Stress, anxiety, vertigo and dizziness.

If you suffer from any sort of balance disorder, you’ve probably come to realize that stress plays a big part in how good (or bad) you feel. For me personally, it’s taken me quite a while to realize the intimate connection between these two forces, but once I came to recognize it, it allowed me to better control when and where I feel dizzy.

As I said in my last post, I took a great vacation, and was able to unwind for a few days. I felt tremendously better (I did have my usual daily dizziness, but it was actually much better than usual). The lack of work-related stress really seemed to have a positive impact on how I felt.

I find exercise has the same stress-relieving effect — and it usually lasts for several hours after I exercise. And alcohol, while it certainly relieves stress in the short term, actually makes me feel more stressed in the longer term.

So while alcohol may be a quick fix for stress, it has a negative cumulative effect, and can often leave you feeling more stressed later in the day or the next day. Not to mention that alcohol is usually a motivation-killer as well.

As I’ve told myself many times, I need to avoid alcohol more, eat better and exercise more regularly (good advice for anyone, balance disorder or not). But for me (and anyone else with balance issues), the effects of not doing these things are not just felt in 10 or 20 years, but instead almost immediately.

9 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. diana munzer

    thanks for this. I was glad to read that you think you are able to relieve the dizziness with stress reduction. I am going to go to the country and veg out. Maybe it will help
    thanks again

  2. Abby

    HI Vertigo-guy,

    I “bing”ed “how to help daily vertigo” or something along those lines and your blog came up. I am approaching 24, and I am suffering from severe anxiety about vertigo. It all started when I was 20 and going through big changes in my life, I got a bout of vertigo for the first time and it really shook me up. I healed and life went on. Then, 6 months later I got vertigo so bad, that I had to go to rehab. Since then I have been a nut case. I have such bad anxiety about the FEAR of getting vertigo again, that I always feel like I have vertigo (swaying, minor dizziness). It will hit me at target, at work some times, when I am sitting at a stoplight, etc. My doctor put me on Lexapro, and then later on, Prestique. They made me feel less anxious, but the side-effects of the medication were terrible, so I ended up going off of them. I am clean off any medication and want to remain that way, but no one seems to understand how scary and uncertain I feel 5 days out of the week. It will hit me out of nowhere. SO my thing is, do I really have vertigo spells every day, or is my anxiety making me think I am have a spell??????? This is the worst. I need help.

  3. Hi
    I have just read your piece on vertigo/stress.
    Believe me when I say that what you are describing is all down to stress and anxiety. Fear can be very crippling for some people and can stop you from achieving your goals in life.
    I suggest you get a good therapist and work through these issues, I am a counsellor/Therapist and Hypnotherapist and work with many people who come to me with the same problems you present with.
    FEAR is you biggest problem my dear, it is controlling you so you need to tke control back in your life.
    I understand all you are describing because at a certain time in my life fear controlled me on a daily basis.
    At certain times it can still creep in only if I allow it!
    Isuggest you find the right theraputic tools to work through this, you are not unique in this.
    I also ask you to take a look into my website you may find info that will support you.
    I wish you all the best in the near future!
    Stay calm and try to get grounded because it sounds like you spend most of the time in your head analizing!
    Christine xx

  4. daphne

    My sensation of dizziness/vertigo, imbalance seems to have been triggered by a trip away from my home and what is most known to me, just a year after my father died.
    I´m 27 yrs, a musician and I came to paris for 4 months… I`m one week away of returning home and since the first weeks of my stay here I began with a feeling of dizziness, vertigo that hasn´t gone away… I started feeling it at the apartment in front of the computer, thought it was nothing, then after some days i had a panic attack or something and nearly fainted at the metro… then i started feeling it more often…
    i´ve always been anxious and do cognitive therapy back home, somewhat on the hypocondriac side at times… I´ve done blood tests here in paris oto.neurologist after a month and something of first symptoms (fukuda test, tandem gait, standing with eyes closed, fingers to nose, my pupils checked, postural, inner ear and eyes motricy all seem normal, no nystagmus or ataxia, he said he found me more than anything stressed) , MRI, babinsky test, blood pressure normal. And i still feel dizzy and when i walk a subjective feeling of not being well balanced. I still walk, ride bike, play the drums and sing, go in the bus or metro and don´t feel motion sickness…
    So I search non stop the internet believing i have something wrong, that this can´t just be anxiety, evethough i know of a lot of cases that can be just that and i don´t underestimate the power of my mind. Having experienced the symptoms for so long (it´s gonna be 4 months)… I search forums of multiple sclerosis and think I have that.. and with the symptoms not going away i began to have trouble sleeping and became nervous, so i started taking bromazepan to have some sleep at night and freak out less… it´s been difficult i must say, would love some support..or any opinion about how to proceed…

  5. Mrs. Aruna

    I had a vertigo when i got up in the morning one day. The ENT doctor did testing but found nothing abnormal in the test. He gave me Cinzan and Stematil. I do not feel vertigo now but when i move my head i feel very peculiar and in fact i am more scared. When i get up in the morning i feel a little somehow for 10 minutes. The doc says that sensation will wean off by itself and it is more mind related. Now the doc has given me a relaxant and according to him it is more mind related. The episode of vertigo was there only once and than again while i am in that particular position but that has weaned off now. I feel some how behind the ears but he says it is mind related. He has told to divert myself. There were no abnormalities in the Audiogram test. The test was 100% normal. Hearing was perfect all times.

  6. Sia

    Hi, I have been experiencing some severe bouts of dizziness. It started last Sunday and it has continued for one week straight. Let me just say that I took some malaria medication(Larium) almost two weeks ago and one of the side effects is dizziness vertigo. I’ve gone to a dr and though she was not familiar with the drug, she gave me Dramamine which I have been taking (25mg) every 6 hrs and there’s is no relief. I’ve begun to double and even triple the dosage yet still no relief. She checked my ear and found no sign of I infection.

    I feel like I’m on a bad ride and can’t get off. I feel that this is a bad case of vertigo and want to know what meds can be prescribed for this. I don’t want to go another day feeling like this!

  7. Hi Sia — I’m sorry to hear that you’re dealing with dizziness and vertigo. I also find that Dramamine isn’t much help for my dizziness. There are two medications you may want to talk to your doctor about: betahistine hydrochloride (also known as Serc) and lorazepam (also known as Ativan).

    Serc seems to be helpful for inner ear-related vertigo, but in my case, it was not helpful at all. The only medication I find helps with my dizziness is lorazepam (and I take a very low dose of it, only 0.5 mg seems to help me to feel a bit better, but it’s very short-lived — I’d say 5-8 hours).

  8. G

    Hi Sia and Daphne,

    I’m going through the same exact thing. Ever since I arrived from NYC (went back home for a week), I’ve had short, but torturous bouts with lightheadedness and vertigo/dizziness. I swear the Internet is the worst for symptoms… vertigo relates to EVERYTHING.

    E-mail me at to discuss more? I’d be grateful to correspond with those with the same experience. 2 weeks so far for me…

  9. felix Etan


Reply to “Stress, anxiety, vertigo and dizziness.”