What drugs can cause unpredictable flashbacks?
What is a hallucinogenic persistent cognitive disorder HPPD?
People who use hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD, ecstasy, and magic mushrooms sometimes relive the effects of the drugs days, weeks, or even years after using them. These experiences are often referred to as flashbacks. During some flashbacks, the feeling of reliving the trip or the effect of the drug is pleasant. It can actually be relaxing and enjoyable.
However, some people have a different flashback experience. Instead of a pleasant journey, there will only be confusing visual effects. These visual effects can include halos around objects, distorted sizes or colors, and bright lights that do not fade.
Individuals experiencing these disorders may be aware of otherwise. The interruption of your field of vision can be annoying, disruptive, and potentially debilitating. Therefore, these symptoms can be troubling or bothersome. If these visual disturbances are common, you may have a condition called hallucinogen-persistent cognitive disorder HPPD.
While flashbacks are sometimes common, HPPD is rarely considered. It is unclear how many people have this condition, as people with a history of recreational drug use may not feel comfortable telling their doctor. Likewise, despite the fact that it is officially recognized in medical curriculum and diagnostic guidance, doctors may not be familiar with the disease.
With so few people diagnosed with HPPD, research is very limited. This also limits what doctors and researchers know about the condition. Read on to learn more about HPPD, the symptoms you may experience; and how to find relief.
Flashbacks are the feeling that you are reliving an experience from your past. Some flashbacks occur after drug use. Others can occur after a traumatic event.
People with post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD experience flashbacks of stressful, even painful, situations. Both PTSD flashbacks and lustful drug flashbacks are often comprehensive. In other words, all of your sensory information is telling you that you are reliving the event or trip even when you are not.
However, with HPPD, flashbacks are not as comprehensive. The only effect of the flashback is the impaired vision. Everything else is the same. You are aware of the effects of the disruption, but you likely won't like the other effects of reliving a trip. As the flashbacks become more frequent, they can become frustrating or even stressful.
People who experience vision problems with HPPD often experience one or more of the following symptoms:
Intensified colors: Colorful objects appear bright and livelier.
Color flashes: Bold, inexplicable bursts of color can come into your field of vision.
Color confusion: It can be difficult to tell similar colors apart, and you can swap the colors in your brain as well. What is actually red to everyone else may be an entirely different color to you.
Size confusion: Objects in your peripheral vision may appear larger or smaller than they actually are.
Halos around objects: When you look at an object, a glowing border may appear around the object.
Tracer or Trailer: Lingering outlines of an image or object can follow your vision or pass through it.
See geometric patterns: Shapes and patterns can appear in something you're looking at, even though the pattern isn't actually there. For example, leaves on a tree may look like they are in a checkerboard pattern for you, but nobody else.
See pictures in pictures: This symptom can cause you to see something where it isn't. For example, you can see snowflakes in panes of glass.
Reading difficulties: Words on a page, sign, or screen appear to be moving or shaking. They also seem messed up and indecipherable.
Discomfort: During an episode of HPPD, you know what you are experiencing is not normal. This can make you feel like something strange or unusual is happening, which can make you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed.
It is not clear how or why HPPD flashbacks occur, so this can happen at any time.
These flashbacks are rarely as intense or long-lasting as a typical drug-induced trip.
Further information: What causes a person to see stars in his sight? »
Researchers and doctors don't know exactly who develops HPPD and why. It's also unclear what causes HPPD in the first place. The strongest association suggests a history of hallucinogenic drug use, but it is not clear what the type of HPPD, drugs or the frequency of drug use, can affect who develops HPPD.
In some cases, HPPD occurs after the first use of a drug. Other people use this medicine for many years before symptoms appear.
What is better known is what doesn't cause HPPD:
- HPPD is not the result of brain damage or any other mental disorder.
- These persistent symptoms aren't the result of a bad trip. Some people may not develop HPPD until after a bad trip, but not everyone with HPPD has had a bad trip.
- These symptoms are not due to the drug being stored and later released by your body. This myth is persistent, but not true at all.
- HPPD is also not the result of recent poisoning. Many people do not experience symptoms of HPPD until days, weeks, or even months after using the drug.
If you experience unexplained hallucinations, you should see a doctor. All hallucinogenic episodes are worrying. This is especially true if these episodes occur frequently.
If you have taken any hallucinogenic medications you should tell your doctor. It is important to understand that your doctor's primary concern is to help you manage and manage your symptoms. They will not evaluate your previous or recent drug use.
Reaching an HPPD diagnosis can be easier if your doctor is familiar with the condition and your previous drug use. Your doctor will want to know your personal medical history as well as a detailed report of your experience.
If your doctor suspects another possible cause, such as: B. Side effects of a drug, they may request blood tests or imaging tests. These tests can help eliminate other possible causes of your symptoms. If other tests are negative, a diagnosis of HPPD is likely.
If you think your doctor is treating you incorrectly or is not taking your symptoms seriously, find a doctor who makes you comfortable. In order to have an effective doctor-patient relationship, it is imperative to be honest about all of your behaviors, decisions, and behaviors.History: These factors will help your doctor make a diagnosis and avoid possible drug drug interactions complications.
HPPD has no recognized medical treatment. This is why your doctor is such an important part of the treatment process. Finding a way to relieve vision problems and manage the physical symptoms associated with it may require a little trial and error.
Some people don't need treatment. Symptoms can go away within a few weeks or months.
Some anecdotes suggest that certain medicines may be beneficial, but these studies are limited. Medicines for seizures and epilepsy such as clonazepam Klonopin and lamotrigine Lamictal are sometimes prescribed. However, what works in one person may not work in another.
Because the visual episodes of HPPD can be unpredictable, you may want to prepare yourself for techniques to manage symptoms if they occur. For example, you may need to rest and use calming breathing techniques if these episodes are causing great anxiety.
If you are concerned about an HPPD episode, it can actually make it more likely. Fatigue and stress can also trigger an episode. Talk therapy can be a good coping option. A therapist or psychologist can help you learn to respond to stressors as they arise.
HPPD is rare. Not everyone who uses hallucinogens will actually develop HPPD. Some people have these visual disturbances only once after using hallucinogenic drugs. Others can experience the disturbances frequently, but they are not very annoying.
There is little research to explain why it occurs and how best to treat it. Because of this, it is important that you work with your doctor to find a treatment technique or coping mechanism that will help you manage the disorders and feel in control when they occur.
Further information: Advantages and risks of "microdosing" »
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