Help for Anxiety, Phobias, OCD and Depression

Dizziness, Anxiety and Panic

Please note that dizziness can have a number of physical causes such as ear infections, diabetes and circulation problems so it is very important to have any recurring dizziness checked out by a doctor.

When no physical causes are present it is highly likely that bouts of dizziness are due to anxiety.

Dizziness is a common symptom of anxiety. When we are anxious or panicky many of us feel light-headed and dizzy. We can become confused and find it difficult to think straight or concentrate. Some people think they are about to faint.

... But why?

... What causes this dizziness?


Anxiety and panic relate to danger. Our mind thinks we are going to get hurt and causes our body to respond appropriately.

This is known as the fight-or-flight response. It prepares us to fight or run away and involves a number of symptoms (reflexes and reponses) such as a speeding heart and faster breathing in order to get oxygen-rich blood to our major muscle groups (arms, legs, chest) so we can fight or flee.

Dizziness, in part, boils down to the diversion of resources to those things we need to survive. Blood is diverted form the higher regions of our brain to the areas we need most in the moment, such as vision and hearing. We don't need time to think, just time to be ultra aware and act. If we had to think about jumping out of the way of a speeding car it would be too late.

Too much oxygen in the blood due to fast breathing (see:- hyperventilating) also makes us feel light-headed and dizzy.



Dizzy – Definition:-

The Collins English Dictionary defines dizzy as:

1. affected with a whirling or reeling sensation.

2. metally confused or bewildered.

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Anxiety
Fight or Flight
Anxiety Symptoms
Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety Self Help

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Books:
Free eBook
Kindle Anxiety Book
Anxiety Disorders Book

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More Resources:
Anxiety Centre
Other Causes
of Dizziness


ANXIETY SYMPTOMS AND 'FIGHT OR FLEE'

Physical anxiety symptoms result from the body re-directing resources to the major muscle groups (legs / arms / chest) to provide them with an energy boost to prepare us for action (ultimately to fight or flee).

* Our breathing becomes more rapid to get more oxygen for these muscles into the blood.
* Our heartbeat speeds up to get the blood to the muscles quicker.
* Blood is diverted from the brain (making us light-headed and dizzy) and the stomach (causing 'butterflies').
* Energy cannot be wasted processing any half-digested food in our system so we need to get rid of it quickly - either through the mouth (feelings of nausea) or the other end (wanting to go to the toilet).
* Other 'energy-wasting ' systems (unnecessary in time of danger) are shut down eg. saliva production, giving us a dry mouth and difficulty swallowing.
* We sweat more to cool down all this energy production.
* The energy boost to the muscles makes them 'jumpy'/ 'jittery'/ 'jelly-like'/ on-edge ready for action.

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Reducing Dizziness Caused by Anxiety

It is very important that recurring dizziness symptoms are checked out by a medical professional to rule out any illness or disease as the cause. And once it is established that the dizziness is a result of anxiety there are a number of things we can do to alleviate the dizziness when it happens:-

1. Breathe Deeply and Slowly

Try diaphragmatic breathing for a short while:-

bluearr Take a deep breath in through your nose for a slow count of four
(Imagine the air filling your stomach, not lungs, and feel it expand)

bluearr Hold for a slow count of four

bluearr Breathe out through your mouth for a slow count of four
(Imagine your stomach pushing the air out)

bluearr Hold for a slow count of four

Repeat this five or six times.


Diaphragmatic breathing balances the oxygen–carbon dioxide balance in the body and promotes calmness.


2. Focus on one point / close your eyes for a few moments

We experience dizziness mainly through our vision. Focusing on one spot helps to get the eyes and mind back under control and reduce the spinning sensation.

Closing our eyes (if it is safe to do so) also reduces the sensation of spinning.


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Although dizziness due to anxiety doesn't seem to be harmful in itself, long-term anxiety can lead to a whole host of physical illnesses and should be treated.

›› How to Deal With Anxiety Problems
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