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AlphaBeta

HPPD from LSD / Cannabis Bad Trip

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Hey guys!

I'm currently evolving HPPD and like to introduce myself. Will try to describe my case here as best as possible and update the course of my disease (I won't be one of these guys not responding / updating anymore in case it gets better :) ).

 

Primary Intoxication Causing HPPD: Bad Trip, caused by LSD 250ug, Cannabis ~ 1g about 8 hours after LSD (April 2019). After 6 hours of anxiety, trip aborted with 10mg Diazepam.

HPPD Trigger: One night of sleep deprivation few weeks later.

Anamnese:

- No psychological issues before developing HPPD, mood was always fine and very stable

- frequent Cannabis use for 1 year (phases of daily use, in 2019 2-3 times a week, but also with some weeks of no consumption at all in between)

- frequent LSD use (~ every 4-6 weeks as well as 100ug 1 week before the primary intoxication causing HPPD)

- 2 times mushrooms, 1 time MDMA

I completely stopped taking  recreational drugs after my bad trip. Also no alcohol, no caffeine.

Current symptoms:

- Poor Sleep, 0 - 6 hours (every day)

- Anxiety / Mood swings (recurring episodes every few weeks)

- Visuals: Intensified Colors (strong), Blue Field Phenomena (slight), Trails (slight), Starbursts (strong, especially during night), Halos (during night, strong). Everything persistent. Currently visual symptoms are getting worser. So far, they always only got worser.

- Muscle Twitching (slight, ~ 20 times a day)

- Slight head pressure

- DP (occured 2 times now while I was in bed)

Past symptoms:

- DR

Course:

Week 1: Slight DR, no other symptoms.

Week 2: Got to bed too late and had to wake up early (only 4 hours of sleep). Since then, I have very heavy sleep issues. Got into a cycle of sleep deprivation, raising anxiety and raising DR. Took 5mg Diazepam. Next days it was getting better, anxiety was cured for now.

Week 3: DR faded out, sleeplessness persisted.

Week 4: Sleep issues persisted, and now I did the biggest mistake of my life: Even though sleep got slightly better (4-6 hours was possible now), I took the decision to stay one night awake trying to improve sleep length. This triggered my HPPD.

Week 5: Very slight episodes of anxiety because vision was slowly changing. Starbursts and intensified colors evolved very slowly. Anxiety faded out quickly.

Week 6 and ongoing: Not much issues first, but HPPD is slowly getting worser. Tried Lorazepam and Zopiclone once for sleep (with 1 week pause in between), but their rebound accelerates HPPD symptoms development. Rebound of Zopiclone was the worst thing - it brought back the bad trip for 1 1/2 days and triggered mood swings / anxiety that faded out after 5 days.

Medications:

None of the medications I took did seem to have any direct effect on my HPPD visuals. Anyhow, I tried a few ones to cope with my other symptoms.

Positive Effects:

- Valerian (without no sleep at all is possible, I take it every day  in doses of 150 - 1350mg as needed, sometimes in combination with bulm / passionflower. It slightly helps with anxiety as well.)

- L-Tryptophan (blood test showed a lack, so I started to supplement during the anxiety phases with 500 - 1000mg / day. It seems to cure anxiety / lifting up the mood after 2-3 days)

Negative Effects:

- Zopiclone (works for sleep, extremely bad anxiety rebound, accelerated HPPD development during rebound)

Neutral:

- Lorazepam (worked once for anxiety / sleep, no hard rebound, but seemed to accelerate HPPD development during rebound)

- Magnesium (I supplement it because of muscle twitching and sleep lack, but I don't know if there is an effect)

 

For what I seek out:

One and a half week ago, I first noticed trails very slightly. Now they're are quite noticeable already and occur mainly on objects I don't focus on so much, but I also notice it on my hands as well. I'm quite concerned and expect heavy anxiety / DPDR issues during next weeks as it is fastly getting worser. Any advice? I'll ask my psychiatrist for Clonazepam next Wednesday. Not sure if I should take it preventively trying stop / slow down worsening or if I should wait as long as possible until DPDR occurs.

Also I'd like to know, how much will severe trails and DPDR influence my everyday life usually? Should I may cancel planned vacations? What if I have a DPDR situation at work, can I handle this without freaking out? I'm quite frightened.

 

Thanks for helping out!

