Anxiety or something else

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I am new here and joined mostly looking for support and answers. I was diagnosed with panic disorder when I was 19, I am now 38, so I have had almost 20 years with this issue. I have always had dizziness and a wobbly when I get anxious, however the past two months my dizziness has gotten so bad that it is affecting my work. Lately I cannot stand and talk to someone or stand in line at a store, or in today's case, waiting for a flu shot, without feeling unsteady, dizzy, and as if my legs will not support me. I have had to sit down mid conversation with people. I have been to my doctor and she does think I have some vertigo but mostly thinks it is my anxiety. I know that my anxiety is bad but I have never had an issue with talking to people, especially co-workers who don't make me nervous. However, now I can't stand and talk. More and more, my days are a struggle because of this dizziness I am getting and the frustration and anxiety that follows. If it is just my anxiety, I guess I have to deal with that, but I feel like there could be another explanation. I feel bad if I keep pestering my doc, but this is really beginning to be debilitating. 

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  • Posted

    I guess I would ask you, if you were comfortable in your own home, standing and talking with a family member- basically recreating the conditions in a comfortable environment- do you feel the same way? Anxiety is weird- you don't have to feel anxious for an attack to come on. Plus, while in a public situation, there is a level of vigilance, or "being on" that can lead to an revving up of adrenaline. Did u try anti anxiety meds in the past and did they work? If so, you may want to try them or another again.

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  • Posted

    That's tough. I have menieres and it's a push and pull. The menieres causes vertigo and dizziness. The vertigo and dizziness causes alot of axiety and panic if I think I am getting a episode. The anxiety and panic along with stress makes the vertigo and dizziness much worse. I never know which is the cause or what's making the vertigo and dizziness so bad. It can be very bad.

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  • Posted

    Another thought- you mention feeling dizzy when standing and talking to coworkers. Is it a feeling of imbalance or swaying vs the sensation of the room spinning? (Persistent Postural Perceptive Dizziness- possibly)

    When you mention talking with coworkers, is it just that you get uncomfortable or anxious because of the dizzy feeling? Or do you have trouble finding words and/or brainfog? (Atypical migraine possibly)

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    • Posted

      Katie, Waffalobill made a good point that many times anxiety naturally comes along with other causes of dizziness and can complicate the diagnosis. Getting to the root cause can be difficult. Dizziness is a general term that includes vertigo, imbalance, lightheadedness, rocking, swaying etc. Characteristics of the type of dizziness, what triggers it, other symptoms, etc, can help lead to the diagnosis. Two things come to mind with your symptoms- Persistent Postural Perceptive Dizziness (has connection with anxiety) and migraine associated dizziness. If you have a history of regular migraine, it can change to be other symptoms without the typical pain. That said, there are other symptoms that can be present like brain fog, neck or head pressure, visual symptoms, and hearing symptoms like ringing in ear. Maybe look up both these conditions and also talk to your Dr about them. They both have treatment.
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    • Posted

      I do get migraines but they are very connected to my cycles and I know the triggers for those. I do have the brain fog, head pressure, and visual symptoms. I think I just need to be persistent with my doc and not worry if she thinks I'm bonkers! wink

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    • Posted

      Boy, Persistent Postural Perceptive Dizziness sounds a lot like what I am experiencing. I will definitely do more research on that. I also spoke with my sister last night. She is a nurse and usually poo poos my issues because she knows about my anxiety, but she thought the imbalance was really interesting and could be something else going on. I have a little hope that it is not just all in my head, but even if it is, we will get to the bottom of it and fix it.
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    • Posted

      Katie, a history of migraine, regardless of known triggers, plus the brainfog and visual symptoms is VERY suggestive of vestibular migraine or MAV. Most Dr's are not familiar with this, and it usually takes a neurologist to know what's going on. I had sporadic, regular migraines most of my life, then got similar symptoms as you at age 45. 2 neuros told me migraine, and I was doubtful. I went to ENT for vestibular testing which was normal. I'm now on migraine preventative, but also have neck spine issues that are complicating things.

      Btw, persistent postural perceptive dizziness can follow or coexist with MAV (migraine associated vertigo or dizziness). I have been told I have both and they overlap. Google "dizzinessandbalance" to find Dr. Hain's site. Then look up migraine. Lots of great information there. Have your sister take a look too. I was originally told anxiety as well. Anxiety is almost always a component of dizziness as it is a natural response. But it's not necessarily the cause. When my dizziness is flared up, it's even at home where I feel "safe".

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