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Author Topic: Anxiety and visual disturbances?  (Read 449 times)

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Offline Flower

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Anxiety and visual disturbances?
« on: June 20, 2014, 07:41:25 AM »
Hi everybody. I hope I am not alone in this...

I am a migraine sufferer (with visual auras), and since the last episode I have been on a constant edge. A week after the episode I started having all sorts of visual disturbances (some come and go, some are pretty much constant). I have been to A&E twice (first time they sent me to an eye hospital - eyes are okay, second time they said it was probably caused by a depression), and seen my doc a zillion times, but he keeps fobbing me off and refuses refer to a neurologist saying ot doesn't sound like there is anything wrong with my brain. So, my symptoms have been/are:
- unable to focus on anything other than my vision (constantly checking and analysing what I m seeing)
- now and then a shiny dot appears for a few seconds in my vision field (some days once a day, some days often)
- edges of bright contrasting items look uneven (like parts are missingn or it looks jagged)
- reading: sometimes words look funny or letters seem to be missing
- sensitivity to light: light seems too dim or too bright
- tunnel vision (?) sometimes, can focus on one thing at a time, the rest (or some of it) kind of disappears
- white surfaces shimmering
- increasing awareness of floaters
- afterimages
- sense of intense fear
- feelings of tension in my body
- feeling that things around me make no sense, or look somehow strange, alien.
- tearfulness
- and the latest: something a bit like double vision. I do not really see double, but it's like my brain kind of processes it that way, it's like I am not sure if I see one or two, though with my eyes I see and am aware of how many people/things I see. Kind of hard to explain. I must add it is not everything that I see that way, mostly people on the street or litter on the ground. It's like once I noticed it once, I could not stop focusing on it again!

I have had anxiety/panic attacks in the past, but they were the classical kind: pounding heart, fear, breathlessness, clammy hands, dizziness..... But this is something different and has been going on for 3 months. Can these symptoms be due to anxiety?
I was starting to feel a bit better, but this week it seems to be coming all back with new visual symptom, making me so terrified and anxious again.

Could this all be due to anxiety? Does anyone else have such symptoms with anxiety?
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Offline dbirm77

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Re: Anxiety and visual disturbances?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2014, 01:35:50 PM »
There are no doctors here but almost everything you listed could be attributed to anxiety. I, myself have had many of the symptoms. Anxiety tends to linger, along with the symptoms you fear the most. Sensitized nerves can create many different visual disturbances and create some gnarly experiences. Confusion, disorientation, derealization, depersonalization, visual tricks, etc. If you've gotten a full check up and you have been told that anxiety is the culprit...accept that it is true. That's the first step to recovery.

Good luck,

Drew
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Expect.....anxiety to come.
Accept.....anxiety and all it's sensations.
Ask.........anxiety for more!

Rinse and repeat!

Offline Flower

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Re: Anxiety and visual disturbances?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2014, 02:09:07 PM »
Hi, thank you for the reply. I surely do understand that there are no doctors on the site and I was not really looking for a diagnosis. Rather, I was hoping that somebody out there would have gone through something very similar. Otherwise it feels like such a lonely and frightening experience.
Besides, I have not really been checked over, as doctors just dismiss it as a possible depression symptom (despite me telling them that the physical symptoms came first and that caused me to feel down not the other way round), and I am still waiting to get a therapy. That is one reason I came on here, hoping that I am not alone with such symptoms, so I appreciate your reply. 
 
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Offline ferrari0909

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Re: Anxiety and visual disturbances?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2014, 05:30:52 PM »
Wow.. thats all I can say..

Pretty much everything you wrote registers with me. Look at my post Derealization help close to 2 above yours.

Yes I've had every test known in the book and they said its all anxiety.

