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Dizzy? It May Be an Anxiety Disorder!

by Mike Nichols on November 14, 2008 · 239 comments

dizzy girl sm Dizzy? It May Be an Anxiety Disorder!Are you among the 3 million Americans who is always dizzy?

Recent studies show that about 60 percent — almost 2 million — of chronically dizzy people also have an Anxiety Disorder. In fact, the Anxiety Disorder causes the dizziness!

If you are among these numbers, you may have what is called Chronic Subjective Dizziness. It’s a condition in which there are no physical reasons for the dizziness. You may have suffered from this condition for years without knowing what or why it was. New research from the University of Pennsylvania now has answers for you!

This post details this new research and explains why it is important to you or someone you know who is always dizzy. The subject is explored under these topics:

  • What is Chronic subjective dizziness?
  • Research on Chronic Subjective Dizziness and Anxiety Disorders
  • The results of the study shows 60 percent had Anxiety Disorders
  • The relationship of migraines, Anxiety Disorders and Chronic Subjective Dizziness
  • The significance of this study on Chronic Subjective Dizziness
  • Treating Chronic Subjective Dizziness

What is Chronic Subjective Dizziness?

A medical condition with persistent dizziness

Chronic subjective dizziness is a medical condition in which a person has a persistent dizziness that cannot be explained by medical conditions. It is not related to vertigo, the feeling of whirling that is usually linked with inner ear problems.

People who have Chronic Subjective Dizziness feel dizzy, off-kilter, imbalanced, and are very sensitive to motion stimuli, such as crowded environments or heavy traffic. Jeffrey Staab says, ”

The best way to understand this … is to shake your head back and forth 20 times. When you are done, that is the feeling these people feel.

When people with Chronic Subjective Dizziness enter an environment filled with visual stimuli, such as having to drive in the rain or navigate through a busy grocery store, the dizziness gets worse. “Too much sensation is coming into the brain,” Staab says of the condition, which can be disabling.

Briefly, Chronic Subjective Dizziness is diagnosed by the following physical symptoms and examination findings:

  • Persistent sensations of dizziness for a duration of 3 months. Lightheadedness, heavy-headedness, or subjective imbalance present on most days. There is no vertigo.
  • Chronic (duration of 3 months) hypersensitivity to one’s own motion, which is not direction specific, and to the movements of objects in the environment. 
  • Symptoms are made worse in settings with complex visual stimuli such as grocery stores or shopping malls or when performing precision visual tasks such as reading or using a computer. 
  • Absence of other physical illnesses, medications or factors that might cause the dizziness.
  • Radiographic imaging of the brain shows no abnormalities that could cause the dizziness. 
  • Findings from balance function tests that show no balance problems. 

Research on Chronic Subjective Dizziness and Anxiety Disorders

A large-scale study over 6 years

Psychiatrist Jeffrey Staab, M.D., M.S., and neurotologist Michael Ruckenstein, M.D., of the Balance Center at the University of Pennsylvania Health system in Philadelphia studied adult patients with Chronic Subjective Dizziness from 1998 to 2004. They started off with an initial group of about 2,400 patients with a variety of vertigo, dizziness, and imbalance complaints. The results of their study was published in the February, 2007 issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

The study group was narrowed down to 345 subjects after clinicians diagnosed most of the 2,400 patients as having medical conditions that would explain their dizziness. The 345 patients had persistent dizziness, but didn’t have the familiar spinning sensation that typifies vertigo caused by inner-ear problems. The diagnosis for these patients was Chronic Subjective Dizziness.

Besides meeting the criteria for Chronic Subjective Dizziness listed above, Staab and Ruckenstein found that many of these patients had poor concentration and difficulties in their family or work lives. They had experienced dizziness for an average of four years before entering the study.

The results of the study shows 60 percent had Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety Disorders associated with dizziness

Of the 345 subjects in the study, 206 — nearly 60 percent — had Anxiety Disorders associated with their Chronic Subjective Dizziness, and 115 — 33 percent — of the subjects with psychogenic dizziness (dizziness caused by psychological problems) had a primary psychiatric diagnosis with no physical reasons for it. The 115 subjects with no physical causes for their dizziness were diagnosed with the following Anxiety Disorders:

The remaining 91 subjects had some accompanying medical conditions, but also had Anxiety Disorders. They were:

  • Panic attacks, Panic Disorder or Social Phobia (34)
  • Generalized Anxiety (35)
  • Other minor Anxiety Disorders (19)

The relationship of migraines, Anxiety Disorders and Chronic Subjective Dizziness

Migraines associated with Anxiety Disorders

Interestingly, the rate of Anxiety Disorders among patients in the study with migraine was four times higher than the population average. Epidemiological (population) studies have found that 18 percent of Americans have an Anxiety Disorder, but 77 percent of the migraine patients in Staab and Ruckenstein’s study had clinically significant Anxiety. The 57 subjects with migraine were diagnosed as follows:

  • Panic or Social Phobia (21)
  • Generalized Anxiety (10)
  • Other minor Anxiety Disorders (13)

Joseph Furman, MD, PhD, is a neurologist and professor of otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh and a veteran researcher on the topic. Citing this research, his own research and others’ research, he says,

If you take a close look at people who are dizzy without a diagnosis of disease, the two main things you are going to come up with are anxiety and migraine.

