Day: January 11, 2018

Anxiety, Panic and Vertigo

Anxiety, Panic and Vertigo

Hello! Thanks for stopping by. I want to say right off how much I appreciate my followers and readers. I enjoy writing my blogs, and it really means a lot to me that you continue to read. And to new readers, WELCOME! Enjoy today’s topic and check out some of my previous blogs.

It’s funny how my topics seem to just pop into my mind at times. Today, I was watching the news (oh dear, should I really do that?!?!), and was watching 3 people stand at a podium, 1 in the middle and 2 on either side. I immediately thought, “How can those people stand up there without anything to hold on to? Don’t they feel like they are going to topple over because they are dizzy?  I know I would!” I am always a bit envious of people who can stand up in front of people to speak, or literally, just to stand!

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Approximately 28 years ago (I am now 51), I was living as a single young woman, working as a secretary in a healthcare consortium and life was good, I lived on my own with my cats and all in all couldn’t complain about life. One day I was sitting at my desk when a HUGE bout of dizziness (vertigo) just bowled me over in my seat. I didn’t know what was happening and I felt terrible!! My coworkers had me lay down, got me some water and after about a half hour I felt fine. Little did I know this was the first noticeable onset symptom of mental illness. I had my brain scanned, visited various sorts of doctors with no luck. These episodes of vertigo would just hit me without notice and I couldn’t determine a pattern and it was very upsetting living with the unknown. It wasn’t until TWO years later that my brother’s girlfriend witnessed what was happening and she said it was a panic attack. WHAT? NO, that’s not me, I’m just dizzy!

Well, she was right!!

It took a couple of years trying to get better on my own (25 years ago you just didn’t talk about mental illness like you can now…We still live in stigma, but it’s getting better). Long story short I went to see a psychiatrist. Wow, I felt REALLY crazy!!! I didn’t like him at all but he prescribed me an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication. Thankfully, it helped and the horrid feelings of vertigo and loss of self became a bit easier to live with.

My life and my mental illness have traveled quite the journey over these past 25 years. If you have lived with mental illness for a long period of time, you know that it can be a challenging journey. If you are newly diagnosed, you will learn your own journey and with the right kind of help, you WILL be able to manage.

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So, despite all of this, guess what? I STILL HAVE VERTIGO!!! I will not stand in front of a group of people, nor do I like even standing in say a small group of people. My mind gets a bit stressed and I feel like I could just teeter-totter with vertigo and fall on the ground.  I imagine this is a long term effect of my anxiety. I rarely have full-blown panic attacks anymore, but anxiety seems to live with me and reminds me from time to time that he can cause me real problems (anxiety has to be a “he” in my mind!!).

How does anxiety or panic manifest within you?  I would love to have you share some tips on you manage  your anxiety.

Take Care

Jenny

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