Two conditions that occur together are known as comorbidities. One comorbidity of balance disorders is anxiety. We explore the relationship between these two conditions below.
The Link Between Balance Disorders & Anxiety
Almost everything about the experience of dizziness and vertigo can cause the sufferer to experience anxiety or panic.
Imagine this: You’re walking down the street when suddenly it feels like you or the world around you is spinning. Maybe you fall to the ground or feel as though you’re about to. Because of the spinning, you may even feel nauseous. And it seems like there’s nothing you can do to make these feelings go away.
Of course, this experience could cause anyone to feel anxious, or even start to panic. If this sounds like you, know that this is a very normal experience for people with balance disorders.
It’s a Vicious Cycle
This experience is scary enough if you experience it once, but if these episodes happen more frequently, you might be too anxious and panicky to leave the house. This is backed by research: One study published in 2017 found that, “50 percent of patients with vestibular disorders may develop anxiety, depression or panic disorders.” To further complicate the problem, another study from 2014 explains, “Anxiety will compromise attentional resources required for complex locomotor tasks,” including balance. In other words, it’s a vicious cycle.
Tips for Managing Anxiety
Some ways you can manage anxiety caused by a balance disorder include:
- There are many therapists and therapeutic styles that can help you manage your anxiety by addressing the underlying causes.
- For some people, anxiety medications can help manage symptoms. Medication is usually prescribed in conjunction with therapy.
- Even if your balance disorder is causing anxiety about exercise, know that there are forms that you can benefit from, like using machines with handlebars like treadmills, ellipticals and exercise bikes, or practicing yoga and tai chi.
- Many people with balance disorders like Meniere’s disease experience relief from practicing meditation. There are several meditation apps that are free if you don’t know where to start.
See a Balance Expert
Of course, if you’re experiencing balance problems, the best thing to do is schedule an appointment with a balance expert.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Mt. Hood ENT & Allergy today.