What Is Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder? Is It Curable

Last Update on January 21, 2022 : Published on January 22, 2022
Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder

Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) is not very commonly diagnosed.  HPPD must be a rare diagnosis but that doesn’t mean that only a small number of people come into contact with this disorder.

Most people refuse to accept their history of hallucinogenic drug consumption. This is one of the biggest reasons behind us not having enough information on hallucinogen persisting perception disorder. Because people don’t admit to having had an interaction with hallucinogenic drugs, the disorder mostly goes undiagnosed. As a result of this most people struggle alone.

This article will have all the information on hallucinogen persisting perception disorder. If you see any signs of HPPD in you, make sure you get professional help.

Anyway, let’s first understand the meaning of hallucinogen persisting perception disorder…

An Overview Of Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder

Overview Of Hallucinogen Persisting

Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder is a rare condition. Although I personally think that it’s rare only because most of the cases never end up getting recorded. Let’s not deviate from the topic.

Hallucinogenic drugs like LSD, MDMA, magic mushrooms, etc. have a strong impact on your perception. The people who have consumed such drugs experience a drug-induced neurological sensation that often alters the perception.

This neurological sensation is referred to as ‘trip’! I know most of you must have heard or know of what happens when you are tripping.

Now, coming back to the point, hallucinogen persisting perception disorder is when you have flashbacks of the memories from the trip you had. It can happen days, weeks, months or even years after you consume the drug.

memories from the trip

You will be aware of what is happening in the moment and at the same time you will have a flashback. You might see disorganized images, strong colors or whatever you felt at the one time along with all the experiences of the present moment.

To some people a mild flash back can be pleasurable but in most cases the flashbacked start to interfere with their daily functions. It becomes very difficult to do anything because the flashbacks are disturbing.

Symptoms of Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder

People with hallucinogen persisting perception disorder make experience one or more of the symptoms listed below:

  • Flashes of colours
  • Colours on certain objects seem brighter and vivid than usual
  • Difficulty is telling apart two similar looking colours
  • Objects may seem smaller or larger than their actual size
  • You start to see a halo over objects or people
  • You see a lingering outline of object that form a trail
  • You see an image inside another image
  • Reading becomes difficult because words and letters seem to move and shake
  • You see uneasy because you know that something’s not right

The key point here is that all these symptoms appear in the absence of a hallucinogenic drug intake. These are flashbacks of your previous drug-induced neurological experience.

In some cases of HPPD, people have also experience anxiety, panic disorders, suicidal thoughts and some symptoms of depersonalization. Although DSM-V has disapproved them as symptoms of hallucinogen persisting perception disorder.

If you have had such an experience before, I recommend that you should visit a mental health profession so that your disorder can be treated at the earliest. This brings me to a question…

Is Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder curable? Is Treatment Available For HPPD?

Symptoms of Hallucinogen Persisting

Since HPPD does not get diagnosed very often, it is difficult to find an experienced specialist dealing with the treatment of cases of hallucinogen persisting perception disorder. Having said that, it does have a treatment plan that can help you but you might need to combine it with other treatments to get the best result.

  1. Medication: because of lack of research in this field, as of now anti-seizures and epilepsy medicines are being prescribed to people with HPPD. The efficacy of these medicines is different in different people.
  2. Calming breathing techniques: a breathing exercise at the onset of your symptoms can help to get rid of them faster and easily. So keep some calming breathing techniques handy.
  3. Talk therapy: according to the limited research available, stress and fatigue can trigger symptoms of Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder. Talk therapy can be very effective in helping you deal with stress.

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That’s all about hallucinogen persisting perception disorder!

I hope you found this article interesting and informative. Do share with us if you have any other information on hallucinogen persisting perception disorder which we might have missed, in the comment section below!

Thanks for reading!

Take care and stay safe.

About The Author

Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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