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Author Topic: Why The Dizziness  (Read 621 times)

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Offline raggamuffin

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Why The Dizziness
« on: May 30, 2014, 11:08:29 AM »
Can anyone explain why anxiety disorders can make you feel dizzy? Sometimes i've had bouts that have lasted weeks without relent. Since the Dr upped my Remeron doseage up to 45mg from 30 i've felt on and off dizziness throughout the week.

I get how excess adrenaline can cause the muscle spasms which cause pain and tension and aches etc. I get how derealization can be the brains attempt to retreat in on itself. But what explains the dizziness? It's never bad enough to prevent me from walking. But it's just this strange unreal sensation in my head and it's horrid.

Was quite intense 5 minutes ago. I have restless legs when sat at my desk at work. Was bobbing one up and down then all of a sudden my head and body felt like they were bobbing up and down - as if I was on a boat or something. It was really overwhelming.

But, as with any anxiety symptom, if my mind is focused on something the symptom will often lessen. Dizziness tends to linger regardless though.

Ed
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Offline WhatsUp204

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Re: Why The Dizziness
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2014, 04:45:15 PM »
It might be a combo of breathing shallow and your blood going to your body instead of your head but I have no idea, it happens to me too
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Offline Rob783

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Re: Why The Dizziness
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2014, 06:27:33 AM »
Yeah that drives me nuts.  My anxiety wouldn't be 1/2 as bad without the dizziness.  When I'm at a store I feel the need to use a cart to keep my balance. 
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Offline Toasted Butter

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Re: Why The Dizziness
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2014, 12:27:25 AM »
I get this too. I'm no doctor so I don't really know the mechanism, but I have been thinking lately that tension in my jaw might be causing pressure differences in my inner ear, which is where your sense of balance is felt. Changing the pressure like that might possibly cause you to feel dizzy or off-balance somehow. I'm not sure; just something I've been thinking about lately, as I've noticed that I tend to get neck, jaw, and ear pain and tension along with the vertigo. I never used to get any of these, so I think they could be related.
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Offline Buddy122

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Re: Why The Dizziness
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2014, 12:55:21 AM »
I get this same stuff and it really is horrid. I was constantly dizzy for a month straight. It's gotten significantly better but occasionally it gets so bad I have to sit down. I do think its from the literal headache anxiety causes, coupled with the shallow breathing. It makes me feel like I'm going crazy sometimes, like my eyes can't focus and it feels as if I'm noticeably swaying. I've drifted into walls and have tripped over my own feet before. It seems you know what to do though, just try to remain calm and focus elsewhere. Try chewing gum as well, you'd be surprised.
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Offline raggamuffin

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Re: Why The Dizziness
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2014, 06:57:05 AM »
Thanks for the replies everyone. I have had dizziness lasting a month or more as well. Ended up having an eye test, got my go to check for ear wax and finally went to the hospital. The Dr did a few checks. Walking in a straight line heel to toe. Closing my eyes and slowly raising my arms infrastructure of me with palms facing ceiling and checking how my eyes reacted to light and focusing on his finger moving.

After everything I was told it's likely due to anxiety. It's certainly one of the more unpleasant symptoms. Sometimes if I'm truly engaged in a task it can lessen or disappear. I know some anxiety sufferers have had full on vertigo. So I'm lucky that mine is just the sensation of dizziness which doesn't prevent movement or being able to function day to day.

Friends who I've described my anxoety to sympathise. Saying I'm brave or apologising that I have to go through symptoms daily. Personally I'm not sure it is bravery. It's pretty miserable what the body can put us through. A friend at work has got his anxiety under control recently. He's been trying to help me. I appreciate any help I can get but I know at the end of the day I'm going to have to be the one to overcome it.

He keeps saying if you get a symptom acknowledge it but don't let it affect you. Similar to cbt methodology. Takes a lot of practice and still won't prevent symptoms coming and going as they please. I know fearing them makes it worse but practicing mindfulness seems to have a limited effect. Especially when my anxiety is hitting me with a multitude of varying symptoms every minute of every day.

