I'm a man in my mid-20s who has been a heavy alcohol drinker for years. The day after heavy drinking my HPPD symptoms are significantly worse and often paired with brain fog that can be impairing enough for days that I have to basically isolate myself (luckily I live alone) or else anxiety spikes. This has caused several occasions of using sick days on Mondays or Tuesdays and making up excuses of why I had to use a sick day. This used to only be a problem with heavy drinking, so I logically limited my drinking and that seems to help. However, there are still some days when something like a night of 6 light beers can significantly spike up HPPD symptoms the next day, which I don't really consider heavy drinking. I know that the simple solution is to stop drinking entirely. However, I still have a decently-large social circle remaining from college, and being in my mid-20s many social activities include drinking. I find myself canceling plans just because I know with THAT person or THIS person the chances of heavy drinking will be high. This causes social guilt, even among my trusted friends whom I've disclosed my HPPD with. My question then, besides the whole "stop drinking" or "limit drinking" points, which are valid, is does anyone have any other tips or tricks or advice on how to limit these post-drinking HPPD symptoms? Are there certain alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks that work better than others in preventing symptoms? Are there certain foods? Anything would be appreciated. Thanks guys. New to this forum and appreciate some of the topics I've already read up on.
Yes I definitely have a habit of staring at stuff on days when the visual snow / lights & color changes / static lines / strobe light effect are worse (usually the day after drinking, or if I've had too much caffeine). The best way I get around this is by doing tasks that are simple, habitual, and that require some thought and action (so not just watching tv, at least for me), but not TOO much thought since the days when the visual snow are worse are often accompanied by brain fog. A common task I go to is cleaning. I put on a background podcast too that I may or may not listen to, but just that minimum mental effort of slightly paying attention to the podcast, mixed with the physical actions and decisions of cleaning, help clear my mind, prevent me focusing on my symptoms, and help somewhat relieve any symptom-related anxiety. Plus this gives the added satisfaction boost of getting something productive done. I also work from home most of the time, so another solution with the same theme is to find simple work tasks - distractions that aren't too overwhelming when symptoms hit. A lot of it is about a mental reset - if you can get yourself distracted on tasks and if you can get calmer and less anxious then you'll tend to stop staring at stuff as much. Soothing music helps. Playing simpler online games can help to.