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Visual Disturbance


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Alright, this is the second time this has happened and I have no idea what it is.

The first time it occurred was when I went off my Geodon (was on Cymbalta at the time as well).

Now, I'm starting up on Paxil (the Pexeva variety) and taking Seroquel.

I've had Seroquel with many other med combinations (SSRI's included) & Cymbalta with many other combos - but this problem never occurred then.

The best way I can describe it is when (in Windows) you turn on the feature to give your mouse pointer a tail. You move it, and can see where it's been as well as where it is now. Well, that's happening with my hand - or other movable object. If I focus on my hand and move my eyes with it, everything looks fine. But when I focus on something else (like the wall behind my hand) and move it again.. I see this trail following my hand around.

I figure it has to be some weird chemical thing inside my head.. but WTF?

Going off an AP? I can see having a symptom like that..

But coming on an SSRI?

Any ideas??

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Well, that's happening with my hand - or other movable object. If I focus on my hand and move my eyes with it, everything looks fine. But when I focus on something else (like the wall behind my hand) and move it again.. I see this trail following my hand around.

Do you get strobe-effect after-images, or a more ghost-like afterimage that follows a short time/distance behind?

Either way, it's probably just a variant of "persistence of vision"

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Ghost-like afterimage.

You're probably right about the persistence of vision.. is this anything to be concerned about?

It can get pretty unnerving and gets worse with tiredness or when I rub my eyes.

I just don't understand why a simple (comparatively) ssri would cause this.. or is it something more to do with me since it's happened twice?

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Ghost-like afterimage.

You're probably right about the persistence of vision.. is this anything to be concerned about?

Probably not. Which one I get depends on how fast I move my hand and how much attention I pay to the effect.

It can get pretty unnerving and gets worse with tiredness or when I rub my eyes.

Especially when tired. It makes all those "I saw something out of the corner of my eye" stories make more sense, eh?

I just don't understand why a simple (comparatively) ssri would cause this.. or is it something more to do with me since it's happened twice?

Tracers with pretty colors are standard for most of the serotonergic hallucinogens - most of them slam into a 5-HT receptor,

and a few also do reuptake inhibition. It's remotely possible that dropping an atypical AP or starting up a strong SSRI might

give you faint symptoms similar to the side effects of one of these other compounds - it's just a matter of your brain needing

a bit of time to figure out how to handle where the serotonin is getting (re)directed.

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This effect -- seeing trails in acid-head parlance -- has only happened to me either on LSD or when going off of SSRIs, for whatever reason. I think the most relevant fact here is that everyone's brains have different topology and what any drug might do is very undefined. For instance I have found that when I take 5HTP, it increases my focus at work and makes me much more able to persist through tasks, whereas a friend who is extremely obsessive compulsive by nature and a real code geek, when he went on 5HTP at my suggestion, it had the almost exact opposite effect on him. It helped him be less obsessive and go out more but in the long run after 2 years he decided to go off it because he told me he missed being obsessively into his geek coding projects. I often end up going off it because I find I am having trouble disengaging from things and not obsessing. Opposite effects of a drug on two different brains.

As for is it something to worry about, I guess not if it clears up and doesn't bother you otherwise. Personally I associate trails with times I've had other mental traits happening, like cognitive slippage or getting a bit too discombobulated and having difficulty communicating clearly with others.

Actually I hate all meds so won't give out advice about it, but I popped in because I have seen trails, and in association with SSRIs, but going off not going on.

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Especially when tired. It makes all those "I saw something out of the corner of my eye" stories make more sense, eh?

It sure does. I'm used to seeing dots or stuff, but nothing with an actual shape that looks real.

Tracers with pretty colors are standard for most of the serotonergic hallucinogens - most of them slam into a 5-HT receptor,

and a few also do reuptake inhibition. It's remotely possible that dropping an atypical AP or starting up a strong SSRI might

give you faint symptoms similar to the side effects of one of these other compounds - it's just a matter of your brain needing

a bit of time to figure out how to handle where the serotonin is getting (re)directed.

So then it's mostly a case of getting them to leave certain receptors alone or stop affecting them in that way? And those two meds just happen to hit them just right for this?

This effect -- seeing trails in acid-head parlance -- has only happened to me either on LSD or when going off of SSRIs, for whatever reason. I think the most relevant fact here is that everyone's brains have different topology and what any drug might do is very undefined. For instance I have found that when I take 5HTP, it increases my focus at work and makes me much more able to persist through tasks, whereas a friend who is extremely obsessive compulsive by nature and a real code geek, when he went on 5HTP at my suggestion, it had the almost exact opposite effect on him. It helped him be less obsessive and go out more but in the long run after 2 years he decided to go off it because he told me he missed being obsessively into his geek coding projects. I often end up going off it because I find I am having trouble disengaging from things and not obsessing. Opposite effects of a drug on two different brains.

