Hi! I realize that I'm replying to a post 3 years after it was posted, but as sufferers of GAD/PD/Depression, I am pretty sure that people who are doing a quick search on their symptoms will come across this post (as I did) and perhaps I could provide some vital information/help someone who is going through the same thing as you and I.
I was diagnosed with PD in 2010 after a strain of severe panic attacks. I was subsequently placed on Lexapro for the anxiety, which seemed to help the panic attacks quite a bit; however, I was experiencing rough side effects from the medication and had tapered off of it in 2012. I did great for several months, until I was driving to college and experienced a panic attack while driving. The panic attack left me with severe eye strain/inability to focus my eyes properly and a strange off-balance sensation 24/7. I was unable to walk properly, as it always felt as if I was swaying, and the ground felt extremely soft, as if i was walking on a trampoline. This worsened over the course of several months, and i began to have extreme headaches as if someone was drilling through the center of my skull. The most accurate way to describe the sensation (dizziness/vertigo, off-balance, vision issues) is that it feels as if I was constantly inebriated. One day (in 2013) when it was extremely bad, I forced myself to go to the ER to rule out any physical complications. I was referred to a neurologist who did all sorts of tests and found nothing. He told me that it was my anxiety/stress manifesting through the dizziness/off-balance sensation and prescribed me Effexor XR. It is now June 2017 and I had been taking Effexor for 4 years without ANY off-balance/dizzy symptoms whatsoever. Within 2 weeks of first beginning the medication, all of my panic, anxiety, depression, and the physical symptoms that accompanied them subsided and I finally felt normal again. I had my life back!
Unfortunately, I gained quite a large amount of weight while taking Effexor (I automatically attributed it to the medication, although now I admit that my diet and lack of exercise was horrible) and thought it would be a great idea to taper off of it earlier this year. Just one month ago, I took my last dose of Effexor and while I did have some withdrawal symptoms, I felt ok. Just a couple weeks ago, my eyes began to lose focus and I felt a bit dizzy while my husband and I were at dinner, and for that entire day, my vision/balance was ALL I thought about. Now, I have the extreme balance issues/dizziness again just as I did four years ago. It is horrifying and all I want to do is lay down and cry. This is ALL anxiety-related! My anxiety has crept back since stopping my medication and now I am constantly worrying and focusing on my balance/dizziness so much that I can't even think properly. I no longer want to work, cook dinner, clean, or anything else I love to do. From the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep, my mind is solely focused on my eyesight and balance. It has sent me into about 3 panic attacks just this week.
Anxiety/depression is a STRONG illness that will manifest itself in so many different ways. When I had the dizziness years ago, I was diagnosed with a variety of conditions - BPPV, labyrinthitis, ear infection. It is likely not any of these; it's anxiety!!