I’ve been trying to sort out many of the issues I’ve had with balance and anxiety for several years now, as I mentioned in my first post here. Part of the major problem I’ve had though, is that I’ve found it tough to nail down exactly what is caused by what.
I would imagine that this is a phenomenon that is experienced by many people who have an ongoing illness — you start to confuse benign everyday things (like a headache from not sleeping enough, or a lightheaded feeling from being hungry) with more serious symptoms.
For me, being tired or hungry make my balance issues much worse. I have to always ensure to get enough sleep, not skip meals, take my vitamins and not overdo it with caffeine or alcohol (I’ve always loved having a coffee and having a beer, both of which I’ve had to limit severely).
Recently, I decided to sit and down and really think about what was actually wrong. I think I could clearly divide the ongoing issues I’m having into two categories:
1. Fear of acute vertigo returning. Vertigo, if you’ve ever experienced it, is a terrifying experience — one which I’m always afraid is going to return. And since many of my daily symptoms of disequilibrium (it feels like a milder form of vertigo) mimic the feeling right before the onset of acute vertigo, I often worry that the feelings of disequilibrium are actually the acute vertigo returning.
2. The disequilibrium itself. All fear and anxiety aside, the disequilibrium itself is a real tough thing to deal with on a day-to-day basis. It makes it difficult to stare at a screen for a long time, makes it difficult to walk around sometimes, and often interrupts my sleep. Even on days when I don’t feel anxious at all, the disequilibrium is always there.
I find that breaking down what I have to deal with into distinct categories helps me better deal with what feels like an overwhelming set of symptoms sometimes. Lumping things into the ‘anxiety’ and ‘balance’ groupings keeps me from actually getting overwhelmed by what I feel.