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Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) Support Forum

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  1. Hello everyone -- I have been experiencing symptoms of HPPD for about a month now so I figured it's time to find other people with this condition to tell my story and ask more specific questions -- that being said hello out there, nice to meet you and I'm happy this forum exists. Thanks in advance if you're about to take the time to read this.... I have been using psychedelic drugs on and off for about 10 years now. I've always been very careful and aware of harm reduction practices, and have never really had a "bad" trip before. This summer I spent about a month in Berlin and partied pretty hard, I used mainly MDMA, but also ketamine, speed, alcohol and weed. (from most used to least used) So, I didn't do any "proper" psychedelic drugs (I do think MDMA and especially ketamine are psychedelic). My most recent "proper" psychedelic trip was 7g of mushrooms about 6 months prior. I used to take a lot of MDMA but it has been quite a few years (3-4?) since I've taken so much of it over an extended period of time. While I was in Berlin I did a lot of MDMA, give or take about 4 days on and 3 days off for the month. Note that this is nothing compared to how some of the hardcore locals party, and I mention that to point out that I don't understand why this is happening to me and not other people? Obviously we don't know, but for real, why meee??Anyways if I take a large enough amount of MDMA (1/2 of a really good pill) I almost always experience psychedelic visuals. When I was in experiencing this in Berlin I would ask whoever I split a pill with if they were seeing the visuals that I was, and they never were. I only asked a handful of people but it's still a bit strange that they weren't seeing what I was when we took the same thing, and this ruled out my thinking that maybe I was given MDA, 2CB, or something more psychedelic instead of MDMA. The visuals are very similar to what I experience on acid/shrooms, but very gentle and more heavy on the geometric patterns. The first night I was there I took 2 pills of really good MDMA and I was super fucked up, sitting on a bench, trying to keep my eyes open so I didn't get kicked out of Berghain, all the while watching light reflections in the air flip from 3D and then to 2D, almost like a hologram glitching out. My depth perception was wonky and trippy and everyone I saw had thin, bright technicolor halos around their bodies with little swirls here and there around their features. When I'm tripping I always really pay attention to the patterns that show up in my skin and in the walls (also in the sky and certain kinds of organic formations). I describe this pattern to people as Aztec lace that kind of flows and pulses through everything. I've tried to draw it before because it looks as if it could be drawn, but it's elusive and moves around so it can't really be captured. I see this exact same "pattern" on acid, mushrooms and now on MDMA. One night in a club I got stuck in the bathroom watching these patterns on the wall of the stall, they were so vivid and I was also seeing animals and creatures showing themselves to me from within the walls which was new to me. I'll stop attempting to tell about all of the fun, trippy (crazy) stuff that I experience/d on MDMA but I am generally curious if this is common for people who use it who dont have hppd, (I do have some friends who don't have hppd who have had psychedelic visuals on MDMA) and also whether people who have hppd have had similar experiences on MDMA. I noticed my hppd symptoms one day towards the end of my stay in Berlin because this pattern that I see in my skin stopped going away. At this point in time I had started using a lot of speed and was a bit sleep deprived. One night I didn't sleep and still went out the next evening and took MDMA. (a lot of other people I was partying with do this kind of thing often and I don't think they've developed hppd) Ever since those few days I have constantly been able to look at my forearm and undeniably see the aztec lace. I continued to use MDMA for a few more times after noticing that the patterns weren't going away when I sobered up, and they would just fade a little and be less noticeable when I got sober and would get more intense when I was using. One of the mornings after going out I couldn't even tell if my pupils were still huge or if my perception was just fucked up and I wasn't able to tell if I was sober or not because at this point I had full on hppd symptoms. When using MDMA the visuals got a lot more intense, but maybe because I was paying a lot of attention to them. One of the last mornings after taking MDMA I literally saw "the pattern" slowly morph into a fucking portal in the wall next to my bed. It was beautiful and strange and spiritual-ish (?) but at this point I decided to stop giving it so much attention and that I needed to take a break and do a fucking detox. I did some research and I wasn't freaking out because I figured it would fade away and that I just did too much speed or something and it will all get out of my system. Well here I am today a month later and I can still see the pattern in my skin (and other people's skin, etc.) Note that I always see this pattern when I'm tripping on "proper" psychedelics and would aaalways wonder WHY the hell it can be so undeniably real, right there in my arm, but when I'm sober it's completely gone! I would wish that I could just see this beautiful interesting shit when I'm sober. Well, here I am... be careful what you wish for I guess. I've been reading a lot about this and i definitely think its a real disorder, but maybe manifests in different ways for different people. We do not understand the human brain very well, let alone what psychedelics are doing to them so no wonder a disorder like this is so elusive. What I do know for sure is that I was never able to notice this pattern when I was sober, no matter how fucking hard I tried to, and I really have tried to see it when I'm sober with no luck. Now trying not to see it can be difficult sometimes. This is new. The anxiety element is the only thing that worries me. I had my first panic attack last summer and haven't really had one since but now I feel it creeping in sometimes like it might take over and fuck me up which is really scary in itself. So I've avoided what felt like the beginnings of a few panic attacks since then. I got the panic attack in the first place because I had taken Kratom and then touched a wet vile of acid and thought I dosed myself -- so rightfully so I freaked out. It lasted an hour and I thought I was going to die but I didn't dose myself and everything was fine. I felt a bit of panic creeping in in the few days after I self-diagnosed with hppd but I'm mostly ok with it now that I've realized that my brain is mostly ok, from what I'm capable of noticing I haven't done any serious damage. The problem is that I feel like in the future it may be far more difficult for me to take psychedelics, and I worry I may give myself a panic attack and think I'll get stuck like this forever or whatever. I do NOT want to stop taking psychedelics, though. I've read that weed is the worst trigger and makes symptoms worse, and I rarely smoke weed so I have no serious problem with giving that up. I haven't smoked yet since getting hppd, though, and I wonder if it's worth it since I'm only a month in to see what happens. TLDR: MDMA bender gave me HPPD --> SYMPTOMS: "acid pattern" is undeniably noticeable in my skin and other things like walls and certain kinds of surfaces. It does come out more when I pay attention to it but it's distracting on other people's faces and I have to try not to pay attention to it when talking to people (especially people with freckles). I also have visual snow, trailing, and generally a bit of brain fog. It also really affects me on the computer when I'm reading (right this instant) because the letters are swaying. It gets much worse at night and with anxiety or attention, BUT this is NOT all in my head or purely because of anxiety/attention. I noticed one morning that the "acid pattern" didn't go away, and this is undeniable: It is still here and it wasn't here before. I have some other symptoms as well but I'll stop rambling here because Ive told the main points of my story and explained my symptoms. In conclusion : I'd like to hear what some of you think of my experience, if it's similar or different to yours, etc. Any suggestions or recommendations. As interesting as it is I would like to go back to normal, but am in the process of accepting that I might not and will have to be extra careful with my drug use in the future, which reeeally saddens me actually, now that I'm typing it out!! I am always so careful with drugs and usually really responsible but I just went a liiitle bit out of bounds and now I have fucking hppd, shit!! I also am just intellectually interested in all of this stuff... I like to speculate about what exactly happens within this particular kind of psychedelic pattern recognition and what it means in the big picture questions about reality and consciousness. Anyways.. thanks again if you read this and I hope to chat with some of you ~
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