Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder

Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder

What is Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder?

Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) is a disorder characterized by a continual presence of sensory disturbances, most commonly visual, that are reminiscent of those generated by the use of hallucinogenic substances. Previous use of hallucinogens by the person is necessary, but not sufficient, for diagnosis of HPPD. For an individual to be diagnosed with HPPD, the symptoms cannot be due to another medical condition.

Is HPPD the Same Thing as Acid Flashbacks?

HPPD may be confused with acid flashbacks. However, HPPD is distinct from acid flashbacks by reason of its relative permanence; while acid flashbacks are brief and fleeting, HPPD is persistent. HPPD is an actual medically recognized mental condition and appears in the DSM-IV (diagnostic code 292.89).

Causes of Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder

The cause(s) of HPPD are not yet known. The most current neurological research indicates that HPPD symptoms may manifest from abnormalities in Central Nervous System function, following hallucinogen use. One theory derived from this research is that the brain inhibitory mechanisms involved with sensory gating, or filtering out excess visual and auditory stimuli, are disrupted therefore allowing more information to be perceived at one time. This results in an overload of the senses.

What HPPD Looks Like

In some cases, HPPD appears to have a sudden onset after a single drug experience, strongly suggesting the drug played a direct role in triggering symptoms. But in other cases, people report gradual worsening of symptoms with ongoing drug use. Drugs that have been associated with HPPD include LSD, MDA, MDMA, psilocybin, mescaline, diphenhydramine, PCP, synthetic cannabis, and high doses of dextromethorphan.

How many people are affected by HPPD?

Some put the number at about 1 in 50,000 hallucinogen users develop HPPD. However, it is possible the prevalence of HPPD has been underestimated by authorities because many people with visual problems relating to drug use either do not seek treatment or, when they do seek treatment, do not admit to having used illicit drugs. Thus, it may be that HPPD occurs more often than is detected by the health care system.

Quick Facts About Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder:

  • People can develop HPPD after only 1 use of a hallucinogenic substance
  • HPPD is most typically caused by the use of LSD
  • About 59% of people with HPPD see geometric patterns on blank surfaces like walls. Almost as many, see false movements of still objects, usually in the peripheral visual fields. Others reports flashes of light, trailing images behind moving objects, and intensified colors
  • Most people with HPPD recover within a month or two after last use, a few take as long as a year

 

Natural Treatments for Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder :

  • Abstinence from using hallucinogens, until the effects from HPPD are gone
  • Valerian Root may help alleviate symptoms. It can be purchased over the counter at most drug stores and health food stores
  • Sun glasses may help alleviate symptoms. Most people with HPPD describe symptom onset or increased intensity of symptoms when they are in bright light and especially when changing from a dark environment to a bright one
  • Meditation, yoga, exercise, breathing techniques and talking about the experience (narrative therapy) with supportive and knowledgeable people may also be helpful

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

www.wikipedia.org

http://www.neurosoup.com

http://www.drugabuse.gov

 

Breathing techniques for relaxation

Breathing Techniques for Relaxation

Breathing Techniques for Relaxation

Breathing techniques for relaxation

Deep breathing and meditation are excellent ways to relax and calm the mind. Neuroscientists have actually shown that the brain waves of meditators are different than those who do not practice meditation. This mental shift has been shown to reduce the negative effects of stress, anxiety and depression. People who meditate also have been shown to have lower blood pressure, less symptoms of chronic pain, and better overall health than those who do not meditate. In a study conducted on college students, meditation was shown to improve academic performance, concentration, reaction time, memory, empathy and self-esteem. In the over 1,000 scientific publications that have studied the effect of meditation to date, meditation has been shown to improve outcome in every health aspect studied.

Meditation usually involves some breathing techniques for relaxation to center the mind and calm the body. Deep breathing oxygenates the lungs and reduces stress and anxiety.

Breathing Techniques for Relaxation: Belly Breathing

This is a type of breathing that is often employed in yoga classes. You expand your whole stomach and chest on the inhale and collapse it on the exhale. This breathing technique utilizes the lungs to their full capacity, oxygenates the body, and activates the relaxation response. The best way to know if you are doing it correctly is to lie on your back and rest your hand on your belly. When you inhale, expand your ribs, diaphragm, and belly, feeling your hand rise and fall with each breath. When you exhale, imagine flattening your belly against your spine. Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth.

Breathing Techniques for Relaxation: Nostril Breathing

This breathing technique is great for anxiety. It balances the mind and calms the nervous system. Begin by letting go of all the air in your lungs – exhale using both nostrils. Gently press your thumb against the right nostril – closing it completely, and then inhale slowly through left nostril. Hold your breath for a few seconds. With your right forefinger close your left nostril as you release your thumb from the right nostril. Exhale through the right nostril, while keeping the left one closed. Hold for a few seconds. Inhale through the right nostril, hold; release your forefinger as you close your right nostril with your thumb. Exhale through the left nostril, while you keep the right nostril closed. Hold for a few seconds. Inhale through the left nostril; continue this for about 8 cycles.

Breathing Techniques for Relaxation: Natural Breathing

This type of breathing technique is natural and rhythmic. Picture a baby breathing while sleeping and you will get a good idea of the goal of this technique. It has been shown to decrease blood pressure and anxiety.  With this technique, you breathe with your diaphragm. The best way to practice natural breathing is to lay down with your hand on your chest. There should be no movement here, natural breathing should come through your diaphragm. Inhale and exhale through the nose, keeping breaths rhythmic and smooth.