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Fluorescent Lighting And Increased Anxiety

Discussion in 'Anxiety, Panic & Hypervigilance' started by permban0077, Nov 24, 2007.

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  1. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    I did a search but did not pull anything up on here about it so I will start it up.

    We use fluorescent bulbs and the like trying to be more green and they do last a lot longer over all than incandescent lights.

    Now I know for me one of the first cues of an anxiety attack (not the panic) is my sight gets messed up. Lighting will go all wonky and everything gets insanely bright colors weird and bright.

    I was doing some research as I have just been flat ill and hardly a break from anxiety attacks. I came across some info about a possible increase of anxiety and the fluorescent lighting. I figure I am game to self experiment here... Anything that could reduce my anxiety or frequency of attacks by the slightest margin I am game for. Well, it for me did make a difference. I have left all my windows open and doors, and have insisted no one use the lights unless absolutely needed (except one old bulb I found).

    I would suggest if you have this type of lighting in your home to try this yourself. What do you have to lose?

    Has it made all attacks lift and be anxiety free? Of course not but I am noticing a difference, enough of one hubby is going to swap out all our bulbs back to the old style. I think every little bit helps. My eyes do not feel so "buzzy" now. Also, reducing computer usage and TV, but if I let my brain not have something to veg out on too long it backfires.
     
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  3. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    I agree with you totally. In spite of them being green, I can't have florescent lights in my room or living areas because they make me a lot worse. I always thought that it was just me though. Interesting that others experience the same thing!
     
  4. txmomof3

    txmomof3 Active Member

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    Anything is definately worth a try! I have not ever seen anything one way or the other. Tanning beds decrease my anxiety level...but I know they use very different bulbs than household lights.
     
  5. Nam

    Nam I'm a VIP

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    Tanning beds reduce anxiety because it produces neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine, I think) in your body making you "feel good". There are some research out there saying that tanning can be addictive because of this....but there is also research out there that says this is a cure for winter blues, a disorder called SAD (seasonal affective disorder).

    I've always disliked the light fluorescents give out and prefer the yellow light of incandescents. I think that too much exposure to fluorescents have given me migraines in the past from the glare/flickering. So...I'm all for the old fashioned bulbs. In my house we only have incandescent and halogen lights. The only fluorescent one we have is in the garage.
     
  6. Awakening

    Awakening Well-Known Member

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    Good suggestion Veiled.

    I actually prefer candles. Any light I generally find too bright. Constantly snapping at people to turn off the lights.
     
  7. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    It is actually for depression, not anxiety, though close. The information your looking for is located in Dr. Roerich's thread entitled [DLMURL]http://www.ptsdforum.org/thread308.html[/DLMURL].
     
  8. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    Ummm, guess you are talking to Nam? I was speaking of anxiety not depression. I already knew of light therapy for SAD. The anxiety is tied into use of fluorescents.

    Hubby swapped out the whole house except for the kids' rooms. The change in the kitchen was while we were unloading groceries. The soft warm yellow lighting that followed the harsh bright was like... It just washed over me. It was a relief. It is really cutting down on the symptoms that tie into my anxiety. My guess is what ever effect it has on my eyes is triggering anxiety attacks. It has even cut down some of the symptoms that occur during a panic attack. May be a coincidence, who knows. But usually my sight is very screwed up and I get horribly dizzy and ill. When the sheer dread hit me and I was fighting with the "I am about to die" feelings I did not have as many physical symptoms last night. It still was horrible but I did not feel near as sick during it. Again coincidence? Who knows, time will tell. But I am sold on blowing off the fluorescents now. I am game for anything that cuts down frequency or intensity. And so simply. No major changes, no pills, no extra time out of my day... Just changed my light bulbs to the cheap ones. I am convinced for me these were playing a part in being so sick lately. Makes sense and works for me and apparently a couple others!
     
  9. grace5555

    grace5555 Well-Known Member

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    Veiled,

    My therapist had me swap lights a while ago as she had done research on it as well and I am with you - it does make a noticeable difference that does not happen very often in our world of PTSD.

    Grace
     
  10. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    I'm glad you were able to switch the lights in your house Veiled. I only use incandescents and quite often I use lamps rather than overhead lights, with a wattage of 40-60, not 100. And I use natural light whenever possible. It makes such a difference to me that I even have a special battery powered lamp that goes with me to hospital if I'm admitted. I have a much more pleasant stay when I'm not forced to be under the usual hospital florescents.
     
  11. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    I think I am being confused here. The title talks about using fluorescent lighting though mentions increasing anxiety. Your above post states "My guess is what ever effect it has on my eyes is triggering anxiety attacks." Then the very next statement is "It has even cut down some of the symptoms that occur during a panic attack."

    I am confused. Are you saying that the change to fluorescent lighting is increasing anxiety or decreasing it? Panic attacks is a direct reflection of anxiety, you don't have high anxiety without the increased risk of panic attacks or vice versa. From the heading of this thread to the statements within it, I am confused what is being said here.

    Fluorescent lighting is a direct reflection and scientific studies demonstrate it has an increased ability to decrease depression. Now depressive states can and are often confused with anxious states. If you have PTSD you have both anxious and depressive states, knowingly or not, you have them. Such lighting would decrease depressive states which would have a direct impact to helping decrease the anxious states, as one feeds from the other and vice versa. With PTSD you will not have one or the other, both will be present. If your anxiety is high with PTSD you will not just run to your safe zone, you will likely become unmotivated, not willing to do things, feel like you can't move or do anything of use. That's because the depressive aspects are in direct conjunction to the anxious aspects. You don't get one or the other, you get both; knowingly or not.

    Can you please help me understand which you are referencing from this thread though as I am confused over reading this one.
     
  12. ovation228

    ovation228 Member

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    I've found this thread very interesting. I have the compact florescent bulbs all over the house. I also have overhead florescent lights in my office. I never really thought about how they could affect my anxiety.
     
  13. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    I have always had adverse reactions to florescent lighting, my whole life florescent lighting has made me more anxious. I avoid it at all costs. I am autistic though, and it's well known and common for autistics have problems with florescents. It contributes to sensory overload. But it doesn't seem like much of a stretch to reason it might cause some sensory overload problems (i.e. anxiety) in people with PTSD too.
     
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