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TryingToHelp

Theory, hppd results from a heightened awareness of normal visual phenomenae

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Ok, first some background on me...

I have taken a reasonable amount of hppd associated drugs in the past. I last took mushrooms 15 years ago, MDMA 6 years ago. I am very interested in hppd for a few reasons... 

1. I have a friend who has suffered from it for years and thankfully failed in committing suicide as a result.

2. I feel lucky that I am not affected by this condition in any way at all dispite my past drug use. 

I do however feel that this past drug use and the intense visual experiences I encountered whilst under the influence has made me more appreciative of the subtleties of my normal sober visual perception.

I can see all the classic symptoms of hppd in my vision if I explicitly look for them. I do however have a very good memory of my childhood and can remember distinct and numerous occasions where I saw visual snow, halos and after images.....these were of course many years before any kind of drug taking. I've always had a shit load of floaters since a very early age, as a child I can remember playing some kind of weird hockey like game with them when drifting off to sleep. When swimming as a kid I would always see rainbow like halos around the white lights illuminating the pool, at the time I put it down to the effect of the chlorine on my eyes. I remember commenting on blue and red visual snow to my parents when aged about 7 when I was walking home in the dark one night. I can remember getting crazy after images from freeway lights a few times in my parents' car during long night time journeys home from summr vacations.  As a teenager I used to quite often visualise gemoeric patterns and all kinds of wierdness In the dark as a precursor to falling asleep.

I therefore have no reason to believe that the 'things' I can see if i go looking for them right now result from any kind of drug related brain damage. Possibly, from the past drug use they are maybe easier to find.......as the drugs have  helped me learn how to find them.....does that make sense?

3. I am a scientist by education and for some reason am extremely curious about hppd and want to try to understand how it occurs and help people recover from (or come to terms with) it's sometimes devastating effects.

So, my theory is this....

-hppd symptoms do not indicate brain damage, but are aesthetically normal and have always been present in the affected individuals' vision since childhood. 

-the use of drugs has brought these normal visual phenomena to a higher prominence in the sufferers' visual consciousness than before the drugs were taken.

- this might have occurred due to possibly:

Health anxiety over the perceived visual symptoms and guilt over the drug use

Or

A subconscious psychological process over which the sufferer has no conscious controll that has been triggered by the drug use.

In short my theory is that:

THE BRAIN OF A HPPD SUFFERER IS PAYING UNDUE ATTENTION TO UNDERLYING NORMAL VISUAL PHENOMENAE. 

THIS MAY NOT BE SOMETHING THAT THE SUFFERER HAS ANY CONSCIOUS CONTROL OVER....(it is not their fault).

Any thoughts on this idea?

 

 

DISCLAIMER... I previously posted a version of this idea as MattyHouseMouse a week or so ago, that post and subsequential follow ups were put across in terms that were in hindsight disrespectful to hppd sufferers and I apologise.  Please can you all read THIS post on it's own merits and not in the context of my previous misguided attempts to convey my ideas.

Thanks 

 

 

 

Edited by TryingToHelp
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Did you read any of the responses to your original claims?

look, HPPD whether you want to believe it or not is a physiological condition, these visual disturbances are not mild, and the anxiety is far beyond that which you normally experience in normal emotional related fears. HPPD is a crippling night mare for those who have it, if you had it, you’d understand. You’re not helping anyone, if you would like to help, do actual real research and reading on possible physiological causes.

to be completely blunt and honest you seem like a dreamer who envisions himself as a philosopher. I’m absolutely shocked that you claim to have a scientific related degree, i think you don’t as it appears you base your “beliefs” off imaginations instead of real observable evidence.

basically, your theory is ridiculously stupid. 