 

 


 

Edited by AlphaBeta
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First off, don't panic.  You're here and you're clearly mentally intact.  

Try not to assume every symptom you have might be hppd.  For example, muscle twitching.  There are a lot of reasons that could happen.  As humans, our interpretation of reality isn't always just exactly perfect.  Don't assume every anomaly is related to hppd.  Try not to focus on your symptoms.  Take that vacation and relax.  In the mean time, focus on work, fun, hobbies, friends, school, etc.  It's too easy to implode making any symptoms seem worse.  Never underestimate how strong you are.  If you do have some level of hppd (note, I'm not a doctor or an expert on hppd)  you CAN live a full and happy life.  Read some of the recent posts in the "introduction" forum.  There are a number of people who have done some amazing things.   

Also consider this.  Psychedelics can have after effects that aren't necessarily permanent (trails fo example).  Don't assume your symptoms will just get worse.  If you stay clean, and that includes cannabis, the better your prospects.

Stay clean, stay positive, and take care of yourself  (and those around you).

Keep posting, and read posts.  Lots of good information in here, lots of bright people as well.

 

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Hi MadDoc! Thanks for your warm welcome. I'll give my best. Mood got a bit better during the last days which is the most important thing as my visuals are not so heavy yet. I hope this will persist so that I don't need to take Benzos. Of course, I'll abstain from Cannabis and all other recreational drugs, don't want to make things worse.

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Rebound from Zopiclone definitely makes it worse. Going cold turkey was what made mine explode in intensity.

I was off Zopiclone completely for almost five months. Some of my symptoms improved during that time (photophobia, textual bombardment, palinopsia) but others kept on getting worse (visual snow, pattern glare, floaters, tinnitus).

A month ago I got major sleeping issues again and decided I would risk Zopiclone use again, me being without sleep just makes my life worse, depression, anxiety, etc. Once I started I quite quickly noticed a further improvement in visuals, especially pattern glare, palinopsia and tinnitus. I even had a case of photophobia coming back before that, and it's completely gone now. Though, since there is the dependency issue, I am trying to get off it again by really slowly tapering it off. Been down to 1 mg per night past week and my visuals were really bad yesterday. By tapering it down anxiety is not that bad. Got a minor panic attack before bedtime yesterday and took a full pill again, and today my visuals and tinnitus have improved a lot again. So, Zopiclone really helps with my visuals and tinnitus but rebound is hell, and makes it a lot worse. Slowly tapering it down is the only choice but even then it gets worse. But I'm in doubt saying that Zopiclone makes it permanently worse. I believe I have other causes that keeps on making my HPPD worse, which is infection, so Zopiclone does when used give me some relief. I would prefer though not have to use it at all but I keep it for emergencies.

Edited by sami

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On 8/1/2019 at 3:41 PM, sami said:

Rebound from Zopiclone definitely makes it worse. Going cold turkey was what made mine explode in intensity.

I was off Zopiclone completely for almost five months. Some of my symptoms improved during that time (photophobia, textual bombardment, palinopsia) but others kept on getting worse (visual snow, pattern glare, floaters, tinnitus).

A month ago I got major sleeping issues again and decided I would risk Zopiclone use again, me being without sleep just makes my life worse, depression, anxiety, etc. Once I started I quite quickly noticed a further improvement in visuals, especially pattern glare, palinopsia and tinnitus. I even had a case of photophobia coming back before that, and it's completely gone now. Though, since there is the dependency issue, I am trying to get off it again by really slowly tapering it off. Been down to 1 mg per night past week and my visuals were really bad yesterday. By tapering it down anxiety is not that bad. Got a minor panic attack before bedtime yesterday and took a full pill again, and today my visuals and tinnitus have improved a lot again. So, Zopiclone really helps with my visuals and tinnitus but rebound is hell, and makes it a lot worse. Slowly tapering it down is the only choice but even then it gets worse. But I'm in doubt saying that Zopiclone makes it permanently worse. I believe I have other causes that keeps on making my HPPD worse, which is infection, so Zopiclone does when used give me some relief. I would prefer though not have to use it at all but I keep it for emergencies.

Did you try Benzos with longer half-life like e.g. Temazepam?

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Some update: Luckily, my worst fears did not come true yet. Had no further issues with DP/DR so far. Anxiety did subside again, but my state of consciousness is still altered.

