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nordlife

My story - Hope for opinions

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Hi everyone,

i really dont know how to start and i hope you can excuse any mistakes in language as im from europe and i even have problems using my mother language at the moment due to my mental situation :)

(If you want to skip the detailed story you can scroll down to my current symptoms, which basically began after one weekend of smoking too much weed where i had something like a panic attack while smoking alone.)

Maybe i just start with a review of my past two months where my current state began and a little about me and my drug usage.

Im 22 years old and started with drinking alcohol with 14 like all my other friends, sure i often drunk too much in the future but only at parties and never drunk alone or had the feeling that i need alcohol, pretty normal i guess.

Last year (2016) i started smoking weed (just smoked one time before i was 21 and felt nothing so i had no demand doing it again). Due to new friends and an interest in weed because i found out my father smokes pretty often i started to smoke with friends occasionally and somehow i liked that feeling now. I would even say that after a few times i started to love that feeling. Alcohol was no more fun and i said to myself that its better to smoke sometimes and dont drink anymore except a beer or two sometimes (even my father said that to me).

In fall last year i moved from my families house to my own place with a friend. That change in life was awesome i was so motivated, happy and loved the new freedom. Someday i bought my first own weed (maybe because it was possible now to do anything without the parents near) and i couldnt resist trying it out alone.

It got more often and between november 2016 and march 2017 i smoked almost everyday i got time but i was still going to work everyday and university (sober). I think it still was a „normal“ amount and sometimes i didnt smoked for 2 weeks or so without a problem.

In March a friend of mine died i didnt knew him very good because he lived in another town but somehow it bothered me a lot (dont know if this has something to do with my problem). Smoking weed after this incident was almost the same except that i felt a little tension in my chest and when i tried to sleep it took a while. 

Then there was the weekend whereupon everything started. On saturday march 25th two friends came over to have a nice evening and smoke some weed. I already worked the whole day and was awake since 5am but i didnt smoked for a week or two so i was excited. It was a great evening but after a while i was really tired and fell asleep for a few minutes when my friends were still there. I got some new weed and they left early like 11pm.

I dont know why but instead of going back to bed i smoked another one alone. I felt again an odd tension in my chest and was a bit nervous but after a few hours i fell asleep. The following sunday my girlfriend had no time and i had new weed so the first thing in the morning was smoking again. I smoked three joints over the day i think and felt pretty normal (just normally stoned the whole day). Only in the evening the tension came again but harder this time and there were some „stitches“ in my chest. I was getting nervous but was able to calm down myself. Again it was harder to fall asleep this evening. It was like starting to dream while still awake and realizing it and wake up due to this feeling.

The next morning i felt normal again i think and at midday i smoked another one with my flatmate because our internet was broken and we didnt know what to do. Suddenly i felt like being between stoned and sober and i just wanted to be fully sober. Everything felt a bit unreal like a dream somehow and the fact that our internet was not working was strange in my eyes and made me ask myself „is this really happening?“. But i managed to keep calm and said too myself that everything is normal that im just stoned and that i will be sober after a few hours.

At the evening the internet suddenly worked again and i felt good again as far as i can remember. But instead of asking myself why i felt so strange and why i had this chest tension and stitches the last days i smoked another joint at this evening. Afterwards i was with a friend on skype playing a videogame when i suddenly had the feeling of getting a heart attack or something i had to lay down and was very anxious (i think this was my first little panic attack). The feeling came like in waves but i was able to calm down myself. It was a strange feeling i felt like not getting enough oxygen in my lungs, couldnt sit still and i just wanted to go outside. I took a walk but back home i didnt felt better. The „getting a heart attack“ feeling came multiple times again. Later it got better somehow and i was able too sleep (its hard to remember details since my memory is one of the main problems now).

After this evening everything began and before you ask i never smoked or drank again after this evening (2 months now).

The next day i said to my girlfriend that i feel strange somehow but not bad it was a strange feeling in my stomach like being a little sick and nervous. But the day was okay i even was in the city buying some led strips for decoration but when turning them on i realized that it make me feel very sick when the lights were flashing fast. I also got that same sick feeling in my stomach when i tried to focus small text. I thought that this weekend was just too much and its like a small withdrawal.