Ed
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Offline afj0823

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Re: Why The Dizziness
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2014, 09:38:53 PM »
I have a similar problem. I first actually got really sick with a cough and cold and fever lasted for about 2 weeks, then i ended feeeling imbalanced all day once and then i all of a sudden got vertigo it lasted for about a week and continued for a month. I felt better for awhile and then stress got to me and something similar happened.Saw an neuro-ENT and all he could come up with was labyrinth and allergies. I am still suffering from it for about 6 mo. I think it is mostly anxiety as when i get anxious my dizziness gets worse and i can experience vertigo. My ear has finally started buzzing but they said that some ear buzzing was normal. So I took it upon myself to start my own therapy and have been practicing breathing exercises and reading anxiety books and i feel i am slowly getting better
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Offline raggamuffin

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Re: Why The Dizziness
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2014, 06:52:32 AM »
That's the thing. Progress is always slow with it. I mean there'll never be an overnight cure to this. I guess some people might think anxiety became physical overnight. But when you dig deeper you often notice that anxiety was bringing about symptoms before you were even really noticing it.

For me it was one panic attack. Freaked me out but I didn't panic constantly after. Then a second panic attack where, from then on I worried 24/7 about health issues. I thought inbetween the 2 there was no issues. When in reality there was - chest tightness, feelings of overwhelming fear etc etc.

I've done CBT once. I'm going on a waiting list for another go at it. Personally I think if Dr's do give physical conditions that it could be your mind fixates on the notion that there is something physically wrong with you and you can in turn make the symptoms last longer.

I did the same with Epididymitis. had 6 courses of antibiotics and saw countless Dr's. Finally, after seeing a consultant urologist he said that anxiety can cause pains, inflammation etc. He said pain isn't fully udnerstood and some people can remain o nedge. The body can perceive pain there more frequently and you can feel like you've never fully healed.

Me convincing myself that I had chronic epididymitis - which is when it doesn't respond to antibiotics and the pain can last a lifetime. So this fear of having an incurable disease drove my pain, daily for a year. After the consultant explaining what was causing this, and how my stress was adding to it I finally realized that this was yet another issue caused by my anxiety. So I finally stopped getting the pains 2 weeks after speaking to him.

Mind over matter - anxiety is living proof of this. Living in fear so much you hurt, then you fear the pain, then you get more pain, etc etc. I'll admit though that it can be hard to not respond emotionally to a pain. I've had all sorts of chest pains for 4+ years and still when I get them I initially fret. but I have to remind myself to not consider it a threat, a disease or anything else.

It's certainly difficult living with this.

Ed
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Offline TyeDyedButterfly

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Re: Why The Dizziness
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2014, 08:28:16 AM »
I also get dizzy , lighted headed, off balance and I suffer from vertigo.

There are so many reasons for each of these and you and others have listed them also the spine and tense muscles cause a lot for me and yes how I breathe when I am anxious or if I am in front of people I feel so woozy headed and walk like I am drunk!!  Eyes and Ears huge part in this too yes!

Eating right and drinking lots of water is also very important! getting a good night of sleep also.

Watch the body posture when setting at your computers or how you set during the day .

Anxiety is draining and add in other health issues it sure isn't easier also depression jumps on board.
Hope you feel better!

So many things to do to keep us feeling okay!   :spineyes:
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Offline ECee

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Re: Why The Dizziness
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2014, 03:15:39 PM »
Glad to see I'm not the only one then. I'd just recently recovered from a bout of dizziness that lasted maybe a month? I wasn't able to do anything for a while because I felt too sick to stand. And it's been recurring since my anxiety got bad.

I haven't looked into it, but as someone posted previously I think it might be a symptom of anxiety in general? Too many thoughts running in your head and things like that. But if you could, ask a doctor maybe.

For me, I think it's the terrible sleep and not eating enough (I lose my appetite due to anxiety). Sometimes I feel like I'm tipping over when I'm cooking.
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Offline MITRush

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Re: Why The Dizziness
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2014, 07:14:21 PM »
Anxiety-related dizziness unfortunately is not something every doctor/ therapist knows about.  It is under the class of vestibular disorders of which a subset is most certainly caused by consistent anxiety and panic.  You will notice when you get dizzy, tension manifests in the back of the neck/ scalp region.  I see some researchers looking for evidence that vestibular disorders cause anxiety.  In every case I've seen, this is most certainly false- the anxiety came well before the dizziness, although I'm sure there are exceptions.

This kind of "dizziness" can be hard to describe, some describe it as vertigo, some as unbalanced, some as depersonalization, and on and on.

For this stage of anxiety, the main advice I've heard for recovery is basically to try to walk as if you didn't have it, and walk as much as possible, and don't try to make it stop.  If you do these things, you will agitate yourself and it may get worse at first, but if you stay consistent, and build momentum, it gets better.  It's important to make it a point to walk a lot, or you never build confidence that says "I can do these while feeling hazy and unbalanced."  If you can build enough momentum where you feel like it really doesn't matter whether the symptoms are there, because you are going to do what you want to do regardless, that's when they usually will finally start to subside.  I know that seems far off, but small steps.

