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Ginag Posted - 12/15/2004 : 13:16:37
I suffer from occasional attacks of extreme vertigo, mostly when I am extremely angry or furious. At other times, I suffer from various degrees of imbalance. I have been through all kinds of mri's and cat scans with no diagnosis. I even had to quit working at a very successful career and stay home for a year and a a half. It was only after I read the 2 books from Dr. Sarno that I was able to have some limited control over my ailment. Before I read his books, I would suffer in bed for at least 3 days after a vertigo attack. Now, when the attacks occur, I'm up and about within a half hour. I have noticed that when someone or something enrages me, that's when I suffer the extreme vertigo attack. Most of the other time, I live with various degrees of imbalance. I assume it is because I am intolerant and extremely passionate about life. I've tried to "chill out" but still can't seem to control what is going on with my problem. I truly have faith in the Sarno Syndrome, which I like to call it. But I just wish having faith was enough to eliminate these attacks. I also know what "hot topics" can trigger a serious attack - but I am helpless to stop their onset. I have only succeeded in cutting short its duration. If anyone can help with insight, I would love it. Gina G
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Back2-It Posted - 04/23/2011 : 06:36:08
Originally posted by Duncan

I realize this thread has not had any attention in a while but I hope I can read something that will help me. I have been dizzy with varying degrees of intensity all day and every day for the last 16 months. I have been checked for everything and the only plausible answer is TMS. I have read Sarno's first book and have been in therapy for a few months now trying to shed light on any tension or emotional upset that my body is responding to. Dizziness has grown but I am more at ease with it as I remind myself that I am in no danger and continue with normal activities which has been a challenge at times.

I have read a few times on this blog that people simply see pain or dizziness as TMS and then it goes away! I would like to have this experience as well but it has not gone that way. Any encouragement or advice is welcome.

Chances are that because you are doing the emotional work of TMS you will have some growth of or increased intensity of symptoms. Sometimes trying too hard can cause its own anxiety, especially when the symptoms don't magically disappear as they sometimes do with a few lucky book readers.

I had some dizziness early on with this, and I notice I still do when extremely anxious.

Should you want another look at dizziness read this small quote from


Dizziness, feeling dizzy or light-headed are common symptoms of stress, fear, and anxiety.

Unfortunately, this symptom often is misdiagnosed and not attributed to stress and anxiety because some doctors don't believe that dizziness is a common symptom of stress and anxiety.

There is more there on the subject, but I don't think I can legally quote more than "fair use". Just gives you more ammo to work the mind and forget the body since you've been through the medical tests.
Duncan Posted - 04/23/2011 : 00:50:26
I realize this thread has not had any attention in a while but I hope I can read something that will help me. I have been dizzy with varying degrees of intensity all day and every day for the last 16 months. I have been checked for everything and the only plausible answer is TMS. I have read Sarno's first book and have been in therapy for a few months now trying to shed light on any tension or emotional upset that my body is responding to. Dizziness has grown but I am more at ease with it as I remind myself that I am in no danger and continue with normal activities which has been a challenge at times.

I have read a few times on this blog that people simply see pain or dizziness as TMS and then it goes away! I would like to have this experience as well but it has not gone that way. Any encouragement or advice is welcome.
Laura Posted - 01/24/2005 : 09:54:40
I brought up this dizziness thread in the hopes that Dizzy Dave will read it. Scrolling through the old posts is enough to make anyone dizzy. Hope you see this, Dave, and that it helps you. I feel your pain.

Good luck!

Laura Posted - 12/20/2004 : 17:52:09
Hey, everyone,

Interesting thing happened to me yesterday. I was at a wedding and it was a stessful event. First of all, my husband's soon to be ex-boss (he doesn't know it yet but my husband is quitting on January 1st, after 20 years of working there) was there. I was really worried I would open my mouth (after two glasses of wine) and say something about the new job (my husband is doing both jobs at present). Then, I go into the ladies room and there is a co-worker's wife, who hasn't seen me since we all went on the trip to Cancun two and a half years ago. This is the famous Cancun trip which started the vertigo/imbalance/rocking problem. I spoke to her for a moment and then walked into the bathroom stall, whereupon I felt a rocking/floating sensation. Whenever I get that feeling, I retrace my thoughts and try to figure out what thought provoked the feeling.

