I decided to start a new post the question about Anxiety Disorders and Dizziness has been being mentioned a lot these days. So many questions, so many unknown reasons, and most of all so much fear on how this makes us feel.
I am a Daily dizzy suffer and have been for many years, as well as a Panic Disorder suffer and a GAD suffer. I decided to start a new post for all of you interested in Daily Dizziness.
Here is what it is like for myself, I get a floating feeling, intense Falling to the side & backwards sensation, sinking to the ground feeling, a motion sensation as if I am swaying on a boat, and my favorite the good old dropping feeling you get on an elevator.. The "elevator sensation" I also feel like my head is very heavy foggy and swimmy and some days just have trouble holding it up! All these sensations I experience on a daily basis mostly 24/7 The only time I don't feel this way is if I am laying down, it seems to subside then. I have gotten many eye rolls from the Doctor's I have seen in the past.. As if these feelings were being made up in my head.. These daily sensations have caused me more anxiety and intense panic attacks.. It seems as soon as I experience any one of these sensations my panic attacks kick in full force..
OKAY so now the big question we all ask "can anxiety really make me feel dizzy" The ANSWER is yes, Doctors have known for many years that psychological disorders, such as anxiety, can cause symptoms of dizziness and imbalance. This type of dizziness was given the nonspecific name of psychogenic dizziness. Here is what I have learned through my years of struggles with anxiety related dizziness, and believe me I research and research and ask my therapist to explain it over and over again..
What disorders are associated with psychogenic dizziness a question all of us on this board commonly ask, well the truth is Several studies point to a specific set of disorders that can cause symptoms of dizziness and imbalance. All these disorders are in the anxiety disorder family and include panic attacks, certain phobias, and chronic anxiety disorders.
What symptoms are the symptoms? How does your dizziness feel? Another question we all ask on this board, the answer is Psychogenic dizziness will present with a variety of symptoms including lightheadedness, feeling heavy headed, feeling a pressure sensation in the head, feeling far away or detached from the environment, feeling like they are going to fall, and sometimes even the feeling as if you are going to faint.
Can something else be causing my dizziness? Another question that floats around here as well. And the answer is yes, inner ear disorders are the most common reasons for dizziness, In fact inner ear problems that have completely resolved but the symptoms still persist, despite the resolution of the inner ear disorder can happen. In this case I was told and found VERY interesting is that it appears the inner ear disorder triggered an anxiety, panic, or phobic state. In this situation, the psychological disorder perpetuates the dizziness, despite the fact that the underlying inner ear disorder has resolved. How interesting is that!!! I couldn't believe that when I was told by my Doctor.
Well I never had a ear infection or disorder, so what else could it be? Another question that goes through our minds.. The answer is there are several physical disorders that can present with symptoms similar to those experienced with psychogenic dizziness. Some of these conditions included anemia, thyroid disorders, neurological disorders, cardiovascular disorders, hormonal disorders.. Just to name a few. But keep in mind these disorders present many other serious symptoms and NOT JUST dizziness. So you see my anxious friends, We all know we are on this board because we suffer from some sort of anxiety disorder, But we tend to question the symptoms of our anxiety. And question whether or not our dizziness can really be just related to our disorder. And now you see that it in fact can!!!! Anxiety Disorder can come out in us in so many ways not just dizziness, and I think it should be know that the mind is a powerful weapon and sometimes when we suffer from this condition we tend too become so sensitive to what we feel .... I know that's how it is for myself!! I hope many of you can relate to my post as well as find comfort in knowing IF YOU are one of the Psychogenic dizzy suffers you are in fact Not by any means alone!!! I am a suffer as well...
