“The question is not what you look at, but what you see. ”
― Henry David Thoreau

   Yesterday, for a long while after coming out of the movie theater, I experienced what I have come to call my “out of body” experiences. Everything appears too bright and just not normal as if I am not seeing something all at once, I can look down at my hand and know it is mine, but it will feel as though it is not connected to me, etc. The closest term for these symptoms that I have found in doing my research is Depersonalization. I don’t know if that is what I have, but it is almost like prolonged migraine aura without the migraine itself.  Now, one might say, “That is completely natural for your senses to be off after coming out of a dark theater into the light”, and I would agree except that this happens at other times as well. 

   For those living with migraines, one must take on the role of detective on a daily basis, trying to locate clues and facts, gather and reject possible suspects. For instance, could my strange symptoms be related to my diet? Could they be an illness other than migraine? Could it be a neurological trigger like stress or anxiety? Could it be barometric pressure of a storm coming? Hormones? Poor eyesight? Sensitivity to light, sounds or smells?  The list goes on and on.

   Since I am still trying to work out the diet and there is no way for me to tell at this time if what I am experiencing is connected with barometric pressure or others, I am following the possible lead related to lighting.  I am very near-sighted and wear glasses. My glasses have transition lenses because I am very sensitive to light and they serve as sunglasses, changing to adapt when I go between inside and outside. I have been toying with the idea that different kinds of lighting effect me since I have had a couple of migraine “attacks” in public places with florescent lighting, but I have also had a full-blown attack in a movie theater before and yesterday’s out of body feelings have me wondering about screen size and proximity as well. Do my eyes and my brain have a difficult time making sense of a large screen? Does it then affect all of my visual sensibilities for a prolonged amount of time afterward? I don’t know the answer, but it bears further scrutiny. 

  As usual, if anyone reading this can relate or can provide helpful information and/or insights, please feel free to comment. 

“The question i…


2 responses »

  1. Some times lighting gives me migraines as well. Although for me it is usally the strength of the light and how it is hitting my face. If it is too dim, too bright, or a spot light directly over my eyes, those will all do it. We have even asked for different tables at resteraunts because of this. Also, my mil has track lights in her living room that they can’t use when we are over for the same reason.

    I also have a barometer at home to check the pressure on, sometimes multiple times daily. You can pick one up at a store or hardware.

    I have also found that stress will cause a migraine for me AFTER the stressor is gone. Or that sometimes my neck is “out”, and a visit to the chiropractor will clear them up. Very weird, I know.

  2. Thank you for your feedback Melinda. That’s great advice about the barometer. I hadn’t thought of that. Stress is definitely a big factor for me. I, too have experienced light sensitivity in some restaurants. It’s so difficult to find the source of the problem when there are so many possibilities and sometimes it can be a couple of things in combination.

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