The significance of this study on Chronic Subjective Dizziness

Anxiety Disorder and Chronic Subjective Dizziness connection proven

The idea that Anxiety Disorders or migraines are associated with Chronic Subjective Dizziness is not new. What is new is a large study lasting for a long time that definitively proves the connection. Previously, doctors could go on hunches, but did not have anything definitive to work with. Staab says,

Often, doctors evaluate patients like this for inner-ear problems, treat them, and then if treatment fails, just assume it’s ‘psychogenic’ [having a psychological cause]. … Now we can tell patients that this is not a mystery. We can explain just what causes their symptoms.

Treating Chronic Subjective Dizziness

No specific treatments yet

Treatment choices remain undefined. No big, randomized, controlled trials of treatment for Chronic Subjective Dizziness have been conducted. Some small, open trials have researched treatment in three directions, however:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI antidepressants) have shown some utility in reducing Anxiety Disorders and lessening dizzy symptoms.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been tried in small numbers of patients, so far without conclusive data. 
  • A form of physical therapy, vestibular balance rehabilitation therapy, is also under investigation.

What do you think?

The case for a strong link between physical and mental illnesses keeps growing stronger. It is well known that the Anxiety Disorders can increase the risk of heart failure, affect the gastro-intestinal system,  and can hamper the recovery from cancer and other diseases. Now this new study proves the connection between Chronic Subjective Dizziness and Anxiety Disorders. As time goes on, it is certain that other medical problems will be associated with the Anxiety Disorders.

  • Do you experience dizziness? Do you also have a history of having an Anxiety Disorder as well?
  • Do you know of anyone who has been diagnosed with Chronic Subjective Dizziness?
  • What is your opinion of the link between physical and mental illnesses?

As always, your comments are welcome!

©2008 Anxiety, Panic & Health. All rights reserved.

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Resources used in this post:

Doheny, Kathleen. (2007, February 20). New Clues to Chronic Dizziness. Retrieved November 9, 2008 from MedicineNet web site: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=79520

Levin, Aaron. (2007, March 16). Anxiety Disorders Often Accompany Chronic, Nonspecific Dizziness. Retrieved November 9, 2008 from Psychiatric News web site: http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/42/6/16

Nauert, Rick. (2007, February 20). Anxiety Can Cause Chronic Dizziness. Retrieved November 9, 2008 from Psych Central web site: http://psychcentral.com/news/2007/02/20/anxiety-can-cause-chronic-dizziness/

Osterweil, Neil. (2007, February 19). New Spin on Chronic Dizziness. Retrieved November 9, 2008 from Medpage Today web site: http://www.medpagetoday.com/Surgery/Otolaryngology/5085

Staab, Jeffrey; Ruckenstein, Michael. (2005). Chronic Dizziness and Anxiety: Effect of Course of Illness on Treatment Outcome. Retrieved November 9, 2008 from Migraine-Associated Vertigo Forums web site (PDF):  http://www.mvertigo.org/articles/chronic.dizziness.and.anxiety.05.pdf

Staab, Jeffrey; Ruckenstein, Michael. (2007). Expanding the Differential Diagnosis of Chronic Dizziness. Retrieved November 9, 2008 from Archives of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery web site (PDF): http://archotol.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/133/2/170?maxtoshow=&HITS=25&hits=25&RESULTFORMAT=&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=1625&resourcetype=HWFIG

{ 237 comments… read them below or add one }

Crushynn June 22, 2013 at 5:45 pm

I have had anxiety & dizziness off on for about 12 years. I will say I believe there is a link to the female cycle because my first panic attack was about 24 hours after the birth of my son. What I have found over the last two years though is that my nutrition played a HUGE role in my anxiety. I began seeing a nutritionist who does Quantum Biofeedback a couple years ago & tests showed my thyroid & adrenals severely depleted & I was generally deficient in nutrients. It was explained to me that multiple stressors (I’ve had more than my share) take a toll on the adrenal gland which is responsible for handling stress hormones. Once it’s depleted to a certain level it begins to ‘misfire’ & release adrenaline when it’s not needed which leads to dizziness along with other uncomfortable sensations. Not the vertigo type but the lightheaded type which is what I have. Anyway, I made significant dietary changes & began taking customized supplements. I went back frequently first for adjustments but now just go every three months & am basically on a maintenance program of 3-4 supplements. My anxiety & dizziness is reduced now by 90% & I no longer take Zoloft as I had before. I have an Rx for Ativan which works quite well as needed but hardly ever use it. My advice is to take a look at your nutrition. Nutrients enable your organs to heal from the damage that stress hormones can cause & regulate properly. Carrie in SC.

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Emily June 22, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Carrie, where in SC are you? I am also. Interested in what nutritionist you saw. Hope to hear from you!