Edited by dasitmane

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You can start by reading these two threads, there are a lot of possibilities. Without doing real studies its unlikely to know for sure. I’ve been studying this condition since i got it 8 years ago. These two threads are all my reading and research and ideas accumulated.

when i first started i knew very little...

one finding that shows physiological evidence as to the cause are a higher than normal incidence rate of white matter hyperintensities in MRIs of patients suffering from HPPD.

for a long time i assumed it must be certain that its caused by neuronal apoptosis due to some form of glutamate increase/flood, but according to some recent studies that i have posted, not all hallucingems show signs of neuronal loss even in very high doses, even 50 times usual human use. So that complicates the idea of neuronal loss.

Edited by dasitmane
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No worries, ill lighten up lol. The first thread i edited out a lot of my posts, you can just skip to page 20, the second thread sums the 1st one up to some degree and is a lot clearer of a representation of my ideas, 

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So essentially some kind of brain damage you think. 

The evidence as I read it doesn't add up to this. 

Why would some drug treatments rid some users of all symptoms but not have any effect on others?

 

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Brain damage is not the correct term, but the problem is likely neurological. Probably receptor damage.

You might be correct that what we are seeing are natural imperfections in vision, but that in no way means it can be ignored or is anxiety based... It means the filter system that is in place to block those imperfections has changed at a neurological level.

 

 

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No, i don't think that, i don't know, i was pushing for brain damage being the most logical answer, but there is contradictory evidence for that. So I’m unsure, i don’t believe those studies entirely rule out neuronal loss, but it gives credence to other possibilities. 

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You might benefit from going and reading about other conditions, all conditions relating to the brain to better understand the dilemma and complexity of the nervous system, how many things can go wrong, how much is still unknown, etc, its pretty mind blowing. It would help you understand not only the reality of this condition, but its complexity, you'll also see that not much goes on for correcting the nervous system in medical science. Only 1% of all taxes goes to scientific research, 30% goes to military, theres a reason why no advancements are being made in humanity.

Edit: Also as per your friend that you mentioned I’m very sorry. Suicide rates are, from simple observation, much higher in HPPD patients than in the usual public, the condition is very serious. I would even say 80-90% of HPPD suffers contemplate the idea of suicide. Which gives a lot of credence to the reality of the condition, and could be contrasted from say, hypochondria, where they have normal suicide rates comparative to the public.  Granted hypochondria is also probably physiological, as with schizophrenia, OCD, PTSD, migraines, headaches, etc. 

Edited by dasitmane

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10 hours ago, Jay1 said:

Brain damage is not the correct term, but the problem is likely neurological. Probably receptor damage.

You might be correct that what we are seeing are natural imperfections in vision, but that in no way means it can be ignored or is anxiety based... It means the filter system that is in place to block those imperfections has changed at a neurological level.

 

 

Yes, seems I might be coming across ok finally.

Ok I half agree with you. My question is whether the filter is at a subconscious psychological level rather than neurological? 

We all have had the thing I'm sure when u dont notice an annoying noise until someone points it out, eg air conditioning, then u cant help but hear it.  What if the mechanism for hppd is similar, but the drugs act as the person pointing the thing out to you, the thing being visual noise as opposed to aural noise?

Edited by TryingToHelp

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10 hours ago, TryingToHelp said:

 

Yes, seems I might be coming across ok finally.

Ok I half agree with you. My question is whether the filter is at a subconscious psychological level rather than neurological? 

We all have had the thing I'm sure when u dont notice an annoying noise until someone points it out, eg air conditioning, then u cant help but hear it.  What if the mechanism for hppd is similar, but the drugs act as the person pointing the thing out to you, the thing being visual noise as opposed to aural noise?

Well, you know all the visual symptoms of hppd, so why don't you now see them? Why doesn't everyone who's taken a psychedelic get hppd?

The fact that hppd is so rare points to a neurological issue far more than psychological, imho.

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1 hour ago, Jay1 said:

Well, you know all the visual symptoms of hppd, so why don't you now see them? Why doesn't everyone who's taken a psychedelic get hppd?

The fact that hppd is so rare points to a neurological issue far more than psychological, imho.

Maybe because I remember seeing all the symptoms before doing the drugs, that has reassured me that they are nothing to worry about. Ie when I see them now, it's like for a split second and my brain easily diverts from them. If I hadn't the childhood memories, my brain might latch onto them more and associated them subconsciously with the drugs. 

