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 An unusual dizziness.. please help
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MagicHands

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2009 :  09:41:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm 24 years old, and struggle with an extreme reluctance to enter relationships, something I've been working on. A month and a half ago I had a morning exercise regimen the day of a hot date, and after a particular exercise in which I roll on my stomach, I suddenly was overcome by dizziness and nausea. The date went great, and the nausea wasn't noticeable but It hardly mattered cause I fell off the face of the earth afterward, suffering with the dizziness.

My doc initially prescribed vertigo meds, they did nothing. I had a neurologist examine me, and also had an MRI scan of my head. Neither found anything wrong. Tell me if I missed an important step.

It's not a vertigo-like "world spinning" dizziness. It's a feeling more like someone having shaken your head left and right for 10 minutes and and you haven't quite returned to normal.. I still feel that back and forth dizzy sensation, and often accompanied by nausea.

I don't want to plan my life around this... But I have pressure from my parents and myself to move things forward, and I don't know if I can handle it. The dizziness makes everything, even watching a movie, really tedious.

Similar experiences? Suggestions?

J

Peg

USA
284 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2009 :  10:08:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's important that you have had a medical exam and testing. That was an important step, to rule out serious medical issues.

Have you read any of Dr. Sarno's books?

If not, do so. If you can't read due to the vertigo, get an audio of one of them.

Do some writing about your feelings/worries about relationships. Write about any and all stresses in your life, including the pressure from your parents.

Follow the advice in the TMS books.

Search dizzyness on this forum. You can also find some good information on the tms wiki ( http://tmswiki.wetpaint.com/)

Here's a link to dizzyness success stories in the wiki:
http://tmswiki.wetpaint.com/page/Vertigo+%26+Dizziness

Good luck.
Best,
Peg

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei
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Dave

USA
1863 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2009 :  10:13:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You did the right thing by having this checked out. If a full neurology exam and MRI ruled out a serious problem, then it is safe to treat this symptom as TMS.

Dr. Sarno himself experienced this symptom and believes it is part of TMS. Therefore the treatment should be the same as any TMS symptom. The first step is to accept that the symptom is benign and can be safely ignored, and treated as a signal to address underlying psychological issues that you may not be aware of, that are causing the symptom.
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sarita

130 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2009 :  15:20:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
magichands,
i had the same for MONTHS. just the dizziness you describe, always accompanied by nausea. they ruled out stuff just the same way.
do you have a history with anxiety? being overcome by nausea and dizziness...those are panic symptoms. i had that, too. i no longer have it. but it left slowly.
24 and pressure from parents about having a serious relationship? i wonder what makes parents think they can exert pressure on such matters. its your life ONLY.
did you REALLY want to go to the date? feeling what you feel about relationships, at the moment? thats a key clue.
yes do read all of sarno.

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sarita

130 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2009 :  15:22:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i remembered your first sentence "something i've been woring on". did you start working on it because you wanted it, or because people got upset about it? sarno talks about a short tempered person who underwent therapy, became a nice guy and developed pain.
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MagicHands

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2009 :  20:07:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Peg- I have divided mind, I'm enrolled in Sarno's program, in fact I just spoke with him this morning. He said it sounds like possible TMS (But thats what the sarno doll says when you pull its string. Just kidding he he)

Dave- You're right. Though the closer a symptom is to your head the harder it is to ignore. It puts me in a truly bizarre zombie like state sometimes. I'll occasionally get back pain, remind myself that it's benign, and it quickly passes. Dizziness hasn't been as straightforward for me.

sarita- The pressure to date is actually more self imposed. Alot of my pressures are self imposed at this point. You're right in that my desire to do it is really complicated. I'm a nice enough looking guy and have a good personality, women often like me, but they trigger alot of insecurity. I have a huge amount of insecurities anchored to women in general. It's a major catch 22.. Of course I feel the biological urges like any guy, but I need to keep women at arms length at all times. I don't doubt my self improvement quest of the last 4-5 years has contributed TMS. I also have prostate inflammation that makes sex seem impossible now, so go figure.

