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An article on HPPD in The Independent


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Hey all, 

I'm the journalist who was looking for interview subjects last month. The article has, at long last, been published. 

Among other details, my article features a history of HPPD that stretches back to the 19th-century; several real-life case studies; discussions of HPPD's link to psychosis, alcohol abuse and suicide; and what the condition may mean for the promise of future psychedelic research.

You can read it on The Independent here: https://www.independent.co.uk/independentpremium/long-reads/netflix-good-bad-trip-lsd-psychedelics-never-wears-off-a9533136.html

It's behind a paywall, but you can create a temporary account through Google or Facebook pretty quickly. If you'd rather skip that, you can read a less fancy-looking version here on Pastebin: https://pastebin.com/R9jy1NWV

Thanks - enjoy. Let me know what you think. 

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Thank you for writing this article. I feel like you covered everything fairly and properly, and more importantly, perhaps the big pro-psychedelic community will be willing to admit that yes it is a risk. Unfortunately I feel many in the drug community are unwilling to accept the reality of it, or will blame it on pre-exisiting mental disorders (something I'd like to say about that: look how common anxiety and depression is, I'd say MOST people already have a mental illness, so the argument is useless).

I do have a question about your article though. You mention " Some even report seeing animate beings". As I was telling others here, I haven't done HPPD research in many years, but I have to say that sounds less like HPPD and more like low-level psychosis. Usually HPPD distorts what's already there, at least in my experience.

Anyway, thank you so much for this.

Edited by Swartz
Didn't read the article carefully enough, needed to remove part of reply.
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"Psychosis, alcoholism" ...sensationalism.....

Have you checked what Visual Snow Syndrome is before writing this article ?

Like many others, you had difficulties understanding these pathologies, that are in fact all mixed up in the case of "HPPD"

I have to agree it's a can of worms, and that's why it's very hard not to get confused by all the misleading informations available on the topic, including on wikipedia.

A mistake was made in the first place, even by those who studied and named the pathology itself, like psychiatrist doctor Abraham.

As visual snow syndrome is exactly the same pathology  ( take it appart from the psychological repercussions ).

Visual snow is by then not a "persisting hallucination"   ...that's incorrect.

 

"HPPD" is not a trip that does not end (that's a psychosis).

 

"HPPD" is a neurological condition that can also be triggered by antibiotics, drugs, benzos and many other unknown factors : chemical, genetic or environemental.

 

There is so much confusion.

 

PLEASE

Any new book or article stating these non-sense and going into sensationalism are just counter-productive.

For reminder

Psychosis :  mental illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder...

Yes, we have some people mixing up both even here on this very board. 

"HPPD" and "Visual Snow Syndrome"

Visual Symptoms

  • Snow-like dots all over the field of vision
  • Small floating objects or flashes of light
  • Sensitivity to light (Photophobia)
  • Continuing to see an image after it is no longer in the field of vision (Palinopsia)
  • Seeing images within the eye itself (Entoptic phenomena)
  • Other visual effects such as starbursts, halos, and double vision (Diplopia)

Non-Visual Symptoms

  • Ringing, humming, or buzzing sounds (Tinnitus)
  • Feeling detached from yourself (Depersonalization)
  • Symptoms of anxiety and/or depression can sometimes develop as a result of having to deal with a constant medical condition like Visual Snow Syndrome

Source https://www.visualsnowinitiative.org/learn/

This is what most of us experience for a lifetime.

Edited by olivier24445
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Stop stating opinion as fact... I very much consider myself trapped in a trip that doesn't end, it just about the perfect description for what I am going through. 

And why would he need to mention VSS on a topic that is clearly about the potential side effects of drug use?

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4 hours ago, Jay1 said:

Stop stating opinion as fact... I very much consider myself trapped in a trip that doesn't end, it just about the perfect description for what I am going through. 

And why would he need to mention VSS on a topic that is clearly about the potential side effects of drug use?

Because the base of symptoms most of us experience and describe are these, after a few month/years. 

Others disorders mix up to these,  associated to drug individual experiences (and from cannabis to heroin, these are extremely various, vague... ), what makes the diagnostic extremely difficult and confusing for most physicians. And i'm not talking about the blinding stigma.

The cure , if there is one, will then probably be identical for both pathologies, VSS and "HPPD". That's actually good news because they are more searchers working actively on VSS.

"HPPD searchers" are for now, only coming from the psychiatry/addictology/mental illness realm.

They won't find a cure with psychotherapy or prescribing benzos,  antipsychotic, and other mollecules of this type, that's for sure, because they don't understand the psysiological side of 'HPPD' : these are just patchs over a bleeding wound - It seems so obvious if you study properly both pathologies. That's my own intuition and I'm pleased to share it.

 

 

Edited by olivier24445
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8 hours ago, Jay1 said:

Stop stating opinion as fact... I very much consider myself trapped in a trip that doesn't end, it just about the perfect description for what I am going through. 

And why would he need to mention VSS on a topic that is clearly about the potential side effects of drug use?

Agreed, off of my clonazepam, that's the perfect description: a trip that doesn't end.

Although I don't consider that psychosis, as psychosis involves delusional thinking or being unable to determine if visual phenemonen are real or not, I don't doubt that some HPPD sufferers also have psychosis (especially since it's obvious that psychosis is a separate risk all of it's own of both hallucinogen and cannabis use).

I really don't see anything wrong with the article. In fact I shared it with both my parents, who previously had difficulty understanding HPPD, and they apologized profusely to me for not understanding it better before. They feel like now they do understand after reading that article.

