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Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) Support Forum
HalluciSofos

My Personal Story

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Greetings to everyone,

I am currently typing next to my mother to whom i opened up about a big part of my life very recently due to HPPD. I am 21 years old and have been abusing weed for the past 5 years, did LSD 3 or 4 times the last one being a rollercoaster in 2017 (2 years ago). I think i misdosed or something because the whole experience lasted more than 24 hours and was a hell of a ride. Other drugs i have tried but only tried are cocaine, salvia and  MDMA. I am a senior at the American college of my city and i would be graduating very soon with great grades and holding my scholarship if it wasnt for HPPD. So here is my story.

About a month ago i started experiencing severe anxiety. My lifestyle was generally unhealthy with lots of coffees and energy drinks little sleep and lots of weed. I had my first panic attack outside while smoking mary and drinking an energy drink. This went on like that for like 1 or 1.5 week with lots of panic attacks and severe stress until i saw a psychiatrist. She helped a lot with my anxiety until i started having flashbacks of my LSD experience. At first it was more of a feeling and not an experience. It gradually progressed until i opened up to my psychiatrist who prescribed me with olanzapine (biggest mistake of my life). I took the olanzapine for 3 or 4 days and  boom. I've been having visual hallucinations and DP/DR for the past 5 days. At times it feels like it is getting worse and at other times it feels like it is getting better (Mostly has to do with time of the day, environment, anxiety etc). As most of you can imagine i suppose it is mainly not about the visuals but the re-experiencing , DP/DR, panic, and loss of self in general.

The past week or more (cant really tell since im easily losing focus and sense of time-space) i have changed my life completely. I started eating healthily , sleeping well (trying to at leasts) and generally focusing my whole diet towrads neuroregeneration and well being. K.B Fante's Routine that can be found here (http://hppdonline.com/topic/5344-a-routine-thats-helping-for-newcomers-especially/) is something i try to stick to and follow.

I am also considering CBD oil pills for stress as well as other supplements.

It is important for me to note here that my visuals are not that intense. They can get pretty irritating and distracting but never completely covering my field of view.

So i have some questions to the more experienced individuals.

1) Is there any chance it gets worse until it gets any better?

2) Olanzapine made me way worse and today i saw another psychiatrist who prescribed me with risperidone. What are the chances i have different results? As far as i can tell both drugs are of the same type and act in similar ways so i am very cautious about taking it or not. 

3) is there any chance both of the drugs make things way worse before starting to "cure" the receptors ?! 

I am desperate for answers and losing hope day by day. Please help...

 

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I would recommend you to get off all drugs, all meds, be healthy and stay like that for a few months - find your baseline - before starting to experiment with medications.

For a lot of people the dp/dr seems to get better after a while. Mine is a lot better now than a few months ago.

My synptoms started when I was prescribed Lamictal last year. But I don't know if it was the trigger, or it was a combination of things (quitting Effexor same time after 4 yrs, starting (again) with Zopiclone, smoking a lot of weed past 7 yrs, bad anxiety + PTSD all my life, deep depression at that time, and loads of different drugs back in 2016). Olanzapine is like Lamictal used for bipolar disorder but is also an anti-psychotic (so maybe heavier therefore). Lamictal is used to treat VSS and HPPD. Some react well on it, other don't. Everyone is different, so it's difficult to say how you may react. I avoid everything at the moment.

Best advice I've got from this website is to just try to keep myself occupied with other things, no matter how difficult it is. Me focusing in my symptoms is what's been ruining my life, not the symptoms itself, even though they do make a lot of things in life more difficult.

Hang in there - it can get worse before it gets better (but if it's meds/drugs making it worse, then I would avoid it. IMHO it's a bad sign). Some of my symptoms are getting progressively worse but I am hoping it will turn around sooner or later. Until then I will do my best to not let it drag me down.

So:

1. Yes.

2. Impossible to say.

3. I haven't seen anyone with HPPD say something made them first worse and then better.

DM me if you need to talk. I check in here regularly.

Edited by sami

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Greets again and thanks for the answers and advice. I have stopped using cannabis, drinking cofee / energy drinks etc. for about 1.5 week now pretty much since i first saw the psychiatrist for the panic attacks. Can't quit smoking at least 4-5 cigs per day though.

I stopped taking olanzapine on last friday (was the last dose tha blew me out). Since then it has been pretty much the same visuals i guess not sure though.