Later in the evening, I was talking to a co-worker of my husband who has some terrible autoimmune disease that is supposedly very rare. He was telling me that he's been to a zillion doctors, all over the country, and no one can figure out what is wrong with him. He told me the doctors told him "it's psychological," however, he has had his thyroid removed and according to my husband "almost died." He now takes some drug that comes from Sweden and he claims it is saving him. The weird thing was, he showed me how everytime he clenches his hands over and over his voice goes out. Bizarre! I said "Is there anyway that could be a learned response, like Pavlov's dogs. Clench your fists and your voice goes out?" He said it is not and that it has something to do with his ciruculation or something but there was something very TMS-like about it. Then, I told him about my ordeal with vertigo since the Cancun trip and I started feeling the rocking sensation again for a few moments.

It just really puzzles me how my thoughts can trigger the sensation of dizziness. I don't get why this happens but I guess I have just trained myself to initiate the feeling from certain thoughts.
Laura Posted - 12/16/2004 : 23:04:26

Yes, Dr. Dubin does do psychotherapy over the phone. In fact, his Beverly Hills office is an 45 minute drive for me (sometimes longer in L.A. traffic!!!) and it was he who actually suggested to me that we continue our psychotherapy sessions via telephone. He is a truly nice man and I only saw him two or three times but I got a lot out of it. I don't know if you have listened to Dr. Schechter's CD set but he does an interview with Don Dubin on those CD's and it's very interesting. When Dr. Schechter was trying to help me find someone to talk to I said "I want the guy you talked to on the CD's." The reason I wanted to see Dr. Dubin is because he himself suffers from TMS and he has treated many of Dr. Schechter's patients. Therefore, I think that gives him a little more advantage over the other psychotherapists.

Do you have his phone number? It's late and I'm a bit tired but if you have trouble getting it I can look it up for you tomorrow.

deer Posted - 12/16/2004 : 22:50:22
Hey Laura, do you know if Dr. Dubin does therapy over the phone?
Laura Posted - 12/16/2004 : 22:46:40

Since our last post, I was remembering something that Dr. Dubin (the psychotherapist Dr. Schechter recommended) told me. When I told him that my TMS manifestation was dizziness, he told me that the dizziness was my psyches way of reminding me that I'm never going to be good enough. He feels it is keeps coming up so that it can fulfill it's "job" so to speak and remind me that I'll never be a good enough wife, mother, daughter, friend or whatever. I just found his take on this whole thing very interesting and would really like to pay him another visit as soon as possible. Just another perspective.

Ginag Posted - 12/16/2004 : 16:55:57
Carol - I am glad to hear that you had success after a 2 year period. I have been suffering for 6 years. The attacks of vertigo have lessened in frequency since I found Dr. Sarno, but the imbalance is a constant. I will admit I have not been rereading his book anymore. I wonder how important that can be. GINA
Laura Posted - 12/16/2004 : 10:00:10

I forgot to mention that the women with MDD had MRI's, ENG's, and every other test known to mankind and all tests came back negative. Also, I remember reading one of the women's posts which said something like "I guess I'm just prone to syndromes." That said it all for me!

Laura Posted - 12/16/2004 : 09:54:46

Wow! I've been posting on this forum for about a half of a year now and it seems like I'm the only one talking about dizziness. It was comforting to read all the other posts about dizziness and see I'm not alone.

I'd like to share with you what happened to me. I've had TMS symptoms as far back as I can remember but never really figured it out that I had it until this past year. About five years ago, I had just turned 40 and was having a tough time dealing with it. I was feeling like my life was over (I know, crazy) because I'd already had my two children and my husband didn't want anymore. I felt like the best of my life was over and I was really not dealing with it well. It was at that time my husband and I took a trip to Montreal (a free company trip) that required us to take six different airplanes, a dinner cruise, and a train ride to Quebec. I should mention that also at this time I had a breast lump and was waiting to see if I needed a lumpectomy to rule out breast cancer. My sister-in-law had died from breast cancer and en route to Montreal we dropped our kids at my brother-in-law's house on the east coast. Just being there for the first time since her death really shook me up.

