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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 10/10/2007 11:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,

I was here only briefly earlier this year after having had a couple of panic attacks and continuing anxiety. I'm happy to report that things got much better for quite a while! New things are coming up now, and I'm a little confused (or a LOT!) what's going on.

So I had a couple of panic attacks and lingering anxiety in Dec/Jan that started after I woke up with severe vertigo. The vertigo went away quickly, but I felt constantly slightly nauseous, off-balance... just horrible all around. Was fighting anxiety the whole time. Dr diagnosed me with anxiety, disregarded the vertigo part completely. eyes I took 0.25 xanax as needed when I started feeling exceptionally bad. Everything sort of disappeared as time went by. The nausea, the off-balance feeling, the anxiety. Occasionally I still felt bad and took my xanax but that rarely happened more than once or twice a month.

The vertigo has been recurring once a month (guess what time of the month! lol) but the other symptoms pretty much haven't been. This summer the anxiety returned, along with the nausea and off-balance feeling. Kept going to different Drs and eventually one of them (a vestibular rehab therapist) caught me when I had one of my acute vertigo attacks. Finally got a diagnosis of BPPV. The lingering effects - nausea, off-balance feeling, funny visual sensations: all related to my vestibular problem. The anxiety is a direct result.

But now things are getting a little worrisome. Ever since the diagnosis a month ago, the anxiety has been coming back more and more often. I have 2-4 days a week I feel bad enough to have to take xanax to keep from going into panic attack mode. Now, the test she did to diagnose me was absolutely horrible. My whole body was shaking for half an hour afterwards and I broke down crying once I finally got out of her office. I dreaded the next appointment (a week later). Had to take xanax just to make it there without falling apart.

I can't seem to handle any emotional stress at all anymore (work stress is ok). I have to fight back tears a lot now, sometimes almost randomly. I start thinking about this and want to cry. I've never been a person to cry a lot or easily. sad

My appetite is shot. Most of the time this past month, I have to make myself eat and finish the meal. I don't enjoy the food at all, no matter what it is, and I love eating usually. :/

The thing is that my anxiety has ALWAYS been related to vestibular symptoms. As soon as the motion sick feeling went away, the anxiety did as well. The past few weeks, I've been doing really well with the vestibular stuff but the anxiety keeps coming back.

I'm not sure what to make of this! Is it possible that the anxiety is just taking on a life of its own and deciding to take up residence completely separately from the ear stuff? I know I can't keep taking xanax like this. But I can't let the anxiety go either because it's making it more difficult to fix my ear problems. It's a vicious cycle. Ear stuff makes anxiety worse, anxiety makes ear stuff worse, etc etc. I don't know what to do. sad

Sorry for the long post. :(

On the side... the kind of ironic part is that many (including me!) wish there was a physical problem that's causing the anxiety. It turned out to be the case for me, though I'm sure I'm predisposed to anxiety. The bad thing is that the physical problem is just as difficult to deal with as the anxiety - and there's no easy cure or fix, or even a complete understanding of it. Ear stuff is sort of like anxiety.. you diagnose by excluding other things. Woohoo... eyes And of course, there's no quick fix. It can take YEARS to get rid of it completely. It's emotionally draining.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/10/2007 11:58 AM (GMT -6)   

Hello and I am sorry that you having the anxiety problem.

I am not sure that I would agree 100% with the physical vestibular problems causing the anxiety.  I believe the physical sx of vertigo is caused by a vestibular disorder.

The ansiety is your reaction to anticipating or being ill. You posted you take Xanax before you go to the physician is why I am  thinking the anxiety is an issue of it's own.

You may do well with seeing a therapist to help you learn to deal with the anxiety.  If you have the Xanax, it was prescribed by your physician and you need to use it, don't beat yourself up for using it. Consider it a necessity at the time you need it to deal with the anxiety.

We all handle our anxiety in different ways and I hope this gives you some ideas on what you might try.  Bless You.


Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression 
"If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” 
~Rosalyn Carter


Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 10/10/2007 12:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I was just thinking that you might want to look into considering an SSRI unless you're already on one. I'm sorry you're feeling this way.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 10/10/2007 1:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the replies!

Kitt -

I've never had anxiety prior to my vestibular problems. The actual vertigo attack doesn't get me anxious anymore, I know how to deal with that part. The motion sick feeling that follows does make me feel very anxious, especially the nausea. That really gets me. I always attributed the motion sickness (nausea, off-feeling) to anxiety, not my ear thing, but I was told that it's indeed the vestibular issue causing it. Feeling that way does make me anxious though. They're definitely related. It's just *so far* been: vestibular problem -> anxiety. No (noticeable) vestibular problem, no anxiety.

But that's changed since my appointment where she diagnosed me. I rarely feel nauseous anymore (been doing exercises to retrain my brain to compensate for the inner ear issues and they do seem to help.) But now the anxiety is acting up all on its own. I didn't have to take xanax to go see her before (had 3 appointments prior to diagnosis). I know I was scared to death to go back to see her. I thought I would get dizzy all over again, and it was so horrible. My stomach still feels queasy just thinking about it.

It almost seems like that day something in me just kind of.. broke. Not sure how to explain it, and it sounds weird when I read it. The last time I felt like this and cried was when the first Dr put me on Lexapro in Jan. I CONSTANTLY felt nauseous, it was much worse than before. Stopped taking it after a week, and almost immediately started feeling much better. And over the next several weeks I recovered almost completely. Coincidentally at that time I started doing things that turn out to be good vestibular rehab exercises so I'm guessing I compensated. Nausea, off-feeling went away. Anxiety with it.

But that's almost what I feel like now again. No noticeable nausea, but every little thing can send me fighting back tears. I have days now when I can't go to sleep. I've lied in bed awake for 2 hours before I finally drifted off. Other days I'm asleep in 5 minutes. Sometimes I feel anxiety coming on out of almost nowhere.

It's scaring me that I'm having to take as much xanax as I have been lately. 25 pills lasted me from Jan - Sept. Now I've gone through 10 in the past 30 days alone. Something just isn't right.

nyliz -

I tried one for a week and it didn't work out for me at all. Also at least some SSRIs aren't recommended for people with vestibular issues because your brain doesn't learn to compensate. Xanax does this too (gets rid of my dizziness when I have it - yay!) but since I only take it occasionally, it's ok. But I need to do something about the anxiety. This can't go on.
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