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light sensitive

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Old 04-04-2004, 08:42 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: ny,ny usa
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couger2347 HB User
Question light sensitive

I find it very difficult walking into stores or any large arena where there are many bright lights shining . I find myself especially senstive and start feeling as if I cant steady my legs under me. The feeling that comes over me is one of fear and panic. I start feeling dizzy or unsteady on my feet and keep walking out to gain some composure. When walking around the store I find it especially overwhelming to try and concentrate on any one item. I try to relax but find myself tensing my whole body so I wont fall over and embarass myself. I start to think that everyone is noticing my discomfort which makes me more self concious. I exert a awful lot of energy just trying to fake it or look somewhat normal. I keep looking at those lights that brighten the stores and feel they are activating my nervous system and irritating my very soul. Its been very many years with this feeling and for I while I just accepted it. Im now trying once again to find what can be done if anything to lessen this feeling. Ive read and been to therapy for this problem and still find it difficult since I think physiologically my body and brain go into high alert from those horrible bright bulbs. Please if anyone knows of a way to help with this problem I would like to hear from you.

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Old 04-04-2004, 11:45 PM   #2
lori j
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Join Date: Nov 2002
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lori j HB User
Re: light sensitive

I haven't had this, but have read several times on here that others do experience this too, so must be something to do with anxiety & panic. I'm sure someone else will answer you who has had this problem.

Old 04-05-2004, 03:32 AM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 53
shellybell HB User
Re: light sensitive

I have experienced this ever since I was diagnosed with my panic disorder last year. Fluorescent lights are the worst for me, and of course that is what kind of lighting I have at work, so it is a struggle to get through the day sometimes. I really haven't found anything that works for me yet, I usually just try not to think about the lights at work because I know that if I begin to focus on them that I will have to eventually leave work for the day - it sends me into a panic! I always just thought it was a side effect of my medicine, but am not really sure. Hopefully someone out there will be able to give us some advice on how to overcome this! Take care!

Old 04-05-2004, 08:12 AM   #4
Join Date: May 2003
Location: uk
Posts: 82
amym HB User
Re: light sensitive

I also sometimes suffer from this. Its because when your anxious you are on high alert which means your body is highly sensitised and all the information being thrown at your brain can be very intense. Its definately to do with panic and anxiety

Old 04-05-2004, 02:00 PM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 80
Re: light sensitive

Oh yeah-I know exactly what you are talking about!

Old 04-05-2004, 02:35 PM   #6
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hry33 HB Userhry33 HB User
Re: light sensitive

yes we do use up lots of energy in pretending to be relaxed and calm
being oversensitive to light is common for anxiety sufferers, carry some sunglasses with you when out and put them on

it helps to push a shopping cart around in a supermarket or mall, it gives you something to hold on to and assists with balance

Old 04-05-2004, 03:23 PM   #7
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: ny,ny usa
Posts: 56
couger2347 HB User
Unhappy Re: light sensitive

I dont like wearing sunglasses inside stores it seems to me to draw even more attention. I do at times walk with a push cart but that upsets me. It feels like Im giving in to the panic. I thought I might try to get contact lenses that have some tint to them to cut down on the glare but never went for them. Has anyone tried coated contact lenses? I dont need the prescription since my eyes are 20/20 but need something for the light. What do you think? Also when in the stores I find it hard to look at all the items since concentrating gets me very irriatable. The symptom of agitation gets me very unconfortable which leads to worry thought and I try to calm down but it allways seems to be there. Upon entering large spaces like malls I start to get very worried and start to dred what may come. I especially find it exscruiating waiting on long lines to pay for something. I tense my body then try to let go but cant wait for it to be over with. I think you get the idea. Thanks for responding to my thread and hope you continue to do so.

Old 04-05-2004, 04:16 PM   #8
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crabbyroad HB User
Re: light sensitive

Recently they have done some studies about Fluorescent lighting and onset of panic attacks. Seems the subtle flickering is enough to trigger a panic attack, thus they were searching a link mostly in department stores, grocery stores, etc. where a majority of attacks occur or are triggered.

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