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gschppd

Do i have HPPD or Anxiety Disorder?

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I am new to this forum so it would only be polite to say hello to everyone and if anyone could help I would be very grateful.

In 2011 I had a very bad acid trip after my 1st time taking the drug, like other people that have had bad trips I will keep it short by saying I saw some pretty crazy things and it took me three days to come back to normal, which I thought never would happen.

I haven't taken acid since 2011 and I never will again as it was the worst experience of my life, however from 2011 to October 2016 I was a regular consumer of cocaine, weed and at some point mdma every weekend for 6 months. Anther drug I have tried only a few times is Ketamine which again sent me into a crazy trip, it knocked me out (k hole) but went when I woke up. I feel I should add from 2014 to 2016 I smoked a lot of weed, like a half OZ every couple of days, and not just any weed, this was some strong stuff. Anyway getting to the point in October 2016 I was taking cocaine and smoking weed with my cousin, I didn't sleep and went to work the next day but went home early as I felt really bad, laying in my bed thinking I was going to have a heart attack. From that day I developed what seemed to be exhausting health anxiety, I got head pains, chest pains, pains in my arms couldn't breath, went to A&E and they said I had anxiety. I eventually moved back home as I couldn't be by myself. I went to my local doctors who said I had anxiety and depression and prescribed me propranolol and citalopram. The propranolol helped calm me down but the Citalopram really messed my head up and to this day I am convinced I have some sort of HPPD, and am looking for someone to agree with me or convince me otherwise. Since taking citalopram my vision changed, I see noses and ears slightly more pointed, and still persists to this day, my ears are constantly ringing, floaters which are noticeable all day, Visual snow ,eye strain, I'm sensitive to light, headaches and light trails aswell for example if I look at the TV and look away I can still see the TV light. I know from reading other stories on this forum that my symptoms are very mild compared, but I am not convinced that it is just anxiety. I have stopped smoking weed I still smoke cigarettes, and very stupidly I have taken cocaine twice in the last 5 months which left my body on edge for over a month a time. I also cant consume sugar drinks because it makes my body really on edge, caffeine, I cant even drink tea without feeling like Ive just drunk 10 espressos. Seen a private psychiatrist who diagnosed me with anxiety disorder, but I have never mentioned HPPD to him as I didn't feel confident enough to. Last thing I will add I suppose the thing that makes me think I have some form of mild HPPD is the Vision changes in peoples ears and noses that convinces me the most, especially after trying an SSRI, its a very strange side effect which my doctor cant really explain. I'm trying CBT next week to see how I get on but if anyone could relate, or at least give me some idea on if I have HPPD or similar to what they have read before it would be a great help. I have accepted that something is wrong with me, but the way I see it is if you want to get high then there will be consequences, and I am feeling them now.

Thank you for your consideration G.C

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Hello and welcome.  I'm new to this site as well.  

I know that cocaine and stong cannabis can cause anxiety even after succession of use.  However, hppd can do the same thing but there are a host of symptoms that can go along with it.  I'm no doctor so I can't make any diagnosis.  What I can suggest is staying sober for some time to see what happens to the symptoms.  Please understand I'm not suggesting that you discontinue prescribed medication because your doctor is qualified to make that decision and I'm not.

I've never brought up hppd with my doctor (well, once) because I didn't even know it had a name until very recently.  However, at my next physical I'm going to bring print out describing hppd and bring it along.  

 

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Definitely sounds like you have HPPD. Tinnitus, afterimages, visual snow, eye strain, trails and light sensitivity are all very common HPPD symptoms. Also the fact you've done lots of drugs and consequentially have visual, emotional and cognitive health issues suggests HPPD as well. There's no doctor that can diagnose you with this condition so you just have to decide whether you think your problems align with HPPD but from everything you've described it sure sounds like you're part of the group! Best thing you can do now is abstain from all drugs, eat healthy, exercise and take all the standard steps to repair your health. 

