HPPD - Steven Locke, MD | Most Experienced Psychiatrist & Behavioral Medicine Expert - Wayland, MA (2023)

Table of Contents
Hallucinogen persisting perception Disorder and Visual Snow More about HPPD How can dr. Locke Help? Dr. Locke is one of the few psychiatrists in the world familiar with the symptoms and treatments for HPPD and visual snow––most don’t even know what this condition is. He is frequently contacted by patients from all around the globe who are afflicted with this disorder and don’t know where to turn for help. Often times, the persistence of the symptoms can make life so difficult that it leads to depression and anxiety. It’s important to know that these associated conditions are treatable, and Dr. Locke is highly experienced in this area. For several years, he has been able to successfully guide his patients through assessments, diagnostic procedures, consultations, and treatment to better manage their condition. Unfortunately, Dr. Locke is not able to provide information or advice about your particular symptoms or condition if you reside in a state where he is not licensed. To see the list of states where Dr. Locke has a license, visit this page. If you live in a state where Dr. Locke is not licensed, he can consult with your psychiatrist or neurologist who will remain as the treating physician of record. To find more information and answers to common questions concerning what Dr. Locke can do to help your condition, visit this page. Our Curated Collection of All HPPD and Visual Snow Related Articles, Journals, and More What is HPPD and its Symptoms? When the Trip doesn’t End A CASE OF HPPD A study of the Endless trip 1100 cases of visual snow What is hppd really? Melting the myth behind visual snow A video from the visual snow initiative When the Party’s Over What is visual snow? Symptoms and treatments HPPD Blog Post SITES AND GROUPS DR. LOCKE REcommends Latest News The Visual Snow Initiative NEUROSENSORY RESEARCH FOUNDATION

Hallucinogen persisting perception Disorder and Visual Snow

HPPD is a rare disorder in which a person is affected by flashbacks of visual hallucinations experienced during previous experimentation with hallucinogenic drugs, commonly LSD, ecstasy, or certain mushrooms. It causes visual disturbances and impairment, sometimes resulting in visual snow, a condition where someone’s visual field is completely covered in tiny dots.

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More about HPPD

Symptoms of HPPD include visual illusions such as flashes or streaks of color, color confusion, object distortion or movement, and trailing images. Symptoms can also include migraines, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and difficulty reading. There is currently no cure for this poorly understood disorder; however, treatments are being tried, tested, and developed, and with professional help, many of those affected have been able to find a way to better cope, manage their symptoms, and compensate for their impairment.

Sometimes symptoms of other disorders can be confused with those of HPPD. Click below to download Dr. Locke’s screening questionnaire for HPPD.

HPPD questionnaire

How can dr. Locke Help?

Dr. Locke is one of the few psychiatrists in the world familiar with the symptoms and treatments for HPPD and visual snow––most don’t even know what this condition is. He is frequently contacted by patients from all around the globe who are afflicted with this disorder and don’t know where to turn for help. Often times, the persistence of the symptoms can make life so difficult that it leads to depression and anxiety. It’s important to know that these associated conditions are treatable, and Dr. Locke is highly experienced in this area. For several years, he has been able to successfully guide his patients through assessments, diagnostic procedures, consultations, and treatment to better manage their condition.

Unfortunately, Dr. Locke is not able to provide information or advice about your particular symptoms or condition if you reside in a state where he is not licensed. To see the list of states where Dr. Locke has a license, visit this page. If you live in a state where Dr. Locke is not licensed, he can consult with your psychiatrist or neurologist who will remain as the treating physician of record.

To find more information and answers to common questions concerning what Dr. Locke can do to help your condition, visit this page.

Danny Fernandez talks about his own experience with visual snow, discussing how he has found ways to deal with his changing vision and his hopes for the future.

Visual Snow Initative Founder Sierra Domb shares her story on how she first developed visual snow, what she has learned, and why she started her organization.

Matthew Renze discusses how hard it was to get a proper diagnosis and how he has learned to cope with the many symptoms

Our Curated Collection of All HPPD and Visual Snow Related Articles, Journals, and More

Bibliography

What is HPPD and its Symptoms?

Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder or HPPD is a mental disorder stemming from the use of psychedelics such as LSD or mushrooms (psilocybin). Those with HPPD experience persisting— as the name suggests— hallucinations or visual distortions that are reminiscent of previous “trips.” Other perceptual changes that continue long after the use of psychedelics are also associated with HPPD.

The use of psychedelics and subsequent development of HPPD is not well understood due to under-research. Still, commonalities emerge among those who identify as having the disorder, such as similar symptoms and drugs used before the onset of symptoms. Many symptoms of HPPD coincide with other more common mental illnesses such as anxiety, leading to occasional misdiagnosis. Clinicians sometimes misinterpret the visual illusions reported by patients, believing them to be symptoms of psychosis and provide treatment that can make the symptoms worse.

Read more here

As the use of psychedelics grows increasingly popular, it’s important to understand risks such as the development of HPPD. Users who experience HPPD-related symptoms may also find an accurate diagnosis will give them some relief. Sam Woolfe provides an in-depth overview of the symptoms, causes and research behind HPPD on www.healingmaps.com. To learn more about HPPD, its symptoms and how to deal with them, read the full article.

HPPD - Steven Locke, MD | Most Experienced Psychiatrist & Behavioral Medicine Expert - Wayland, MA (1)

HPPD - Steven Locke, MD | Most Experienced Psychiatrist & Behavioral Medicine Expert - Wayland, MA (2)

When the Trip doesn’t End

When Dr. Henry Abraham began his psychiatric residency at the Mass Gen Hospital in 1971, he was met with a series of patients who claimed that their vision was being affected by LSD drugs they took long before the appointment. Abraham set about quantifying these symptoms, and his research has since led to the recognition of HPPD in psychiatry, pioneering the movement towards trying to find a cure. His paper “When the Trip Doesn’t End” talks extensively of his journey, research, and theories for effective treatments.

Read more here

A CASE OF HPPD

This study presents a case report of a 21 year old African American man who had an experience with drugs seventh months prior that not only landed him in probation, but also left him with symptoms of Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder. The study outlines criteria for a diagnosis of HPPD, describes symptoms, and suggests possible treatments, all for the purpose of “highlighting the devastating effects this disorder had on this patient…Due to the very low prevalence of this disorder, we believe it is valuable to document this case in order to motivate research to understand the etiology and pathophysiology of this phenomenon.” By presenting a very real and very common case of HPPD, the article emphasizes that you are not alone.

Read more here

HPPD - Steven Locke, MD | Most Experienced Psychiatrist & Behavioral Medicine Expert - Wayland, MA (3)

HPPD - Steven Locke, MD | Most Experienced Psychiatrist & Behavioral Medicine Expert - Wayland, MA (4)

A study of the Endless trip

This article published by the Frontiers in Psychology delves more into the science behind HPPD for those who would like to know where their condition comes from. It gives the historical background, common symptoms, causes, and types, as well as detailing numerous controlled studies that have been conducted to try and find the best possible treatment for this little-known disorder.

Read more here

1100 cases of visual snow

In a 2020 study published by the American Academy of Neurology, a team of researchers set about validating the symptoms and case studies of 1100 patients with visual snow. They used a group of patients with self-assessed visual snow and a population of patients with possible HPPD who presented visual snow symptoms and gave them a survey to assess the common characteristics of visual snow patients. They found and recorded many similarities between both the patients and their symptoms, finding that migraines and tinnitus had a very high prevalence and was associated with a more severe form of the syndrome. This study was used to validate current criteria for a diagnosis of visual snow, presenting concrete examples and evidence.

Read more here

HPPD - Steven Locke, MD | Most Experienced Psychiatrist & Behavioral Medicine Expert - Wayland, MA (5)

HPPD - Steven Locke, MD | Most Experienced Psychiatrist & Behavioral Medicine Expert - Wayland, MA (6)

What is hppd really?