The interesting thing would be to see if a hppd sufferer has any memory of the visual noise from before they ever took the drugs, what do you think?

Edited by TryingToHelp

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When I was very very young, (maybe about 5) I remember before I went to bed I would look up at the ceiling and see visual snow and would stare deeply into it and start to see colorful patterns. When I first got HPPD, the visual snow was terrifying because of it's intensity, but somewhat familiar. The visual noise only happened rarely at night but it was kind of like a game to me to see if I could manipulate the patterns on the ceiling. These patterns, of course, were extremely faint and I was not experiencing a full blown trip as a child. But yes, I have memory of visual snow and pattern phenomenons and also have HPPD. 

Edited by mth97

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6 hours ago, TryingToHelp said:

Maybe because I remember seeing all the symptoms before doing the drugs, that has reassured me that they are nothing to worry about. Ie when I see them now, it's like for a split second and my brain easily diverts from them. If I hadn't the childhood memories, my brain might latch onto them more and associated them subconsciously with the drugs. 

The interesting thing would be to see if a hppd sufferer has any memory of the visual noise from before they ever took the drugs, what do you think?

Just because not everyone gets it isn’t proof that its not real. Also just because you don’t get it also doesn’t prove it’s not real, here you're using biased perspective according to psychology, and its a huge flaw. Not everyone gets the flu. To be honest I'm amazed that you're still even contemplating this, I’ve shown huge flaws in your theory, I’ve also showed you various examples that give significant credence to the physiological nature of this disorder, I think you may not know what physiological means.

Edited by dasitmane

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4 hours ago, dasitmane said:

Just because not everyone gets it isn’t proof that its not real. Also just because you don’t get it also doesn’t prove it’s not real, here you're using biased perspective according to psychology, and its a huge flaw. Not everyone gets the flu. To be honest I'm amazed that you're still even contemplating this, I’ve shown huge flaws in your theory, I’ve also showed you various examples that give significant credence to the physiological nature of this disorder, I think you may not know what physiological means.

I read a lot of your threads and  all of it is speculation.  The white matter in the brain idea, so you gathered mris off sufferers then analysed them yourself for example. How did you know how to do that? people study for years to become radiologists. The hypertherima idea in the brain, why would it not give hppd to people who went for a run or had a high fever for example?

I think that @Jay1s view on the brains filter being moved somehow is on the right lines. I cannot come on here and say for definite that it is the case for all hppd sufferers, but I do think that a subconscious psychological reason could accout for the 'filter shift' in a reasonable number of sufferers, particularly those prone to severe health anxiety.

@dasitmane, I'm not attacking you, this is a debate between two amateur scientists with contrasting views.

The questions over physiological explanations I have are:

-some drugs completely remove symptoms in some patients but have no effect on others, why?  I note that lamotrigine and clonazepam,  the two main drugs thought to help have common usages in controlling depression and anxiety,  so maybe it is their effect on those conditions that help rather than on visual neurology?

- why do symptoms delay in occurring from the time of the drug use? I gather there are people who get it months or even years after the drug use, when the drugs are completely flushed from their bodies. If the cause in these people was neurological, this implies some kind of spontaneous change in brain physiology,  that doesn't add up. A phychological cause is more credible in these cases.

Surely if you think it is definitely not correct in your case, you must be able to see the logic behind my theory being true for at least some hppd sufferers?

 

 

Edited by TryingToHelp

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5 hours ago, mth97 said:

When I was very very young, (maybe about 5) I remember before I went to bed I would look up at the ceiling and see visual snow and would stare deeply into it and start to see colorful patterns. When I first got HPPD, the visual snow was terrifying because of it's intensity, but somewhat familiar. The visual noise only happened rarely at night but it was kind of like a game to me to see if I could manipulate the patterns on the ceiling. These patterns, of course, were extremely faint and I was not experiencing a full blown trip as a child. But yes, I have memory of visual snow and pattern phenomenons and also have HPPD. 

