Happy New Year! This is the second year of Visual Snow Man. Here in part 3 of this annual review I discuss the mental aspect related to Visual Snow. I also mention what I would like to achieve with the website in 2019.
The Toll Of Having Visual Snow
A related issue to the topic of speculation that I mentioned in part 2 is that of mental health problems arising from having Visual Snow. It shouldn’t be avoided just because it is at the moment somehow taboo. From my knowledge this is a serious and underappreciated issue.
Parents, family members, friends should be aware of your situation. Ultimately these are the people who can help you if you are going through a tough spot. Whereas the tempting lure of social media may not always be the best solution.
Schools, colleges, universities all also need to have some awareness – I see not much difference practically from something like Dyslexia, with Visual Snow potentially exercising a much broader impact. It is a problem if a child or a student not only may be challenged to read but also finds it fundamentally unpleasant to study or to be in certain environments.
In the mainstream people are starting to talk about how bad depression and anxiety is nowadays (which is great) but really such issues are commonplace, and far worse if you add on top troubling visual symptoms. The average person would not even be able to imagine what it is like to deal with such a thing as Visual Snow – so don’t keep it to yourself.
There’s no escaping the fact however that much is still down to you yourself.
It’s not a particularly remarkable idea that how you live your life and your mindset could impact your happiness with Visual Snow.
My symptoms interfered with how I saw, which consequently muddled how I thought and perceived/was perceived; for me that is much improved, I now feel more natural and part of my environment. Perhaps as well therefore I have a decreased sense of detachment, or derealisation, and anxiety. Without light sensitivity there is also I feel better contrast, depth-perception, and less afterimages. That is a significant difference and there’s no rocket science behind what I did. Everyone is different, but everyone can do something.
You shouldn’t be living your life for your Visual Snow but you have to be aware of it – it’s a part of you but it doesn’t define you. Is it better to lead a sensible lifestyle – yes. Will you feel worse about having Visual Snow if you are living a chaotic existence – probably. The decision is yours.
Like others, I can help inform that decision but I can’t force you to do anything, nor can I play a personal role in your life and replace your friends, family, doctor etc.
Everything Takes Time
If you have wondered why I haven’t been posting much in the past couple of months. It’s because I myself am yet to overcome all the consequences of not being in control for so many years.
Contrary to what some people may believe: I am not a superhero and don’t pretend to be. If I spent all my time on the website I would be a hypocrite for not aiming to do what I discuss on here.
The aim for me was always to create a website that I would have liked to have had access to back when I was a teenager and didn’t know how to go about living with Visual Snow.
If I’d had the same attitude, knowledge, and self-awareness that I have now – ten years ago or even a few years ago, I would be in a much better position. That’s a regret I don’t want others to have.
This website was created without knowing that there would be a good organised and well-funded effort such as the Visual Snow Initiative. I am confident now that the path towards a cure will carry on looking more and more promising, and that the problems I mentioned in this annual review will gradually dissipate.
Please do make full use of the resources you now have available – they have not always been a given and shouldn’t be taken for granted.
My Mission For 2019
Overall I am satisfied that with the arrival of the Visual Snow Initiative the understanding from research will growth at an increased rate.
However currently with what is accepted to be known about Visual Snow the suggestions on what you can do about it remain fairly vague. Doing lots of different things to get “healthier” may help but it’s a trial and error approach that’s not for everyone: it requires lots of patience, will-power, and ideally money. Otherwise different people have subjective interpretations based on their existing knowledge and beliefs, which still leaves much open to speculation and potentially dangerous “short-cut” experiments.
My mission remains the same in 2019: I want to help that state of affairs change and help people make well-informed positive changes and decisions.
In 2019 I intend to carry on offering practical advice where I feel it is appropriate, helping to highlight and discuss research, but also taking a closer and more detailed look at individual symptoms, problems, and possible solutions.