This journalist deserves praise.

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Yea, i'm not sure what you are getting at, Oliver. The article is a deep look into hppd and the potential issues with the explosion of excitement for LSD/MDMA treatment. 

The term "stuck in a trip" may not work for you, but you need to think how it works for the average reader. A descriptive phrase is better than a bunch of scientific words that they will just skip over.

I've always said that hppd is a collection of disorders that feed off each other, but I think that is addressed in the article.

And yes, a cure for VSS could have great benefits for us, and vice versa... But it is still just a hypothesis right now. Drug induced depression, for instance, can (from my own experience and anecdotal evidence) be much harder to treat than depression brought on by grief, even though the symptoms are very similar.

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33 minutes ago, Jay1 said:

Yea, i'm not sure what you are getting at, Oliver. The article is a deep look into hppd and the potential issues with the explosion of excitement for LSD/MDMA treatment. 

The term "stuck in a trip" may not work for you, but you need to think how it works for the average reader. A descriptive phrase is better than a bunch of scientific words that they will just skip over.

I've always said that hppd is a collection of disorders that feed off each other, but I think that is addressed in the article.

And yes, a cure for VSS could have great benefits for us, and vice versa... But it is still just a hypothesis right now. Drug induced depression, for instance, can (from my own experience and anecdotal evidence) be much harder to treat than depression brought on by grief, even though the symptoms are very similar.

Also, a more constructive proof that the base of the pathology is 99% common with VSS is that kepra and lamictal are prescribed for both , and work in the same way. That's far too much for a coïncidence.

I'm just pissed , when i read this article, because it presents mild drug induced psychosis+hppd as a whole, and this is the confusion that , for me, represent a major obstacle in understanding what this condition really is. So, it just keeps spreading more confusion, going back to the romantic "flashback" narrative from the 60's...

Fact is, many people in the hppd community cummulate both, clearly.

So as probably in the VSS snow community people cummulate this same neurologic setup  with other psychiatric disorders.

For me the key for a searcher, is to focus on the neurological aspect, to unravel and sort out,  where and how it all takes roots, clearing (and that's the hardest) all the noise consecutive from extremely various psychatric manifestations, induced by drugs, or not.

Edited by olivier24445
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Did you fully read and take in the article... It doesn't link hppd with psychosis (that I remember). It just highlights that psychosis can be a co-morbid disorder amongst HPPD sufferers, just as depression and anxiety can be... This is fact based. 

Keppra and lamictal did nothing for me. Because similar meds are used to attempt to treat two different issues is not a proven link that they are the same issue, neurologically. I've read a lot on VSS and, without wanting to gatekeep, i've never heard a VSS sufferer with even 1/5th the visual symptoms that I have, and none have ever described the trippy feeling that is yet another sideshoot of dpdr, ... I think they are similar, but i think HPPD will likely have some big differences too.

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1 hour ago, Jay1 said:

Did you fully read and take in the article... It doesn't link hppd with psychosis (that I remember). It just highlights that psychosis can be a co-morbid disorder amongst HPPD sufferers, just as depression and anxiety can be... This is fact based. 

Keppra and lamictal did nothing for me. Because similar meds are used to attempt to treat two different issues is not a proven link that they are the same issue, neurologically. I've read a lot on VSS and, without wanting to gatekeep, i've never heard a VSS sufferer with even 1/5th the visual symptoms that I have, and none have ever described the trippy feeling that is yet another sideshoot of dpdr, ... I think they are similar, but i think HPPD will likely have some big differences too.

I started psychotherapy 2 years after i got hppd, and kept doing sessions every week for 15 years, until all the "noise" was taken off my shoulders, and god i had lots of stuff going on,  building over it. Probably, mushrooms have been a trigger, a slap on my soul, giving me no choice but to dig deep in what i was blindly missing.

Now as an adult, i'm just fine, i can smoke weed, i'm not depressed anymore, i feel completely normal. I own to this trip that in the end, i had a chance to become myself.

That means, yes, weird, but i own a lot to this trip. I won't go back for anything in the world.

What's left  ? What i call the "base" , a proper visual snow syndrome with nothing else.

So that's my point of reference, just for the input.

You can lift a big part of the  "hppd" extra problems with a psychotherapy . 

Edited by olivier24445
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5 hours ago, Jay1 said:

Did you fully read and take in the article... It doesn't link hppd with psychosis (that I remember). It just highlights that psychosis can be a co-morbid disorder amongst HPPD sufferers, just as depression and anxiety can be... This is fact based. 

Keppra and lamictal did nothing for me. Because similar meds are used to attempt to treat two different issues is not a proven link that they are the same issue, neurologically. I've read a lot on VSS and, without wanting to gatekeep, i've never heard a VSS sufferer with even 1/5th the visual symptoms that I have, and none have ever described the trippy feeling that is yet another sideshoot of dpdr, ... I think they are similar, but i think HPPD will likely have some big differences too.

Yes, I did fully read and take in the article. I also agree with what you're saying. Perhaps you didn't read my post carefully or maybe I didn't word it well.

*Editing myself as I re-read my own post*

My post made zero sense. I don't know what I was talking about/referring to. Sorry for the confusion.

*2nd edit*

I see now: I was referring to this: ""HPPD" is not a trip that does not end (that's a psychosis).", and I was refuting that. It wasn't addressed to you Jay1.

 

*3rd edit*

I'm a moron: you weren't even addressing me xD I need some sleep. Ignore my entire post, lol.

Edited by Swartz
I r dumb.
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