Ebert Psychological Services
Anxiety, Depression, Vertigo, and Adjustment to Health Issues

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Dizziness and Vertigo

PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGICAL DIZZINESS OR VERTIGO

When vertigo occurs it feels as if your whole world is crashing down. Sometimes you feel as if you're falling to one side and your head cannot be stabilised. The only coping skill you have is to go to bed for a long time and lay there in darkness until the vertigo or spinning reduces. Sometimes people can be left with a terrible headache or migraine and they remain sensitive to noise and light. People feel scared and worry that they might be having a stroke. It is a traumatic event. Sometimes people recover from their first episode quickly and do not consider it ongoing concern. If and when the symptoms occur again people start to worry about it "happening again"; "what's wrong with me"; "I will never be able to live a normal life again". All of these concerns are valid and create anxiety for anyone who has experienced these symptoms. The anxiety in turn reinforces the fear associated with these symptoms occurring again.


When you experience these symptoms is is best to inform your GP so that they can perform some investigations. It is also good to have a review from a Neurologist to assist in making a differential diagnosis. However sometimes a diagnosis is not given as the tests may come back clear. This in itself may be more anxiety provoking for people as they then start to feel that there "is something wrong with me" or "I can't live the rest of my life like this". People then start to withdraw socially and stay at home as to avoid the symptoms being triggered when they're out and then they can't or don't know how to cope. They also withdraw from exercise and have extensive sick leave which is totally understandable.