My parents main sin is that being that they can't understand whats happening or help me, I become a threat to the balance of the household and they think that controlling me is going to fix me

-JJ-

Edited by - MagicHands on 07/07/2009 20:17:42
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sarita

130 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2009 :  05:18:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
hey magichands,

all i can say is that i really relate to your zombie feeling. i got that, after a history of poorly treated anxiety, supressed by antidepressants. other symptoms were arm pain, neck pain, reflux, tiredness etcetc, the list is endless.

its the result of many steps we have taken in life, feelings we have had. and FEAR. our greatest enemy. it takes brains and it is a great relief to understand how we made all this fear, we let it take over, dictate our life.. and how we have the power to gradually reverse the pattern, understand how irrational it is.

even if you have sarno helping you, ultimately ONLY you can heal yourself. guidance is essential, but the thinking, discovering, changing, only you can do it.

sad but true: what we feel is a lonely business. do not be upset your parents can not understand you. only people who go through the same can.

i am sure you heard that before but claire weekes is amazing!

good luck!

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Hillbilly

USA
384 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2009 :  13:58:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Magic,

I had and overcame more than 60 separate symptoms that bombarded me all at once when I got into a period of enormous stress and strain, didn't do what I needed to in order to deal with it sharply and directly, and suffered the most excruciating anxiety all day, every day that is imaginable. My wife asked me one afternoon if I thought I should be hospitalized. No, I said, because I understood that my symptoms were benign, but I still felt terrible and just wanted to be my old self.

Dizziness was the first and last to leave. I called it feeling like I was walking on a ship's deck. I had several MRI's that showed nothing abnormal, and I had the added suspicion of my sister having MS, so I certainly did, but the docs were hiding it from me or were just incompetent and couldn't find it. It is a byproduct of hormonal imbalance that results from autonomic arousal. Simple to understand, hard to ignore. I came very near to fainting many times but didn't. I had to be confronted with the benign nature of my problems over and over again until they sank in. That I could do and must do everything I did before they arrived and not give them a moment's attention.

I think this is best accomplished with the help of someone who has done it. I don't think psychotherapy is warranted unless you have severe personality problems that threaten your ability to function in society. You most likely have plain old garden variety anxiety, and you must learn to accept your symptoms, solve your problems with assertiveness, and learn to relax in order to feel better.

I am not a proponent of drugs either. I was drugged, and they did nothing but allow me to walk through the day without feeling anything, a tough thing when you are a devoted father and husband.

I also think that your description of when and how the symptoms came on is indicative of a deep feeling of inadaquecy that plagues you, especially with regard to the opposite sex. This could stem from poor self-image related to your looks, your body image, or a million other things. Point is that it doesn't matter. Your negative thoughts about yourself are part of the human condition, as universal as cuts and bruises.

I have a suggestion for you. Go do what you did before you had these symptoms, pay them no mind at all, and if you catch yourself thinking about them or getting anxious about them getting in the way of what you want to do, bring your mind back to what you were doing. This will take some time and practice, but it is doable if you devote yourself to it.

Remember that you have a clean bill of health, that people get this frequently when anxious, and your anxiety has simply stepped up due to pressures of life. This is exactly what happened to me and to countless others.

One word of caution, however: You can endlessly read about anxiety, get second and third and more opinions based upon your reading of the symptoms, dwell upon them, hide from them, and years — even decades — can go by without the slightest change. Don't let this happen to you. Never, ever search the medical sites on the web looking for things about vertigo or dizziness. Never, ever listen to anyone who has this chronically and keeps going back to doctors in an effort to get a relieving diagnosis so that they can save face.

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
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MagicHands

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2009 :  17:27:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hill, thanks for a great post. You have no idea how much I appreciate it, and it gives me great comfort to know that this is something that's not only benign, that it can be overcome. I sometimes get tempted to think "if only "x" wasnt the case, I would be going through life with flying colors", when the truth is that as far as my body is concerned, this symptom is necessary. I'm encountering enormous resistance to certain aspects of my daily life in a way I can't logically understand or justify. Of course.. Logic has very little to do with it.

So the questions are:

beyond writing, rereading the sarno books, and acknowledging the benign nature of the symptoms, should I be doing something I'm not? Is there something I need to "let go" of (e.e. dating), or will dripping water hollow out a stone eventually?

