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Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder or Flashbacks
American Psychiatric Association
Published 1994. Added to Erowid June 22, 1997
Excerpt from the DSM-IV, p232-233:

292.89 Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (Flashbacks)

The essential feature of Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (Flashbacks) is the transient recurrence of disturbances in perception that are reminiscent of those experienced during one or more earlier Hallucinogen Intoxications. The person must have had no recent Hallucinogen Intoxication and must show no current drug toxicity (Criterion A). This re-experiencing of perceptual symptoms causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning (Criterion B). The symptoms are not due to a general medical condition (e.g., anatomical lesions and infections of the brain or visual epilepsies) and are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g., delirium, dementia, or Schizophrenia) or by hypnopompic hallucinations (Criterion C). The perceptual disturbances may include geometric forms, peripheral-field images, flashes of color, intensified colors, trailing images (images left suspended in the path of a moving object as seen in stroboscopic photography), perceptions of entire objects, afterimages (a same-colored or complementary-colored "shadow" of an object remaining after the removal of the object), halos around objects, macropsia, and micropsia. The abnormal perceptions that are associated with Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder occur episodically and may be self-induced (e.g., by thinking about them) or triggered by entry into a dark environment, various drugs, anxiety or fatigue, or other stressors. The episodes may abate after several months, but many persons report persisting episodes for 5 years or longer. Reality testing remains intact (i.e., the person realizes that the perception is a drug effect and does not represent external reality). In contrast, if the person has a delusional interpretation concerning the etiology of the perceptual disturbance, the appropriate diagnosis would be Psychotic Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

Diagnostic criteria for 292.89 Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (Flashbacks):

A. The re-experiencing, following cessation of use of a hallucinogen, of one or more of the perceptual symptoms that were experienced while intoxicated with the hallucinogen (e.g., geometric hallucinations, false perceptions of movement in the peripheral visual fields, flashes of colors, intensified colors, trails of images of moving objects, positive afterimages, halos around objects, macropsia, and micropsia.

B. The symptoms in Criterion A cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

C. The symptoms are not due to a general medical condition (e.g., anatomical lesions and infections of the brain, visual epilepsies) and are not better accounted for another mental disorder (e.g., delirium, dementia, Schizophrenia) or hypnopompic hallucinations.