This is very interesting, thank you. Would you say that this past familiarity has helped you overcome the symptoms in any way?

Edited by TryingToHelp

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I would too lean towards a hypothesis of some sort of 'damage' or change as my case was not caused by classic hallucinogens but after the incident of combining two serotonergic drugs (one of them being MDMA). I appreciate and respect @dasitmane for exploring all the avenues but for myself, I prefer to focus on the brain. I believe this condition should be fully reversible at some point in the future. 

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7 hours ago, mth97 said:

When I was very very young, (maybe about 5) I remember before I went to bed I would look up at the ceiling and see visual snow and would stare deeply into it and start to see colorful patterns. When I first got HPPD, the visual snow was terrifying because of it's intensity, but somewhat familiar. The visual noise only happened rarely at night but it was kind of like a game to me to see if I could manipulate the patterns on the ceiling. These patterns, of course, were extremely faint and I was not experiencing a full blown trip as a child. But yes, I have memory of visual snow and pattern phenomenons and also have HPPD. 

I can relate to this. I remembered this probably a year after I got HPPD and thought "Shit, that may have been a warning".

This was probably when I was around 10-12, I would go to bed, however there wouldn't be any static BUT : If I focused my eyes in the same way that you'd focus them to see far away (I would call it "Seeing deeper in the dark"), after a few seconds, it would flash violently for a few seconds and then stop. This could be repeated for as many times as I wished. The flashing was similar as to when you poke your eye really fast in the dark and stimulates the photoreceptors thus creating artificial "light".

You may have this kind of white flashing with HPPD as well. Since HPPD, I have this thing called "Exploding Head Syndrome". Happens rarely. Name is fun though.

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13 hours ago, TryingToHelp said:

Maybe because I remember seeing all the symptoms before doing the drugs, that has reassured me that they are nothing to worry about. Ie when I see them now, it's like for a split second and my brain easily diverts from them. If I hadn't the childhood memories, my brain might latch onto them more and associated them subconsciously with the drugs. 

The interesting thing would be to see if a hppd sufferer has any memory of the visual noise from before they ever took the drugs, what do you think?

I did not have a single visual anomaly prior to LSD use. Let it be static, long after images, tracers, floaters, flashes of light etc etc.

Before HPPD, my vision was as clear as it could get. Night vision was perfect apart from the thing that happened in my previous post.

However, and as Dr. Abraham stated, there is some kind of hereditary pattern here. My mom does have static, says it was very strong when young and somewhat got better with age. She never did drugs and neither did her parents.

I'm guessing there's a genetic weakness that once attacked by hallucinogens, throws the brain out of chemical balance and leads to unexpected visual and sensorial changes.

I was at first convinced by the neuronal loss theory, but I have thought about it a lot and a few things bug me.

  • If it's neuronal loss, how come it sometimes happens overnight and randomly, after one dose of acid or 20, 50 ?
  • The HPPD for me started when I was on an LSD microdose and smoking weed. Weed is supposed to be neuroprotective right ? How come then the neurons degraded so quickly on a drug that is supposed to protect them ?

However I have to say, I have some faith in the "neurons being overly excited due to hallucinogen use" theory. I have been diagnosed with ADHD as a child. Did not take any medicine. It sort of subsided when growing up. With HPPD, ADHD kicked back into life pretty violently, I'm hyperactive enough that caffeine has little effect on me (actually slows me down sometimes) and so does cocaine or anything that is supposed to stimulate the brain. Hyperactive to a point where it is actually annoying and almost a handicap.

@dasitmane, I have read your last posts on your "part 2" thread just now, so yeah it might not be neuronal loss after all. Still necessary to explore all the possibilities.

Edited by dayum_son
Added some text.

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4 hours ago, TryingToHelp said:

This is very interesting, thank you. Would you say that this past familiarity has helped you overcome the symptoms in any way?

