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Big box stores & anxiety - Page 3

post #41 of 56
This is interesting, most people seem to have across the board anxiety in big box stores, but I only get anxiety at one store, and it is intense every single time I go into BEST BUY I feel like I can't breathe and I need to leave as soon as possible. I often wait in the car and let my husband go in if we need something there. My husband is the same way with fabric or craft stores, he cannot handle being inside of them. But everything else is fine, in fact I love places like Lowes, Home Depot and IKEA
post #42 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by *bejeweled* View Post
Hi,
I've noticed that I've been feeling really anxious when I'm in big box stores or grocery stores. Does anyone else suffer from this?
I have this to a lesser degree. For me it's just that I find shopping in those big stores kind of depressing and overwhelming. Seeing all that packaging and all that stuff and those white fluorescent lights just shining on everything, (or all that red in Target) knowing I have to find some things there to do what I want to do, like cook meals or whatever. And I also tend to overbuy in those stores, which may be part of why I feel anxious--I worry I'm getting too much.

But for me it's a matter of familiarity. I didn't really enjoy going in Costco the first few times that I renewed my membership, but once I knew what things they had that I liked, I can go in and go to my aisles. I sometimes get sidetracked down other aisles, and that's where I start to feel overwhelmed. I mostly go to two grocery stores because I feel happy and comfortable in them, although they are remodeling my Trader Joe's and I don't find it as pleasing. There is more room to move around, however.

All the stuff, though, aisles and aisles of the same things--it can get to you. Sometimes I feel this way driving on the street and just seeing all the manmade stuff covering everything. It just really feels sad and demoralizing seeing it all. Yet if I were in a wilderness area with no human made things nearby, I would find that even more barren and depressing.
post #43 of 56
Thread Starter 


[QUOTE=Viola;16015503] I sometimes get sidetracked down other aisles, and that's where I start to feel overwhelmed.
post #44 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by TEAK's Mom View Post
I actually talked my mother into buying my prom dress without me.

We call it mal d'mall.
I'll have to tell my mom that I'm not alone in this!
post #45 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by IntuitiveJamie View Post
I was in Target tonight and realized that the other thing I don't like is that they push whatever holiday is coming up onto you. Halloween was just a few days ago and today it's already Christmas. I don't like being told, so to speak, what I should be thinking/shopping for.
I know!!! I stopped by the craft store & they had Christmas music & 1/2 the store was Christmas decorations. I was holding back tears, literally! (Of course I was already having a bad night but SHEESH it was only Nov. 2!!!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poddi View Post
I'm the opposite. I actually prefer big box stores over small ones. I have anxiety disorder, too. Although I think it might have something to do with our shopping habit. We usually go on weekday nights, so the stores are quite empty and we are able to get our shopping done really fast. We never shop on Saturdays and we don't shop at indoor malls. I do take my jacket off if I'm going to be inside for more than 10 minutes. I can't stand those stores where some real people actually come to me and offer to help.
I experience this too. It's a totally different feeling than with the big-box stores, but equally difficult to deal with. I have a mental gauge for what size stores are most likely to offer you help & I WILL NOT step foot in them. I get so distressed when my mental gauge is off & someone offers, or when DH actually ASKS for help when we're out, even though we don't need it...
The only store I really enjoy shopping at is Salvation Army. Trader Joe's isn't bad but I have issues buying food so it's hit or miss for me.
post #46 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by TEAK's Mom View Post
We call it mal d'mall.
I'm stealing this! My mom will love it. We both hate shopping. Me more than her, and then my big sister LOVES it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IntuitiveJamie View Post
I was in Target tonight and realized that the other thing I don't like is that they push whatever holiday is coming up onto you. Halloween was just a few days ago and today it's already Christmas. I don't like being told, so to speak, what I should be thinking/shopping for.
I had to go to Target yesterday, too, and all the xmas stuff, even subtly like signs in the non-xmas section saying "save merrily" etc upset me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemenope View Post

Book stores/movie rental stores always give me a bowel movement. So does my parents' basement. What is that about?
Oh my, me too! Bookstores especially for a while... I think it was b/c I was squatting to look at books on the lower shelves so much and it became an association.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola View Post
I have this to a lesser degree. For me it's just that I find shopping in those big stores kind of depressing and overwhelming. Seeing all that packaging and all that stuff and those white fluorescent lights just shining on everything, (or all that red in Target) knowing I have to find some things there to do what I want to do, like cook meals or whatever. And I also tend to overbuy in those stores, which may be part of why I feel anxious--I worry I'm getting too much.
I totally agree. I get this more in the mall, because it's soooo vast and seems like so much needless junk and people are fawning over it all.

