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Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) Support Forum
mikolaj

Is head pressure not related to HPPD and it's another possible side effect of psychedelics?

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Hello :) That's my first post.

My very beginning experiments with psychedelics started around 2009.
A few times with seeds containing LSA. Very pleasant experience, zero side effects then.
I would say based on later experiences strength was comparable to 20ug of LSD.

I started microdosing 1P-LSD 12/2017 - 01/2018. Substance was tested with 4 different reagents.
About 1.5h after ingesting 15ug of 1P-LSD, which was a too much to work at computer, I started feeling weird pain at the top of head. It went away after few hours.
After second ingestion of 10ug of 1P-LSD one week later weird, light head pressure stayed with me and I was anxious I did something to my brain. Basically I psychically felt my brain in a different way.

I was stupid enough at this point to continue experimenting with substances.

I ingested 1.5g of dried psilocybe cubensis McKennaii 03/2018.
Trip itself was profoundly beautiful one, no bad trip, anxiety or any unwanted emotions during the experience .. but
I've been having permanent, 24h/7 head pressure since then.

During psylocybin the trip I started feeling sharp pain on the top of head.
I thought it's a stroke, it was very alarming. Apart from that during the trip head pressure went to the roof.
Within next days sharp pain started to come down to the throat and at the end to the right arm. It was painful enough to have problems falling asleep.

Both pain and head pressure stayed with me since then. They've been very, very slowly fading away.
Apart from that zero other symptoms typical for HPPD. No visual distortions, patterns, no snow vision, no anxiety.
I feel my short term memory might be a bit worse and when the pain/pressure gets more intensive makes it difficult to focus.

There are some days when I get bad, painful head pressure out of nothing, then it calms down within 1-2 days.
There are more symptoms than just pressure:

  • I would describe painful pressure sometimes as a fire fading away to feeling of paralysed/numb area next days/weeks
  • Sometimes it feels like there is a fluid moving inside brain from side to side
  • Brain feels poisoned/injured all the time, it intensifies usually in the afternoon. I would compare that to having a hangover, but different

Steps I made to try to get rid of pain/pressure


No effects (in terms of improving pain/pressure):

  • More excercises
  • Regular 7-7.5h sleep
  • Started meditating every day
  • Better diet
  • supplementing: lions mane, ginger
  • CBD a few times
  • Diazepam two times. Only made me more calm about the symptoms, dit not alter them

Negative effects

  • THX once, low dose. Head became painful as soon as started giving effects. Painkillers did not help
  • Drinking alcohol. I'm terrified to drink alcohol as the pain might be worse for long days. Hangover is just a nightmare. Dihydromyricetin (antihangover substance) helps tremendously
  • Niacin 100mg. Brings pain on top of the head for 1-2 hours
  • Noopept 35mg with choline. Gives headache until I fall asleep, it's better in the morning
  • Too much caffeine
  • Wim Hof breathing. Brings pain and injured-brain like feeling sometimes for more than one day plus tinnitus


Examinations done so far

  • CT scan. Clear
  • EEG. Clear
  • MRI. Clear

I got used to this pain and pressure. I don't even remember what my brain used to feel like. I just know it would be a huge relief to make it normal again.

Pre-experimenting with psychedelics I had zero mood disorders and I don't think there is any now.

Questions for discussion

What else examination might be worth trying?

  • sleep-deprived EEG?
  • fMRI?
  • or maybe just give up searching as it seems pointless? Even if there is something injured it might be at the level not achievable by current medical devices

I read about a lot of cases of head pressure. However these usually came along with HPPD and visual symptoms.


Is it possible head pressure is a side effect other than HPPD, but usually arises with HPPD?

Edited by mikolaj

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I get it too, its pretty interesting. I feel it goes more hand in hand with the anxiety hppd causes. I've had it intensify etc.

1.) Why were you using recreational drugs if you so clearly worry about the repercussions? I hope you havent touched them since and have learned their dangers, "beautiful" trip or not, its not worth a life time of suffering, I've read 2 many hppd suicide induced threads to think lsds "beautiful trips" "ego-deaths" "spiritual awakenings" mumbo jumbo that all "psychonoughts" preach is worth it. What I would do to feel 100% NORMAL, like the average joe again. Your lsd won't be there to give you a good trip after hppd, your buddies you do lsd with won't give be there to pay for your 10 years of therapy after you have hppd etc. They will move on with their lives after their lsd phase, leaving you behind with the damage. Anyone who glorifies lsd or these ILLEGAL TOXIC drugs is promoting danger, they ruin lives. All because of a "beautiful trip"..

2.) Your filter is probably breaking, you're noticing things that usually the brain filters out much like us hppd suffers. Try not worrying or being anxious about it *easier said than done because its a constant feeling of heavier gravity on top of your head am i right* and see if it goes away when you're not paying attention. To test this theory pop a benzo and try to make your head ache worse, you probably couldn't because its most likely fed through anxiety, look up top of the head migraines, has to due with blood flow dilation etc.

Edited by josht9210

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@josht9210

I hope you read the full post.

1) I haven't say a word I glorify it or recommend other people to use it. I just said I had beautiful trip while in most cases I read people have HPPD after bad trip or mixing substances - especially THC.

I try to stick to facts.
- people might get beneficial experiences and there is data supporting that - eg. John Hopkins clinic
- people might have permanent side effects after single low dose in perfect set & settings - this forum is a perfect example of how devastating these might be

I don't buy BS about spiritual awakenings or people religiously saying psychedelics are a miracle.
They are not. They are substances disturbing the way brain works for a while - strong enough to damage something and it's not clear what/how.

I used it second time mainly because
- I was stupid hoping to get no more side effects with bigger dose and different substance
- to get another view on my permanently injured leg and disability - and it helped accept it. Plus I got damn painful pressure which is a permanent problem. Initial benefits loose the meaning compared to longevity of side effects

Whether something is legal or not - I don't think it matters. You can damage yourself with single use of THC which is legal in many countries.

2) I tried various things including benzos (diazepam) - it's in the post.
I don't think it's filter breaking. It's painful and distracting. Like a rock in a shoe.
You can get used to it but it's going to be there.

I believe it's a low-level damage (celebral coretex - just a guess) and unfortunately there is no medical device yet that would show such details.


And I hope there will be some way to at least examine the damage so you and me could see what really happened to our brains.

Edited by mikolaj

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