Citation: Jason. "Delerium and HPPD?: An Experience with MDMA (Ecstasy) (exp52693)". Erowid.org. Aug 27, 2006. erowid.org/exp/52693
Background: At the time of this writing, I am a 24 year old male of perhaps average health. The experience below occurred 21 days before writing this. I have sampled a very wide variety of different drugs, but most of these were one-time things. As such, I would not call myself an experienced drug user.
Setting: Alone in my apartment. Low light settings, with trance/dance music being played. Time was approximately 1am.
Mindset: I hate to admit it, but I was basically bored and lonely, and wanted to get high to escape my emotional state.
This report focuses on some extremely negative effects I experienced on this particular night, so I wont waste too much time describing the ecstasy high itself.
I was home alone and feeling depressed. I had 5 ecstasy pills in my possession and decided 'what the hell, why not', and took one of them. I should mention that I have never taken more than one pill in an evening. Despite my strong desires during past experiences, I always ignored the desire to re-dose because I didnít want to 'overdo it'. However this night was a different situation.
You see, approximately three hours after taking this pill, I noticed that the effects werenít as strong as they normally would be. The experience had been enjoyable, for sure. But I didnít get the rushed that I craved. So three hours after taking that first pill, I again thought to myself 'what the hell, why not', and took a second pill. This would turn out to be a mistake.
Perhaps 20 minutes after re-dosing (I donít recall the time exactly), I experienced that old familiar rush that I craved. I became ecstatic. I wasnít at the point where E had 'lost it's magic', as I feared earlier in the evening. I was overjoyed. Dancing around my apartment like an idiot, music blasting from my computer while a visualization plugic poured out trippy, flowing images on my monitor. Now again, I'd never before taken more than a single pill of E in one evening. So finding that the desired effect was brought on by a higher dose prompted me to wonder what I might experience if I took even MORE. Mistake number two.
Perhaps 20 minutes after re-dosing, I began to come down from the peak. So I went ahead and took another half of a pill. Some time later, it hit me. My euphoria became even more intense and I was overjoyed. I'd never felt such intense pleasure in my life. I think it's around this time that I lost all common sense.
I donít know what came over me, but once again I re-dosed, taking 1.5 pills. An indeterminate amount of time later, I took yet another pill, then another. To make things short, I ended up taking all 5 of my pills that night, 4 of which were taken within a period of 20-30 minutes. The high was unbelievable. Incomprehensible happiness enveloped me as I danced around madly in my one bedroom apartment. I didnít know it was possible to feel this good.
My memory becomes fragmented at this point. Unless otherwise noted, each following paragraph describes a period of 'recorded memory' which lies between that which I donít remember at all. The order of events may not be correct, but it's the best I can recall.
Next thing I remember was that I was still dancing in my living room, and while doing so, I would occasionally glimpse strange images mixed into the display on my monitor. Sometimes these were alien faces. Other times they were graffiti-style words being displayed, or comic-book-like characters. They would quickly disappear whenever I looked directly at the screen. What was especially strange about this was that I never QUESTIONED the things I was seeing. It was like being in a dream, where something really crazy and impossible can happen, yet I donít question it at all. I take it as being perfectly normal.
Iím laying on my couch. I look back at my (musical) keyboard which sits next to my couch, and see that there's grass growing out of it. Now, I've used a few different hallucinogens in my time, and never have I seen a hallucination that looked so realistic. The grass wasnít two-dimensional and cartoony the way LSD visuals are, it looked perfectly realistic. Even casting shadows against the wall. Again, despite the insanity of this situation, I donít really question it or realize that this should not be happening. Instead I look away because I merely find it 'annoying' for some reason.
Iím dancing again. I turn around and see a large spider, perhaps two feet tall, slide out from beside the couch. This spider didnít look like a real spider per se. It lacked any kind of hair or mandibles, and its legs were like thing, straight sticks. But nonetheless it was very three-dimensional and realistic in appearance. Almost like some very large plastic toy. At this point I realized something was wrong with me and said 'NO' aloud, which caused the spider to disappear. I look back at my monitor and see words flying off it. Some are highlighted in red. I specifically remember seeing the words 'death' and 'dying'.
Iím in my kitchen drinking a glass of water. I get it in my head that I must be overheating and that Iím experiencing hallucinations due to heat. So I start pouring cold water over my head between glasses of water. This becomes difficult because there are suddenly multiple faucets.
