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Author Topic: Why The Dizziness  (Read 912 times)

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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.
Accept.....anxiety and all it's sensations.
Ask.........anxiety for more!

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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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Offline ECee

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Re: Why The Dizziness
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2014, 01:22:04 AM »
To add to this since it's related I've discovered something kind of alarming. Although I feel fine and I'll be sitting reading or watching TV and when I'd get up I'd feel an overwhelming lightheadedness and dizziness out of the blue. It's been happening frequently these past two weeks and I'd almost nearly fainted twice when there'd be no one in my house to help me. I'm getting worried and I'm wondering if it's related to the causes that have been said on this thread. It's alarming to me because lately they've been out of the blue rather than me already feeling sick.
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Offline richdelb

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Re: Why The Dizziness
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2014, 09:35:26 AM »
I've been suffering a relapse of this lately.  I had been doing much better from a combo of my Doctor's assurances regarding my good health (all physical symptoms being anxiety driven) and some help with depression with meds.  My doctor said that these "symptoms" (dizziness, headaches, numbness in mouth and face, numbness / buzzing in fingers, general tiredness etc) WOULD tend to come and go, but since they have turned back on the last few days it's horribly miserable.  I went from feeling really well for a few hours yesterday to feeling TERRIBLE, then back to feeling well for a short time, and then back to terrible.  It was a FANTASTICALLY beautiful day where I live, and I literally had nothing special that I had to do.  (work around the house be dammed for a day, right?)  Sat out on my deck soaking up the sunshine, watching the birds at my feeders... Normally a fantastic way to relax, and I am sitting there overwhelmed with anxiety and physical symptoms.

This totally sucks.  I WAS feeling better and thought I was "turning the corner" to recovery and then it's all back.  It's a battle.  It's a TOUGH battle we go through.  (and I feel that nobody in my life really understands the struggles at all)

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Offline afj0823

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Re: Why The Dizziness
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2014, 09:49:06 PM »
well i went to the ENT, they did said i have labyrinthitis,due to me getting very sick prior.But i was also under such anxiety from it all and other things happening in my life (grad school) that it made it worse and made me hypersensitive.
They had me do physical therapy and she had me do head exercises, where i basically made myself dizzy, and then try to stare at anything that was still and tell myself that it was still and i make sure i hold on to something so i know my body is still to reinforce it.

 And if i feel dizzy, i stop whatever i am doing, and of course hold on to anything to make sure i am still and continue staring till everything has stopped moving, and then i reenact what i felt, so if i felt myself swaying side to side, then i exaggerate by swaying myself side to side and then stop and make sure i look at something till it is still and i would do that twice.

I felt this was the most effective thing i done. I am trying to do this again, bc i got lazy and have added exercises from the anxiety and help work book. I think the self confidence section is the best.

I also went to doctor to have my Thyroid levels re-valuated b/c im currently taking meds, but feel i may be more hyperthyroid now, instead of hypothyroid.I keep posted
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