I don't know when it was on the trip to Montreal but a few days into it, I noticed that every time I leaned forward (to put the seat cover on the toilet!) I felt a rocking sensation and loss of balance. After I got back home to L.A., I went to my doctor and saw the nurse practitioner who looked in my ears and said "You have labrynthitis." She had no idea what I had but you know these HMO's. She said "It will be gone within about three weeks." Three weeks later, it was gone so I assumed she must have been right.

A couple years later there was another trip, this time to Cancun, Mexico. I'd already been to Mexico twice and hated it both times so I really didn't want to go. My husband begged me, saying it would be no fun for him to go alone. I don't know where it was in this trip that I first noticed it but the floaty/dizzy thing returned half way into the trip. The second night there we were taken on a company "booze cruise" to some island. I had one beer and did not enjoy myself (I don't enjoy watching people get really drunk and make fools out of themselves and I was missing our two young daughters). The day after the booze cruise my husband signed us up to go on an adventure with jet skis, wherein you go through this jungle (filled with crocodiles in the water!!!) and get out to the ocean and go snorkeling. He begged me to go and I really didn't want to. I think it was after all this that the dizzy thing started up again.

After I returned home, I didn't even see the doctor because I remembered the last incident and assumed the dizziness would go away. After a couple months of it, I went to an ENT. I saw another ENT after that and another general medical doctor. They all just scratched their heads and didn't know what to make of it.

One day I was on-line looking up "dizziness" and trying to find an answer to my problem. I found a "syndrome" known as "Mal de Debarquement Disorder." I read story after story about people who had been on cruises, sailboats, and airplanes who had not returned to normal. Apparently, there is no known cure and they have no idea why this happens to people. I noticed most of the people (about 99%) were women and that most of them were in their 40's. I remember sitting at my computer crying out loud and saying "No, No," as I read about people who had suffered for upwards of 10 years with no reprieve. My daughters tried to comfort me but I could not be comforted. I decided that since the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong and this diagnosis fit me so well then it must be correct. After all, it had happened to me twice, on vacations.

After two years of suffering with this constant motion, loss of balance feeling, I picked up Mindbody Prescription again and gave it another look. I had read about Dr. Sarno in Andrew Weil's book and I was suffering from tinnitus (another TMS equivalent). I picked up this book and started reading it and I started thinking about how at one time or another I had suffered from many of the things in his book. I'd had irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, TMJ problems (severe), tension headaches, back pain on and off for about 25 years, urinary problems, etc. etc. You name it, I've had it. I saw that dizziness was also a TMS equivalent so I started thinking about all the women, in their 40's, maybe feeling like I did when I turned 40, as if their lives were over and suffering on a hormonal roller coaster ride to hell! I decided that Mal de Debarquement "syndrome" must actually be TMS. I saw a TMS doctor, David Schechter, and I told him my story. I even printed off the internet the endless stories of the women with MDD and showed him how many of them suffered from migraines, fibromyalgia, etc., all TMS equivalents. He examined me and found I was positive for all the tender points along the back that TMS patients typically have. He concluded that I was correct and explained that I needed to think psychological and not physical.

That was this past summer and I have to say, I'm doing much better. I still get dizzy but not as often. Things that used to make me dizzy don't anymore. For instance, I always noticed that when I was rushing into my hair salon and putting on a smock I'd feel dizzy. This past time that I went I realized after I left that for the first time it didn't happen. I was conditioning myself, like Pavlov's dogs, to be dizzy in certain circumstances. When I would go on my five mile walk, the minute I'd get up the street and turn the corner I would get dizzy. Being on the treadmill at the gym would make me dizzy. Now I really work at thinking about what is bothering me and it helps a lot!

I apologize for the long post but there's no quick way to tell the story. Just read and re-read Dr. Sarno's books and I also found Dr. Schechter's CD's to be helpful. At the present time, I'm so stressed out I'm getting multiple symptoms. This morning, for example, I have a horrible tension headache. All last week my back was hurting. I have tension and pain in my shoulders, and yes, I'm getting dizzy spells every day. I figure TMS is a battle I'm going to have to face maybe for the rest of my life.

