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Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) Support Forum
Cal_HPPD

Can anyone relate to these symptoms? Confirm my diagnosis?

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         I've had what i believe to be HPPD for about 3 years now, after a slew of mushroom trips around age 15. I cant pinpoint exactly when i started showing symptoms because i feel they came on very subtly and gradually, and after 3 long years, seem to still be worsening. I remember the first thing i noticed was a light visual snow or static fuzziness that i could only see at night or in dark places, then slowly it started becoming more noticeable with time. I would start then seeing the visual snow or static fuzziness during the day time, most noticeably when looking at something solid and with minimal detail, like a wall or a cloudless sky. The trend of it getting worse continued, i would start getting progressively stronger tracer vision, beginning with things like car and street lights at night. As before, over a few months these symptoms began to translate over to during the day time. Now its to the point where i get tracers as simply as slowly running my hand past my eyes, and the visual snow is strong like what you see on a television that isn't getting any signal. The visual snow even forms into psychedelic shapes sometimes, spirals and things that look like your phone screen when there is grease on it. This is most often at night and in the morning when i am tired, but is not limited to that. When i close my eyes all i can see are these weird colorful randomly moving shapes and images. If i do something like read a book or read something on my computer, when i close my eyes i just see randomly occurring letters and numbers, and this lasts for 15 minutes or so. Florescent lights make all the symptoms particularly strong, so you can imagine school was quite difficult.There are halos around almost everything i look at, especially letters and numbers. My memory and ability to think straight and clearly feels like its degenerating. I cant focus on anything, and having ADHD doesn't help aha. I've also dealt with things anxiety and depression and depersonalization and severe migraines so that cant be helping. Ive completely stopped all substances except alcohol, the occasional cigarette and the occasional joint to help deal with the stress. But i used all 3 of these things and more up until about a year ago. none of it was hallucinogenic though

        My point of posting this was not to for attention or plead my case on how hard it is to live with. I know there are people on here that have it worse than i do, but i rather just posted this to see if anybody can relate to my experience so far and has dealt with a similar situation. I haven't read many stories of people with HPPD that seems to be progressively getting worse, so i'm just seeing if someone can confirm its HPPD and not something else. I've been to countless doctors across Toronto and most of them have even heard of HPPD, let alone how to treat it haha, so i kind of gave up on the medical route. Ive had brain scans that all came back negative for anything so HPPD seems to be the only thing i have found that matches my symptoms. Its a scary thought thinking about what it might amount to if the symptoms keep exaggerating like they are doing now. Its only been three years so its pretty debilitating thinking about what it might be like after 10...20...years etc if it doesnt stop, as i only just turned 18 aha. This is my first post so any replies or support really helps, thanks.  -Cal

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Man, I dunno, sounds like you have some pretty bad symptoms. My HPPD was indescribable the first three to six months it was so bad, but I've gotten much better over the course of 21 months.

There's definitely a lot of stories about people getting progressively worse, so don't feel like you're alone on that front. My first advice would be to stop all drugs -- including caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol -- and see how you feel then. I've noticed an increasing number of cases where people have talked about alcohol making their symptoms worse even after it's exited their system, so I think there's a clear connection there. 

I really firmly believe if your symptoms are getting worse it's because there's something your consuming that's causing them to get worse. Once you abstain from drugs for a while you also might try switching up your diet. I know people get tired of me saying this but eating healthy (eliminating gluten, added sugar, excess dairy, and eating more of a paleo-mediterranean diet) might really help you out. It's worked for me. 

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>> The visual snow even forms into psychedelic shapes sometimes, spirals  ....

That sound similar to what I deal with.  I agree with K.D. taking a break might be a good idea just to see how you feel after a while.  I noticed similar symptoms when I was using (I was 14) but I continued to use psychedelics for another six years unfortunately.  I wish I had stopped right after the symptoms started.  That was back in the early 70s and nobody had ever heard of HPPD.  We were always afraid of "flashbacks" which never seemed to happen to anyone so I figured that continuing to use wasn't going to have an impact.

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