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Crushynn June 22, 2013 at 8:54 pm

I’m in the Upstate area. The nutritionist is Dr. Charles Campbell at Specialized Nutritional Support in Clinton, SC. # is 866-833-4372. I drive an hour to see him he’s that good. Insurance won’t cover visits or supplements but he will work with you. The Quantum testing is about $75 per visit plus whatever supplements you need which can vary. I spent a few hundred at first but now only about $75/ mo average. Hope this helps. :)

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Evan July 4, 2013 at 6:50 pm

I’m 19 going on to 20 male in college and is now 6 months deep 24 /7 headaches and dizziness I was wondering was yours really bad in the beginning and I’ve also noticed nutrition does help and how did you get tested for adrenal fatigue

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Carrie S January 2, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Hi Carrie,
Not sure if you’re still checking this board, but I’ve been suffering from constant lightheadedness/dizziness for months. It started suddenly, about a week after I got panic disorder. My docs agree things are probably way off in my body (adrenals not working, leaky gut syndrome, food sensitivities, migraine, etc). I’d love to learn more about how you got better, what your nutritionist said, what you took. I started Zoloft (only up to 18mg so far, because I am so sensitive to meds). If you get this could you possibly send me an email? I’d appreciate so much to ask you a few questions. My email: cpeterson at hotmail dot com. Thanks and I am so happy to hear you’re doing better!

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Hannah June 26, 2013 at 1:45 pm

ugh I thought I was good but 2 steps forward 2 steps back I guess. do any of you guys randomly get super sad and also do you guys have jaw pain? and also I want to hear more about the vision thing… do you guys have weird vision… if so explain completely. mine is like a lightning and circles going down and random light flashes or dark flashes

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Morgan June 26, 2013 at 1:51 pm

From what it sounds like, you might be having aura’s. I get migraines about 2x a month and sometimes I see spots and flashes and can’t focus my vision. I would see an eye doctor because if you’re eyes are fine, it’s probably from silent migraines or even anxiety. There are medications you can take that really help when that starts. Migraines don’t always cause head pain, sometimes they cause other things such as vision problems and stomach upset.

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Evan July 4, 2013 at 6:45 pm

I have vision problems sense my headaches and dizziness started my vision is more sensitive and when I’m in dark I can see like lightning and flashes and in daytime I will have really bad floaters and stars and black blotches

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Hannah July 12, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Hey Evan , same here. I have lightning bolts during the day and what seems to be like perfect dark circles raining down. and at night my vision feels very dark and splotchy. and the beginning of my anxiety journey i had sensitivity to light. but i do have headaches and kind of a tingly feeling in my head. you can email me at xhghusseinx@gmail.com if you want to talk about it! we seem to have the exact same thing and i see a psychiatrist and a therapist so i can help you out. :) and tell you about the meds i’m on. best of luck bud.

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Gretchen July 21, 2013 at 7:35 pm

I have the same exact symptoms as you two! They are unnerving to say the least :( Hannah, I would love to get in touch with you as well to hear a little more about what steps you took. I have not seen a professional yet- I am only 2 or 3 months into my symptoms and I am not sure whether to see a doctor, therapist, etc.

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Andrea Hudson June 26, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Yes, I agree. Migraine. I have what are called migraine equivalent and also migraine associated vertigo. Usually, but not always, cycles with my cycle. I get a lot of migraines, many without the actual pain, but rather really nifty :::insert sarcasm here:::: neurological symptoms, ie. vertigo, aura, pins and needles, limb weakness. Fun stuff. :(

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Hannah June 26, 2013 at 3:33 pm

been to the eye doctor, ENT, AND Neurologist and everything seems fine…i think it is due to anxiety but even with my new pill thats suppose to tame my anxiety during the day (klonopin) i still have the vision problems. It hasn’t calmed down like the other symptoms have such as dizziness… quite odd.

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Morgan June 26, 2013 at 3:35 pm

my doctor has my take a low dose of Xanax or Valium for the dizziness. i really like it, works pretty fast and i feel nice and relaxed with no anxiety.

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Leslie June 27, 2013 at 10:36 am

Morgan, does the valium not make your dizziness worse?

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Morgan June 27, 2013 at 1:53 pm

If i take too much, it can make me loopy. not dizzy, but off balance. in that case if i was to lay down im fine. but if i take a half (my dose is .5mg and i break in half and take .25mg) im totally fine. i become relaxed enough where im not “high” or anything, but can go about my day, interact with people (which is hard to do when feeling dizzy) and eat and exercise.

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Dawn June 30, 2013 at 10:03 pm

I was a patient of both Dr Ruckenstein and Dr Staab. If it was not for them I would have never known what I had. I had been living for many years with a silent problem ashamed to speak out. My family Dr had given up until I stumbled upon these two wonderful Drs. I still have the disorder but have learned how to cope day by day. I still am unable to do many things I once could but I get by enough . Keep a positive attitude people and learn your limits. I always have a cart or someone with me but I get out!

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Mady October 22, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Dawn,
My husband has been given a diagnosis of Chronic Subjective Dizziness. What medications are you currently on and how have you learned to cope with this? He is really struggling.
Thanks, Mady

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Tiffany July 1, 2013 at 11:26 am

Does anyone know if anxiety causes daily dizziness though ?? I have been on 5mg lexapro for a month an a half and so far, it’s very slightly helping with the anxiety and depression. But the dizziness is still there everyday. I have one doc that says its all anxiety, one that says its my low blood pressure, one says from chronic daily headaches, and one that says vertigo ??!! I’m so confused. I have had a brain MRI and car scan, a full heart work up, a lung work up, and stomach doc work up. Along with seeing an ent and thyroid doc. Besides my anxiety and depression, I have gerd an thyroid issues which are under control with meds. I also have sleep apnea but faithfully wear my cpap every night. So is the dizziness all anxiety and I haven’t given the lexapro enough time I work ? Help

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Leslie July 1, 2013 at 11:32 am

Tiffany, Random enough I too have the same issues as you and seen every Dr. and specialist out there. I have daily continuous dizziness too! And my anxiety has gotten out of control! I find that my dizziness is way worse in the morning and right before bed. I too have thyroid issues. I’m not really sure, some Dr.s think it’s my hormones and another think I too, suffer from migraine associated vertigo. So… needless to say I still have yet to find answers as well.