The next they i went to university and in the train i was getting a bit nervous and was glad when i got off but otherwise everything seemed good i could concentrate just like normal. The only thing i noticed was that at midday a had to yawn like every 5 seconds for about an hour and felt a bit light sensitive (but it was one of the first sunny days so i thought my eyes just have to adapt to the new light condition).

Back at home i started to feel strange and very nervous again, my heart started to beat very hard and fast and i thought again that i dont get enough oxygen. I went to the hospital because i couldnt calm down. I was so nervous that i was a bit confused, they checked my heart and blood values but everything was fine. After a while i got calm and was glad about the results. I left the hospital and felt pretty okay but was scared to stay alone. 

The days after i started to feel dizzy and extremely anxious and thought that something really is wrong with me i cried the next days very often for no real reason i felt hopeless and empty (hard to describe that emptiness). I went to my father because i couldnt be alone. At this time i knew something is different and everything felt strange and unreal like a nightmare but i couldnt really describe it and had no idea what was going on.

After one week since all started i couldnt focus my eyes on anything for longer than a second and felt like seeing everything with 10 fps also every flickering light made me nervous and feel sick. This got better after a few days but i realized a lot new symptoms which stayed since then. So here is a list of what i noticed after the first strong fear was gone: 

  • Visual problems
    • trails but by now only in dawn light condition
    • every light and reflection blinds me and glares, even car, bike or traffic lights at daytime
    • long afterimages of everything, positive and negative
    • lots of grey and normal floaters in every light condition
    • starbursting if the environment is dark around the light sources, gets worse if the light is far away
    • ghosting, especially if its dark and there is white text on dark background
    • everything seems a bit oversaturated at daytime
    • very little static
    • my eyes seem flickering and unsettled the whole time
    • looking at a display is hard feels like looking through a slot or that something semi transparent is diagonal about half the display
    • difficulty to focus my eyes on something for a time longer than a few seconds
    • the feeling that my eyes are to slow if scrolling a website or something
    • sometimes one of my pupils is almost double the size of the other one

 

  • Other problems
    • tinnitus (had tinnitus on one ear before but now worse and on both ears)
    • constant tension in my whole body
    • sometimes my muscles hurt even without doing sports
    • at the beginning it was very hard to eat
    • constant dizziness not strong but its there
    • everything and everyone seems foreign, especially when looking in someones eyes i feel anxious and sick (maybe dp/dr dont know)
    • cant really sleep, it feels like i instantly start to dream when i close my eyes but never get deep sleep, i wake up every 2 hours and sometimes i cant fall asleep again
    • i feel dumb and cant concentrate at all (brain fog?)
    • it feels like i cant think at all if i want or have to my brain just "does nothing"
    • im really depressed i could cry every second but only because of the thought "you ruined your life, you had everything"
    • no feelings except the one above, i feel like a robot and act the right way only because i know how to but i dont feel it (is this dp?)
    • everything feels like a nightmare sometimes i think im still in my bed and its still march and i hope to wake up, i know this is stupid but im somehow not sure if its not true
    • no sense of time at all, if something happend a second ago and i think about it it feels like it happend years before, i dont have feelings connected to the memories, and they all seem to be far away (anyone know this feeling?)
    • my own thoughts "scare me" and feel also kind of far away, even if i plan to take a shower it feels strange in my head somehow
    • old memories are suddenly in my head even if they happened 15 years ago, they are as clear as things which happened minutes ago, also if i look at something i instantly get a memory in my head which my brain seems to associate with what im seeing (i think this is one of the reasons why i feel like im in a dream and im not in here and now)
    • i see faces and eyes everywhere even without looking for them like my brain searches for them without my control, i see them in trees, walls etc. i can say "its just a tree" and i dont see real faces or eyes but i cant see objects just like they are without my brain starting its rollercoaster drive of thoughts and associations (pareidolia i think but its extreme)
    • i feel like the most important filter in my brain is messed up, in the city i see every reflection, movement etc. also sounds seem louder than before and i cant ignore them (i even hear sounds i didnt heard before, they are real but i think they were filtered out before, maybe hyperacusis)
    • sometimes i think about suicide or behaving strangely and because everything feels unreal and like a dream im scared i will do it, i feel disinhibited somehow
    • i feel like i have forgotten how to think, all i do is associate old memories and compare all the time how things were before 2 months

 

Last week (i think) i found out about HPPD and found many of my symptoms which werent explainable with other disorders, especially those visual problems. I would love to hear some opinions about my symptoms and if they are typically for the HPPD related things like dr/dp, anxiety etc. friends say that i behave just normal only a bit sad and not as happy as before. This is what gives me a little hope because sometimes i thought i become insane.