Yeah. It just seems odd that this SSRI is causing this while all the other serotonin meds did nothing of the sort. But I suppose when dealing with psych meds you never really know what's going to happen.

As for is it something to worry about, I guess not if it clears up and doesn't bother you otherwise. Personally I associate trails with times I've had other mental traits happening, like cognitive slippage or getting a bit too discombobulated and having difficulty communicating clearly with others.

I hope it does clear up on its own... its been going on since Sunday and makes me dizzy. It's interesting that you should mention the cognitive slippage and difficulty communicating. Lately my head has been in a fog & it got worse when I went on the Paxil. For the first few days I couldn't speak clearly.. kept mixing up my words. It's gotten a bit better, I don't sound as out of it.. but it's taking alot of effort to type this coherently.

Actually I hate all meds so won't give out advice about it, but I popped in because I have seen trails, and in association with SSRIs, but going off not going on.

Thanks for popping in. I appreciate your input. I'm actually just getting back on the med merry-go-round after the only ones that helped stopped working for me. Thought I could handle it and stayed off them for a few months, but now I'm falling apart so I've got to try something, right?

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So then it's mostly a case of getting them to leave certain receptors alone or stop affecting them in that way? And those two meds just happen to hit them just right for this?

In general the SSRIs are intended to keep serotonin in circulation, regardless of the receptors being hit. Being in the "falling apart. gotta do something" state or the "oh shit. wrong stuff" state, your brain may just be too busy getting the main systems running again to worry about where the stray molecules are wandering off to.

As every brain is different, the side effects and collateral damage vary for each med on each brain.

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Since I am taking Topamax for migraines and mentioned this very effect to my neurologist recently I will add my experience for what it is worth.

I was seeing vision trails, and also halos around lighter objects in dim rooms (like the edges of my windows when I would first wake up). He told me to check with my opthalmologist.

She said my eyes were really dry (a side effect of Topamax) and put me on some lubricating drops, and a lubrcating gel at night. After a couple of weeks the problem has improved quite a bit.

You should check with an eye doctor. you mention you are rubbing your eyes in one of your posts. All of these meds can cause dry mouth, etc. Check the PI sheet and see if they can dry out your eyes. Severely dry eyes will cause visual disturbances, something that I didn't realize. your cornea gets pulled out of shape when it gets that dry and you get the trails, halos, and your prescriptions can be affected if you wear contacts or glasses.

If it turns out to be dry eyes, the drops and gel are over the counter and make your eyes feel much better. A quick simple fix. so few are available to us it's worth finding out if this is one for you.

Be well, alice

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In general the SSRIs are intended to keep serotonin in circulation, regardless of the receptors being hit. Being in the "falling apart. gotta do something" state or the "oh shit. wrong stuff" state, your brain may just be too busy getting the main systems running again to worry about where the stray molecules are wandering off to.

As every brain is different, the side effects and collateral damage vary for each med on each brain.

Yeah, my main systems are pretty non-functional at the moment. It does seem like my symptoms, vision, shaking, dizziness are more my brain trying to figure out what to do, since this stuff didn't start until a few days into the med. I guess the big question is whether or not my brain will adapt enough to focus the serotonin in the right way.

Since I am taking Topamax for migraines and mentioned this very effect to my neurologist recently I will add my experience for what it is worth.

I was seeing vision trails, and also halos around lighter objects in dim rooms (like the edges of my windows when I would first wake up). He told me to check with my opthalmologist.

She said my eyes were really dry (a side effect of Topamax) and put me on some lubricating drops, and a lubrcating gel at night. After a couple of weeks the problem has improved quite a bit.

You should check with an eye doctor. you mention you are rubbing your eyes in one of your posts. All of these meds can cause dry mouth, etc. Check the PI sheet and see if they can dry out your eyes. Severely dry eyes will cause visual disturbances, something that I didn't realize. your cornea gets pulled out of shape when it gets that dry and you get the trails, halos, and your prescriptions can be affected if you wear contacts or glasses.

If it turns out to be dry eyes, the drops and gel are over the counter and make your eyes feel much better. A quick simple fix. so few are available to us it's worth finding out if this is one for you.

Be well, alice

That's interesting. I never knew that. I do rub my eyes, but it's more a pressure and light to dark thing. I am a contact wearer, and my eyes do get dry from time to time.. especially when we get the smoke from the GA fires. However, they don't feel dry at the moment. I will keep that in mind though.. if anything using drops when I need them might keep the problem from getting any worse. Thanks Alice!

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I wear contacts too, although i've been sticking to glasses the last two weeks to get the dryness thing adjusted. Contacts will make the dryness worse I would say, especially if you wear lenses that soak up a lot of moisture from your eye.

Ask your eye doc which kind of drops they like. Mine gave me samples of Genteal, but there are a couple of others. i don't know how you use them with contacts, but I'll see what I find out later when I go for the follow up about this.

Cheers, Alice

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