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Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) Support Forum
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PTSD, HPPD, and looking at the snow?

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Hi there, this is my first post here, and I'm a little sad to see such a large community of a 'rare' occurance that supposedly has no known cure.

 

Please excuse the long post, I just had a lot I wanted to say and particularly get peoples opinions on about similar experiences if they've had any

I really just wanted to ask if anybody has ever had any experience 'looking' at their hppd..

I once tried looking at the visual snow and I'm presuming is HPPD that I developed during (literally during, I remember it coming on) a trainwreck of an acid trip that I had brought on by trying to force open a traumatic experience that had given me PTSD (I had not yet realised that I had PTSD). I remember when I looked at it and focused, that the first time I tried this I felt quite nervous and shadowy figures appeared, I would best describe them as ghosts, though by no means am I saying they were ghosts. I seemed to maybe be able to interact with them a little, or maybe that was just my mind. Either way they went away when I stopped focusing.

 

I had attempted this a few times since then, and a few months later I had been staying at a Hindu Ashram for a couple of weeks, and really been focusing on practicing meditation and working hard during the day outside of the temple. Every night I went to bed feeling pretty good and pretty with it, especially considering the PTSD, until one night ou I felt pretty anxious and a bit skittish. I was pretty cold in that cabin in the woods and the woodburner hadn't been on long, so I curled up into a ball under the blankets and just kinda hid in there for a bit. At this point for some reason I decided to start 'looking' at the visual snow, and kinda let it consume me, far more than I had when I'd seen ghostly figures... And suddenly I was right back where I was where my PTSD happened, and for the first time since the event I was able to 'see' myself. My body was completely naked, and it looked/felt like I had been hacked to bits by a machete. You know those pictures when you see stray dogs that had been SERIOUSLY abused, with no fur and massive scars, completely vulnerable, just shaking... It felt like that. The way my PTSD has manifested has been so I have avoided it, which means no flashbacks or anything, just minddarkness (so I can rarely visualise anything, especially not with clarity) and anxiety. As soon as I was able to comprehend how injured/damaged I was emotionally as sudden wave of physical anxiety smacked me and I went back to the way I was before. I've never broken through on DMT but I guess it felt like being shot backwards from the broken through state through the tunnel that people commonly describe suddenly into normality.

 

I just thought that was really interesting, and it really gave me hope for the future, kinda knowing I'm still alive in there, even if I am seriously wounded. It's a place from which to heal. Has anybody ever had any experience with this or like that?  I've never been able to reach that state again, I think through fear of knowing what's on the other end....

 

Also I'd also like to add two experiences when my HPPD went away. Both from crying, once when my best friend died suddenly... I have difficulty crying usually, but this time I did, especially for the first few days. After a while though I wasn't able to cry again, even though I needed to. I went onto facebook and sent him a message of all the things I wish I could have said and how much I loved him etc. And finally some tears managed to make their way through. I remember after I did suddenly everything was.. Normal again. I can't really describe PTSD to anybody who hasn't experienced it, but it feels like the difference between no fat milk and cream. Everything is empty, meaningless, emotionless, and there is absolutely no love. You exist only on baseline impulses, and fear has constant power over you, especially if you don't exercise/really look after yourself. When everything went normal, the HPPD more or less disappeared. I didn't notice it anyway. Interestingly when I first got it during the trainwreck I mentioned earlier, I remember looking at them freaking out as they were growing massively in number (beyond one or two floaters that every acid trip usually contained) I remember thinking to myself "what are these? oh god what are all these?" and a voice somewhere answered "they're tears".    The second experience was much the same as the one I just described, where I cried and everything got better, including HPPD.

 

 

Anyway sorry for the long post, I'd love to know if anyone's had any similar experiences. It seems pretty clear that in my case PTSD and HPPD are linked somehow, and I think I read somewhere else on here they affect the same part of the brain.. But I wonder then what this means for other people who only have HPPD?

 

Stay well guys :)

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Hi everyone,

My name is Steve and I’ll share more of my story in the coming weeks. I’ve suffered with HPPD for 47 years. It started after the last time I took LSD in my sophomore year in high school, and has continued 24/7 until today. I’ll be 63 in June. It got much worse when I was 45. It was stress related (public speaking) and my symptoms (all the visual stuff we all experience) got so unbearable I finally saw a good doctor at Stanford. We’ve tried pretty much every med in the book, but the only one that gave me relief was Klonopin. It was a life saver for me. I function pretty well, but anxiety is present most of the time. I really try to avoid the things that make the visuals worse, like stress and fatigue. My doctor has been a huge help, and we have looked at some of the underlying issues I have that have gotten worse as a result of HPPD. It sucks!

The good news is you learn to live with it and I can say that I’ve had a good life. For over 25 years, I thought I was the only person on the planet with this condition! I knew they weren’t flashbacks, because it was with me all day every day. It’s weirdly comforting to know I’m not alone, but I hurt for everyone that has this condition.

 I haven’t taken drugs since the last time I dropped acid (it sounds weird to say it now) except for smoking some pretty potent pot one time. I was full on hallucinating when I smoked, so I guess you could say I was scared straight.

Please find a good doctor, avoid stress, anything that might produce anxiety, and find some meds that work.

 

Blessings,

steve

 

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