If you found interest in this post perhaps my post titled My Disease Called Anxiety would be helpful to you as well. This is also located on the anxiety board... You Just have to search for it.. My best to all and any thoughts or comments I'd love to hear!! Remember finding comfort in others who are feeling as you is the best medicine in the world!!! Boxerlover
The Following User Says Thank You to boxerlover227 For This Useful Post:
A week or 2 before I started getting anxiety/panic attacks I was on medication for an ear infection. I woke up one day feeling fine, went to work and a few hours later began to feel very dizzy. Called my dr because I new this was ear related. Gave me medication and said "if it's viral it won't do a thing". After I took all of the meds i then began to have the attacks. (It didn't help that I was drinking 10 to 12 cups of coffee a day.) I have since been back to the drs because I didnt know at the time this was anxiety - one dr said I had an ear infection, 2 days later after my face got numb another dr said you don;t have an ear infection. I demanded an CAT scan. They gave me one and found nothing. I have been dizzy and foggy ever since. And like you the only time I get relief is when I am lying down. This is making life very difficult to live in this fog all of the time. I am on Celexa for about 2 weeks and although it has helped with panic I am still dizzy and foggy. Maybe it's klonopin I take at night? I was foggy before that though. Sorry this long winded but i needed to get this out. Thanks for reading
Thank you for posting all your experience with the dizzy spells. I really saw myself in some of your statements. I try to go off meds after being on them for several years, but only make it about 3yrs. and then I have to go back on. I discovered that even when I am off the meds I have dizzy spells. I remember times in the evening when suddenly I felt as if I couldn't get from the den to the bedroom to retire after watching TV., I was so dizzy and I wasn't on any medicine, so I couldn't blame it on that. I'ts pretty scary and you keep asking yourself, what caused it? I don't have any problems with my ears either, I have known for several years that it is my anxiety, but it still frightens me. My daughter has the problem too, and I'm always reassuring her that it is anxiety. So far, she has been able to stay off drugs and control her anxiety and I hope she never has to go through what I go through on a daily basis. If I stay on meds. the problems with dizziness seem to really ease up and I barely notice them. I hope someday they make a safe medicine for anxiety that you can stay on for 30 or 40yrs. if you have to and it keeps working so you don't have to worry about changing your meds if they poop out on you. That is the only reason I stop my medicine every few years is to give my body a rest, but the relapses are horrible, I wish I could feel safe about never going off so I could feel good until my time is up of old age.
Hey boxerlover! Great post! I hope that someday I can get to where you are and believe that my "dizziness" is caused by my anxiety. I'm not quite there yet. My unsteadiness started before the anxiety, so who knows? You sound very positive in your post, so maybe both of our minds are getting better since the beginning of the week.
p.s. I'm planning on dumping the cigs this weekend so hopefully I'll see you on the cs board.
Some days I believe it is my "anxiety" some days I don't! I realize I have other issues with my headaches and such, so I do attribute a lot of the dizziness to that as well as my Tmj problems. I just wanted to reassure others that "anxiety alone" can cause dizziness, as well as the foggy head feelings.
It just seems as if all us dizzy suffers are constantly not getting straight answers from our Doctor's as if these symptoms are non existence in the medical world, unless you have a ear disorder than they relate your balance problems to that. It's very frustrating, very scary, and very real!!
I myself have spent years struggling with these feelings and I just wanted to share as much information about the relationship to anxiety and dizziness that I have. The bottom line is even if your anxiety is related to your dizziness or your dizziness is related to your anxiety, It still is a delibitating symptom that we struggle with daily and can wear you down mentally.
It's real, it's not something we "think" we feel and finding a treatment/solution is my new focus and goal. I don't feel as if myself or any of us suffers should have to feel like this the rest of our lives!! When we feel dizzy just "telling" ourselves that it is just "anxiety" is not going to make the feelings any less dizzy..
I truly feel for all my dizzy friends on this board because I know the daily struggles you face as well as living in a world of fear and anxiety, it truly is a challenge each day "trying" to live a normal life when feeling like this.
I am glad I started this post and hope others will share their struggles with this as well as their story or experience, so our support and comfort could be that much more!! Knowing others understand, and feel what you feel makes your day being dizzy a little more tolerable..
