Chronic Subjective Dizziness & Prozac - advice needed.

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hi there, 

so after numerous blood tests, an MRI scan and an ECG I have been told by an Audiology therapist that my three tough years of constant dizziness, blurred vision and cotton wool head could be down to Chronic Subjective Dizziness i.e. there could have been a problem in the inner ear a while back and now my brain is finding it hard to revert back?!

Now as a 31 year old, busy female I find this condition odd, extremely frustrating and exhausting. I look ok but feel like a space cadet. As you can imagine this is often hard to explain to colleagues, friends and loved ones. 

So what do you do for such a strange condition? Well I have been put forward for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and I am now on day 24 of 20mg of Prozac. The latter is supposed to relax my body enough so that in time my dizziness will repair itself. 

My question is has anyone heard of this and have they had much joy with Prozac? Currently I feel like a zombie...a dizzy one at that but I'm hoping I'm still in the adjustment period?

All advice welcome.  

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  • Posted

    I saw one guy on here, DizzyDarren, that took Prozac and saw an improvement in his condition.  As best as I recall he had been suffering for 6 years.  The Prozac in my mind will only treat the anxiety and OCD associated with being fixated on the dizziness as well as the CBT.  Have you done any vestibular exercise therapy during the three years?  I would recommend a Otoneurologist to provide a definitive diagnosis.  They only deal with inner ear isues.  From what I have read about Chronic Subjective Dizziness is as you state, it is the diagnosis when they cannot find anything else.  At 31 age is definitely on your side for recovery.  It just seems that you need to be seeing the right specialist.  Are you in the UK?
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  • Posted

    Hi Debs - I was put on prozac (fluoxetine) and it was brilliant.  However it stopped being so good and I was swapped onto duloxetine which is still good.  Its an anti depressant.  It def helps with the anxiety about all this.  I was offered CBT when I was really struggling in the first year of this, but I got better about it by the time the appointment came around so I never did it.  Not heard of chronic subjective dizziness. I dont think anyone really knows whats wrong with us.  I keep thinking if I die they could do an autopsy and find out what it is once and for all - wouldnt do me a lot of good by then though !!!  Just have to keep going and trying to sort ourselves out. 
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  • Posted

    Have you ever heard of or been tested for postural orthostatic tachycardia (pots) I ve just been diagnosed and being treated for that after 2 long hard years when I thought I was having all sorts of problems inc panic attacks. Turns out to be "pots" and i feel better after 3 weeks than I have done for 2 years! x
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    • Posted

      Hi Lyn hope you're well and coping ok with this. I did think this could be the case and although my heart does feel a bit funny at times and I have quite low blood pressure but it doesn't seem to be POTS x
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  • Posted

    I am dealing with similar symptoms and I am wondering what tests did your doctor Do to find this out?

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  • Posted

    Hi, Grab a coffee its a long reply lol!

    I was diagnosed at 43 with CSD back in June 2013 after a bacterial infection which caused sudden dizziness. It was flicking a switch for me - all fine until about 2pm on May 26th 2013. My brain got used to being dizzy so when the infection cleared up my brain didn't. VRT? I spent 12 months doing Vestibular Rehabilitation Training with a physiotherapist weekly which in essence pushes you to do small exercises to trigger dizziness and then you stop. I still do the exercises now at home daily.  It's an incredibly slow process but it has improved. There is alot of research that shows VRT makes a difference. Symptoms? I found that I couldnt understand what people were saying unless I looked at their mouths, Lights and noise make me extreamly dizzy, nauseous and disorientated. I couldnt work out how to walk or move my arms. With VRT it improved and now I wear dark sunglasses to cut out the light and ear plugs to cut out noise, the floor bobs up and down to me and my perecption of depth is off kilter. I wear sea bands to take the edge off the sickness. Medication?  I tried 4 types of medication but am now meds free- Venlefaxine, Nortriptyline, Amitriptyline and Pregabalin  but the side effects outweighed any perecived benefits. Some people see great improvement and can get back to themselves around 80% with medication - many on Venlefaxine (Effexor in the USA) - you just need to take time to try them - and find the right doseage. Topiramate is another one people try. Whilst some are antidepressants they are not used to treat depression but relax the "flight" element in the brain. When I was on them I would say it was like looking at things in black and white rather than technicolour and for many teh drugs help the anxiety which fuels the symptoms. It takes on average three months to see if there is any benefit and tapering off them takes time if you decide to try another drug. CBT? I  did 13 sessions of CBT to get over the fact that I felt so guilty that I had literally changed my family overnight. Honestly? I thought it was a pile of old croc as I am a very black and white type of person and all the "find your different branch of life" and "mindfulness" didn't really stick with me - ultimately I wanted the old me back and that won't change. But I did learn one important thing - its ok to be ill and I would have to adjust my lifestyle to adapt to the symptoms (not cure them). I am off work but currently on a return to work plan stage 5. Support?  I am part of an online group on facebook which I would highly recomend you join. Many people in the group are in the USA were diagnosed with CBT and some were misdiagnosed and have similar symptoms as they overlap - MAV, Menieres, Spinal issues and neck problems all of which can trigger symptoms. Mine are simple. My brain cannot cope with too much stimuli at once. Ive never suffered from anxiety but initially I thought I had had a stroke but after 3 MRI scans showed otherwise, my anxiety levels dropped. Anxiety will simply exasperate your symptoms and many of us use Tai Chi, acupuncture, massage as a means to stay relaxed. Having CBT can in itself cause further problems for you with posture (for fear of falling you tend to stoop) which then creates a vicious circle of dizziness. You get frustrated at not being able to do what you did before and that triggers more dizziness too. Unfortunately you do need to slow down and that is the hardest thing to accept. If you don't it simply creates more problems. Family and friends? Friends and family find it hard to understand. They cannot see how hard it is to function daily - feeling disorientated and vunerable daily is not fun - but it should improve with time. It has for many of us! Here are the links to the closed facebook group - theres also a forum with a whole host of research papers that we all look for. Some are with the Mayo Clinic in the USA which is high up on research. 

    Facebook group name: Chronic Subjective Dizziness (CSD)/Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness

    Forum link : http://chronicdizziness.freeforums.net/

    Hope to see you on the group! Dont give up. 

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  • Posted

    Oh my, so happy I found this thread!  I a, a 28 year old female who first started experiencing the strange dizziness that's constant, that all of you seem to experience as well.  It's  such a relief to know that I'm not crazy and not suffering all my Own! This is a real thing!  I had an MrI, all the dizziness tests the local ENT offered and yet nothing, everyone told me it was just anxiety....I'm hoping I can take this new found info to a dr for some kind of possible new relief. Thanks for starting this Thread! 
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