Can anxiety cause dizziness? Please help, I am very scared :-(

I have suffered from anxiety on and off all my life. 3 years ago I had a very stressful time with family and as a result my anxiety returned but it was so bad I was crippled by panic attacks and developed agoraphobia. In time things got better but then I was struck with intrusive thoughts that crippled me for a year. Things were getting better but 2 months ago i had a panic attack in the nurses room and my agoraphobia has hit since. My son has been bullied and ill all year with panic attacks at school, the childrens mental health team assessed him but refuse to help and say I am more equipped to deal with it than they are despite him having suicidal thoughts. He is only 11 and it's broken my heart. My daughter has been ill in hospital last week with a bowel infection. It's been horrible. I have a very supportive husband but I have no other support.

My daughter was rushed into hospital last week and had to stay 2 nights with my husband. She came home Thursday. Since Friday I have had the dizziness even more and since Sunday I have practically been bed bound with it. I have found it terrifying. I noticed it a couple of weeks back like a sudden feeling the ground was moving but it soon passed. But since Friday it has been constant when I walk around and now i am terrified and lie down most of the day.

My gp called me Monday after my hubby rang him to tell him how scared I was and bless him he came to my house. I was scared stiff but he said its ok I will be there if you have a panic attack and help you. When he arrived I told him how scared I was about this off balance feeling. He did a full examination. He checked my temp, BP, eyes, ears, muscle tests and balance tests. He told me physically I am fine and it's not anything serious or an inner ear infection. He listened to how much stress I have been under. My daughters been ill in hospital and my son told us a month ago he had suicidal thoughts. I have no support and I've been juggling it all. He diagnosed me with stress and anxiety. He said anxiety when acute like this can cause dizziness and an unbalanced feeling. He asked why my mother doesn't support me and I told him I had no idea, I have no support and my husband has to work.

I have never experienced this and I'm terrified. Even though he's done a full check up I am still so scared. He told me to rest but also keep moving round slowly to build my confidence again. I picked my son up from school then my daughter, made their dinner and then I remembered my son had gymnastics so I had to go out in the car again. The floor felt it was moving and I panicked I'd fall to the ground. I was terrified. I just took my kids to school this morning and when I got home I felt like the ground was moving under me, my legs feel like lead but weak, I feel just generally ill and very very afraid. I am sat sobbing. I keep waking up praying it has gone but only to feel it just as bad I am adding fear to it I know but I can't help it, I am so scared it's a brain tumour or something serious. My gp assured me it isn't but I am so scared the doctor is wrong. I have never felt off balance before with anxiety. It feels like my legs are weak and heavy and like ia m going through the floor or the ground is moving then that makes my head feel dizzy. I feel so off balance it's terrifying :-(

I am struggling to accept it and I sit around crying all day. I don't know how to accept it and carry on as normal when I feel so bad. My GP said he came out to reassure me it wasn't a physical illness to see if this would calm me and maybe then the symptoms will calm a bit. I am just struggling to accept anxiety can do this. I am so afraid.

Sorry to be so doom and gloom. I am just so upset and feel a useless mother like this. I can't even stand to cook. I am worried what's happening to me. I do keep flooding my body with more adrenaline everytime I have to walk around, the very thing my GP said was causing this. He said I need to try and stop fueling it because adrenaline is what's exhausted my body. He said I need rest but also to walk a little throughout the day. I find it terrifying.

Can anyone relate?



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24 Replies

  • Hi julie sorry your going through this it is very tough. Ive been going through exactly the same all the symptoms you have ive had. There is a light at the end of the tunnel i promise you just try and relax and do breathing techniques. I still suffer now i try and ignore my anxiety. Xx

  • Thank you. Have you had the same symptoms? xx

  • Without a doubt bouncing when i walk every body ache going. Stomach problems sulphur in my throat feeling like i cant breath. All i think about is dying doom and gloom. Mine stems from stress i try and enjoy life but always think summat is gunna happen

  • For me I have always had anxiety that made me feel on edge and scared to go out and socialise, so a general anxiety but not very physical unless in a shop or social situation. Now this is so different, it's muscle weakness in my thighs and feel the ground is moving and I feel off balance and dizzy because of it :-(

  • How did you get your symptoms to go away?! I've had this feeling for 5 months now. I constantly feel like something is pulling me down when I walk kinda like I'm walking on a trampoline

  • What did you do to get your symptoms to go away. I've had an off balance feeling for 5 months now. I feel like I'm walking on a trampoline/boat constantly

  • This is exactly how i was honestly this is me to a tee. Same as you ive had a lot of stress. I suffer with anxiety but it hit another level for me just like it as you. I would wake up shaking and couldnt go no where. I keep going to doctors for tests and found nothing yet. I get different symptoms every day

  • Thank you. I just went downstairs to make a drink and my thighs are so so heavy I feel I will drop. Shaking and terrified because these heavy limbs make me feel dizzy and off balance, the floor feels like it's moving :-( I am so scared.

  • Nothing is going to happen its anxiety i promise you. I know its scary. The only way i calmed down is by relaxing. Easier said than done i know.

  • I wish i could help you more

  • Honestly you have really helped. My fear is ending up in hospital due to the agoraphobia side of things. I also have health anxiety so this is real tough for me.

    Thank you.

  • How long u been like this

  • With the dizziness? about a week. With my anxiety on and off 3 years.

