According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, hallucinogen persistent perception disorder (HPPD), “known familiarly to [hallucinogen] users as ‘flashbacks’” creates “spontaneous, repeated recurrences of some of the sensory distortions originally produced” by the drug of abuse. The experience can include visual disturbances or false motions seen in the peripheral vision.
While you should attend professional treatment if you experience this disorder––as well as treatment for the abuse of and possible addiction to hallucinogen drugs––you may still experience issues after your initial treatment program ends. Therefore, it is important to be able to cope with flashbacks at home after hallucinogen addiction treatment.
Learn to Relax
Learning to relax at will is very important and beneficial to those who struggle with HPPD. The sight of these flashbacks can be very disturbing and cause many people to become anxious just at the thought of experiencing them. This can feed the disorder and, sometimes, create other mood disorders for the individual to cope with. As an individual living with HPPD, you will need to have certain methods you use to help you relax when you experience a flashback or begin to become anxious about the possibility of doing so. Try these methods or find one that works for you:
- Take a warm bath and allow yourself to relax without thinking of anything for at least 10 or 20 minutes.
- Practice breathing exercises when you are out or even at home, calming yourself down by breathing slowly and deeply.
- Go into a dark, quiet room or put on some music to soothe yourself.
- Keep telling yourself the visions you see are not real and that you are going to be fine. It can be difficult to remember this, but it can be extremely helpful to you to have a mantra like this to repeat.
You can never know when a flashback will occur or how upsetting it will be, but it is important not to let anxiety and fear overcome you. If you experience severe anxiety over this issue, you may need to seek additional treatment.
Ask a Friend for Help
Asking a friend to talk to you whenever you experience flashbacks and other issues such as these can be very beneficial. Sometimes, it is hard to tell yourself something isn’t real when you’re seeing it, but if you have a good friend or family member who supports your recovery and can tell you in a calming voice that everything is all right, it can be very helpful. If your flashbacks are incredibly frequent or intense, you may want to ask this person to live with you until they die down.
Seek Further Treatment
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the symptoms of HPPD are “sometimes mistaken for neurological disorders (such as stroke or brain tumor),” but eventually, they will usually diminish as you avoid further hallucinogen abuse. However, you could still benefit from treatment specifically for your HPPD symptoms if they are very difficult on you.
Call 800-411-9312 (Who Answers?) to find out more about HPPD and the other disorders hallucinogen abuse and addiction can cause. In addition, we can help you find treatment centers in your area where you can receive further help for your condition.
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