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any tips for lighting? Grocery stores?

2343 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Crumbles
It's just ridiculous in stores. And even after. Can't speak, memory gone. Almost as if something was triggered. Wonder if it's neurological, or it's just because of our heightened sensitivity to the external, and our perceptual shifts.

I found out that one time i went in to a store while on my cell phone, and it worked, i did not even think about being in there. I know that sunglasses help me. But that's just covering up symptoms, whereas talking on phone is a distraction.

any helpful methods?
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Blueblocker sunglasses will help eliminate some of the severity of the visual stimuli, and even any pair of sunglasses will do. Bringing a friend to shop, I am lucky to have someone close to me with visual problems as well, so we can even joke about the symptoms "WOW, did you see how that weird creature on the cereal box was creepy?" or how that row of perfectly placed cans just look weird, patterned, and geometrically illusioned?

Honestly, I have found the odd coping mechanism of humor for my constant visual distortions. However, these huge MEGAmarkets seem like the inside of a science fiction movie set. One drug free option: Try shopping at a local market, you can support your community and avoid the lights.

Generally, the overstimulation of lights are treated well with Blueblocker-type sunglasses. The advice I give for visual problems in general is:

Wear sunglasses as often as you need! It is drug-free! This may seem to be a silly idea, but wearing sunglasses outdoors (even if it isn't that sunny) will help lessen the impact of going from a bright environment to a dark environment when you go from outdoors to indoors. The reason is that when a person with visual perceptual problems like this go out in the sunlight, your brain tries to adapt to the large amount of visual stimuli it receives by lessening their impact. So, when you enter a darker room, the brain is still set to filter out lots of visual stimuli and it is difficult for you to see anything. Wearing sunglasses helps lessen the difference between the two environments.

Avoid taking stimulants before goigng to the store. This includes caffeine. Caffeine and other stimulants can aggravate your symptoms and even if not affecting your visual system, it will make you edgy.

If you do not have problems with obsessive compulsive behavior: Try adding your items together in your head while you walk (helps develop those cognitive behavioral neurons as well and help with mental focus) and reward yourself if you get the math right at check out by treating yourself to something extra.

Remember that you have this trigger, so try to come up with an emotional or cognitive technique that can work for you to combat this trigger from being set off. Perhaps playing a favorite song right before getting into the super market and then singing it in your head until you get past your trigger point. If you find that it does trigger again, but at least it triggers farther into the market - then you have made a success. Next time, see if you can go farther.

I think those should help!

Oh, to all of those who have e-mailed me: "I will get to them, tonight I had a special event to attend to."



- David
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On a neurobiological level, an enormous amount of light like this is overstimulating the visual cortex of your brain and this is a fact. Because the sensory and emotional sysems are connected (Example: Ever have a bad smell make you feel sick, a sound make you chill, and ever pay attention to how advertisements have the colors they do? You can check the research on colors and emotions (the advertising business has put their dollars into this topic, but it is obvious: Ever see a brown background for a toothpaste ad? No, it is white.), and off the top of my head I remember blue being the color that was tested to be most calming, so Rev is doing you a favor here).

Ok, that was a long tangent to get to my point: Overstimulation of one system can effect multiple systems and consequently overstimulate systems related to these DP symptoms. Exactly how this is mapped out? We do not know.

I think my best advice is to watch out for contrast. If you enter a bright supermarket after being in the dark, you have an initial stimulus load on your visual systems, whereas if you went from the sunlit outdoors to that same supermarket, your already light adapted neurons are not going to have such a shock in stimuli. Perhaps it is this shock[not taken literally] that could put some people over the edge with panic, etc. and cause problems.

Mirrors, let me think on that one. The best I can think are the cognitive behavioral techniques that have already been placed on this site.


- dk
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