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Old 11-06-2006, 01:29 PM   #1
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dizzy and in need of help....

I've posted on this board earlier, but I am wondering if anyone has any advice for me. I have been dizzy for the last year and a half...it is a constant feeling, better only when driving and laying down. It is not room spinning dizzy, but just a constant swaying feeling. It tends to be worse when shopping, but it is pretty consistant all the time. I tried to document how many times a day it actually happens and it was well over 20 +. Anyway, I had tonz of testing done last year - bloodwork, MRI or brain, CT, etc. Everyone seems stumped, but an allergist and 2 ENTs seem to think allergies are causing the problem...apparently my nasal passage is almost fully blocked and I tested postitive to a skin test which showed severe allergies (however, I have no "typical" allergy symptoms, i.e., runny nose, sneezing, etc). My question is, could this really be anxiety related. I have been seeing a therepist for about a year and she says I have OCD because I am constantly online researching this and any other small bodily twitches, tinges, etc...(really I have no other symptoms of disease or anxiety). I have had 2 kids in the last 2 years and possibly could be stressed about this - plus this all started after my mother had a health scare with MS (turns out she does not have it, although her sister did pass away from it at an early age). For some reason I am obsessed with thinking I have MS. Can anyone offer some advice - I know you are not doctors, but I just need to know if anyone else has a similar experience. Thank you....

 
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Old 11-06-2006, 03:25 PM   #2
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Re: dizzy and in need of help....

Hi there! There are a bunch of us on this board that are dizzy too...not room spinning, but like you describe. I have had tons of tests and no doctor can find anything wrong with me. You're lucky it stops when you drive. If you have had all that testing, I would think you are clear of MS. I have pretty much given up on doctors and found that the less I concentrate on this dizzy stuff, the less dizzy I actually feel. I hope you feel better soon!

 
Old 11-06-2006, 03:44 PM   #3
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Re: dizzy and in need of help....

thanks for your reply Leela - do you take any medication for this? Do you find anything other than not thinking about it helps? How long have you been dealing with this horrible sensation? Did it just hit you out of nowhere one day?

 
Old 11-06-2006, 05:22 PM   #4
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Re: dizzy and in need of help....

Oh yeah I must raise my hand on this one! I feel this way 24/7.....
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" When I am standing or sitting still I feel as if I am rocking or swaying side to side. Constant motion. sometimes it causes me to feel sea sick!
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 "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. 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!!
Have you been check for inner ear problems? Or any other related illness to vertigo/dizziness? I have been suffering for many years like this so I know how you feel.. It can be very scary at times feeling like this! I hope this post helps, any thoughts or questions let me know! Boxerlover

 
Old 11-06-2006, 06:09 PM   #5
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Re: dizzy and in need of help....

Hi boxerlover -
Thanks for the great post- it is very helpful and certainly gives me some piece of mind. Although, as you probably know, it is so hard to convince yourself that this could be caused by anxiety and not something more serious...it seems like one day I may feel a little better and then I start to try and reassure myself it is really anxiety and then the next day...BOOM, it's back and I obsess even more than the day before about having some terminal illness. I have been checked for inner ear problems, all came back normal. I think I mentioned in my original post that 2 ENTs and my allergist are all convinced this is due to allergies and my small nasal passage causing pressure. I skin tested a month or so ago and testing came back that I have SEVERE allergies to many, many things. Some days I accpet this, but others I have a hard time coming to grips with it. I just started allergy shots, but they don't seem to be helping at all yet - I guess it's too soon and were still in the midst of allergy season until the first frost.

Anyway, allergies or not, anxiety is not helping the situation. I just want this to stop. How long have you been going through this? Does anything seem to help you? I really don't want to try meds, but I am losing hope. I just want to look back and remember this as a really bad year and a half of my life, but I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. I really believe in your explaination, but I want to learn how to overcome this. Thanks for the great post!!!

