In Wetumpka, AL

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Preventing Subliminal Distraction episodes, mistaken for mental illness, is simple and free.


Copyright 2003 Edit Monday August 4, 2014

Copyright    Contact page    Demonstration of subliminal sight

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ICU or Hospital Psychosis


One in three people who spend five days in a hospital ICU has a mental break. If you phone any hospital you will be told the mental break is caused by too much stimulation from lights and buzzers in the ICU. But there have been cases that happen in hospital rooms, not ICU's, where there were no lights and buzzers.

There are jobs such as floor trader on the stock market that have much more stimulation from lights and movement than an ICU. No mental breaks are noted there.

Google ICU Psychosis and there are many sites that try to explain the psychotic-like episode as delirium. But ICU Psychosis happens to patients who are not delirious. Although the patients are recovering from serious surgery, or other devastating conditions, they were awake and if without restrictive treatment modalities, speaking.     If properly researched those who have ICU Psychosis have reached a level of recovery so that their eyes are open, and they can engage activities to pass time.


Why do the episodes of psychotic-like confusion happen?

When an ICU patient learns to ignore movement in peripheral vision from the approach of nurses, staff, and doctors, they still subliminally see, detect, the movement, and their brain reacts to that detected threat-movement with a subliminal, undetectable,  attempt to startle.

If you have not done so perform the demonstration of habituation in peripheral vision. Here

That process of failed attempts to visually startle is a visual subliminal distraction, explained, and defined,  in first semester psychology under the physiology of sight, subliminal sight, and peripheral vision reflexes. 


Lectures on peripheral vision reflexes vary in quality so the mental breaks may not be mentioned. If they are mentioned the phenomenon is treated as something that happened once, long ago, not a normal feature of physiology still happening today. My instructor said, "Subliminal sight caused a problem in the early days of modern office design."


Engineers designing the first close-spaced office workstations discovered the problem.  Because of the way it happened they realized it was something they had done.   When told it was the long term forced suppression of the vision startle reflex, engineers created the cubicle to  block peripheral vision for concentrating knowledge workers to stop  it in offices by 1968.


They failed to understand it is a problem of everyone's physiology of sight, not just a nuisance in the correct design of offices.   Only the fully blind, or bind from birth, are immune.

Anytime, and anywhere some one creates all the "special circumstances" those engineers found, long hours of full mental investment while there is repeating detectable movement nearby in peripheral vision, Subliminal Distraction must happen.  It cannot be prevented unless the same measures those engineers devised are used, peripheral vision blocking protection. (This is known as Cubicle Level Protection in the design field.)





A problem for a hospital patent in bed is that their peripheral vision while lying down, sweeps the room.   Unlike an office situation where the worker is sitting up, measures to stop ICU Psychosis must block an area of peripheral vision which is much larger.

While researching ICU Psychosis I discovered anecdotal stories of patients whose symptoms stopped when their eyeglasses were returned to them.   Wide temple arms of eyeglasses block peripheral vision when the arms are wide enough to cover the pupil diameter.

That is the first approach.  Particle blocking safety glasses have wide temple arms.  But the available products have transparent temple arms.  They would have to be modified with paint or black tape.

If the ICU patient is manic they might not accept glasses with modifications.  


A second choice is to arrange the hospital room bed so the room door is behind the head board.  Alternately a screen could be placed between the patient's eyes and the room door.   Visitors to the bedside would have to call out to the patient and have them look directly at the corner of the screen where the nurse or doctor will appear from behind the screen.  You cannot subliminally detect something in your conscious sight.

Everything the patient's brain can mistake for threat movement, such as blinking lights, should be out of sight behind the patient.


Visitors in the room, talking, and reacting with the patient will not be a source of Subliminal Distraction.    Exposure happens when some one is using full mental investment, unaware of anything happening around them.


You would think that a medical school would be interested in preventing a psychiatric problem that decrements responses to treatment.  But over twelve years only Vanderbilt replied to a message about ICU Psychosis.  As far as I can determine nothing was done at Vanderbilt to investigate blocking peripheral vision for ICU patients to test the solution.


Typical answers given to me in person during  hospital stays in 2007, and 2012, were that the facility was not a research hospital. When ICU Psychosis strikes, the staff tie the patient down until they are removed after the ICU recovery. The episode spontaneously remits just after leaving an ICU.

If you perform exhaustive Google searches there are stories posted on line that not all the victims completely recover.


The solution to stop and prevent ICU mental breaks is to use a modality which blocks peripheral vision in the same way engineers devised in 1968 with the office cubicle, while not making the solution burdensome on the ICU staff.