Some doctors and therapists will tell you it's related to your breathing habits when you have panic, but that's an entirely different thing.  This is an ongoing vestibular disorder due to a mix of tension and possibly atrophy of the part of the brain which processes spatial recognition (these are the best theories out there right now it seems, if anybody knew more I'd love to hear).  And yes atrophy sounds scary but it's not, there have been plenty of people who fully recovered from this.

On a last note, sleep is important here, do whatever it takes to get on a consistent schedule that makes you feel somewhat rested.
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Offline MITRush

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Re: Why The Dizziness
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2014, 07:24:18 PM »
I know how disturbing this symptom is and so I want to highlight the most important thing I said up there:  Try to walk as if you didn't have it, and walk as much as possible.

This is from one of the few relevant studies out there "The patients constantly monitored their balance and produced a “stiffening up” strategy by coactivating antigravity muscles, a strategy similar to that of healthy subjects when performing demanding balance tasks.."  Know that you will not fall, and do your best not to tense up.  If you do, you build a pattern of tension that makes the problem worse.  You want to build a pattern of freely walking without having to tense and think about it.

For some people, this symptom will go away when a cause of their anxiety is gone, or it will go away unexpectedly- I wrote this for people who this problem seems to linger for.
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Offline afj0823

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Re: Why The Dizziness
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2014, 10:10:52 PM »
Anxiety-related dizziness unfortunately is not something every doctor/ therapist knows about.  It is under the class of vestibular disorders of which a subset is most certainly caused by consistent anxiety and panic.  You will notice when you get dizzy, tension manifests in the back of the neck/ scalp region.  I see some researchers looking for evidence that vestibular disorders cause anxiety.  In every case I've seen, this is most certainly false- the anxiety came well before the dizziness, although I'm sure there are exceptions.

This kind of "dizziness" can be hard to describe, some describe it as vertigo, some as unbalanced, some as depersonalization, and on and on.

For this stage of anxiety, the main advice I've heard for recovery is basically to try to walk as if you didn't have it, and walk as much as possible, and don't try to make it stop.  If you do these things, you will agitate yourself and it may get worse at first, but if you stay consistent, and build momentum, it gets better.  It's important to make it a point to walk a lot, or you never build confidence that says "I can do these while feeling hazy and unbalanced."  If you can build enough momentum where you feel like it really doesn't matter whether the symptoms are there, because you are going to do what you want to do regardless, that's when they usually will finally start to subside.  I know that seems far off, but small steps.

Some doctors and therapists will tell you it's related to your breathing habits when you have panic, but that's an entirely different thing.  This is an ongoing vestibular disorder due to a mix of tension and possibly atrophy of the part of the brain which processes spatial recognition (these are the best theories out there right now it seems, if anybody knew more I'd love to hear).  And yes atrophy sounds scary but it's not, there have been plenty of people who fully recovered from this.

On a last note, sleep is important here, do whatever it takes to get on a consistent schedule that makes you feel somewhat rested.

yea for me i realize it is definitely a lot worse if i continue to walk. I actually try to start walking if i am sitting down and all of sudden feeling dizzy. B/c i know i am making myself worse by feeling scared to walk b/c i think i may loose control and get dizzy and fall.

But yes i have to keep telling myself i am going to be ok, i do self confidence affirmations. I also think posture and proper breathing has a lot to do with it.
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Offline dbirm77

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Re: Why The Dizziness
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2014, 06:52:36 PM »
I think the reason so many people complain about dizziness is because its everyone's least favorite symptom and by far the most difficult to accept as anxiety. It naturally conjures thoughts of debilitating illnesses and severe mental problems and it feels just awful. Accepting your sensations is the key to alleviating them and this particular sensation in among the hardest to truly accept and that's why it tends to linger so long.
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Expect.....anxiety to come.
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Offline Scye27

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Re: Why The Dizziness
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2014, 07:25:23 PM »
I too suffer from dizziness/lightheadedness all the time. It's happening now, actually. For me, it's a combination of things. My stomach empties too fast, so dizziness is a symptoms of that with the reactive hypoglycemia that comes with it (even though my blood sugars are normal). The other part is of course the anxiety. If I get lightheaded from the gastric dumping syndrome, I panic into thinking I'm going to pass out/my blood sugar this time is going to be too low, or some other reason. The dizziness then stays with me for days at a time before leaving for a bit, only to return with force. I know how you feel completely. I smile on the outside at work and at home, while the world around me is a ship that I am caught swaying with. I should go on a boat and see if it balances out, and I feel normal....
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