For about 2 weeks, I had a generalized itching that definitely was not caused by skin issues. Just some random, changing body parts were suddenly pricking and itching, especially in the evening. Every time different parts which fastly changed. Fortunately, it went away after 2 weeks. During this time, I tried a sedative antihistamine (doxylamine) which helped a lot to supress this symptom and get some sleep. It didn't have any effect on my visuals. Just as the headache / head pressure and muscle twitching, it just subsided after some time. Never had such symptoms before my HPPD.

For now, I dropped all meds as my state is manageable, but visuals still get worse slowly. Sleep issues are persisting.

Edited by AlphaBeta

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Could you explain me what is DP and DR? I also feel head pressure some times and I am wondering if this is from HPPD or just from something else. I really hope you will get better man I don't know what advice I should give because I am new to this stuff.. Hope you can at least deal with sleep issues. I had a dream before this thing happened that it happened to me and now my dreams come true.. I also somehow have really vivid dreams and I nearly went to astral projection last night which scared me hard as fuck. I haven't been to doctor so I am not diagnosed with HPPD, but I am pretty sure this is it. Also I wanted to ask you (I don't know if you know, but still) if you can get blind from this disease? I wear glasses every day and I am bit scared that one day Ill wake up and won't be able to see.

Edited by FeelEmpty

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1 hour ago, FeelEmpty said:

Also I wanted to ask you (I don't know if you know, but still) if you can get blind from this disease?

No, this is not possible. HPPD is known since the 60's and there is not a single case report of blindness as far as I know.

1 hour ago, FeelEmpty said:

Could you explain me what is DP and DR?

DP is depersonalisation. It means that you're feeling detached from your body or you feel like you're not real or feel like you're robot-controlled.

DR is derealization. It means that the environment (objects, friends/family, your home, ...) is feeling very strange, unfamiliar and unreal.

If they occur often, these symptoms are extremely damning and some people here describe them as their worst ones. Often, those symptoms are a reaction by the psyche to heavy anxiety. Luckily, I had DR only in the very beginning and DP still only 2 times and very short. So for me they were not a big problem yet, fortunately.

1 hour ago, FeelEmpty said:

I also feel head pressure some times and I am wondering if this is from HPPD

It can be a side effect of HPPD (as well as of many other diseases), it's not so uncommon, I've read it quite often.

Edited by AlphaBeta

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Update: Visuals still get worse very slowly. No big issues with DP/DR/Anxiety yet again. Mood swings between normal, oppressed and Trip-like. Sleep issues persist, but are not so massive as in the beginning.

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Sleep got much better meanwhile, but Visuals are still getting worse. My psychiatrist offered me Lamotrigine now because he thinks we should somehow "interrupt" the worsening. I'm quite unsure if I should start a medical treatment at this point. On the one hand, my HPPD is overall still mild, but on the other hand it constantly gets worse. Initially I wanted to wait for at least 8 months before trying medications, but now I'm not so sure anymore. Maybe my doctor is right and I should stop just watching it becoming (may irreversibly) worse. Will think about it within the next few weeks.

If anyone has thoughts or input for me regarding this decision, please let me know.

Edited by AlphaBeta

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23 hours ago, AlphaBeta said:

Sleep got much better meanwhile, but Visuals are still getting worse. My psychiatrist offered me Lamotrigine now because he thinks we should somehow "interrupt" the worsening. I'm quite unsure if I should start a medical treatment at this point. On the one hand, my HPPD is overall still mild, but on the other hand it constantly gets worse. Initially I wanted to wait for at least 8 months before trying medications, but now I'm not so sure anymore. Maybe my doctor is right and I should stop just watching it becoming (may irreversibly) worse. Will think about it within the next few weeks.

If anyone has thoughts or input for me regarding this decision, please let me know.

If it was me, I'd take it asap. It just makes all sense, I don't see any reason to delay treatment. In fact for me it would make sense to do exactly the opposite: get as much treatment asap, when maybe the "damage" is still reversible... and taper off later on.

Netflix documentary, The Mind Explained, episode 5, minute 18, they make the analogy of our brains being like mountains covered in snow, with sleds creating paths on it, once you repeat something long enough, making it difficult to escape that route.

If you let your visuals "sink in", it might be impossible to get out of there.

Just crazy thoughts, of course.