I know its weird to think about, but if your thinking your going crazy thats good, because REAL CRAZY people don't think like that. ANXIOUS people do. I have a hard time getting this thru to myself though.
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Offline Flower

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Re: Anxiety and visual disturbances?
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2014, 03:37:15 AM »
Hi Ferrari,
I think I am getting some sort of derealisation now as well. When the distress becomes too much, I just start feeling as if everything is odd, and I am no longer the usual me. I think the fact that I have not had thorough tests done (only the usual reflex checking - finger to nose, etc, which was okay), makes me even more terrified. I am seeing ophtalmologist on Monday (A&E referral), but I don't think it's an eye issue, but rather brain. I think I have several issues going on, GAD, PTSD, health anxiety.....oh, and OCD. I feel like I am going crazy and don't know how to get a relief. Was even considering trying alcohol yesterday, just so I can stop thinking about it all and living in terror.  :(
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Offline _rai

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Re: Anxiety and visual disturbances?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2014, 06:51:59 AM »
Yes all perfectly from anxiety. I suffer from so much anxiety too and I always think Im going blind I am so scared I always get spots on my vision, the ones different from floaters. I get the shiny spot too. When I get too anxious and worried, I get them checked by the doctor which he always tells me that e sees nothing and
That my eyes are perfectly normal. All you gotta do is ignore the spots or anything and tell your self it's just fom anxiety. Then my spots are gone. But sometimes they still do come and go but the The more I ignore them the faster they disappear. I think your symptoms are just from anxiety. But if you are really concerned, go to
The docs. Goodluck!
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She didn't know who would leave or stay. So she pushed them all away.

Offline Buddy122

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Re: Anxiety and visual disturbances?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2014, 04:05:03 PM »
I have 95% of the symptoms you've described. Deal with them every day. I've had intense visual snow and all the side effects that come with that for around 5 years or so now, anxiety makes it worse. I've had lots of eye exams and an MRI and I'm perfectly fine, apparently. But yeah, even that reassurance doesnt stop everything from shaking when I look at it, or looking hazy or rhe spots, etc etc. I've been in a constant battle with my anxiety for going on 4 months now. Idk if my reply will help you, maybe you'll at least know you're not alone. I'm also open to any suggestions on how to help my anxiety.
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Offline ralphster8

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Re: Anxiety and visual disturbances?
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2014, 02:36:30 PM »
Guys I too have been experiencing these symptoms. but at-lest were not all alone. my insomnia has flared up an i believe that just makes the anxious feelings worse and with more doubt and not believing in myself. but I do have some suggestions of whats gotten me through it in the past. first is sleep... dosent matter if u need meds cbt, sleep is the most important. next keep yourself busy. " idel hands is the devils workshop " If your constantly busy it will distract your mind. Do even things you don't want to even if your afraid its going to suck just do it!!! and if some irrational thought comes in just call it for what it is and know that it can't control you.
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Offline Flower

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Re: Anxiety and visual disturbances?
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2014, 03:13:27 PM »
I wish I could get more sleep...the thing is, I am looking after a baby and haven't had decent sleep for 5 months  :yawn: My partner is not helping much, so I have been surviving on roughly 5 or 6 hours of sleep per night. I wonder if this could be contributing to the visual/perceptual disturbances. I feel like I am unable to process moving objects, it's  like my mind says: oh, wait, how can this person be here, here, here and now here.....scary!
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Offline braves0042

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Re: Anxiety and visual disturbances?
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2014, 03:05:02 PM »
Flower, I have those same symptoms with the eyes. I have seen a few doctors about that and they see nothing wrong with the vision changes, it is really just a heightened state of awareness due to the anxiety. We see more floaters and flashes and whatnot than people who aren't anxious and they alert us because we may think something is wrong. My eye symptoms came shortly after my depersonalization 2 months ago when my anxiety was really bad, floaters and flashes galore lol. I can assure you it is the dreaded anxiety monster causing this and you are ok  :P
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Offline TopBananas

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Re: Anxiety and visual disturbances?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2014, 06:16:02 PM »
My vision seems to be really problematic sometimes - I find straight lines tend to vibrate sometimes and lights in the periphery of my vision will flash. I'm always asking people around me if they see lights flickering just to assure myself I'm sane!

Believe me I've just spent the last half an hour googling away at various psychotic symptoms and I too am convinced I'm going mad, strange thoughts and all sorts but when you stop and manage to think rationally you can know that it's just anxiety talking.
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