Re: completely discouraged
Hi Jess, really sorry to hear you're feeling this way. You dont say how long you have been dizzy but i get the feeling its relatively recent because you sound as if you're spiralling into panic and depression. I want to say a few things to you.
1) Dont worry when you read about other people on this forum that you are always going to feel this way - most people who suffer dizziness are diagnosed and treated successfully and never feel the need to look on forums, or at least rely on them for too long.
2) Its easy to fall into the trap of constantly thinking about the dizziness (understandable as it affects your life every minute) and constantly checking yourself to see how you're feeling. This cycle can really affect you psychologically and we've ALL been there. While you're trying to get to the bottom of your symptoms, also concentrate on finding ways to tackle the anxiety and depression that comes with it because they will make your symptoms worse, it really is a vicious circle.
3) We've all been disheartened by wrong diagnosis, unsuccessful treatment, lack of understanding (consultants, specialists, friends, family, etc). Its really easy for them to underestimate our problem because its not obvious and really difficult to describe. I would recommend you visit a site www.labyrinthitis.org.uk i found it really helpful (not just for labyrinthitis sufferers, i dont have labyrinthitis) and actually sent links to my family and it helped them understand.
4)When visiting a consultant/doctor/specialist try to make it clear to them that you will NOT agree to just "live with it" and that you plan to pursue it until you get an answer. My GPs in particular are happy to throw some pills at you and hope that you go away (fair enough, they're busy, but its your life thats on hold!!)
5)Keep trying to do the things you enjoy. Not only will that make you feel like you're still involved with your life but also helps you keep your identity. Try not to avoid doing everything that makes your symptoms worse as you will only end up conditioning yourself into avoiding everything, however, be strong when telling other people that you dont want to take part in something that you are REALLY uncomfortable with. Even if you have to tell
people whom you think dont believe your problem, you have be come across as being very sure of yourself and your problem.
I dont mean to sound like i'm lecturing you, but i wish someone had pointed out those simple things when i first starting feeling this way. I spent years feeling ashamed, feeling like a fraud, worrying about what everyone thought, and put my life on hold for years.
Also, look in cognitive behavioural therapy, its really useful for the anxiety/depression. I didnt go to a therapist (couldnt afford it because i couldnt earn money), i simply bought a book about it really makes sense and helps put things into perspective. eg. how to deal with panicing when feeling dizzy, how to deal with people judging you etc.
Good luck xxx