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Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) Support Forum

cosmiccharlie

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  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. 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.
  12. Academia is not for everyone; not sure if it’s for me but we’ll see. There are some gems of people though; their love of math is almost tangible. Algebra is my weak area but I find it very beautiful; geometry and analysis are probably where I’d like to go. However I’m very excited to study Lie Groups. If you haven’t heard of them, they are groups that are also surfaces so you can apply all the tools of Riemannian Geometry and groups theory together. For example since we can identify the unit circle with the set of complex number of length one it is a Lie Group. The group elements being the numbers with the operation of multiplication and the surface being the circle. Anyway thank you for sharing your story; it has absolutely helped. Pulling yourself back together is hard and it’s so damn easy to take the easy way out; continue tripping and smoking. One day at a time is absolutely essential. I wish you the best.
  13. I think often times we know the 'correct' course of action but yet don't take heed because of our egos, addiction, arrogance, chance or any other reason we can come up with. I totally hear you on that one, I can give great advice but often times cannot apply it to my own life. However fear can be a good tool for combating this. For example not tripping again for fear of consequences; I've decided to push that aside many times and am paying the price. Yet I still think about it; it's easy to say as an outsider that that is a terrible course of action but when you're in the midst of life it's not that simple. And of course a lot of life is random so many things are a gamble. Anyway giving others advice is always good because it forces us to reflect on ourselves; thats's why forums and groups like this one are so powerful. Together we are strong and can overcome anything. I wish you the best, if you ever want to chat let me know. Take care!
  14. Once again thank you for your thoughts; sobriety is probably the way for me too. It's hard to start, I've had periods of it which were both wonderful and extremely difficult. What type of math did you study? My semester starts next week; very excited although it's been a while so it's going to be tough. I'm taking measure theory, complex analysis and algebra. It is always about what we want; however sometimes we knowingly go against the grain seemingly against our will.
  15. Thank you for your words of wisdom. I have explored sobriety myself and have found solace in it although as you probably know it is NOT easy all the time. Ultimately it does lead to a better, deeper existence and I plan to return back to it shortly.
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