  • I was like it about 5 weeks slowly coming out of it now. Are you on meds and have you lost weight. Not trying to worry you its just ive lost just under a stone

  • Good grief, Julie!!! You are carrying too much, emotionally, and there certainly is help and support available. First of all, I don't here any talk of you or your son being in therapy of some sort. I don't hear any comments about being on any medications, which can do wonders. They may not make life perfect, but they can tone things down a LOT!!!

    Your son needs to get in with a counselor ASAP! As for the dizziness, yes, I've had that with high anxiety, which is why you most likely need to be medicated. An SSRI type of medication can help anxiety (for you, not your son - teens need different meds). Once you are adapted to it (takes about a month) you will feel no effects from the med. Then, with the help of your doctor, you need to find a therapist that works with anxiety disorders. I also have an anxiety med I only take about 3-4 times a year when crazy anxiety raises it's ugly head - to nip it in the bud and remind myself I am in charge.

    Lastly, you need some time away from the house where all the problems seem to be. If your agoraphobia is so severe that you can't leave the house, you need some sort of exercise. If you can't afford a treadmill or such, but you have a bike or could get one at a thrift store, they do make stands to put them on so they act like an exercise bike. Take a deep breath often. When we have an anxiety disorder, we often stop breathing for periods. Getting into yoga breathing exercises can be really helpful to start to feel more in control. There are books at the library and articles online. You are NOT trapped with this - you can find the help you need.

    Julie, you might surprise yourself - that it might not be that you need any support other than the medical community and what you find on your own, to start to feel better. Others really can't help much for fix us - we have to do that ourselves. That's what you will find out in therapy, if you go. A counselor guides you to do the work and regain your confidence in yourself.

    I had a very difficult family who could not be there for me which I was divorced for 22 years and had no husband to help. Quite honestly these sorts of problems are a bit too heavy for friends, either. They don't understand how to help.

    If you have the courage to reach out for therapy and medication, as well as some work at home, you will be a wonderful roll model for your son by showing him how you are working to get control of your life and give him hope.

    A more immediate, albeit temporary, type of help I have found, also, is to turn on music in the home, and have it on often. Off with the TV, away from computers or social media and slow down all of the outside stimulation.

    And always - it's baby steps. Praise yourself for every little step along the way - when you try yoga breathing for the first time, or get the exercise bike running. Trust me, either of them will be better than sitting and crying and feeling helpless and trapped. Change doesn't happen overnight.

    With Affection, Carol

  • Thank you carol.

    I'm having cbt fortnightly. I'm also on medication have been for 2 years and it's never helped much to be honest. I overcame alot of my anxiety myself through acceptance and reading claire weekes books.

    I'm struggling to accept this because it's constant and it's in my own home so I struggle to believe anxiety could cause dizziness everytime I walk around. I've never had it before and I am very afraid. I slept 1-4 last night because the anxiety woke me. I feel even more dizzy today.

    Lying still I am fine and when sat. It's only on waking that I feel my legs are heavy and the floor is moving. It frightens me and now the last 2 days I've felt so ill with anxiety too. Upset tummy, feeling sick, panicky and shaky at times.

    Thanks for your kind reply. I wish I could get a glimpse of feeling ok walking around even if just for a little while, just to reassure me it's all anxiety 😢

    Thank you.


  • Oh dear Julie, as you can see by my name I am agoraphobic as well. Family issues can push our anxiety levels so high that we get paralyzed with fear. Worrying about our children takes us to another level of anxiety. I wake up each day with terror knowing that another day is starting and I don't know if I can handle taking care of my anorexic daughter. The "what ifs" hit me hard. How can I have someone depend on me if I can't depend on myself. With those thoughts comes a whoosh of dizziness, lightheadedness and that horrible off balanced feeling. Of all the feelings anxiety brings, the dizziness scares me the most because I don't like feeling out of control.

    I have found that hydrating during these stressful times as well as meditation, deep breathing etc does help. My escape mechanism is having a good cry which I find lets out the emotions that cause the off balanced feeling. Another reason for this lightheaded feeling (which I happen to be experiencing now) are the muscles in the ear canal feeling tight, so tight that it squeezes the balance area of the ear. I may be getting too technical now but believe me I have lived with this for many years. Getting some reassurance from your GP and some advice from a therapist may help you cope better. Good Luck

  • Thank you for your kind reply. I have seen my gp and he's told me I am physically fone after running some checks on me. He said its all anxiety playing havoc. But because the dizziness I'd everytime I walk and even in my home im panicking it's not.

    I don't know how to relax towards thids I'm so scared and find this so hard to believe it's anxiety causing constant dizziness. I feel the ground is moving under me when I walk and I feel so off balance.

    Sorry to hear about your daughter. It's so scary going through thid isn't it.

    Julie x

  • I had that dizziness about 2 years back but was diagnosed with an inner ear infection, but after reading this and the stress I was under at the time this now makes sense. It does get better I promise you. I just wish I knew what it was at the time as I now have anxiety and maybe if the docs were more helpful back then I wouldn't be where I am now. Xxx

  • Hi Nita

    I've found it very frightening. I don't like feeling dizzy. I now feel quite low because I have lay on my bed all week crying and afraid to walk around. I've really let it scare me.

  • Are you any better..your off balance issues sound exactly like what im going through right my post about how i feel..ive done tons of research and feel like i might have something called mdds.

  • I am much better.

    What is mdds?

  • Do you still have the off balance feeling when walking? What did it feel like

  • Hey Julie I have a lot of stress that brings on neck tension I mean really bad almost rock solid muscle and I went and saw someone about it and they said that excess tension in the neck can cause you to feel off balance/dizzy

    I know I might be far off what you might be experiencing but it's worth a try also inner ear infections cause dizziness

    All the best

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