my line of work I have talked to hundreds of anxiety sufferers
over the years, and I have discovered that it is relatively
common for people to feel anxious in large department stores,
like Wal-Mart, Target, etc. Some even have panic attacks in
also used to experience some anxiety in big retail stores
and malls, though it has thankfully been many years since
I had to deal with this.
few people have mentioned to me that they believe their anxiety
in large stores is being caused by the massive amount of fluorescent
lights overhead. And in fact, there is some research which
shows that fluorescent lighting can affect the nervous system.
haven't been enough real studies done to say anything for
certain here, but I think it's also interesting to note that
many people who are recovering from Benzodiazepine dependency
find that fluorescent lighting really ramps up their symptoms
and causes anxiety. People dealing with withdrawal from these
drugs are often quite sensitive, as their nervous system has
been compromised and take time to heal; so things that would
not ordinarily bother them can become a source of anxiety.
if fluorescent lights cause anxiety in sensitive nervous systems,
like those of people recovering from a benzo dependency, doesn't
it also stand to reason that they would affect a certain percentage
of society in general? After all, it seems obvious that some
people are more sensitive to their environment than others.
while it's hard to say for certain that fluorescent lights
cause anxiety, it seems likely that they at least contribute
to it in some people who may have more sensitive nervous systems.
Until there are more thorough studies examining this phenomena,
I would operate under the assumption that it is at least possible
that fluorescent lighting is an anxiety trigger for some people.
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if that is the case, what can be done about it? Again, hard
facts are few and far between on this subject as there has
been so little research done. However, more than one anxiety
sufferer has told me that wearing dark sunglasses inside large
department stores actually made them feel less anxious. It
seems like a bizarre idea, and you might even look a little
strange wearing your sunglasses in the middle of a store,
but it is such a simple (and cheap) solution that I feel it
is definitely worth trying.
I haven't had any serious anxiety in stores like this in a
very long time, so I've had no chance to test this one out
for myself. But I've heard enough anecdotal evidence just
talking to other anxiety sufferers to believe there may be
something to it.
you or someone you love suffers with feelings of anxiety in
large apartment stores, try the dark sunglasses technique
and see how it works (and email me and let me know). It could
be a little thing that makes a big difference and reduces
your anxiety enough to make shopping comfortable again.
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