Thanks for all your support to those who have responded so far.. I look forward to more feed back on this subject...
Leela~ I am ready when you are I will look for you this weekend on the cs board!! I know it isn't going to be easy but I know the time has come as well to kick the habit, One less illness my anxious mind has to hopefully worry about!!! I will check in with you all later today!! Boxerlover
Last edited by boxerlover227; 09-28-2006 at 07:07 AM.
Hi Guys, This is sooo interesting to me as I have been having dizzy spells lately. I personally believe that meds are a big contributor to the problem, but have found other many other causes too. It might help our drs to do a little tracking of when the dizziness started & other notekeeping in order to figure out what might be causing our dizziness.
Has anyone ever heard of ear crystals?
There is a condition called BPPV--benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. A very common disorder which may be accompanied by hearing loss, reduced cognitive function and facial muscle weakness. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo occurs when debris made up of calcium carbonate and protein (called otoliths or ear crystals) builds up in and damages the inner ear. Inner ear degeneration (usually occurs in elderly patients), head trauma, and inner ear infection (e.g., otitis media, labyrinthitis) can cause BPPV.
Some medications and environmental chemicals (e.g., lead, mercury, tin) can cause ototoxicity (i.e., ear poisoning), which may result in damage to the inner ear or the 8th cranial nerve (acoustic nerve) and cause vertigo. The damage can be permanent or temporary.
Long-term use or high doses of certain antibiotics (e.g., aminoglycosides [streptomycin, gentamicin]) and antineoplastics (e.g., cisplatin, carboplatin) can cause permanent ototoxicity.
The list goes on and on....
I hope to soon find out what is causing my dizziness, so that I can get back to making it though a whole day without lying down. Best wishes to all of you!
Thanks for adding to this post! I am sorry to hear you are a daily dizzy suffer as well, but on the flip side I am glad you understand what the other dizzy suffers feel. I just wanted to say thanks and I know what you go through feeling as if most of your days are spent laying down. It's such a depressing feeling. Please keep this post going by updates, and any new information you may wish to post. I will do the same... I just wanted you to know your not alone
Feel better Boxerlover
Well, as most of my posts mention, I also suffer from the dizzys. It's 24/7 and it is wearing me out. I have been on disability for 2yrs now due to panic disorder, and I sooo feel for you people that have to hold down a job, while feeling this way. I just don't know how you do it. Some days I can barely get my dishes done. The only thing that helps me also is laying down, but then I end up sleeping way too much. But it's the only relief I seem to get. I am fed up with no answers by all the doctors I have seen over the years. Nobody should have to suffer on a daily basis with all the things we suffer with. What kind of life is this?
I've been thinking about starting a support group in my home, but I really have no idea how to go about it. I just wonder how many people in my area suffer in silence, with nobody to talk to that understands. I know for me, my neighbors had no idea I was going through any of this, because i've learned to hide it so well. After being invited over and over to social stuff, I finally just told them why I don't attend. Now instead of them thinking I'm just anti-social, they know I suffer from panic disorder, agoraphobia, etc. And in the process, I found out one of their sons suffers from the same issues. I see him almost everyday, and had no idea. Maybe if we all just knew others around us are going through the same things, we wouldn't feel so alone, and assume everyone is just so happy in their lives.
Well anyway, hope that all makes sense, sometimes I can just go on and on.
I would just like to stop the dizzys, because that affects me more than anything. If anyone ever comes up with a solution.....post it immediately in BIG BOLD LETTERS.
Thank you for starting an intelligent discussion on this. I am glad you addressed the link between inner ear disorder and anxiety. Coming to this detailed diagnosis has taken forever for me (2.5 months has been like forever for me).
I have been through the lightheadedness, bluriness in vision and fatigue. It happened all of sudden one day, went away after 3 days and then returned to stay 24/7.
