I joined this forum because I was curious about my symptoms. I've been extremely stressed/anxious about developing HPPD for the past month now since discovering what it is. I was hoping to seek some advice from someone in hopes of understanding what I am going through.
Back in January of this year I had a really bad panic attack while smoking weed. I felt like I was in a dreamlike state and everything around me felt unreal. It really freaked me out and turned me off from weed completely. As a result of this experience my anxiety skyrocketed to levels i had never experienced before. I began researching on the internet about my symptoms and later learned that what I experienced was derealization. The anxiety and dereaization continued for months until I decided to see my school therapist. Although the anxiety is still there, thanks to that therapist I was eventually able to recover from the derealization and rarely experience it now.
However, 1 month ago I began to notice my vision getting fuzzier, almost like I was seeing heat waves in my vision. I came across a disorder known as visual snow which I thought I was developing. I started looking at videos on what it's like to experience this and found out I didn't have it. However for some reason (maybe because of my anxiety/overthinking) that didn't stop me from worrying, I began researching visual snow more and came across HPPD. I began researching the disorder and learned that you can develop it as result from Hallucinogens or weed. I began freaking out because I have done LSD about 5 times before but this was years ago, back in 2015. I stopped 3 years ago after experiencing one bad trip (my last trip), which made me never want to do hallucinogens again. I still continued to smoke weed almost on a daily basis but stopped once I experienced derealization at the beginning of this year. I started researching HPPD more and noticed that I don't have the common symptoms such as visual snow, seeing halos/auras, trails behind moving objects, color flashes, positive afterimages, or objects appearing smaller/larger. This put me at ease for a while, but then I started getting anxious about developing it. For the past month it's all I've been thinking about and it's driving me crazy. I'm fearful that the symptoms might develop over night and I'll wake up one morning with hppd. I constantly over analyze my visual perception now and as a result of this constant worrying I began to notice some slight negative afterimages when my anxiety is high. Ex. If i stare at black text with a yellow background, I get a negative afterimage of the text. I also notice things move in the corner of eyes, but I think those are just eye floater that i'm overreacting to. I get dizzy more often, and tend to feel like I'm unbalanced at times. I do experience double/ghosted vision sometimes, but I think this is due to the fact I have an astigmatism in my eye and the fact I stare at a computer screen all day because of work. These are the only anomalies I notice right now, but I don't know if it is a result of over analyzing and worrying or if it's onset symptom. i would really appreciate it if someone could help me by describing their experience with hppd and letting me know if what I'm experiencing right now is onset symptoms. Thank you to anyone who took the time to read this and I hope to get some answers soon. Thank you.