Cam1210

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4 posts in this topic

Hello everyone,

I am a 20 year old university student from the UK.

So, almost 5 months ago, I took ecstasy for the first time. I have never taken any other hallucinogens in my life although I have smoked weed regularly when I was 16 years old. I was at a work friends party, very drunk, and so I decided to take a pill of ecstasy. I felt great after taking the pill, and continued to drink which was a very stupid decision I know! It was at this point that I blacked out from the drink and remember nothing else from the night. The next day I found out from my friend that I took another pill 2-3 hours after the first and found out that these pills were strong (not sure of exact dosage). I felt crap for the next 2-3 days as expected but after that felt completely back to normal.

About 1 month after taking the pills, I was on holiday abroad and about half way through the holiday I noticed for the first time visual static when I looked into the distance. I felt a sense of intense dread and anxiety that I have never felt before. I believe this is when my HPPD was triggered. The anxiety and symptoms continued to get worse over the next couple of weeks. At this point I believed I had triggered an anxiety disorder as the last year has been hard with the death of a close friend and illness with a family member. I had a couple of panic attacks in the first couple of weeks and began noticing floaters, other entoptic phenomena, intense CEV's in the first few days which were particularly scary and graphic, reduced night vision, difficulty reading, brain fog (particularly bad memory), anxiety and panic attacks. As the months have gone on I have noticed slight tinnitus and became a little depressed as I struggled to work out how what I thought was just anxiety was affecting me in so many ways.

A couple of weeks ago while searching online whether anxiety can cause visual static, I came across this website and immediately figured that I had many matching symptoms with HPPD. This revelation ramped my anxiety and depression up again as it had got slowly better over the last 4 months. Discovering that I actually had a neurological condition was very hard to take and I contemplated committing suicide however decided that it would be a cowards way out and that I have to fight this illness.

I have read through many posts on this website trying to find out how to cure or combat the illness. I have not been to see a doctor about the condition but I was wondering if anyone thought I should? Also I have been eating healthily and exercising in the past couple of weeks and trying not to drink very often which is hard as a uni student. Has anyone got any other advice for coping with this illness as this would be much appreciated.

I hope that in time either my brain will heal itself or I will be able to cope better with this illness if it doesn't and I really hope that a cure will be found one day.

I apologize for the lengthy post, but I haven't told anyone about this condition and needed to get a few things off my chest.

I would appreciate if anyone could give me any advice on how to cope (other than medications as I would rather not go down that route) or have any other questions or thoughts about this post.

Thank you

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It's way to early to think about suicide given how recently you got this. You have to give yourself time to heal first. As long as you avoid drugs, eat healthy, exercise, meditate, perhaps see a therapist and so on you'll likely be OK. This site is full of all kinds of great advice. The biggest thing is just staying away from drugs and maintaining a healthy lifestyle long enough so that your body and mind can heal. I know not drinking sucks, especially in the UK, but you should try and look at it like a new adventure and a new challenge which can only make you a better person in the long run. 

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Thank you for the reply K.B. Fante.

I will take your advice on board and try to live a healthy lifestyle and of course avoid drugs from now on. I am going to visit a doctor this week to see if I can get an actual diagnosis and perhaps inquire about seeing a therapist/psychiatrist for the anxiety and depression.

A couple of questions:

Should I tell my family about this condition? I am reluctant to tell them as I don't want them to worry about me and also I don't really want to tell them about the drug use.

In terms of meditation, can you learn to meditate properly from books and online or is it better to go to classes to learn how?

I have been taking some vitamin supplements for brain health and fish oil tablets. In your experience have they helped at all and if so how soon did you feel the positive effects?

Lastly, do you think drinking once or twice a month in moderation will have any lasting impact or is it better to not drink till I see some improvement?

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11 hours ago, Cam1210 said:

Thank you for the reply K.B. Fante.

I will take your advice on board and try to live a healthy lifestyle and of course avoid drugs from now on. I am going to visit a doctor this week to see if I can get an actual diagnosis and perhaps inquire about seeing a therapist/psychiatrist for the anxiety and depression.

A couple of questions:

Should I tell my family about this condition? I am reluctant to tell them as I don't want them to worry about me and also I don't really want to tell them about the drug use.

In terms of meditation, can you learn to meditate properly from books and online or is it better to go to classes to learn how?

I have been taking some vitamin supplements for brain health and fish oil tablets. In your experience have they helped at all and if so how soon did you feel the positive effects?

Lastly, do you think drinking once or twice a month in moderation will have any lasting impact or is it better to not drink till I see some improvement?

Telling your family is entirely up to you and should be a decision you make based on how comfortable you feel. My HPPD was so bad I couldn't try and pretend I was OK and my parents would have known no matter what, so I had no choice. My family is also very open so I told them right away anyhow. It was much more difficult telling my friends and of course I still haven't told distant family members. If you feel there could be backlash then it might not be a good idea, however this is a very very serious and debilitating condition so your parents should probably know at some point if you deem it acceptable. Perhaps showing them this forum or some YouTube videos would help them understand. 

I never read any books about meditation though I'm sure there are many great ones out there. I just googled "how to meditate" and watched some YouTube videos and then practiced it and haven't looked back. There's definitely some key things you should know but not that many so it won't take long to understand. 

In my experience the HPPD brain is highly sensitive so even good things in large doses can cause problems and exacerbate visual symptoms. This is why you should take very small doses of whatever you're trying, even stuff that works well. Many supplements will cause more harm than good though, so you should be aware of side effects. Also, I'd avoid buying supplements that include more than a few ingredients as there will likely be one that you won't be able to handle. I can't tell you how many supplements I bought where I liked one ingredient but there were other included that made my symptoms worse. Stay away from any sort of stimulant too and don't take too many at the same time. Your best bet is to find a few that work and just stick with them. 

Honestly, I don't think drinking or doing drugs of any kind is advisable while coping with HPPD. If you could somehow manage a glass of red wine a few times per month I don't see how that would hurt, however that's usually not how drinking works, especially for youngsters. Drinking one beer at a bar often leads to another, which leads to another, and before you know it you've had more than you can handle and your judgement is impaired and then you could end up doing drugs that make your HPPD even worse. Perhaps some people would disagree but I think staying away from drugs of all kinds is your best bet. I had plenty of fun without them but I know it's more difficult the younger you are. 

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