Another important fact about this is that postpartum depression/anxiety has been severly underdiagnosed due to social stigmas. My son was 6 months old when this started all of sudden. I did not believe it to be postpartum because I had heard of postpartum anxiety hitting someone immediately after giving birth, but in reality it can hit any time upto a year.
I find what you wrote very interesting as well. I have been an anxiety/panic suffer for a few years prior to the birth of my daughter. Along with the attacks of dizziness/vertigo which became a 24/7 thing for me as well.. Then during my pregnancy the symptoms diminished almost completly.. Well after giving birth I felt okay up until maybe 4/5 months.. Then the anxiety and all the other wonderful symptoms returned... EVEN WORSE... I was like you I thought post~partum happened right after giving birth.. I guess I was wrong!! You mentioned you had a link between inner ear and the anxiety.. what was your diagnosis may I ask? Or was it all anxiety related?
If you don't mind me asking.. Thanks Boxerlover
The link between inner ear disorder and anxiety is what you mentioned in your first post:
"In this case I was told and found VERY interesting is that it appears the inner ear disorder triggered an anxiety, panic, or phobic state. In this situation, the psychological disorder perpetuates the dizziness, despite the fact that the underlying inner ear disorder has resolved. How interesting is that!!! I couldn't believe that when I was told by my Doctor. "
Actually I had come to a similar conclusion a few days ago. Probably what hit me initially was an inner ear viral infection - which got better after 2 days but then the lightheadedness/bluriness hit me again and stayed for 24/7 later (which was a manifestation of anxiety).
Postpartum anxiety/depression is very real and DOES hit anytime upto a year. All of these symptoms of anxiety can be caused by it. I think that once one realises this it can help one cope with it better. The worst part about all of this is getting to this diagnosis - all of the tests MRI/CTs/blood work can cause an immense amount of anxiety and hence one feels that the symptoms are becoming worse.
hi boxerlover brilliant post youve got the dizziness issue spot on. i had it for 4 years solid and it was my anxiety. as i got better and became calmer and stopped tensing my body the dizziness subsided and eventually went. i still get it back when im anxious or stressed. i had everything you described.neck tension is also a cause of balance problems and as we all know we put alot of tension on our bodies with anxiety so neck massage,heat packs or relaxation exercises will help.langy x
I am sorry you were a dizzy suffer as well. It really takes a toll. I have been suffering for years with this as well, I guess as long as my anxiety and panic disorder first started back in 1997!! I feel like this everyday worse when my anxiety is at a high of course. There are so many others feeling this same way, wondering why, and if.. and that seems to make things alot worse.. I just wanted every other dizzy suffer that suffers from anxiety also to know that they are not alone.. As well as that their sympotms are VERY real!! I find tons of comfort in others sharing their feelings, thoughts, and expereince
as well.. So I thank you for doing just that! It's medicine alone... and you are right about the tightness in neck, I have this as well!! Thanks again for sharing. Boxerlover
I will make this extremly brief:
I have very semiliar problem, axept mine is a little worse, and it happens to me either staning, sitting,lying.
I think the biggest problem for me is that i'm afraid of passing out,(because i have passing out episodes) sometimes, well actually all the time, when someone is talking to me for more than about 10 seconds, i begin to feel very weird, dizzy, and my legs begin to get very weak so i have to hold on to something...(because i'm thinking: "oh no, what if i begin to feel like i'm gonna faint..")and it usualy happens when I'm around when thereare lots of people.. there is also a different feeling that i get, but that one is because of blood pressure..
I am sorry to hear you are having such a hard time with this symptom. Are you currently taking any medications to help treat your anxiety and dizziness? If it makes you feel any better I too feel this way sometimes. I believe it has to do with "social anxiety disorder" I also suffer from panic disorder which is always triggered in large crowds for me as well as other situations. It's amazing how anxiety can manifiest into so many different
things.. I hope you feel better soon, all my best Boxerlover!