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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. Many of the characteristics of this disorder can be mistaken for anxiety or panic related disorders by physicians.

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. HPPD is distinct from flashbacks by reason of its relative permanence; while flashbacks are transient, HPPD is persistent. HPPD is a DSM-5 diagnosis with diagnostic code 292.89 (F16.983).

Symptoms

There are a number of perceptual changes that can accompany HPPD. Typical symptoms of the disorder include: halos or auras surrounding objects, trails following objects in motion, difficulty distinguishing between colors, apparent shifts in the hue of a given item, the illusion of movement in a static setting, air assuming a grainy or textured quality (visual snow or static, by popular description, not to be confused with normal “blue field entoptic phenomenon”), distortions in the dimensions of a perceived object, and a heightened awareness of floaters. The visual alterations experienced by those with HPPD are not homogeneous and there appear to be individual differences in both the number and intensity of symptoms.[citation needed]

Visual aberrations can occur periodically in healthy individuals – e.g. afterimages after staring at a light, noticing floaters inside the eye, or seeing specks of light in a darkened room. However, in people with HPPD, symptoms are typically persistent enough that the individual cannot ignore them.[citation needed]

There is some uncertainty about to what degree visual snow constitutes a true HPPD symptom. There are many individuals who have never used a drug which could have caused the onset, but yet experience the same grainy vision reported by HPPD sufferers. There are a few potential reasons for this, the most obvious of which being the theory that the drug usage may exaggerate the intensity of visual snow. Another theory is that instead, there may be no change in the severity or magnitude of the visual snow, but perhaps the drug usage opens sensory pathways that result in the individual becoming more aware of any visual disturbances that may have simply not been noticed before the incidence of drug use. As for root cause of visual snow, some theories suggest that it is the result of thermal noise in the visual cortex or in the ‘Optic Pathway’ (encompassing photoreceptor cells on the retina, the optic nerve, and the optic chiasm[1]), as eye tests for individuals who experience visual snow often reveal that physically, the eye is perfectly normal, and in many cases the individual still maintains 20/20 vision.

HPPD usually has a visual manifestation. Drugs affecting the auditory sense, like DiPT, may produce auditory disturbances, though there are few known cases. Some psychedelic drugs can produce temporary tinnitus-like symptoms as a side effect.[2][3]

It also should be noted that the visuals do not constitute true hallucinations in the clinical sense of the word; people with HPPD recognize the visuals to be illusory, or pseudohallucinations, and thus maintain the ability to determine what is real (in contrast to some mental illnesses such as schizophrenia).[4]

Causes

The cause(s) of HPPD are not yet known. It has been theorized that HPPD is an anomaly in executive function brought on by the dis-inhibition of the COMT enzyme in the breakdown of catecholamines in the brain following hallucinogen use, resulting in sensory gating disruption.[7]

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.[citation needed] Drugs that have been associated with HPPD include CBD, LSD,[5][8] 5-MeO-DiPT [9] MDA, MDMA,[10][11] psilocybin,[5][12] diphenhydramine, PCP, synthetic cannabinoids, zolpidem, eszopiclone, and high doses of dextromethorphan.[citation needed] Additionally there are anecdotal reports of the atypical psychedelic Salvia divinorum causing persisting symptoms consistent with HPPD.[citation needed]

Content retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallucinogen_persisting_perception_disorder.

Summary
Article Name
Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder
Description
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. Many of the characteristics of this disorder can be mistaken for anxiety or panic related disorders by physicians.
Publisher Name
The Disorder Encyclopedia
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