 
Old 11-06-2006, 08:44 PM   #6
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Re: dizzy and in need of help....

woke up on day and there it was.. That was over 7 years ago. I was sitting at my desk at work and all of a sudden I felt this intense falling sensation.. I thought I was going to pass out but I didn't.. I started to feel panicky and shaky.. Which spiraled into a full blown (panic attack)
My first one.. At the time I didn't know what was happing I thought for sure I was dying.. I went home and still felt extremely off balanced and the anxiousness was there all the time, I spent most of my days just waiting and wondering when it was going to happen again.. which in turn cause me anticipatory anxiety..I created a lot of my panic attacks by worrying.. I thought for the longest time it was a brain tumor, then I thought for sure it was my heart, then MS etc.. I went to many Doctors and specialist, had hundreds of test and no answers.. I started to think I was crazy so I went to a therapist and spend thousands of dollars down that road, just to be told that I have anxiety disorder with panic disorder, and that all my dizziness is making my anxiety 100 times worse. I still don't know which came first the dizziness or the anxiety, but I can totally relate to anyone that tells me their dizziness or off balance feeling intensifies their anxiety.. Because I live a life of this vicious cycle myself!
I still think mine is some how related to my TMJ Disorder, as well as the headaches I suffer from everyday.. I am told that they are tension headaches, but I do know that when I have a headache bad enough, I find it hard to stand without holding on to things because I feel this intense swaying/motion/rocking /falling sensation.. Like I am on a boat in rough seas.. You asked me what has been helpful, well therapy has helped I did feel a lot better getting out my frustrations as well as my fears, Xanax helped a lot with the (vertigo) feelings... It took the edge off but not to the point where I can say it was completely gone.. Just enough to be able to function.. I took a lot of ginger for the nausea when things were really swaying and I would feel sea sick.. that helped a lot. I am now taking magnesium and some calcium 1000 mg a day.. There are many articles claiming that magnesium does wonders for headaches, dizziness, asthma among other disorders..
I do notice a bit of a difference. My headaches are less intense and my (vertigo) is alittle better.. I guess I can't offer you the magic pill you so wish to find.. BUT If I had one or find one I would share, because I know how life altering these feelings can be.. I have had my many shares of struggles just trying to make it through the day It's horrible.. Someday I handle it better then others.. Somedays are more tolerable then others.. But I have a young child and a husband that both need me so I try as hard as I could to lead a "normal life".. I do know that anxiety CAN create these feelings. Anxiety is a very powerful disease.. It can come out in so many different ways, for so many different reasons.. Some feel dizzy some don't, some have sleepless nights, others all they want to do is sleep, some feel panic others never have. So you see anxiety is tricky.. But if all is ruled out to other causes and your Doctor's truly feels it is all anxiety related then yes, there is such a thing as psychological vertigo... See for many years I thought it was all these other illness, but those other illness would Cause sooooo many other symptoms not just vertigo.. So try to tell yourself that.. Do you notice if there is anything that triggers these feelings or are you feeling this way all the time? I notice if I lay down the feeling subsides tremendously is this the same for you? Do you have TMJ problems? Do you notice is something triggers these feelings meaning food, stress, caffeine, lack of sleep Or do you just feel this way all the time? Are there any other symptoms you are experiencing?
I totally can relate to your fears as well as frustrations, As I said before I have been suffering like this for years that there are times I try to remember what it was like living a life without feeling dizzy sometimes it seem like a lifetime ago! But I am still here so that's the good news!
If you have any thoughts questions or just need to talk I am here.. and most of all I truly understand.. It has been a journey for me but I am glad to know that something so horrible and life altering for me has brought comfort and support to so many others.. Your aren't alone by no means..
Boxerlover (boxer's leave paw prints in our hearts forever)

 
Old 11-07-2006, 07:46 AM   #7
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Re: dizzy and in need of help....

Quote:
Originally Posted by isalu
thanks for your reply Leela - do you take any medication for this? Do you find anything other than not thinking about it helps? How long have you been dealing with this horrible sensation? Did it just hit you out of nowhere one day?
I take xanax for my anxiety, but that is it. I have tried meclizine and beta blockers, and neither helped. Mine also just hit me out of the blue one day while I was driving to work. That is why I said you are lucky you don't feel dizzy when you drive. After that, it kept happening when I was driving. I went about six months without driving. I have been feeling like this for almost four years and have just developed some coping mechanisms to deal with it. Like I said, I just try not to focus on it. And I don't fight the sensation anymore. I found that trying to fight it made it worse. Nothing bad has ever happened because of it...I have never passed out or fallen or anything.

I have some neck problems and I think that some of this is coming from that. Your eyes, ears and neck all work together to give you balance. I have herniated discs in my neck and I may have some nerve issues. I don't know. I've pretty much given up on doctors since they all pretty much treat me like I'm crazy anyway.

Boxerlover and I have many posts back and forth on this subject. If you do a search by either one of our names you will probably find some interesting reading.

(Boxer, my friend, it's been a while...good to hear from you again! I hope all is well.)

 
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