Citation: brian. "Salvia caused my HPPD: An Experience with Salvia Divinorum (exp53946)". Erowid.org. Nov 26, 2008. erowid.org/exp/53946
The experience was a while back, so I don't remember all the details. I know that is was bad -- very bad. I was calm when I took the dose under my tongue, laying on my bed. I wasn't looking for a high -- I was looking for the kind of spiritual experience I heard salvia can bring. But I don't recall feeling any kind of high or spiritual feeling during the entire trip. Once the salvia had completely kicked in, I began to feel disoriented, and eventually I lost touch with reality. I felt that little evil things (spirits?) were circulating around the outside of my body, attacking me. I ran out of my room at one point and into the bathroom, probably thinking that I could wash them off or something. I then realized that I was tripping. Realizing this didn’t help at all -- I felt horrible. Very, very afraid. Hard to bear. It went away within a few hours. That night I had very strange and vivid dreams. When I woke up, I noticed that I could still see tracers (which I can still see to this day, in a milder form.) The next day, while at a friend's house after having went on a job, I had the first panic attack of my life. It was horrible. I felt like I was going to die, or go crazy. Classic panic attack, as I later learned. I thought it was a fluke, but soon learned that it was HPPD -- Hallucinogenic Persisting Perceptual Disorder. For the next few months I felt like crap. I kept having panic attacks daily, which were very unpleasant, and caused pain in my heart or solar plexus area. When I wasn't having a panic attack, I often felt depressed, and also often felt a strange, very unpleasant, hard to describe feeling that – like the anxiety and depression – was very, very hard to deal with. Also, sometimes when I saw tracers it actually really hurt – in an emotional way that is hard to describe – to look at them. When I drank caffeine or alcohol, I got anxious and generally felt like crap. I stopped drinking these things, and tried thinking positive, praying, meditating, exorcizing, etc. Nothing worked very much. I've never been a neurotic person, never had psychological problems. But I was a wreck. After a while I heard that acupuncture could help HPPD, and I started going to an acupuncturist. Progress was slow, but months (and thousands of dollars) later, I felt almost normal, with anxiety attacks and that strange feeling in my solar plexus area coming only infrequently. Only years later did I began to feel basically normal. To this day, though, I avoid caffeine, since it makes me anxious, sometimes bringing about panic-like feelings.
In case the reader is wondering whether other trips or drug experiences could have contributed to my case of HPPD, I should describe my previous drug history. I had once smoked marijuana fairly regularly, but at the time of the salvia trip I hadn’t smoked for months. I had tripped on LSD and shrooms a dozen or so times, as recently as two or three years before, and only one of those times was anything near a bad trip – and that one was 5 or 10 years before the salvia trip. I had some very mild tracers and other visuals that I sometimes noticed years after these trips, so I suppose this was a very slight case of HPPD, but there were no psychological symptoms like anxiety or paranoia. The full-fledged case of HPPD, with the much increased and painful-to-look-at tracers and all the psychological problems, did not happen until after the salvia trip described here.
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