Nope! But because I remember having faint visual snow occasionally, I believe that some people may have a predisposition to HPPD. So if you've experienced visual snow in the past, maybe you should tread carefully or better yet, not use hallucinogenic drugs at all. 

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I dont and have no intention to, even though I think hppd might have a psychological root, that does not mean I think I have zero chance of getting it, my brain is a law unto itself lol. In particular hearing of my friends troubles ( see my first post on this thread) has frightened me greatly.

Nice spliff yes please but , any stronger drugs, even mdma, no appeal to me these days. 

I wonder if a possible line of research would be to see if there is a correlation between memories of experiencing visual noise before drugs and hppd, a positive OR negative correlation could be meaningful.

Edited by TryingToHelp

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Well this is interesting, evidence from this very forum:

Different take on the anxiety theory, brain tuning in on things it perceives to be dangerous, makes sense, hppd may by a subconscious protection reaction by the brain....

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On 2/10/2020 at 1:41 PM, TryingToHelp said:

I read a lot of your threads and  all of it is speculation.  The white matter in the brain idea, so you gathered mris off sufferers then analysed them yourself for example. How did you know how to do that? people study for years to become radiologists. The hypertherima idea in the brain, why would it not give hppd to people who went for a run or had a high fever for example?

I think that @Jay1s view on the brains filter being moved somehow is on the right lines. I cannot come on here and say for definite that it is the case for all hppd sufferers, but I do think that a subconscious psychological reason could accout for the 'filter shift' in a reasonable number of sufferers, particularly those prone to severe health anxiety.

@dasitmane, I'm not attacking you, this is a debate between two amateur scientists with contrasting views.

The questions over physiological explanations I have are:

-some drugs completely remove symptoms in some patients but have no effect on others, why?  I note that lamotrigine and clonazepam,  the two main drugs thought to help have common usages in controlling depression and anxiety,  so maybe it is their effect on those conditions that help rather than on visual neurology?

- why do symptoms delay in occurring from the time of the drug use? I gather there are people who get it months or even years after the drug use, when the drugs are completely flushed from their bodies. If the cause in these people was neurological, this implies some kind of spontaneous change in brain physiology,  that doesn't add up. A phychological cause is more credible in these cases.

Surely if you think it is definitely not correct in your case, you must be able to see the logic behind my theory being true for at least some hppd sufferers?

 

 

I studied how to read MRIs simple as that. Might seem difficult or impossible for you, but it can be done. Also MRIs have transcript summaries from the technicians themselves that display the findings and they report what I stated, so your argument here is invalid.

Drugs removing symptoms isn't proof its psychological, you have literally no idea what you're even arguing, you've clearly made up your mind before hand and just find evidence to support your preconceived idea, its called biased perspective. That argument your making actually would support it being a physiological disorder, as the drugs interact with the physical nature of the brain.

In most cases I have seen there are not delays, and in the extremely rare cases they almost always take or do something to trigger it, usually being alcohol, weed, or prescriptions. That also wouldn't prove or argue psychological, as it could equally be physiological, i.e. the brain healing, or toxin buildup, swelling inflammation, a slew of arguments.

I see why you are arguing what you are arguing but we are all telling you you are wrong, all mental aberrations of the brain that are not by choice are physiological derangements. There are zero signs that these patients are even unknowingly makings a choice to cause themselves extreme suffering even to the point of suicide, its a ridiculous idea, and honestly it sends the impression of your lack of knowledge of the human body and its functions, and even that of psychology.

At this point if you aren't getting it you're an idiot or imbecile, and exhausting.

If you find something noteworthy of sharing, or some remarkable find then share it, otherwise to continue this discussion is a waste of my time.

Edited by dasitmane

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Doesn't it seem more likely that the very few children that do see hppd like visual issues are likely to have a faint neurological issue? 

Any child seeing huge swathes of geometric shapes, or bright green "digital vortexes" on any flat surface, or the walls breathing in and out might not just be seeing "natural imperfections" imho.

I think you are focusing way too much on just visual snow, which is just one part of the hppd visual spectrum. I wont even entertain floaters... they are not hppd.

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