(formerly classified as Post Hallucinogen Perception Disorder, DSM-III R)
Reexperiencing the symptoms of hallucinogen taking without actual taking any of these substances. The disturbance causes marked distress. Complications of this disorder include suicidal behavior, Major Depression, and Panic Disorder.
Well, that's a simple explanation of it.
DSM-IV R "The handbook for the American Psychiatric Association"
292.89 Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder
The essential feature of Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (Flashbacks) is the transient recurrence of disturbances in perception thaat are reminescent 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 reexperienceing 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., delerium, 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
A. The re-experiencing, following cesssation of use of a hallucinogen, of one or more of the perceptual symptoms that were experienced while intoxicated wiht 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., delerium, dementia, Schizophrenia) or hypnopompic hallucinations.
Everyone has heard of the term "flashback". In its mildest forms, HPPD can be a subtle perceptual incident that occurs every once-in-awhile to someone who has used a hallucinogen in the past. In the more extreme cases, it can be a syndrome that is present in the sufferer on a 24 hour a day basis.
HPPD is probably a fairly common occurance in many people who have used hallucinogens. Many LSD users notice small perceptual things such as seeing "trails" and the like when not on the drug itself. For those who are unlucky enough to be on the "extreme" end of this disorder, seeing only "trails" would be considered lucky.
Imagine experiencing many of the perceptual disturbances of LSD on a constant daily basis, but with an intact mental mindset. This is what the severe HPPD sufferer has to deal with. To make things worse, HPPD in its severe manisfestations is a very rare disorder.
The reason for this website is not to discourage people from doing what they want to do. I could personally care less what drugs people want to ingest. I am just trying to create a fourm for people who may suffer from this and have no idea what is happening to them.
Advocates of psychedelic drugs tend to consider this disorder psychologically-based, and that adverse effects of these substances rarely ever occur. While it is rare, I would definitely not consider HPPD to be psychological in nature. Whether it stems from brain-damage or neurochemical alteration, HPPD is obvious to the sufferer to be a real neuropsychiatric problem.
Any hallucinogen (LSD, MDMA, MDA, MMDA, Mescaline, DMT, Psilocybin, etc) has the capacity to cause this disorder, but LSD seems to be the most common culprit.