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Get on meds to lower anxiety and stress, you lower those and your symptoms will lower (I say this from 10 years of hppd), they will still exist but you'll be too distracted with real life.

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Started Lamotrigine therapy 3 weeks ago. I'm on 50mg/day now and will increase the dose as long as the trade-off between effects and side-effects are fine. I think I already feel a mood-stabilizing and antidepressant effect. Although, sleep got a bit worse and visuals are still exacerbating. Anyhow, mood is the most important stuff so I'll continue.

Edited by AlphaBeta

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Discontinued Lamotrigin last week. I was on 200mg and visual symptoms still got worse, also anxiety & depressive symptoms were there again. It seems it was just a 2 good weeks initially that did let me believe it helps. Discontinuation had no effects.

Edited by AlphaBeta

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This is a copy-paste from an answer I gave an another post earlier

 

About "detraining" the brain to notice visual snow, here's a report from a guy who claimed he cured his disturbances by watching anti visual snow video for hours on end. (the video does kind of "freeze" visual snow for a few seconds if you watch it for some minutes, you can try it it's fun).

(PIN THIS POST) How I CURED my Palinopsia & Visual Snow - Original Visual-Snow or Static forum

I believe this guy because it is consistent with this article

Cortical stimulation for treatment of neurological disorders of hyperexcitability: a role of homeostatic plasticity Chai Z, Ma C, Jin X - Neural Regen Res

Basically by (counterintuitively I agree) hyperstimulating an hyperactive brain, homeostasis does its thing and the brain reduce the baseline level of excitation of the neurons.

At least in my case it makes sense, I got HPPD from an anticholinergic (basically depriving the brain of stimulation for roughly 3 days) so maybe in some people where homeostasis happen faster than other that's why I am left with an hyperactive brain and ultimately HPPD.

It might be useful to remember here that classic serotoninergic psychedelics are in fact reducing brain activity.

https://healthland.time.com/2012/01/24/magic-mushrooms-expand-the-mind-by-dampening-brain-activity/

 

This may seem a bit far-out or whatever but do watch the video, read the post of the guy and then the article and tell me what you think about this.

I might be making a better and more fleshed out stand alone post about this (the role of homeostasis in our condition) tonight.

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mindrnd are you really this blind and/or soulless? You would actually come on a forum like this and tell people that buying your CBD/THC product will cure all their problems? I don't know whether this is a lack of conscience or just ignorance and stupidity but either way, you should consider that your actions can have consequences

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22 minutes ago, mindrnd said:

I suggest you don't trash information you don't know anything about. We represent legal labs that manufacture under Government of State of California. 

You represent a corporation who either  lack the ethics to be careful who they market to and/or vet and supervise their representatives. You're telling people that your CBD/THC product will cure all their medical conditions. So these legal labs you're representing, are they on board with their representatives violating FDA regulations placed on their products?

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39 minutes ago, mindrnd said:

If you were just advertising CBD it wouldn't be as bad, but you're saying very stupid and dangerous things to try and influence people to buy it. Search CBD on this forum and see does it cure everyone with LSD induced PTSD. Some people it actually makes worse. And THC makes a lot of people worse, sometimes much worse. 

You didn't even read past the titles of those Reddit posts...

Edited by Entheologist

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Update: I'm on Sertraline 50mg/d now for 2 months. First two weeks, mood swings got worse. After two weeks, anxiety and mood swings did disappear almost completely. Regarding mood I feel quite normal again. I didn't notice any significant change on visuals so far, but that's maybe a good sign as it got worse before. Overall, this is an extreme improvement. If it continues like this, it's a life that's worth living again :) I think few days ago I had the first day not thinking about the condition at all. That's a great success and I wouldn't have thought to reach it that fast after it got worse for such a long time.

Edited by AlphaBeta

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Another update: Visuals got fewer and fewer during the last 2 months and I do notice them quite rare now during the day and indoor (at night it's still very noticeable outdoor). I'm still taking Sertraline, but I'm not suffering at all anymore and I feel completely healthy (despite the fact that I gained weight, but I think that is more due to unhealthy eating already before the medication). I can't say that everything is like it was before my HPPD, but generally I'm completely fine! :):):)

Maybe this gives some of you hope that it's possible to completely recover from this disease without any suffering remaining :)

Edited by AlphaBeta

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