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thank you for your replies i appreciate it, i do not think my symptoms are as bad as others I have heard about, but as i said ive never heard of someones vision changing or warping from anxiety, i have an appointment with cbt therapist on friday ill mention it to him, do you mind me asking what symptoms you have meaning K.B Fante and Mad doc. Is there a chance it will go? is it permanent or can it be resolved and is their any doctor out there that actually diagnoses this?

regards G.C

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Hi gschppd.  My primary symptom is that I see patterns on just about everything if I stare at it for more that a few seconds.  Especially surfaces with a fine grain.  Sand, concrete, grass, curtains, carpets, etc.  I start seeing shapes that slowly morph into faces, animals, strange symbols, or just some things that are just bizarre.  They're not invasive.  If I look away they disappear.  When I look back they start to reform but they're never the same twice.  They're not three dimensional and they don't speak to me or anything.  They're just "there".  I don't get visual snow, after images, trails, or warping.  Instead, It's like everything has this strange "motif" of its surface.  I've had this since I was 14.  I'm 57 now so, for me, it's never going away I suspect.  That being said it's not nearly as bad as it used to be and in reality it doesn't bother me much anymore.  I've had it for so long that it's just part of me.  I used to have terrible anxiety but that too has significantly moderated with age.  I can't say what may happen with your condition.  I'm not an expert in any way shape or form and I'm no doctor.  I hope your appointment with the therapist goes well.  Hang in there.

Edited by MadDoc
Foolish typing

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5 hours ago, gschppd said:

thank you for your replies i appreciate it, i do not think my symptoms are as bad as others I have heard about, but as i said ive never heard of someones vision changing or warping from anxiety, i have an appointment with cbt therapist on friday ill mention it to him, do you mind me asking what symptoms you have meaning K.B Fante and Mad doc. Is there a chance it will go? is it permanent or can it be resolved and is their any doctor out there that actually diagnoses this?

regards G.C

Like MadDoc, I had severe "warping" when I first got HPPD, especially when I stared at something for more than about three seconds. I remember sitting in my bathroom a few days after getting HPPD, staring at the rug in front of me and literally just tripping balls as the whole entire room started swirling and breathing. This symptom has drastically decreased in the last two years since getting HPPD but if I stare at something for more than a few seconds I can still watch it start to move and breathe a little bit, but it's not anything that bothers me because I just move my eyes and it's gone. 

I've had really terrible Depersonalization-Derealization this entire time. I'd say this is by far the worst part of my HPPD. My voice sounds foreign, I have absolutely nightmarish macropsia (where objects that are closer to me appear bigger), shrunken depth perception (at first it was like seeing the world as a cartoon in 2-D), a loose mind-body connection, etc. In terms of strict HPPD symptoms I have streamers from almost anything that moves, afterimages (but only at night), visual snow, halos (but only around really bright objects that contrast with a darker background) and so on. I used to terrible brain fog but that pretty much cleared up as I started eating healthier and limiting sugar. 

The good news is every single one of my symptoms has improved in the 22 months since getting HPPD. But it's been no easy ride getting here as I've had to work my ass off every single day and had to deal with terrible suicide ideation for most of this time. I really believe that if you immediately stop all drugs (including alcohol, caffeine, excess sugar, cigarettes, etc.), do all sorts of exercises and eat really healthy you give yourself a great chance of a full recovery. I can't speak for everyone but it does seem like many people get better through living a healthy lifestyle and abstaining from drugs. 

In terms of getting diagnosed, you could get in contact with Henry Abraham as he's one of the leading medical professionals who's studied HPPD, however you'll have to fly to Boston where he lives and he'll likely just tell you what you already know. If you have HPPD symptoms and got them from drugs then you likely have HPPD. There's no form someone can hand you that confirms this, you just have to self diagnose from reading on the Internet basically. 

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On 08/03/2017 at 0:56 PM, gschppd said:

Do people recover, like all symptoms gone? Or is it different from person to person

That differs a lot. But it seems that for most it is a very gradual process. That's certainly been the case for me. My HPPD was/is fairly typical in most respects: arising from heavy use of psychedelics, visual symptoms dominated by patterning, moving splotches of colour, morphing etc. Some derealization, dizziness, anxiety. Most of it has gotten a lot better over the course of four years, but it hasn't completely subsided.

I should mention, though, that Keppra did help with the visual side of things, when it was prescribed to me.

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