes will be incremental so it is important to be patient and stick with a good plan that will enable you to pull yourself back together. It is also very important to stay away from psychoactive substances such as weed and hallucinogens. From personal experience these substances tend to exacerbate symptoms. Anyway if you ever want to talk or have any other questions we are here for you. Best of luck, Nick
  10. What you describe in my opinion are ‘classic’ afterimages; these are really irritating and can be distracting. I have found that not focusing on them helps where as starting at something attempting to check if I see an afterimages or not tends to exacerbate it. Keep pushing forward and try to do everything you can to allow your body and mind to heal; they will if you let them. Don’t focus on the mistakes only focus on what you can control and what you want in life. Life does get better but it may take some time. Take care and let me know if you ever want to chat.
  11. I can relate to exercising exasperating the symptoms but if you can get past that I think it ultimately helps. As I’m sure you know exercise stimulates brain growth/repair and of course improves your mood. As for the type of exercise whatever works best for you. I like cardio and body weight routines. Long low intensity cardio is supposed to be very good for your brain; for example jogging or bicycle. Strength training is good to prevent injury and balance your routine; swimming is also amazing. Try a few different things; the most important thing is consistency, and that goes for living healthy to move past hppd. If we consistently treat our mind and body with respect we can only improve. Be hopeful and things will get better. Let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck and stay strong!
  12. Hey, Yeah I know the lack of control thing can be a little misleading; I was feeling constant anxiety that was making it difficult for me to focus on my school work. Again it's only been about one month (Zoloft can take up to 6 weeks) but my thoughts appear to be less erratic. The sobriety was from weed and alcohol; I haven't tripped in about two months. Again it's difficult to say with certainty if anything other than anxiety has actually changed from day to day. I have also read that SSRIs can negatively impact hppd, but we shall see. We are all different that's why I wanted to give it a shot. This has been especially hard since I have previously recovered from HHPD due to an LSD binge about 10 years ago and started using mushrooms again in an attempt to reset myself. Binged on them for about two months (8 trips total with some micro dosing in between) and brought the previous symptoms back. It's especially irritating as I have started a PhD program one month ago in mathematics and NEED MY BRAIN TO WORK! But it seems to be okay, not what I was a few months ago but hope is what I'm clinging to; one day at a time. Acceptance is the answer. Let me know what you think. Keep on trucking
  13. Hello, I'm sorry to hear what you are going through but know that there is always hope! First of all you sound like you have a good head on your shoulders, know yourself and know your body and listen to them; sounds like you already are. Sobriety in my opinion is the best option, plus you are very young and the body/mind are resilient. Give it time, relax if possible and be as healthy as you can to aid in your recovery. I have found consistent sleep, regular exercise and a balanced diet all help. Like you said it will be slow, you might not even notice changes but it will get easier; find what works for you and keep doing it. We are here for your support; take care and good luck. Remember one day at a time.
  14. Hey guys, I thought I would let you know that I have been on a regiment of Zoloft SSRI for about two weeks now. I believe there has been a slight change in visual distortions but it could always be placebo or due to a reduction in anxiety. I don't think things are getting worse which is good, I feel a little more focused and less crazy. I'll let you know how things work out. As of now I am three weeks sober from everything except caffeine and feel more grounded. Good luck to everyone and hang in there; we can do this together!
  15. Hello, I hope you are well. I contracted HPPD about 8 years ago from acid had a period of abstinence in which it almost entirely went away with the exception of the occasional 'flare up' usually when I was feeling anxious. I then had a period of 7 strong mushroom trips in about 7 weeks that seem to have brought it back to some extent so i am stopping psychedelics for now. I too am very interested in their mechanisms, applications and pretty much everything about them. However they CAN induce a detachment from reality which scares the shit out of me. Life is amazing and for a time psychedelics made me feel this in a deeper fashion however there were breaking points where I felt like I wasn't myself, detached from everything and everybody. This is not where I want to be. Be careful. My advice would be to take a long beak and see if things get better. Exercise, sleep and meditation are excellent tools to use to get out of the funk. It sounds like you just have visual distortions and not DP/DR; I think that's a much more manageable situation than what a lot of other people are facing. Quit while you're ahead before you lose your sense of self and place in this world. Also I think that it can lay 'dormant' within your brain, in which it is susceptible to reactivation. The moral being if you think you're 'healed' and go back to tripping the previous effects can come roaring back. I have gained a lot from psychedelics however I paid some prices, I think that for a while I was deceived into thinking that they were the answer. I really don't think they are the answer to anything. They do allow you to see beyond yourself and feel/know there's something greater than you out there, that we are all one and love is paramount to everything. However, these conclusions and facts exist independent of drugs and can be realized through meditation and mindfulness. There's a great quote from Allan Watts about the use of psychedelics "...when you get the message you should hang up the phone" Anyway I wish you the best of luck, take care.
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