And yeah to the person who said people overbuy random stuff-- the clerks always look at me amazed when I plunk my one thing down on the counter to pay. I'm like, this is what I needed, why I came. And they're shocked I got out of their without spending $100.

It seems lately I keep ending up at Target, even though they often don't have what I wanted, and I know they mostly carry cheaper versions of any branded things... we've just needed odds and ends and around here Target is the big store and the only place to get stuff, and we're doing the whole nesting thing, so we have ten random things on a shopping list... well yesterday I got what I needed, but I got a headache, too. I had to actively tell myself to stay calm while I was shopping.

I think the lights and energy suck affect me. But the mall is way, way worse. I had a total meltdown there once, with DD, maybe a year ago. It was me, not her! I try to never go, but end up going maybe two or three times a year, or less. We had to go a few weeks back to return some things that had been mailed to me, and the one store wanted me to get the real receipt instead of the gift receipt, they were refusing to give me anything but store credit (I am 9mo prego and did NOT need $50 of maternity clothes! And that store didn't carry my size anyway) and I made a fuss and made them agree to send me a check instead, because I was NOT schlepping back out there again. UGH.

I'm glad so many others dislike big stores like these. It's good because it stops me from going and browsing and buying. I know I used to like doing that! Now I will pretty much only go to stores to get exactly what I need as fast as I can, or to entertain DD (I'm happy to let her play with their toys and then leave them there ).
post #47 of 56
I like to read the fortean times website and there's a thread on this there, too:
http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=328

I didn't read the thread but I can't stand malls or big box stores, I start to freak out pretty quick. I think part is agoraphobia, I can't take crowds indoors or out. Noise bugs me too. Pick up time at kindergarten kills me, there's wall to wall kids and parents and the noise is deafening, I always grab DS and race outside as fast as I can.
post #48 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
I know!!! I stopped by the craft store & they had Christmas music & 1/2 the store was Christmas decorations. I was holding back tears, literally! (Of course I was already having a bad night but SHEESH it was only Nov. 2!!!)
It is actually reasonable for the craft stores to be well stocked for Christmas by now. If people are going to be selling goods at November craft fairs they need to start early. But other stores don't have this excuse. And Christmas carols? That is a little much - just be glad you don't work there!!

I agree with the PP that said Best Buy is bad, and I wholeheartedly agree! That store is beyond overwhelming with all of the electronics blaring at you. Plus my DH is way too likely to find something expensive that he "needs" so it is best that we just stay out of there!
post #49 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by just_lily View Post
It is actually reasonable for the craft stores to be well stocked for Christmas by now. If people are going to be selling goods at November craft fairs they need to start early.
I didn't think of that... but they weren't really craft items... they were more like those little winter houses with figures that go with them, and fully-completed decorations... and yeah the Christmas music was over-the-top, I sure am glad I don't work there (or regularly shop there!)
post #50 of 56

Rant....

Ok, had to share this!

Today I went to Walmart (urgh) to try to spend a gift card we received as a gift for our wedding.

The Walmart in our area is next to a Lowes Home Improvement store. As I was driving by Lowes, and man jetted out in the turn lane, cut me off in the lane of traffic and continued to speed in front of me to turn into Walmart where I was headed. I had to follow this guy into the parking lot, as the parking lot herds cars to the spaces. The man brake checked me (I was not following close) and I almost all but hit him due to it raining here today. I parked and he came towards me as I was getting my child out of the car (yikes!). He started yelling at me and said "Are you on drugs?". I replied "Sir, you sped down the middle turn lane, cut me off, only to park 5 stalls ahead of me." He got back in his truck and parked in another spot by the entrance we both came in at.

As I was walking in to the store (blood boiling) another man said, "I saw him cut you off, heard everything that was said, are you ok?" I was so grateful for this nice man. DS and I went in, walked around in a daze and I decided to just leave feeling a tad overwhelmed.

As we were leaving, the nice man was entering. He said to me that he waited outside to see what the bad driver was doing and asked if DS and I needed an escort out.

For the record, the bad driver guy was wearing a firefighter shirt and was in his 60's I would say.... I took his plate # I guess just for "peace" of mind.

Urgh.... I will just stick to my Co-Op.
post #51 of 56
not all big boxes, but during my first pregnancy, babies r us would drive me to tears on a regular basis. Just so frustrating!
post #52 of 56
In general, I hate shopping so I feel anxious in a lot of stores.
But the big box stores really freak me out--the hideous white lights, the tall ceilings, big crowds, packed parking lots and rushing cashiers.