I made my mind , im not going to take the rispiredone at all not even going to go buy it, im just going to stick to the monk lifestyle for as much as it takes.

Hope it doesn't get worse. 

Bright side of things 1) i finally opened up to my mother about everything and i have great family support 2) we live in the mediterranean so lots of foods available that help with health/neurogenesis/well-being.

I am still considering CBD supplements to sleep better but not sure since i read they mess with some inhibitors 5-ht2 which are the same that these anti psychotics mess !?!? Not sure enlighten me

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I use THC free CBD. It helps me relax and my PTSD. I did try some CBD with low amounts of THC (0.2%) a few months ago and it triggered CEVs for me, so it seems I am super sensitive now (and for other substances too, same with Zopiclone). I stopped caffeine completely a few months ago and it has made more stable. Nicotine seems to affect my visual in a bad way, so I am trying to get off the tobacco. 2-3 cigarettes a day is okay, but as soon as I smoke more I get issues with my eyes, difficulty focusing and slightly more disturbances.

It's great you have your family and that they know what you are going through. I have the same support from my sister.

Food is a great distraction. I try to cook a lot because it affects other senses, smell, taste and that makes me think less on the visuals. I do low carb/keto, and it makes me feel better about myself and is supposedly good out of a neurological perspective.

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@HalluciSofos

I had the exact same reaction to cannabis.  I used to smoke it all day, every day, then very suddenly, panic attacks.  From what I've heard it's not that uncommon.  Lay off the weed, at least for a while, and see how you do.

I take CBD to help me sleep from time to time.  It's the only sleep aid that doesn't make me feel like a zombie in the morning.

Keep calm, you're here and your cognition is clearly intact.  I don't know if your symptoms will get worse.  Hppd can be variable where it's bad for a while, it seems better, and then it slips again.  Don't assume any increase in symptoms is permanent.  As others have said, stay away from psychoactive drugs.  I can't stress that enough.  I don't take any medications but others in this forum have had success with them.  Read through the forums, lots of bright people post here.

Don't give up on yourself, keep focused, and do the best you can.  Hang in there!

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Woke up early again didn't manage to sleep well. Visuals seems pretty much the same...Feeling of DP/DR again the same

My dreams are somewhat very real and i cant get into deep sleep. Most troubling thing about all of this is not the visuals nor colors... Its the loss of self DP/DR... I feel like im losing sense of time...Days feel like months and then the next day i can't even clearly remember what i did yesterday...too forgetfull both short and long term Im guessing this is the brain fog!?

Im trying to keep humble especially towards people who have struggled with it in a far greater degree than mine but there 2 things that i can't help but to think about.

1) how the f am i going to finish my college studies next fall and do my thesis with such a disorder

2) what am i going to do if this gets worse... my parents are both elders and i feel like im going to need parental help for the rest of my life...

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You have to give it time. You have no idea where you are gonna be or how you are gonna feel in one week, or one month, or one year.

I've had the exact same thoughts as you are having. How will I be able to do my job, how will I be able to take care of myself. I can only speak for myself but 2 months ago I managed to do 10 hours of work per week - I had severe dr/dp - comparing with half a year ago 40 hours. Now I am back at about 20-25 hours per week. How long will it last? No idea. But it can get better. And who will take care of me? No idea. My parents are elderly too, so I can't expect on them forever. Or my sister who has her own family. I have to push that thought away, because it's really destructive.

Regarding dp/dr, I've experienced it long before I ever got HPPD, or even had done any drugs. First time when I was in the mid 20s, because of anxiety and panic attacks. Then it's come on and off for the past 15 yrs. There is an extremely strong correlation between anxiety, panic attacks and dp/dr. When you then add visual disturbances to the mix, it makes it even worse. There is a real possibility that could be the case for you, that it is actually your anxiety and panic attacks that are the driving force behind the dp/dr, not necessarily the HPPD. So you need to relax, try to put your mind other things, try to avoid obsessing about it. I know, it sounds like impossible and I though it was impossible just three weeks ago, but I am actually writing this now, and it can get better. Most people don't seem to have HPPD for life, remember that. But anxiety, different meds, unhealthy lifestyle seem to worsen it. Try to focus on good things for you, and try to not decide now how your entire future is gonna be. Fact is, you don't know.

The only medication I would suggest you could try right now, temporarly, is some sort of benzodiazepine to help you get the anxiety in check and just see if that would then help you with the dp/dr. A lot of people also get help with their visuals from benzo.

