There are many different ways that people can distort the way that they perceive things, there are also many different factors that alter perception. Some are apparent, while others are subtle. A person can purposefully alter his or her perception by the use of alcohol, or drugs such as LSD. Inadvertently people can also alter their perception by paying attention to the media and letting it have an effect on their perception of themselves.
Many people distort their own perception by using alcohol. When under the influence of alcohol a person’s view of the world is completely different from when they are sober. Physically alcohol is disruptive to a person’s ability to judge distances, which may lead to car accidents when operating a vehicle. Alcohol also causes people’s perception to be distorted by inhibiting their ability to think with a clear mind. People tend to become less particular about who they have sex with and will participate in unsafe sex. This can lead to harmful diseases and unwanted pregnancies. Alcohol also distorts people’s perception causing them to misjudge social cues and become aggressive. A man may mistake another man’s simple kindness towards his wife as a sexual advance while under the influence of alcohol and become angry and aggressive, whereas the same man would view the situation differently when sober.
LSD is the most severe way people can distort their perception. LSD distorts a person’s view of reality and causes hallucinations. The user may see images or sounds that are not there. Sometimes the images and sounds are bright and beautiful. Other times the user will see things such as spiders and snakes. LSD causes intense emotional mood swings that can cause its victim to panic, fear death, and sometimes harm himself or someone else. Many movies over the years have depicted an LSD user standing on top of a building reedy to jump because his perception is so distorted that he thinks he can fly. This was a result of many reports of LSD accidents where people fell or jumped from windows, or threw themselves in front of passing cars.
People purposefully distort their perception by consuming alcohol and taking LSD. The media has an inadvertent affect distorting people’s perception. People do not see the world in the same way. Many females in American Society have distorted their perception of their bodies by comparing themselves to the models and stars on television. This causes them to see a distorted image of themselves because they feel like they must look like the women on TV. Anorexia is an extreme result of a woman’s distorted perception of her body. Anorexics see themselves as obese and helpless. They look in a mirror and see a fat person no matter how thin they may be. They honestly see themselves as obese even if they are seriously under weight. Karen Carpenter is an extreme example of a woman whose perception of herself was distorted. In 1967 Karen was put on a water diet which brought her weight down from 140 lbs. to 120 lbs. When she finally reached 115 lbs. she was told she looked good. Karen was not convinced and continued harming her body by taking thyroid pills, laxatives, and making herself throw up what little food she would eat. This abuse finally took its toll on Karen’s life; she died on February 4, 1983 at the age of 32 from cardiac arrest caused by the strain that anorexia had put on her heart. The film and television industries are in a huge part responsible for distorting many women’s perception about themselves causing them to think that they must be thin to be loved.
Many people alter their perception by drinking alcohol or taking LSD. Some people’s perception is altered because they allow the media to alter how they view themselves. Alcohol and LSD are not only harmful to the person whose perception is being altered but to the public as well. They serve no useful purpose in the life of their victim. The media inadvertently altering a person’s perception is only physically harmful to the person who allows her perception to be altered. However alcohol, LDS and media distorting perception can be harmful. People should use great caution and avoid anything that causes distorted perception so that they may remain safe for themselves and those who love them.