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Leslie July 1, 2013 at 11:33 am

TIffany, Have you noticed that your symptoms get worse right before your monthly cycle?

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Emily July 1, 2013 at 11:43 am

I know I notice a huuuuge change right before my cycle. I am dizzy and have a “full” feeling in the back of my head.

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Tiffany July 1, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Thanks guys. Fortunately, I had a hysterectomy 11 years ago. So I know it’s not that. An I had a blood test to test my hormones to see if I needed hormone replacement and I don’t. I feel like heavy head, dizzy, almost like a drugged up feeling. I don’t do any drugs either other than the ones I’m prescribed. : p

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Aaron July 5, 2013 at 2:29 pm

I have posted here before and I am now coming up on my 3 year anniversary of 24/7 symptoms. I have found ways to compensate and to cope with what I have and my wife actually found a site that lists exactly all of my symptoms. Not one of these have I not experienced. I want to share this because it actually brought tears to my eyes because I think all of you can agree that not knowing is one of the most frustrating things dealing with this.

http://www.labyrinthitis.org.uk/

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Leslie July 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Aaron, what have you found that’s been helpful to you? Exercise, medication, or etc??? 2 days from now, marks year 3 of constant dizziness for me as well. Dr.s can’t seem to find anything and most are blaming it %100 on anxiety.

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Aaron July 5, 2013 at 8:24 pm

I find that moderate excercise helps in that it has probably helped with compensation because of the unduced motion and it helps because I sleep a little better. Sleep helps a lot. Also why I gave up caffiene. I have taken Klonopin when things are bad and it helps. However, Klonopin will hinder the brain’s ability to compensate so not recommended if you are doing Vestibular Therapy. check out the site I posted. If your symptoms resemble many of the one’s listed you may want to ask your doctors to consider Vestibular Neuritis. I am very empathatic to your issues as I am walking in your shoes and I know it’s frustrating because other’s don’t get it. There is also a medical issue by which your blood vessels can rest on the vestibular nerve called Microvascular compression syndrome. Check that out. It’s a process of tests, trial and errror, and elimination. I would take the VRT (Vestibular therapy) very serious. It has had huge success and is natural. If it’s really anxiety then I treat yourself for anxiety and see if that helps. If you had this for 3 years like me what’s it going to hurt. Keep trying.

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Morgan July 5, 2013 at 8:43 pm

The most frustrating part for me that yes, I do have an anxiety problem but my symptoms never included ongoing dizziness and off balance until about 1 year ago. It would happen during bad anxiety attacks or periods but not everyday. Now this feeling will actually cause anxiety and then it all spirals out of control. I feel that my neurologist doesn’t take it seriously. He said there is nothing wrong but I don’t no anyone else (expect the group of people who come here) who suffer from this. Can years of regular anxiety just cause regular head discomfort?

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Karen July 5, 2013 at 9:06 pm

My husband has suffered with constant dizziness for years. he has had it investigated a couple of times but it always has lead to a dead end and he has given up. Now my 13 year old daughter is experiencing dizziness. She is a worrier. the first time she had it was when she was 8years old and it lasted 3 months, but eventually went away. It started when she was doing competitive calisthenics comps and represented her state. She has always enjoyed sport and this year starting playing rep basketball. It has begun again and she has had it for about 6 weeks. The blood tests showed that she was low in vitamin B12 and iron, but not excessively low. She has been put on supplements. I am wondering if the pressure she puts herself under is the contributing factor. Does anyone else have similar experience? Also she has begun menstruating about 18 months ago, I am interested in whether this has an impact. Anyone know of others her age with this problem?

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Thomas July 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm

I have a question for you guys addressing everyone but especially those with a constant moving feeling!

Do you guys get relief from the rocking sensation when driving or riding a car? Or riding a bike?

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Aaron July 8, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Yes Thomas. When I drive in a car i do not have vertigo or rocking. Only when I am stopped or still. Same with bike riding. I mountain bike twice a week and I don’t feel it until after I stop.

Why do you ask? Do you have the same sensation?

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Thomas July 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Thanks for responding!

I have a constant moving sensation 24/7 . The only times when I get relief is in car and on a bike. Rocking Chairs and exercise balls also give me some relief.

I am just curious if it there is the chance of anxiety being the cause. My doctor is convinced depression caused this dizziness. But I am sure the depression is a consequence of this ongoing rocking sensation.

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Kacey September 27, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Have any of you considered Mal de Debarquement syndrome? Feeling better while moving is a hallmark symptom of it.

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Leslie July 9, 2013 at 12:21 am

YES!!! I have some what relief as well while riding in a car. It doesn’t really seem to bother me until we stop at a redlight or something. If I travel for several hrs, when I finally get out of the car, it’s really bad. I haven’t been on a bike since this started but I’m curious to see if it’s the same way for me too. and my Dr.s say it’s anxiety. but my anxiety is casued by this dizziness. I never had anxiety until this dizziness started.