Would it be smart to take a big step in my life (i.e. grad school, job or moving out) when action seems to make me suffer more? Will it invalidate the TMS, or drive it into higher gear? Do I just hold off until I wake up one morning and don't feel it, or is it more complicated than that?




quote:
Originally posted by Hillbilly

Magic,

I had and overcame more than 60 separate symptoms that bombarded me all at once when I got into a period of enormous stress and strain, didn't do what I needed to in order to deal with it sharply and directly, and suffered the most excruciating anxiety all day, every day that is imaginable. My wife asked me one afternoon if I thought I should be hospitalized. No, I said, because I understood that my symptoms were benign, but I still felt terrible and just wanted to be my old self.

Dizziness was the first and last to leave. I called it feeling like I was walking on a ship's deck. I had several MRI's that showed nothing abnormal, and I had the added suspicion of my sister having MS, so I certainly did, but the docs were hiding it from me or were just incompetent and couldn't find it. It is a byproduct of hormonal imbalance that results from autonomic arousal. Simple to understand, hard to ignore. I came very near to fainting many times but didn't. I had to be confronted with the benign nature of my problems over and over again until they sank in. That I could do and must do everything I did before they arrived and not give them a moment's attention.

I think this is best accomplished with the help of someone who has done it. I don't think psychotherapy is warranted unless you have severe personality problems that threaten your ability to function in society. You most likely have plain old garden variety anxiety, and you must learn to accept your symptoms, solve your problems with assertiveness, and learn to relax in order to feel better.

I am not a proponent of drugs either. I was drugged, and they did nothing but allow me to walk through the day without feeling anything, a tough thing when you are a devoted father and husband.

I also think that your description of when and how the symptoms came on is indicative of a deep feeling of inadaquecy that plagues you, especially with regard to the opposite sex. This could stem from poor self-image related to your looks, your body image, or a million other things. Point is that it doesn't matter. Your negative thoughts about yourself are part of the human condition, as universal as cuts and bruises.

I have a suggestion for you. Go do what you did before you had these symptoms, pay them no mind at all, and if you catch yourself thinking about them or getting anxious about them getting in the way of what you want to do, bring your mind back to what you were doing. This will take some time and practice, but it is doable if you devote yourself to it.

Remember that you have a clean bill of health, that people get this frequently when anxious, and your anxiety has simply stepped up due to pressures of life. This is exactly what happened to me and to countless others.

One word of caution, however: You can endlessly read about anxiety, get second and third and more opinions based upon your reading of the symptoms, dwell upon them, hide from them, and years — even decades — can go by without the slightest change. Don't let this happen to you. Never, ever search the medical sites on the web looking for things about vertigo or dizziness. Never, ever listen to anyone who has this chronically and keeps going back to doctors in an effort to get a relieving diagnosis so that they can save face.

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Hillbilly

USA
384 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2009 :  23:58:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You have a good handle on the "if only" BS already. If only you weren't so uptight, you wouldn't have gotten the dizziness. Life wasn't a bowl of cherries before the dizziness, and that is the message it is sending to you very loudly and clearly. So, it is up to you now to decipher the message. What must you do to be able to live with yourself? I can't advise on this. It takes a careful, thoughtful study of the options. I was at that crossroads over 20 years ago and made many wrong turns but didn't know it at the time. Pity that life must be lived forward and understood in reverse. I'm still making mistakes hourly.

But one thing I noticed as a pattern that ran through my life was a sense of longing to understand big, important questions, and seeing most people I met and hung around with as surface-dwellers. This was a problem that I had to solve. I had to surround myself with people that kept me on my path, that were honest with me about the BS I tried to get by with. I will see one of them tomorrow, and I can't tell you how happy I am with him and his kids around.

I have to tell you that I am not a proponent of Sarno's. I read his books and saw lots of anecdotal evidence that he was curing people like magic, only to realize that most of them are temporary. I don't believe in the Freudian nonsense of the unconscious rage at all, and have had spirited debates about this right here on this forum. If I were to advise someone newly in the grips of a stress-related illness, I would tell them to get Claire Weekes' book, Hope and Help For Your Nerves and read the first few chapters to understand what she is telling you about your nervous system, mood, nervous responses, and the various symptoms (dizziness is perhaps the most common). If you aren't having panic attacks or haven't become agoraphobic, which is the main thrust of her work, she will still leave you with the idea that acceptance is THE KEY to recovery.