Iím laying on my couch again. All memories of something being wrong with me have vanished, I donít remember that I've taken any drugs at all. In fact, Iím not even really THINKING at this point. Instead, Iím simply observing what's happening in my visual field. I see shadows projecting from the wall opposite my kitchen. They're shadows of some sort of half-human half-lizard creatures, which makes me feel anxious. These creatures strike me as malevolent. What's remarkable about these hallucinations is that my vision 'zoomed in' to the spot on the wall where the shadows were being cast.
Iím in my bathroom attempting to urinate, but I cannot. While standing there waiting for the urine to come out, I begin to have this strange waking dream that Iím on some kind of ship. I quickly pull myself out of this and remember once more that Iím hallucinating. Still, I cannot produce urine, but I can vaguely see a stream of urine coming out. It makes no sound but it does produce bubbles in the water. After standing there for a while, Iím able to urinate.
Iím standing at my living room window, looking out at the park and beach. Out in the water I see a submarine and a pair of battleships, and I can see propeller-driven planes circling around them. There's some kind of battle going on between them. The ships are firing at the planes and vice versa. As with my lizard-man hallucination, my vision zooms in to view this taking place. Again I pull myself out of this state and remember that this isnít real.
At this point, my memory is coherent once more. It was about 8am. Visuals were still strong but at least I was somewhat in control again. I was aware that they werenít real, and I was aware that there was something very wrong with me. Also, my jaws were clenched so tightly that I could barely open them. I stuffed a rag in between my teeth to try and minimize damage. My throat was also extremely sore and dry. It felt like I'd drank boiling water or something. So I sit at my computer and send an instant message to a friend that Iím 'tripping balls', and ask that he contact me when he gets a chance. Then I sat back and tried to asses the situation.
My first reaction was that I'd perhaps taken some other drug besides MDMA. Perhaps LSD. I later confirmed with the person that sold the pills to me that the baggie they were held in had been used to store just about any common drug imaginable. So it is possible that I consumed something else that had rubbed off on the pills. However, I understand that LSD would be unlikely to have survived the condition that these pills were kept in (room temperature with lots of light). So the idea that I'd accidentally ingested acid seemed implausible. So my next guess was that I'd perhaps overdosed. I'd read about others taking lots more E than I had on this night. Maybe I was just sensitive to it?
At about noon. That friend I'd contacted earlier got back to me, and came over to my apartment. He spent some time with me as I described what had happened, which helped me feel a lot better. Visuals were still occurring at this point but they were mild. Little sparkling things here and there, strands of color on walls, shifting objects, but overall it felt my experience was dying out (thankfully). My friend left at about 2pm, and I went to bed.
After sleeping for about six hours, I awoke to find something very disturbing: STATIC. I was seeing television static everywhere. If I stared at any given spot for a few seconds I would see a ball of red light form and begin bouncing around. I started to cry. I'd read about HPPD before, and though that I might have it now as well. In one night I'd ruined my life. I momentarily though about taking my own life, but this feeling passed.
With nothing else to do, I laid in bed again and tried to sleep. Hoping these things would go away. Shutting my eyes did little to comfort me though, as I began to see snake-like, silver objects behind my eyelids. I could also vaguely see the room around me.
Fast-forward to the next night. I'd been seeing static all day but the aforementioned ball of light was gone. 'Ok, maybe Iím getting better' I thought to myself. That night, as I slept, I had very vivid dreams. I would wake up during EVERY dream, and feel 'zaps' every time I moved my eyes. Zaps are what some people feel when withdrawing from an SSRI. The sensation that my entire body is being shocked with electricity, and an accompanying 'whoosh' sound effect, like there was an ocean moving inside my head in whatever direction I turned my eyes. I'd experienced this myself before when I was taking paxil a few years ago, and it actually gave me some hope. 'I've experience this sensation before, and it eventually went away', I thought to myself. And after about two days, it did go away.
For the days following, I would still wake up during dreams, but less frequently. Unfortunately, the static in my vision remained. I also acquired a few more visual disturbances: strong after-images, 'floaters', and movement in my peripheral vision. Also, staring at a wall caused me to feel generally strange and detached from reality. On one night when I hadnít gotten enough sleep, I also experienced strong colorful trails behind moving objects, and halos around objects. Luckily that only happened once. I have also experienced some mild panic attacks, but I kept reminding myself that they were the cause of a drug, and would go away with time.
So now, 21 days later, my visual distortions seem to be lessening, except for the visual static. Having never read about anyone else having this reaction to MDMA makes me wonder if I perhaps took something else, but other than the delirium and hallucinations brought by the re-dosing, nothing about the initial high was different than any ecstasy use in the past. That leaves me thinking that this was perhaps a psychotic episode or an overdose. Iím not sure, but I really hope that this distortion in my vision goes away eventually. It's not as bad as what other HPPDers have described, but I could certainly do without it.
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