Edited by sami

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That gives me hope... which i need right now... already feel better, seems that early morning is the most difficult part for me with most of dp/dr , haven't gotten out of home at all though 

also ordered lions mane any idea on dosages? it comes at 500mg capsules

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Mornings are the worst for me too, in addition because I've had to deal with rough anxiety in the mornings since I've been a kid, that with HPPD got 10 times worse. Then as the day goes by it usually gets better. Until a few weeks ago I had for the past 5 months been waking up with that bad anxiety because I constantly worried, obsessed about all the symptoms. I changed my diet, stopped with all sugar and most carbs (started with keto and intermittent fasting), I stopped with all meds, started to focus on my health, forced myself even though I did not want to to start doing things I used to have interest for before everything bad started, and slowly it has gotten better (even though my most of my visuals are worse). Before going to sleep, in bed, I listen to audio books, which has been helping me a lot with not focusing on my visuals and falling asleep. Now I sleep better than I've done in a long time, even before HPPD. I wake up with almost no anxiety and that makes it so much easier to deal with negative thoughts and the obsession with the symptoms. I do notice though sometimes when I take cigarette number 4 or 5 during the day that same anxiety comes back. So completely quitting smoking is a must for me. Try to find your triggers. What makes you feel worse. Food, smokes, activities, other things and avoid them. 

I still have bad days, and I accept that. There will be bad days, but there will also be... better days.

Never done any other supplement than CBD oil.

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Well basicly i've come to realise that i have had hppd since i did LSD and misdosed 2 years ago but since i was stoned 1.7 of these 2 years i never noticed until the dp/dr stroke.

In other words i never paid attention to it because i was never sober and constantly doing something (when i say constantly i mean every single minute of my day ).

The olanzapine i got prescribed for my dp/dr attacks and induced the lsd like panic attack probably made the whole thing like 10% worse but yeah look at me. i went from recovered to ill just because i got dp/dr attacks and stayed sober for 2 weeks and i can now identify every single distortion of my vision which brings me more anxiety and more fear of dp/dr. how is that...?

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Yeah, gone through the same thing recently: realizing I probably started developing symptoms from my first DOB trip back in 2016, but I was doing so much drugs back then, partying, dealing with anxiety and depression, being on meds and smoking weed that I just ignored anything weird going on as some sort of afterglow. Then when I went cold turkey with Zopiclone in December last year, my anxiety went up the roof and my symptoms exploded. So there are similarities. Getting hppd from drugs, then have it made worse by pharmaceuticals.

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It's a bumpy ride. My dp/dr got worse two days ago for the first time in eight weeks. And I am convinced it's related to me having more anxiety because of stress (was supposed to do a trip but cancelled it) and noticing slightly more visual snow. So back to relaxing. I actually took Zopiclone before bed yesterday and I definitely noticed less vs after that - but it could be the case of me just not having as much anxiety.

Anxiety and HPPD is a really bad combo.

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We talk a lot about how different meds affect HPPD but I am starting to wonder if it has more to do with how different medications affect our anxiety and stress levels, and it is in turn that what actually worsens HPPD.

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I've had trouble sleeping but not anymore. Now I took it to calm me down for it makes wonders with my anxiety, better than benzodiazepine,  plus I have a prescription. But I am super careful. Don't want to get dependent on it which did happen last year. Getting off them is what made my HPPD 100x worse in just 4-5 days.

Edited by sami

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I've been completely off Zopiclone past two months looking for my baseline. And back then I took two pills two nights while having problems sleeping. Before that it was beginning of February last time. So basically all of my meds past three months except for those two nights, and now yesterday then. So yeah, super careful. Been on too many meds in my life - have no idea how much they've messed up my brain and maybe made me more predisposable for HPPD. 

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3 minutes ago, HalluciSofos said:

also i feel like getting completely drunk wasted today

can that make hppd worse long term. visual wise

Most often alcohol has not made my visual symtpoms worse. I've gotten completely wasted a few times, but try to limit it anyway. Last week I had a glass of red wine and it seemed to make my symptoms worse, but that's the only time it has happened, so it could have been something else. Tried a glass yesterday and it had no effect.

It might have to do with how alcohol affects the glutamate and GABA receptors in brain. Alcohol actually lowers glutamate and increases GABA which is supposedly exactly what people with HPPD need. But there are those that do get worse symptoms so be careful.

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