Dizziness, vertigo and fear – when the psyche loses its hold

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The whole world turns suddenly, the ground sways and you seem to lose your footing. Dizziness and vertigo often feel very threatening to those affected and causes strong feelings of anxiety. And even if the vertigo has subsided again, this fear often remains.

Usually, fear is intended to warn of impending dangers and is triggered by the release of certain messenger substances in the brain. So anxiety is part of a general stress response of the body and is associated with a rise in blood pressure and pulse, dry mouth and with strong internal tension. However, this often causes dizziness and vertigo, as if the ground under one’s feet were pulled away and one loses his grip. There is even a separate diagnosis for this anxiety-related dizziness: phobic dizziness.

Dizziness is so scary and fear leads to dizziness. A classic vicious circle that does not always make it easy to break free. In addition to treating the cause of dizziness, the fight against anxiety also plays an important role.

Fear arises above all when one has no opportunity to influence the events and feels victim of his illness. The first step is therefore the detailed explanation: Only if one knows as much as possible about his illness, one can deal rationally with its complaints and influence it positively. The second step is the earliest possible movement: A posture to avoid the dizziness worsens it increasingly and leads to ever new fears, while active movement trains the balance systems in the body and the complaints improved sustainably. A targeted vertigo or balance training can be very helpful here.

If these simple measures are not enough, behavioral therapy may be required. In the process, one learns to recognize the subconscious attitudes and behaviors that lead to fear and dizziness, and gradually to replace them with useful ones.

Information on other types of dizziness and treatment options can be found here.

Author: Dr. med. Uso Walter (ENT specialist)