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Kacey September 27, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Have you heard of Mal de Debarquement syndrome? Feeling better in motion is one of the symptoms

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Lara July 9, 2013 at 1:40 am

Anxiety typically is not the cause of dizziness, especially the sort most people here are reporting. Keep looking elsewhere for what’s happening for you, mvertigo.org etc. to begin with. Not that everyone has the severity of MAV, but keep reading and figuring it out. Most doctors rely on the blanket dx of anxiety for just about anything. Anything! And once you’re labeled, that Dr will always have in the back of their head THAT dx. I hate that.

Now, sure, anxiety can cause and be the cause of some weirdo symptoms, but don’t rely on that alone. Keep discovering patterns and triggers; consider hormones or other conditions.

So many sad stories and struggles. I feel for everyone (and I’ve my own issues, indeed).

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Bevi July 11, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Does any other woman have issues with dizziness that has changed their menstrual cycle? I’ve been normal for my entire life and ever since this dizziness hit last year, I’ve stopped ovulating. The doc doesnt think they are related, but I can’t help but wonder! All my hormonal tests seem to come back normal.

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Leslie July 11, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Bevi, YES!!! That’s crazy you mention that because I’m doing the same thing. Sometimes it’s every other month but sometimes it’s several months in a row that I don’t ovulate. I too have had hormone testing done several times and they find nothing wrong.

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Bevi July 11, 2013 at 11:09 pm

how long have you been suffering it with it Leslie? do you want to email me? I’d love to chat with someone in the same boat!

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Leslie July 11, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Bevi, I hit my 3yr mark just 2 days ago. I would love to chat with you. what’s your email address?

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Bevi July 29, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Sorry I never saw this!!

Email me at bkothare@yahoo.com

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Shelly July 14, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Morgan I relate exactly to your symptoms. In 2004 I was diagnosed with acute anxiety disorder. I had never heard of it. At first it was horrible and after a series of medications all of which I quit taking…Prozac, Effexor, etc…I used low doses of Xanax when needed. I had to relearn to drive and ride escalators because of the dizziness. I finally combatted this and functioned @90% after a few years. Last year I had this prolonged sinus problem which was finally diagnosed as a virus in my ear. I was constantly dizzy and the had anxiety attacks everyday. My husband did not understand and left me over it. Meanwhile I went to work and faked it feeling miserable everyday for about six months. Eventually things got back to 90% again. I was good for months. Two weeks ago constant dizziness started again. Along with my sinuses acting up and horrible bouts of anxiety. I am not sure why these two things are linked but once again driving a car is total torture. I force myself to do it because I can’t lose my job. I just hope this goes back to the occasional anxiety attack where the low dose of Xanax solves the problem.

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Leslie July 18, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Has Prozac made any of you guys more dizzy when taking it or has it seemed to help?

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jess July 27, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Hey guys. My dr. prescribed me Zoloft to help treat my anxiety disorder which was brought on by this crazy dizziness. Have any of you taken Zoloft before and did it seem to help with the anxiety or did it mess with your dizziness any? Thanks

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Michelle July 29, 2013 at 5:46 pm

It’s been a while since ive commented last time I wrote I was pregnant and dealing with constant dizziness. The only relief I could get was taking meclazine which helps emencley if you have dizziness. Since then I’ve had my baby who is perfectly healthy btw! My doctor has put me on Citralopram (Celexa) I have taken it for 4 weeks and have not had any dizziness and only one anxiety attack. It feels good to feel good I hope you all are getting relief and I wish the best!

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Emily December 8, 2013 at 9:09 pm

How did you feel while pregnant? I am currently 8 months and the dizziness is worse than it has been in the past : (

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Tiffany Q July 29, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Hi guys. Just wantes to touch base. I have been on the lexapro for almost 2 and a half months. As for the depression and anxiety, it has somewhat helped. But as for the dizziness, it is still a daily issue. I have had every test to confirm its nothing serious, but when you have it daily everyday, how can that be anxiety? Im so confused. Is there anyone here that takes an antidepressant for anxiety that still has daily dizziness and blurry vision? Congrats to those that are feeling better too.

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Jen July 29, 2013 at 9:10 pm

I’m trying to figure out if my dizziness is caused by anxiety, migraines or inner ear. I had sclerotherapy done for varicose veins…I was a little anxious about doing it, but did it. Then I got a weird side effect…felt like a chest cold, trouble breathing for an hour. This caused huge anxiety. Then I researched and found out that is was a rare side effect of sclerotherapy. After that I was quite anxious, worried about blood clots, etc. 4 days later when the dizziness started I was full blown anxious thinking it was a blood clot. Not sure if the sclerotherapy caused this, the anxiety about the sclerotherapy or just a fluke. Did anyone else have sclerotherapy done prior to this happening? I’m not usually an anxious person but was very anxious for about 8 months because of the dizziness. When I went on amitriptyline the dizziness wasn’t as bad and the anxiety has gone away (even though my doctor says the dose I’m on won’t help for anxiety). I’m also doing vestibular therapy which has helped some. I’m doing a lot better than I was, but the dizziness comes back for about a week during my period. I started chastetree my naturpath recommended because horomone testing showed my progesterone levels got low during that time. It has helped a little, but still not 100 percent. My head still feels wonky when I’m in big stores under the fluorescent lights. Does anyone have any similarities? I was told that skin-coloured non-prescription glasses could help with the lights. Anyone have any luck with that?