Good luck to you, Gina, and good health in the new year ahead.
Carol Posted - 12/15/2004 : 17:10:32
I suffered with dizziness and vertigo for at least 2 years before it finally left me in favor of other mindbody symptoms. At that time I had not heard of TMS, but I did have a great suspicion that it was related to stress. My neurologist could find nothing physically wrong to account for the vertigo. He prescribed meclizine for me, and that gave me great relief. Then I stopped worrying about the vertigo and dizziness, and started having migraines and burning mouth instead. Now I have replaced all these things with back and leg pain, which I am fighting hard against.

Last year, after not having vertigo for several years, I had a sudden attach. I immediately started to think about what was upsetting me, and it stopped. It hasn't come back since.

I did not have any neck or shoulder problems along with the vertigo, but I have had them as TMS equivalents since the dizziness and vertigo went away. This TMS is such a nuisance!!!!!!!!! My only suggestion is to continue to try to identify the source of the stress and anger whenever the dizziness strikes.

Best of luck to you!

molomaf Posted - 12/15/2004 : 14:59:09
Dizziness used to be one of my anxiety symptoms. I feared it so much that that's the one symptom I would get the most. Now I know that it was a distraction and what better distraction than one that bothers you the most. I went through MRI's, testing from the ENT(which is awful) and always nothing to show for it. I realized one day that if I just acknowledged it and told it that I wasn't going to fall for it anymore, it disappeared and I never get it anymore. The brain is so cagey to find something so upsetting to distract us with.
Ginag Posted - 12/15/2004 : 14:55:38
Hi Pye, Thanx so much for your feedback. I couldn't believe it when you asked about my neck. When I am most troubled by my dizziness, my head feels way too heavy for my neck to hold up. My neck muscles feel so weak and strained, and I very frequently suffer from stiff neck pain that also generates down to my upper shoulder. My posture seems ok and so is my vision. I am pretty imbalanced most of the time now. I can't dance anymore and find it necessary to lean on someone for support. I sway and may appear to be intoxicated. I've been to many doctors and had many diagnostic tests although nothing like you've had. I guess I'll start researching TOS. Do you find the dizziness turns into extreme vertigo when you are enraged??? I have literally lost all sense of up and down and lost gravity. I'm even afraid to drive anymore. What are you doing to help facilitate a cure for yourself?? Gina G
Tunza Posted - 12/15/2004 : 13:50:52
Hi Gina,

It's great that you've reduced the length of time you get affected by your TMS attacks. Isn't it great to begin to be in control of your own health instead of relying completely on the traditional medical system?

There are other books in addition to Sarno's that can help. Have a look at the TMS-Related Books and Other Resources link on the home page for a list of them.

I have found some of these really helpful in addition to Sarno.

Hope this helps,

TOSPATIENT Posted - 12/15/2004 : 13:50:05
Hi Gina,

My "TMS equivalent" has resulted in vascular thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), a schmancy term for a chronically spasmed neck. Dr. Sarno addresses TOS in his latest book as well, albeit briefly.

My main complain isn't pain so much as regular imbalance, lightheadedness and fatigue. This results from past tensions and anxieties having prepared the environment for spasming, and an acute accident setting it off. My scalene muscles in my neck have spasmed, changed shape, and now lean in on my arteries. My circulatory system is, in turn, adversely affected and I end up with dizziness. I feel better only after lying down for a few minutes to allow for blood to adequately rush back to my head. This isn't me guessing, either: I've had a unique MRI/MRA procedure done at UCLA that confirmed this diagnosis, as well as the vascular compression it causes.

I'm a 33 year old male and this problem started 3 years ago after a slight accident with some medication, which triggered the spasming. Needless to say, I was also in a very stressed time in life around the time of TOS's onset as well. The TOS has only exacerbated the stress, anxiety, tension, fear and anger -- prime fuels for TMS's vicious cycles.

Yet, TOS occurs most frequently in women. Is your posture compromised, either due to weight or other reason? I'm curious if you have any sensations around the base of your neck, or if any of your neck muscles feel tight at all. Do you have any sensations up and down your arms or hands? Eye/vision problems?

Imbalance and lightheadedness often happen with the cerebral artery is affected in some way. This isn't life-threatening, just annoying and understandably scary. I've met others, either online through Yahoo's Rapid Recovery Groups site, or in person, who've beaten TOS and TMS and subsequently gained their balance. I hope to join them, as I hope you will as well.

Please let me know about the above.


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