Does vertigo make you have anxiety? (+11 Coping techniques)
In this post, we will be answering if vertigo makes you have anxiety. In addition to this, we will see how vertigo and anxiety are related. We will also be discussing the coping strategies that you can use while experiencing anxiety caused by vertigo.
Does vertigo make you have anxiety?
Yes, vertigo makes you have anxiety. However, this is not experienced by everyone who has vertigo. At the same time, high levels of anxiety experienced for a chronic level of time can lead to vertigo in some people.
How does vertigo cause anxiety?
Vertigo and anxiety are positively related to each other. While there are many theories about how these two experiences affect each other, the most accepted one is related to hyperventilation, leading to vertigo which leads to anxiety.
When a person experiences a lot of stress, they naturally increase their breathing rates a lot, leading to hyperventilation. Due to the hyperventilation, the person’s access to oxygen considerably drops.
This causes the body to go into a state of fight or flight while leaving little blood to go to the brain. This leads to feelings of dizziness and vertigo. These experiences can be scary and this eventually leads to anxiety in the person.
- Other than the anxiety, the person may experience many other symptoms as well caused by the vertigo, such as,
- The person may not be able to think properly and may have trouble remembering things and solving problems.
- They are may also experience weakness in their limbs and their body, and may suddenly drop to the floor as a result
- When these attacks increase in their frequency, the person may believe that they are dealing with a serious medical issue. This assumption only increases their feelings of anxiety.
How to deal with anxiety caused by vertigo?
If you have anxiety caused by vertigo, you can use the following coping strategies to calm your nerves. You can use these techniques to directly target your anxiety levels, and also reduce your feelings of vertigo.
Take control of your breathing
The most important thing that affects both vertigo and anxiety is the rate of breathing. Hyper-ventilation for increased breathing rate leads to vertigo and therefore anxiety. So, whenever you feel a vertigo attack coming on, take better control of your breathing.
To make it easier for you, you can try breathing exercises which are focused on slowing down your breathing rate. You can use abdominal breathing, counted breathing and even colorful breathing for this.
There are also numerous devices to control your breathing rate more easily. These devices use smart technology to prompt you to inhale and exhale in a certain rhythm which is bound to reduce your anxiety levels.
Get on the ground
Sometimes vertigo attacks can lead to weakness in the limbs which can cause you to fall. At the same time, sitting on a stable space like the ground or the earth can also help in reducing your vertigo since your body feels more stable and grounded.
If you are not able to sit on the ground, you can even sit in a chair. You can also visualize yourself in a calm and grounded atmosphere like a favorite park, the beach or the yard outside your home for a better experience.
Try exercising more regularly
You can also make lifestyle changes which can reduce the frequency of your vertigo attacks and your anxiety attacks. The best lifestyle change that you can make for the sake of your vertigo and your health in general is regular exercise.
Physical exercise releases happy hormones like serotonin and dopamine which improves your balance, reduces the frequency of vertigo attacks and also decreases the levels of anxiety in your body.
Eat a healthy diet
Your diet also plays a very important role in your experiences with vertigo and also your mental ability to combat anxiety. For example, caffeine can increase the frequency of vertigo and so does excess salt.
Also, alcohol is a major no-no for anyone who is suffering from vertigo. Some diet experts may also ask you to stay away from fermented products and pickled foods since these can increase the frequency of vertigo attacks.
Understand your trigger factors
Vertigo, which leads you to anxiety, is often caused by certain triggers. These trigger factors can vary from person to person, but being knowledgeable of them can give you an upper hand. For example, getting up suddenly may be a trigger and therefore you can wake up slowly instead.
You can also write down your trigger factors in a list or express them in a journal. If you find that your trigger factors are something out of the ordinary, you can even discuss these with your doctor or your therapist.
Get emotional support
Having vertigo can definitely make you anxious and stressed, especially if you need to make many lifestyle changes. To make the burden light on yourself, you can take the emotional support of your close friends and your loved ones.
If you want to take this up a notch, you can even join a support group with others who struggle with anxiety caused by vertigo, or vice-versa. You can even try posting on online forums where you can find a lot of useful coping strategies.
Try mindfulness activities
Mindfulness activities can also help in dealing with vertigo leading to anxiety and stress. More often than not, mindfulness exercises help in coping with stressful triggers which can lead to vertigo.
Some people use their breathing exercises to practice mindfulness, while others incorporate this concept into daily activities, thereby reducing anxiety levels while helping their mind and body to enjoy the present moment more thoroughly.
Use journaling to cope
You can even use activities like journaling to cope. Journaling can seem like a pretty impossible thing to do when you are having the vertigo attack, but can actually be very useful to avoid trigger factors and build up more resilience to deal with anxiety.
If you are not someone who is likely to give out detailed accounts of their thoughts and feelings in a notebook, you can even try bullet-journaling. Both physical and digital types of journaling can be useful for you.
In case you are experiencing a lot of anxiety caused by vertigo, you can try repeating positive affirmations to yourself. Affirmations lower your anxiety levels by motivating your mind and pumping up your self-confidence.
You can try creating your own affirmations to guide you and motivate you. But, you can also use the thousands of useful affirmations found online. While using an affirmation, go for something short and concise and thereby easy to remember and use all the time.
Try going to therapy
Another way to cope with your anxiety levels caused by vertigo is going to therapy. In therapy sessions, you will learn positive ways to cope with the mental stress. You will also have a safe space to vent and express yourself without any fear of judgment.
There are many forms of psychotherapy that you can try. The best form of psychotherapy for anxiety caused by vertigo is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. However, you can try many other forms as well, like art therapy, recreational therapy and even group therapy.
Ask your doctor for medication
Vertigo can often be triggered by physical problems and also certain underlying medical conditions. If you find that you are experiencing vertigo episodes quite frequently, you can ask your doctor for medication to help you deal with it.
Most medical professionals might recommend treatment for the anxiety, such as beta-blockers. Others might recommend medications like antihistamines which directly target vertigo and these can provide you immense relief.
In this post, we have answered if vertigo makes you have anxiety. In addition to this, we have seen how vertigo and anxiety are related. We have also discussed the coping strategies that you can use while experiencing anxiety caused by vertigo.
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