Tanks for reading.

 

 

 

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You definitely have DP-DR and some minor HPPD symptoms as well. Sounds like you just overloaded your brain with weed. The only thing you can do now is go stone-cold sober, including alcohol, and just try and be as healthy as you can. It's gonna be really difficult but as long as you stay healthy you have a good chance of pulling through. 

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Hey man. I too have that extreme pareidolia. When you look in your jeans is it only faces you see or can they have bodies too? 

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Thanks for the response. I dont feel any demand of doing either of the drugs again all i want is too feel better. Also i try to live as healthy as i can but sometimes i have problems with my digestion and dont feel any hunger since im constantly tensed and anxious. Doing sports is also hard because i feel so exhausted and my muscles hurt after just walking a bit. I dont know whats going on with my body.

The problems with my memories seem so far away and me asking myself if something really happened and if i was there can be from dp/dr? Cause this is one of the worst things along with having absolutely no sense of time. Im unable to tell what i did last week but the memories are not gone i just cant access them in a chronological way somehow.

 

I just see faces and parts of faces (eyes most of the time) its extreme even if im focusing on something else i see them in the corner of my eyes on some surface or object far away. Just like my brain is looking for them all the time and everywhere maybe this is a reason why i cant focus or concentrate on something.

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When it comes to the visuals, what helped me was simple acceptance.  It's the same approach I took when being on an extreme dose of psychedelics.  Let go, don't fight it, it doesn't exist.  That's how I deal with my visual anomolies today.  Not sure if that helps but it works for me.

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8 hours ago, nordlife said:

Thanks for the response. I dont feel any demand of doing either of the drugs again all i want is too feel better. Also i try to live as healthy as i can but sometimes i have problems with my digestion and dont feel any hunger since im constantly tensed and anxious. Doing sports is also hard because i feel so exhausted and my muscles hurt after just walking a bit. I dont know whats going on with my body.

The problems with my memories seem so far away and me asking myself if something really happened and if i was there can be from dp/dr? Cause this is one of the worst things along with having absolutely no sense of time. Im unable to tell what i did last week but the memories are not gone i just cant access them in a chronological way somehow.

 

I just see faces and parts of faces (eyes most of the time) its extreme even if im focusing on something else i see them in the corner of my eyes on some surface or object far away. Just like my brain is looking for them all the time and everywhere maybe this is a reason why i cant focus or concentrate on something.

Yes, there are all sorts of memory problems due to DP-DR and the ones you mention are very common. I've had problems off and on the last few years of feeling like I've been transported back in time and just being hit with random memories all the time. It's really discomforting but I've found these memory problems tend to fluctuate. If you can stay healthy and improve your visuals the memory issues should start to dissipate. 

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Thanks again. Visuals are hard to ignore sometimes but i think this will come with time. The mental symptoms are the ones im really worried about but im a little bit reassured that most of them are somehow explainable with dp/dr. I hope that I will notice at least some improvement any time soon cause living (especially being alone) is very hard at the moment it still feels like the worst and longest nightmare.

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9 hours ago, nordlife said:

Thanks again. Visuals are hard to ignore sometimes but i think this will come with time. The mental symptoms are the ones im really worried about but im a little bit reassured that most of them are somehow explainable with dp/dr. I hope that I will notice at least some improvement any time soon cause living (especially being alone) is very hard at the moment it still feels like the worst and longest nightmare.

We all know how you feel, which is the nice thing about this forum. The best advice I can give you is to just prepare for this to be around for a while. I thought I'd only have HPPD for a few days, then a few weeks, then a few months, then six months, then a year, and here I am after two years and I still have it. That said, it's gotten way, way better and I'm in a good place right now, but it took a hell of a lot of suffering and pain and experimentation to get where I'm at. Just be ready for this to last longer than you'd like, however as long as you don't do anymore drugs, eat really healthy and exercise you'll give yourself a good chance of recovering faster. 

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