You got your symptoms because of negative thinking and emotions. Then what do you do about the symptoms except add more negative thinking? That's it in a nutshell. Gotta reverse the process in order to get better. Take the dizzies with you wherever you go and pay it as little attention as you can and get through the day. You will see that it isn't a solid thing, that it waxes and wanes depending on your mood. Organic illnesses don't behave that way. You're fine. Take heart, and even if you make a few mistakes here and there you won't die.

Here's a good start: What are you resisting? Avoiding? These behaviors are indications that you don't want to get the FEELINGS associated with the behaviors. Example: I forgot my speech once in front of a bunch of people, my family, my girlfriend, lots of important people in my life. It ruined high school graduation for me because I was still sulking about it a week later. Why do people avoid asking for a raise? What about telling your parents that you want to do something that isn't exactly in line with their idea of your future? There is a decision made that you would rather live with the frustration of their non-acceptance of your will than feel the way you do when you talk to your parents. Sounds crazy, but it's 100% true.

So, go do it. Go do everything. The dizziness is telling you to be careful because you are vulnerable here. But what are you guarding against except feelings?

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Dor

67 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2009 :  04:41:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bravo Hillbilly and bravo to the recommendation of Claire Weeks - still the finest books out there for anxiety, fears, depression, etc. She was a blessing and remains so, and a pioneer in her field who is still absolutely right on. I agree with you that we most often do not need to delve into all the deep corners of our minds, we just need to understand first, accept second, and learn to "float". I found her books 30 years ago at a time when no one understood and what a relief. And you are right, there is no instant cure. I would like to say that life was fine from that point on, but that is simply not true. Life throws things at us, stress happens, bodies and minds get worn down once again. Back then to Dr. Weeks we go.

Let me also suggest looking up Jim Folk. He has a great website. You can join for a very minimal fee. It is the most excellent and extensive website I have found on anxiety and his thoughts are very closely tied to Dr. Weeks. He has a section on feeling dizzy with an explanation for why it happens and how to help it. It can be found under the symtoms section. Counseling is offered from his site, however there is wealth of information here from a man who lived through it and no pressure to use the counseling service or pay any extra.

Dor
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MagicHands

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2009 :  08:06:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In my first medical exam by my general doctor, he did that test where he jerks you back and forth. It wasn't triggering anything in particular (that I wasn't feeling already). Plus, what I have doesn't sound like traditional vertigo. I have more of an "off balanc" than a "room spinning". He prescribed a small dose of vertigo meds, which I took for 3-4 days and they did nothing.

I suppose that ruled out BPPV? Though the fact that it started during that exercise definitely points in that direction.

There also SEEMS to be a correlation between thoughts and symptoms... Like a thought pattern that may have made me feel depression or despair 2 months ago might cause dizziness now instead.


quote:
Originally posted by alexis

In the ruling out category, BPPV is often triggered by an act of rolling or moving in an unusual way. I would assume this was probably the first thing the doctors considered as it's so common. Usually symptoms resolve within a week though (but not always):

http://www.american-hearing.org/disorders/bppv/bppv.html

I've known one person who had it for a few days and another who had recurrent episodes. This is pretty non-controversial that the condition exists, although individual diagnoses may be subject to error. True BPPV is not TMS. Yours meets the right trigger but seems unusually long in duration. I don't know if it shows on an MRI -- did your doctor say? I think there are some variants that might not.

Otherwise sounds a bit like disembarkment syndrome (Mal de débarquement), which could be TMS but given the usual onset scenario I'm not sure. Certainly would be nice if it were since I don't think they have anything else for treatment. I believe it resolves, but slowly.

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Blues

2 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2009 :  13:13:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Did you get a balance test at all? I don't know if these are all the same, but they will blow hot and cold air into your ears to trigger symptoms. They look at your eye movement to measure a reaction. This allows them to see if their is something going on in either the left or right ear.
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sarita

130 Posts

Posted - 07/12/2009 :  16:02:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i have to say it once more...i am with dor on this one: for people with anxiety, claire weekes is INVALUABLE. i read many crappy books, "modern" ones on anxiety before..."a combination of antidepressants and psychotherapy will help you control it" blabla. none touched the subject HEALING! same sad management as with pain, thats why it becomes so chronic and , to quote sarno, the epidemic flourishes...
i ordered abraham low as well, as u recommended hillbilly. it should arrive soon.
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