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Michelle July 30, 2013 at 10:44 am

Jen I would say the diZZINES is caused directly from your anxiety which was developed from the side effects from the procedure you had. I was constantly dizzy for about 10 months which was caused from the anxiety I developed due to vertigo. The vertigo did go away but my anxiety didn’t. Whiched caused me to be dizzy all the time. Florecent lights killed me! Especially if they flickered. If you get your anxiety under control with a daily med then your dizziness will then eventually subside. Meclazine helps wondered for dizziness take them if you need too.

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Luisa December 13, 2013 at 12:24 am

Hello Michelle and all,

Michelle I would like to know how you are doing at this point, please. I haven’t been diagnose with other than Positional Vertigo but checking the website somebody recommended here and by the story of a friend of us who had Labyrinthitis 2 months ago (They prescribed in Venezuela 3 medicines plus vestibular therapy and in short time the lady had improvement) I believe that most have been what I had and now I have the residual Positional vertigo (Neurotologist sent me home with the Brant Daroff Manuever, I already had blood work done, ENT check up, cardio is fine, eyes ok with new glasses but I have a “lazy” right eye that we will check more even though I went to an opthalmologist and to an optometrist). Probably I will go to a neuroOpthalmol soon). I love how that was so quick for our friend to go to the doctor and the same day go home with the most logical diagnose which was her case, with the medicine and advises that cured her.

Surprisingly, before this started at the beginning of October, I had been to the cardiologist after having some palpitations and my heart was racing sometimes who told me that everything was great with my heart but that I had an anxiety situation going on FOR MY SURPRISE!!! I was never told this in my life and I am 34, I had a very demanding job before getting married and moving to the US 4 years ago, I was always happy, laughing, multitasking, just living a happy life and I never would have thought that probably when I got dizzy sometimes for 2 days could it have been anxiety all the time?? Michelle that is why I am asking you how it goes with your anxiety treatment. The Dr. prescribed me that day with 0.25 mg of Xanax to take as needed. I never did until Sept. 24th when on a OBGy check up the Dr. found a mass on my breast (everything came back negative in the end but waiting was affecting me and hardly aslept) and which I felt so bad about. Not long after that Dr. visit one night this started. Just while I was having a good time with other ladies at my husband friend’s house, taking (I don’t drink), dancing, and I don’t know why all the sudden I felt dizzy and bad!!! was it that my anxiety could have been there with me in the back of my mind worrying about the breast results even when I was happy enjoying the moment?? Having a 3 year old, a husband who works offshore, just 1 friend, neighbors that I hardly see and not relatives other than my mother who comes every 6 months, not to mention the scary moment when a man came to my door at 11 p.m., he was a stranger dressed very strange and smiled at me!! The cardiologist said that this event had a big part in my anxiety (even though I didn’t mention it until after he told me that my heart was acting like that due to anxiety), probably has been the reason. I read that Labyrinthitis is brought by stress too, could it be that since nobody diagnosed it on time it is lasting longer without treatment, I also read in the Emma and Isla’s website that Laby. can bring up Positional Vertigo, or is it just and simple PURE ANXIETY?

Thank you very much for your time.

I appreciate anybodies reply about this particular thing.

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Olivia July 31, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Hi All,

Some quick things about myself and then some research I wanted to ask about:

- I’m 26 and have been experiencing 24/7 dizziness very similar to what many of you have described – not vertigo, but more a constant motion/light headedness. I have been experiencing this since I was 11. It has gotten noticeably worse in the last 2 years.
-I have anxiety and migraines which have also gotten worse in the last two years. The migraines rarely present with a headache.
-I also have fogginess, slightly high BP and heart rate , occasional sleep apnea and TMJ
-Recently met with a great neurologist who connected my migraine and dizziness for me and, pending MRI results, will put me on a preventative migraine medication

Some questions:
-Has anyone tried or heard of Brain Based Therapy? I’ve been doing some research on it and, for how non invasive it is, it appears to really work. Here’s a place where I found a quick slide show about it http://www.slideshare.net/cking553/Revised-BBT-Dinner-Talk

- Has anyone taken migraine prevention drugs and experienced success with both the dizziness and the anxiety going away?

Here is a study some may find helpful about vestibular migraines and treatment success: http://www.mvertigo.org/articles/chronic_migrainous_vertigo.pdf

Thank you!

