Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Seeing the ground shift, letters move, etc?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 7 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • February 13, 2009
  • 05:02 AM


For the past month or so, I've been having very odd perceptions.

First, it started with me being on the bus, looking out the window, and seeing the ground shift. I thought it was my glasses. I took them off, and the ground still shifted.

This continued for a couple of weeks. The shifting looks as if one part of the ground is moving in the opposite direction from the other. It looks as if it has the texture of lava. If I close my eyes for a few seconds, and then look, it will restart.

More recently, it has gotten worst. Now, not only do I see the ground move, but I also will see the wood patterns on a desk move, the patterns on my jacket move, letters (on a paper, book, online, the keyboard, etc) wiggle and jump, etc etc.

Sometimes it seems as though, if I am thinking about it, it will not happen. But if I stop thinking about it- I see things move again!

What could be going on? Someone mentioned eye or ear problems, and also something psychological...

Monday, I am going to see a psychiatrist about anxiety or depression. I'm a bit scared to mention this sort of thing to a doctor like that- they may take it as being psychological when it could be an ear/eye problem like someone mentioned. :o

Any ideas or comments are very much appreciated. I know only a professional can diagnose me, but I would like to have an idea on some things. If it at all helps- I am 18, have no history of any problems, and am not on any medication.

Thank you.

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7 Replies:

  • This is merely due to a phenomenon known as visual persistence and the most common example is when staring at a picture for an extended period, one can close the eyes and still observe the image for a brief period before it fades. It works similarly with motion and can be exacerbated in persons with stress. In the attached picture, you can produce the visual sensation of wavy motion by first staring at the picture for a few moments and then moving your head up and down in a nodding fashion while continuing to stare at the image, which causes wavy distortions to appear. Furthermore, continue to examine the wavy lines for a minute or two and then stare at a stationary surface. You will most likely observe the surface to demonstrate a similar wavy action for a brief period. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies
    • February 14, 2009
    • 01:08 AM
    • 0
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  • JCottleMD and blaze, thank you for your input.JCottleMD, I understand what you are saying. But, what I am experiencing is on going and has been for about a month. It is a similar sensation as in the picture you gave except it happens with everyday things such as the ground, patterns, text, etc. This is, obviously, not normal and not the way it should be.Any ideas on how I can make it stop? Is it just a matter of time or should I get it checked out?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 14, 2009
    • 05:17 AM
    • 0
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  • Anyone have an ideas on what this could be or how to make it stop? :confused:Advice is appreciated.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 16, 2009
    • 03:35 PM
    • 0
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  • Hey doll,I realize your post is a little old but...I have similar problems with seeing the ground move, seeing the colors swirl and flow "like lava" when I close my eyes, and seeing patterns in the ground, in the sky, flooor etc. (The patterns usually look like a kaliedoscope and only last for a sec) I also have anxiety issues which are mostly in check now, but I really think these visual disturbances have to do with anxiety....Something about the mind trying to control randomness...I find that relaxation techniques like guided meditation and mindfullness meditation really really do the trick at overcoming anxiety in general..(at first it seemed to make it worse but over a week of daily meditation and deep breathing I completey stopped my panic attacks and got my anxiety in check) I still have a little anxiety from time to time and I still see patterns and flowing every once in a while, but it really doesn't bug me...I just relax and meditate whenever I can, and it seems to do the trick...hope this helps you or anyone else.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I too experience these same symptoms. I became aware after a period of persistent psychedelic drug use. It became worst within a month of noticing it and became less anxiety related as I got used to it. I always attributed it to the fact I may have developed hallucinogen persisting perception disorder. I remember experiencing similar things as a child though. Like seeing static move in different directions on my carpet or my parents face shift and morph during a long lecture. I'm not sure if what I am experiencing now was from doing drugs or if I have faulty neurological pathways. Either way what both of you have described is very similar to what I experience. I've found it to not be an issue once you are accustomed to it. I have been experiencing these on going visual perceptions for 4 years now.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 18, 2011
    • 11:16 AM
    • 0
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  • I have the same issue. Did you ever find an answer? I would like to know too. ;)
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • October 16, 2014
    • 05:33 PM
    • 0
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  • SURPRISE! more that 6 years later and someone from the internet has an answer:
    Palinopsia, most likely illusory, unless you've died since you posted this (I hope not!).

    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • January 3, 2016
    • 03:01 PM
    • 0
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