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Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) Support Forum
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DaveB84

So, here's my crazy story. Advice?

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Hey guys,

So i'm a 32 year old male who's been doing a bit of self diagnosing on the web recently.  Guessing that's probably what brings most people to this forum.  Anyways, here's my story if you wouldn't mind reading, and perhaps offering a bit of advice.  Also, please believe that I don't suffer from any sort of psychosis and I'm not making any of this up:

When I was 15 I had a pretty terrible reaction to smoking weed.  I realize that must seem pretty mild in comparison to what usually gets talked about on this board.  I began smoking occasionally with some close friends during that time, and it wasn't until years later that I even found out that weed seemed to affect other people differently than me.  This was mostly due to the fact that I was hanging out with older, "cooler" people than me- so i didn't really bother to ask them what their experience was like, or to tell them about mine.  Whenever I would smoke, I would feel completely normal afterwards for a short time until something would trigger the "high".  When it hit me, my vision would completely change and get kind of blurry, and distorted (it's very hard to explain and i've been trying to for years haha) and I would feel very tingly and extremely disconnected from reality.  The last time I smoked it resulted in the worst experience of my life.  I felt like i was on another planet, my vision was as I described before, and it felt like sounds were delayed.  I went into a bathroom and began hitting a wall to try to feel something, but even my tactical sensations seemed to be dulled.  I won't bother with telling every detail of the next few hours, but basically it was hell.  I ended up going to my friends house who advised that I just take a nap and that i'd probably feel better.  When I woke up it was dark outside, and the first thing that I noticed was that the anxiety and most of the feelings that i'd had earlier had gone- I felt much better.  However, as I walked out of the dark room and saw the light in the hall- I noticed that my vision was still the same as it had been during my earlier experience.  My first thought was that it might just take a while for the drugs to completely leave my system.  That didn't happen.  It's been about 17 years since that experience and my vision has been the same ever since.

Over the years, i've pretty much gotten used to it- and short of an anecdote that i'd tell occasionally when friend's asked me why I didn't smoke; I didn't really think about it all that much.  Recently, my vision has begun to get a bit worse- and I've been developing what seems to be a case of DP/DR (Depersonalization/Derealization) that seems to be getting worse by the day.  My vision combined with the dp/dr is beginning to make my life pretty scary.  It's enough just to have a feeling that things "aren't real", but then to have the vision issue backing it up- it's a pretty nasty combo.

Anyways, as most modern people do when experiences medical or psychological issues- I started doing some research online and it eventually led me here.  I'd like to know if THC can lead to HPPD.  Am I way off base?  And if so, does this sound like anything that anyone has had any experience with?  Since I was a teenager, I've been trying to figure out what happened to me that day, and I'd pretty much given up hope that i'd ever find an answer.  Now due to everything that's going on it seems like I don't have much of a choice.  I'm pretty desperate to find answers.

--If anyone has made it this far, thank you so much for taking the time to hear me out.  If you can offer any words of wisdom it would really mean a lot to me.

Thanks,
Dave

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Man, that sounds rough. I guess we're all in the same boat, but society has always told us weed is safe and it's so painfully clear that's a complete lie. 

Lots of people with DP-DR report the same sort of story you do. DP-DR often comes with a variety of visual disturbances and some overlap with HPPD. Can you pinpoint exactly which symptoms you have and which are getting worse? That might be a good place to start. Also, you should examine how healthy your diet and lifestyle are and if they're less than superb you should try and help yourself in those respects. I've posted lots of dieting advice recently in case you're interested. 

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Thanks so much for the reply.  So, my vision issues have not gone away since I was a kid- but recently, i've started to feel very detached, like im kinda living in a dream.  At first, I was having thoughts that I might not be real- and I've pretty much gotten over that.  Now I'm more or less in a numbed state, where everything just doesnt feel real.  

Im actually watching a movie at the moment called "Numb" where the main character, played by Matthew Perry, smokes weed and develops DP/DR.  It's so crazy to know that this actually happens to people, and crazier still that I never knew it was a real diagnosis after all these years.

I will admit that I don't have the healthiest diet at the moment, but honestly whenever i've gone through super healthy phases- i've never noticed a change in my vision or anything.  I'm currently working out every other day, but so far haven't really noticed a happiness boost or anything.

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Yeah, you definitely have DP-DR. Numb is a great movie. If you're into reading there's some good books on it. I think Feeling Unreal is probably the most famous. Also, there's speculation that a lot of philosophers had DP-related experiences so you could start with Descartes if you really wanna go down the rabbit hole!

Diet has been the single most important factor of my recovery so I'm always going to try and promote a healthier lifestyle, but I realize some people may not respond in the same way as others. I guess all you can do is just try and be healthy and happy and do everything you can to get better. If you have to, there are certainly medications you can explore but they probably shouldn't be your first course of action. I'd really suggest cutting back on added sugar, gluten, junk food, etc., and see how you feel a few months from now. If you notice a change, even a very slight one, then keep on going. If not, well at least your doing your body a favor!

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I'm doing the diet thing. I've never really took it seriously but I want to see how I am a month from now.

Whenever I get cravings I just smoke a cig lol but I need to cut that out too. One thing at a time.

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Did anything major happen in your life to bring on the recent increase in your symptoms. Stress (losing job, someone dying etc) is usually the cause of these spikes.

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being a human is suffering, as quoted from my favorite show, "Life gives you shit regularly, gotta take it up the ass and march on soldier"

Far easier said than done, we're here for you my guy

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