First post to the forum, so hopefully this is the right place!
I received eye surgery three times to correct the strabismus I had, the last when I was 12. I am now in my thirties, and only now reading about the potential consequences which is fascinating and possibly explains how I've reacted to things during my life.
I recently had a stress/anxiety-related episode at work, during which I saw a consultant who discussed the issues I'd had, and the possible link with childhood strabismus. I have always suffered from anxiety, but from speaking with them, they mentioned how childhood strabismus could play a part due to developmental differences to "neuro-typical" babies/children. They also discussed how this may have resulted in acquired dyspraxia in how I react with the world, both physically, such as clumsiness, and more neurological, in terms of sensitivity to light, temperature, etc.
I've spent some time looking on the web for articles that cover all these aspects, but I would be really interested in people's experiences and whether other people have had similar experiences to mine, and whether visual therapy would be suitable.
Thanks for reading, and look forward to hearing from you!
As I posted before, I'm convinced that strabismus (especially if there's alternation) affects the way we think and the way we feel. I used to get seasick too easily when I was a child and we traveled by car.
I started having anxiety attacks when I was 8, and I still have them, from time to time.
I've always been a little inefficient, a little clumsy, a little slow, it might have to do with what Sue Barry mentioned in her book about looking and thinking in part instead of getting the general picture.
I was diagnosed ADHD, but the medication they prescribed did nothing for me. However, since I started using both eyes at the same time (if only to a certain degree), I think I've experienced an improvement in concentration. Some people posting here seems to confirm that using both eyes instead of one at a time seems to help concentration and relaxation.
Welcome to the forums!
Thanks for your reply. I have not read Sue Barry's book yet, but it sounds like it might be worth a read. I shall look into how using both eyes can improve concentration, as I'm fairly sure I tend to use only one. Is there a general term that's used to link strabismus and these psychological effects? It sometimes difficult to know what to search for!
Optometrists have been studying the behavioural angle of strabismus for some decades now (apparently ophtalmologists wouldn't touch it), but it is a relatively new field, and the psychological side effects would perhaps be more related to Psychology. The only mention I found about them is in Sue Barry's book and, after that, in this forum. Here's a quote from the book, pages 131 and 132 (paperback edition):
Most surprising to me was that the change in my vision affected the way that I thought. I had always seen and reasoned in a step-by-step manner. I saw with one eye and then the other. When entering a crowded room, I would search for a friend by looking at one face, then the next. I didn't know how to take in the whole room and its occupants in one glance. While lecturing in class I always spoke about A causing B causing C. Until I watched my children grow up, I had assumed that seing the details and understanding the big picture were separate processes. Only after I learned the details could I add them up together in the whole. I could not, as the saying goes, see the forest for the trees. But my kids seemed to be able to do both at the same time.
Thanks Pablo. Interesting reading. I think I have a lot to learn!
I have been wondering the same type of things. I found this article though google. Click on More on Google's menu bar and select Scholarly Articles...
There are many more there.
Personally I have struggled with depression, some anxiety (meds didn't help either!), I am VERY sensitive to light. In fact there are 3 lights in my house right now that I immediately turn off should someone turn them on. They "bug" me and distract me. My husband often teases that I am a "freeze baby", and that I have a 3 degree range when I am ok with temperature.
I hate driving at night and avoid driving at night in the rain if at all possible, just to scary!
This is an interesting topic.
However, I have to wonder whether cause and effect can be established. That is, is it the strabismus which is causing depression/anxiety, or is it possible that there's some larger factor which causes both the strabismus and the mental issues which might progress later on in life.
Does anyone know what actually causes strabismus? I mean, obviously there was some kind of obstruction during development. For whatever reason, someone is born with their eyes crossed, and so their binocular neurons fade away. Is there some possible cause which is rooted in genetics? My brother recently told me about a coworker of his who has two kids, both of whom are stereoblind (presumably via strabismus). Those seem like low odds, but then you have two siblings having the same thing. Perhaps we have some genetic flaw which interferes with development, which prevents in both proper development in vision along with proper mental development which might cause mental issues later on in life.
I'm reading "Conscious Seeing" by Roberto Kaplan. There you'll find lots of reasons for which, according to the author, vision is affected.
Similar theories I've read in the Eyebody Method.
I became strabismic at the age of 2, so I'd say genetics combined to high fever.
The way strabismus developed could be affected by other factors, especially the way I adapted after an operation at 6.
Regardind possible causes, I'm not 100% sure, but I think my optometrist mentioned that it was quite common to find strabismic people who had difficulties when being born. Perhaps one of the professionals who post here could confirm or deny it.