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Jessica August 1, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Went a year with severe “dizziness attacks” that would throw me into a full blown panick attack. Blood pressure through the roof, sweating, nausea, inability to concentrate, severely moody, temper just a flaring. Started off with being told (without tests) its an adrenal disorder (blood pressure spikes). Changed doctors. My doctor did a family history from great grandparents to my children. Very in depth. First 3 months it was Buspar 7.5mg twice a day then Xanax .50mg as needed up to 3 times a day. Worked wonders, but still dizzy and the visual disturbances were still happening, but less frequently. Upon going from floor work to desk work at a Dr’s office, it seemed worse. My new Dr. then evaluated my daily life over 10 years. I saw the big picture. Since I could earn money (at 15, I’m now 30) I was such a busy, active go go go person. Work was my drug. Then add a husbandn 2 kids, a perfect little boy with Autism, a full of gab and life daughter and then my husband with Aspergers. I did a life change and slowed down. And bam. Dizziness, the light flashes, naseau, weak limbs, sweats, spiked BP, and the annoying hair in your mouth feeling… my Dr. hugged me tight and said, ” I’m almost 110 percent positive you have adhd”. Now, I laughed so hard I thought she was joking. I’m so not adhd. She suggested I try a stimulant. And I refused thinking uhmmmm anxiety and stimulants (not a good combo). So she made me a deal. Asked to give her 30 days of trying the medication and keep a journal. Also monitor my blood pressure. So, I did. My 1 month follow up I cried like a baby. I have been almost completely symptom free since then. (8 months to be exact). A week before my cycle I have one day of noticed (but tolerable) moodiness and when its voing to rain I get dizzy and thay heavy head but light headedness feeling. I’m not saying this is everyones answer. But, finding a doctor who takes the time to reach you internally and looks at you, your lifestyle, your history, and your personality can really make an impact on your recovery. My mother is agoraphobic and I was fearing becoming the same. ADHD is, well was something I did not want to be labeled as having. Upon my own research I learned it is so very different for women. And I learned anxiety is one of the symptoms that I suffered from. I hope everyone can be as lucky as I was to get a real answer that I can say saved my life, my marriage, and my ability to connect with my children without the fear and anxiety. And yes, all extensive labs, diagnostic tests, and even autoimmune tests were negative. The bonus is finally being able to fall asleep, stay asleep, and feel rested. So, my little dose of Adderall has depleted my use of Xanax but I still take the Buspar twice a day for the, well chemical balance. Again, good luck to all of you out there aeeking your answer. My story may not help much, but maybe just one person and that’s what counts!

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Cassie August 4, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Hey everyone! I have been struggling with random bouts of vertigo (spinning sensation) for a few years now they usually last for a few minutes and I get very sweaty and warm. The past three months I have been getting dizzy spells. More off balanced type of feeling. Sometimes I’m in bed for up to a week because I can’t function. I have been to the dizzy and balance center and everything came back fine. My doctor has me on Zoloft and I’m on day 11. I have a unhealthy relationship with my daughters dad at times we get into arguments with one another. I notice after that I get dizzy. I’m thinking my anxiety is triggering the dizziness. The Zoloft has made me sick to my stomach and I haven’t been able to eat much so I am drinking fluids alot more. I also take meclizine for the dizzy and nauseous symptoms but they only help for so long. I notice when I stand up inside a bar or store or when I wait in a line I feel very light headed and feel overwhelmed. This is odd because a few months ago this was not me. I am a very outgoing person and now I stay home and had to take a loa from work to try and get whatever this is under control. Are any of you experiencing any of the same type of symptoms? Have you found techniques or instant dizzy relief? Anyone else on Zoloft?

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Jen August 5, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Michelle….how long after your anxiety went away did the dizziness stop? Since going on the amitriptyline my symptoms have gotten way better. I’d say I’ve been pretty anxiety-free for the last 4-5 months. I’m doing pretty well, but not 100 percent. Are you still on anti-anxiety or were you able to wean off. Are you at 100 percent?

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Michelle August 5, 2013 at 10:40 pm

I’ve only been on my meds for 5 weeks. Started them right after I gave birth. My dizziness started getting better at the end of my pregnancy but if I ever had an anxiety episode I would get dizzy. I still have my moments but ever since my meds started working I have not ha severe dizziness that I could not handle. It would taper off once I got it off my mind. So I would say compared to a year ago I am 100 percent better. It starte with vertigo which caused huge panick/anxiety attacks which turned into dizziness. So if I control my anxiety I control my dizziness. I don’t take a suppressant like Valium or larazapram or Xanax I only take my ssri which is citrolapram/Celexa. I hope to never feel the way I did the first 7 months of tho whole nightmare. I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. But like I said I still have my moments with dizziness just not as severe as it used to be without my ssri. Hope you get to 100 percent or to where u can breathe even if you get a bit dizzy. My biggest accomplishment so far is riding an elevator without anxiety that I was gonna be dizzy and actually not getting dizzy from riding it!

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michelle December 13, 2013 at 12:37 am

Please email me directly i wilk be happy to talk eith you:)

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michelle December 13, 2013 at 12:40 am

Or if you leave your email luisa i will enail you i ony see your comment in the email that i have sent to me feom this blog i dont see you comment direct ly on the blog for some reason

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Andrea Hudson December 13, 2013 at 9:14 am

Haven’t been here in sometime, started my own business and have been pretty busy. I still say WOW over saying that…started my own business. Just a few months ago I was homebound from anxiety caused agoraphobia. I’m not 100% but getting there and to be honest, if I never get better than I am now, I’m ok with that.

I had vertigo attacks that were unreal but sporadic, so I lived in fear of when the next would happen. I do believe that my attacks are from two sources which are probably, somewhat related: migraine and hormones. Seems right before my cycle I am at my worst.

I do still get dizzy/vertigo but I stopped panicking and obsessing over them. That was key, and weird as it may seem…it all started to get better when I decided to start taking allergy medicine.