The other thing I see is that stores cram more and more stuff into their aisles and there are more freestanding displays. Hard to navigate a cart sometimes. I can't stand the crowds and everything feels so rushed. And when they play fast-paced music, that really stresses me out.

I'm a high energy person, but I can't stand a fast paced society. We previously lived in a state where there was much more open space, bigger parking lots/spaces, less traffic, slower pace...much more elbow room. Now we live in a state where space is a rare commodity, traffic is insane, people are highly competitive and go, go, go. I try to stay home as much as possible. I think I should live on a farm.
post #53 of 56
I wonder if this feeling many of you describe is linked to personality (when other anxiety issues aren't present)???

I love shopping, it calms me and makes me happy. I don't even have to buy anything but I love going to stores to look around. (Having a little money to spend is nice though).

I am an extrovert, I crave sensory stimulation and I get really really depressed if I don't leave my house for 3 days. 3 days is all it takes being stuck at home to make me feel agitated and overwhelmed. Going out, even to Walmart or Target makes me feel so much better.

I love all the things to look at, the colors and noise, all the people (who are generally nice).

My ds1 has always had a hard time at big stores but not smaller ones though, he is very sensory sensitive and has been since he was born. He is getting better as he gets older but he still loves to be at home.

Maybe it all comes down to how sensitive ea individual is to stimuli and how our brains process and filter what is going on around us??? Very interesting...
post #54 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by tanyam926 View Post
I wonder if this feeling many of you describe is linked to personality (when other anxiety issues aren't present)???

I love shopping, it calms me and makes me happy. I don't even have to buy anything but I love going to stores to look around. (Having a little money to spend is nice though).

I am an extrovert, I crave sensory stimulation and I get really really depressed if I don't leave my house for 3 days. 3 days is all it takes being stuck at home to make me feel agitated and overwhelmed. Going out, even to Walmart or Target makes me feel so much better.

I love all the things to look at, the colors and noise, all the people (who are generally nice).

My ds1 has always had a hard time at big stores but not smaller ones though, he is very sensory sensitive and has been since he was born. He is getting better as he gets older but he still loves to be at home.

Maybe it all comes down to how sensitive ea individual is to stimuli and how our brains process and filter what is going on around us??? Very interesting...
As I said in my pp, large stores don't cause me anxiety, but frustration (so not an anxiety issue, but a personality trait). I abhor materialism. That is what these large stores and mall represent to me. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to be outside of my house, but prefer to spend my time in nature, not man-made, artificially-lighted, climate-controlled boxes. I love colors and noise, too, just I'd rather it be made by mother nature. I think it is less about wanting to be "out" and more about where you want to spend that time "out". That being said, I also love walking the historic streets of beautiful European cities (which have plenty of small shops lining their streets) and interacting with people. Again, though, it's not blatant materialism that is shoved down your throat.
post #55 of 56
Thread Starter 
I really enjoy shopping in small specialty stores and going out to coffee houses, book stores and being in nature.

Like, it's cool to shop for shoes in a shoe store, for makeup in a makeup store for tools in a hardware store, etc. But when it's ALL in one humongous place it makes me and .
post #56 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by tanyam926 View Post
I wonder if this feeling many of you describe is linked to personality (when other anxiety issues aren't present)???

I love shopping, it calms me and makes me happy. I don't even have to buy anything but I love going to stores to look around. (Having a little money to spend is nice though).

I am an extrovert, I crave sensory stimulation and I get really really depressed if I don't leave my house for 3 days. 3 days is all it takes being stuck at home to make me feel agitated and overwhelmed. Going out, even to Walmart or Target makes me feel so much better.

I love all the things to look at, the colors and noise, all the people (who are generally nice).

My ds1 has always had a hard time at big stores but not smaller ones though, he is very sensory sensitive and has been since he was born. He is getting better as he gets older but he still loves to be at home.

Maybe it all comes down to how sensitive ea individual is to stimuli and how our brains process and filter what is going on around us??? Very interesting...
For me it definitely goes beyond any personality traits... I need high stimulus & hate being home & I'm not a particularly outdoorsy person (not that I don't enjoy the outdoors, but I don't like... weather). I always look forward to & anticipate a fun, relaxing shopping trip & even after all these years, I'm always a bit shocked about how horrible I feel afterward. For me it is probably something to do with the flickering lights & OH! the LACK OF WINDOWS -- I am one of those people that can guess what time it is based on how much sunlight there is (well I'm sure most people do that), so when I go into a big huge store with no windows, I completely lose track of time & wind up feeling very disoriented.
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