Because many people are unaware of the existence of HPPD, when they first hear about it, it seems like a story, told to ward people off using psychedelic drugs. But it’s very real, as many know, and this article gives a basic, easy-to-understand run-down of what it is, its scientific background, common misconceptions, recent research, and personal stories from people affected by this condition. However, the author makes it clear that though HPPD can be incredibly distressing and overwhelming to deal with, it’s certainly no life sentence, suggesting possible treatments and ways we can de-stigmatize the condition.

Read more here

Melting the myth behind visual snow

This Psychology Today article works to clear up many of the myths behind the poorly understood Visual Snow Syndrome. Following the onset of visual snow from the use of hallucinogenic psychedelic drugs, HPPD is commonly diagnosed. However, recent research from the American Academy of Neurology proved that visual snow affects a huge number of individuals without a history of illicit drug use. Visual snow is in itself a “disease entity, clinically distinct from migraine with aura.” Dr. Christoph Schankin at the University of California goes over his study, his trials and errors, and his surprising findings.

Read more here

HPPD - Steven Locke, MD | Most Experienced Psychiatrist & Behavioral Medicine Expert - Wayland, MA (7)

A video from the visual snow initiative

Our partnership with the Visual Snow Initiative brings you a short introduction video on HPPD, visual snow, and how it can affect someone, helping you to understand the condition in a concise yet accurate way.

Tedx Talk: What is Visual Snow?

In this brief video, Visual Snow Initiative founder Sierra Domb breaks down what visual snow is.

When the Party’s Over

A Neurology live article details the story of one individual who’s world was flipped upside down from HPPD after one experience with ecstasy. The article also introduces the work of Dr. Henry Abraham to try and improve his conditions. Dr. Abraham goes through some of the common symptoms and treatments he has seen, but notes that despite all the research he’s done, “there’s a tremendous lack of understanding of this condition and a tremendous lack of awareness.” They both hope that greater awareness of HPPD can lead to more effective treatment for this under-researched disorder

Read more here

HPPD - Steven Locke, MD | Most Experienced Psychiatrist & Behavioral Medicine Expert - Wayland, MA (8)

What is visual snow? Symptoms and treatments

Ophthalmologist Dr. Allen takes his viewers through an overview of one of the most understood visual conditions: visual snow. His Youtube guide talks through through the symptoms, diagnosis process, and potential treatments of this little-known disorder.

This scientific article provides the breakdown of a questionnaire used to analyze the symptoms and causes of HPPD. Under the support of the University of California IRB, the study walks through the statistics, including the relationship between visual experience and drug use and potential treatment effects. In conclusion, the data indicated that “seemingly unusual drug-free visual experiences reminiscent of acute drug effects are common in hallucinogen users….this suggests that HPPD may be an unusually severe form of a relatively common syndrome of post-hallucinogen visual changes.”

Read more here

HPPD - Steven Locke, MD | Most Experienced Psychiatrist & Behavioral Medicine Expert - Wayland, MA (9)

HPPD - Steven Locke, MD | Most Experienced Psychiatrist & Behavioral Medicine Expert - Wayland, MA (10)

HPPD Blog Post

Drugs and Me recently posted a blog post concerning experiences with HPPD, symptoms to look out for, what can cause it, and how one might be able to avoid developing the disorder.

Read more here

This Support Forum provides an open space for patients to ask questions, share stories, and explore a supportive community environment while dealing with this little known and difficult disorder.

https://www.hppdonline.com/

This WikiHow page is a simple “How to Deal with HPPD” advice page. It takes you through the steps of recognizing symptoms, seeking help, and tips to manage this sometimes overwhelming condition.

https://www.wikihow.com/Deal-With-HPPD

Because some people develop symptoms of HPPD after only a single use of a mind-altering drug and some people develop symptoms of HPPD without ever having used a psychedelic drug, there is some controversy as to what role psychedelic exposure plays in the origins of visual snow and HPPD. This discussion sometimes appears in social media, where people argue from different points of view. Here is an example of one such discussion:

Latest News

Dr. Locke also frequently posts articles on HPPD and Visual Snow on his blog. View his posts here:

Our blog

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The Visual Snow Initiative

Dr. Locke has partnered with the Visual Snow Initiative to give his patients the best possible resources. Check out their website:

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