Back in February, we rescued a dog. A couple days after, I had vertigo so bad I laid on the floor, spinning for a few minutes. My first thought was maybe I am allergic to the dog. That was my panic/obsessive thoughts kicking in. I’d never been allergic to dogs before and because My anxiety doesn’t allow me to think reasonably, it hadn’t occurred to me that it was the day before my period.

So, for once I pushed off my medicine fear out of the way and decided to try an OTC allergy med. I wanted to try Zyrtec but it was too expensive, especially since I was afraid my med phobia would make me not try it, even if I bought it. I looked for a generic equal.

Amazon offered a bottle of AllerTec…Zyrtec equivalent. 365 pills..a year’s supply for 11.99. Bought it and tried it. Didn’t notice a difference right away, of course, but within days to weeks, the changes were amazing. I wasn’t having obsessive thoughts, panic attacks started to subside. I would and still have some off balance and vertigo feelings but what I realized is that when I’d normally panic or obsess about it in the past, now they didn’t provoke that response.

Not pushing meds, I’d be the first to tell you that I don’t believe in meds, for me anyway…but thought it was interesting enough and certainly, important enough to share.

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Andrea Hudson December 13, 2013 at 9:24 am

Oh, I should have followed up with a bit of research I’d done. When using Bonine, I was interested in the fact that it was an antihistamine and that led me to reading about some who’d realized that while on Bonine they were less anxious…which led me to read about some who believed their dizziness was from allergies and after using Zyrtec or Claritin, etc, their anxiety got better. I don’t site and links because it really was just me obsessing over reading all things related and not thinking of taking notes. But you can google it and read.

As for my business, I became a state notary public and took a class to become a loan signing agent plus I also learned how to do field inspections for the insurance industry and while it’s not a real social job, cause I’m still socially phobic, it does allow me to work and get out of the house and meet people on a one to one basis. That in itself is a miracle because a few months ago, I sometimes couldn’t walk to my mailbox.

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Zelda January 22, 2014 at 9:01 am

Dear Mr. Nichols, I’m writing to update you and educate you re: “The relationship of migraines, Anxiety Disorders and Chronic Subjective Dizziness” …I’m the migraineur that suffers with aura that have no symptom of migraine. As I explained to you, last Saturday, migraineurs endure physical miseries that you are uneducated about and in addition to the anxiety of dealing with that misery, migraine sufferers become more agitated with people who refuse to accept how their ignorance adds to the intensity of the entire struggle. Last night, and this morning, the extreme winter storm sweeping the country has been making me sick. Example for you to comprehend; on a morning such as this (prior to diagnosis of migraine), I would wake up having difficulty breathing as if I had a sudden case of asthma. As I move about the kitchen unaware of weather conditions, I struggle to prepare breakfast for my kids because I am feeling light headed and slightly dizzy. I continue the process with lights blurring my eyes. The kids are dragging their feet and I have to stay on them with stupid matters of repetition and Mr. Nichols, I finally start snapping at them. Moving around helping them find things , reminding them to eat their breakfast and one them pops their mouth off. I am so sick from all the movement and short of breath , that I go into a wild raging lecture. That, Mr. Nichols is anxiety from trying to breathe and walk with blurry eyes, a foggy head and the dizziness of migraines. In this case, I am not diagnosed because I don’t have a headache, Mr. Nichols. My family, mocks me because their father does. “You’re dizzy alright”. Mr.Nichols, there are numerous publications and studies with the data and research to show you, that weather, light, hormone fluctuations and numerous triggers are sensory triggers that are physical responses and they are not the result of psychological triggers. The stinch of ignorance and hateful remarks, are anxious elements that exacerbate the physical disease of migraines, Mr. Nichols.

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Zelda January 22, 2014 at 9:08 am

I am trying to write with migraines. I meant to say, I am the migrainuer that suffers with aura and NO SYMPTOM of headache. Migraines are not headaches. Headaches are only ONE symptom of migraines.

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edward April 1, 2014 at 7:07 pm

ive had dizzyness for 2-3 weeks now it happened after i had an panic attack. is there anything i can do about it. its the worst feeling ever . any recomendations?

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Carrie April 1, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Hi Edward,

Sorry to hear about the dizziness. I had a severe panic attack (followed by chronic attacks/anxiety) back in October 2013. About a week later I developed chronic dizziness, which never seemed to go away. It was very depressing, and I can empathize with how you feel. I’ve been doing acupuncture, massage, CBT, and Zoloft. I really began to think it would never get better. For what it’s worth, in January ’14 (3 months later), I had a week where the dizziness went from a 10/10 to a 5/10. My anxiety seemed to be a bit less, but they don’t always move in tandem. Suddenly I had a bad panic attack and the dizziness came back strong for another 2 months!

I still have daily anxiety, but now in April (6 months later), the dizziness has gone down a LOT. In general now, it fluctuates between a 1-4 throughout the day. I’m not 100% sure, but I think the Zoloft is helping it. Some studies I found showed people with anxiety induced dizziness found relief from Zoloft. I only take 37mg, so barely an effective dose. (I’m very sensitive to meds, so I have to titrate up slowly)

You may want to consider Zoloft if you haven’t tried it yet. I had horrible side effects for 6 weeks after starting it, but they went away. Part of my slow recovery could also be time. Six months is a lot time, and I had all but lost hope at one point. The level of dizziness now is so much easier to handle, many times I don’t even notice it. I really hope you find relief too, as I know how debilitating it is. *hugs*

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