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Psycho-Physiological Dizziness Syndrome (PPDS)

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Gigalos, May 18, 2014.

  1. BinLA

    BinLA Peer Supporter

    Gigalos likes this.
  2. Allund

    Allund Peer Supporter

    What an incredible post, thank you so much for sharing.
    I do agree with you about triggers (there must be a reason why some situations trigger the symptom) and also about taking time and not let fear grow as the symptom appears.
    I also experience dizziness and vertigo and I've been checked by doctors with no clear answer and always more related to anxiety symptoms. It also goes from time to time, some periods is more frequent, others I can be months without it.
    For me the most difficult part is not be afraid when I feel dizzy, it is incredible how much I fear it, and how my mind starts to be worried about it. As this is the most difficult step for me and I found I didn't have the skills to do this, I've been trying to use the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy by Steven C Hayes, it has given me some steps to lear how to accept the symptoms and let them go (if they do, or just accept that the situation is what it is). I am still on my process to learn and accept, it takes time but definitely looking at the whole process since it started, it is getting better.

    Good luck to all of you!
  3. BinLA

    BinLA Peer Supporter

    Hey all,

    Just a quick update on me...

    I'm about 7 months in. I wish I could say things were much better, but frankly I'm still living with a degree of the symptoms. They can improve at times, and it does seem that straining or lifting heavy brings it back on. So, I'm trying to work out in ways that don't agitate it so much. Odd, because I believe this is TMS-based in nature... but it does seem some physical things directly agitate the condition.

    I'm getting on with life though. Wobbly, foggy brain and all. Things are usually pretty good. Some days are hard and I've had setbacks, but I'm working on finding the best level of total acceptance I can find while my mind/body work though these things.

    Hope everyone is doing well...

    Anniebobber, Allund, Lucylu and 3 others like this.
  4. Anniebobber

    Anniebobber New Member

    I have been dealing with dizziness and neck pain for over 3 years now. I have been diagnosed by one of the best ENTs in the world at Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN with Cervicogenic dizziness and PPPD(Persistent Postural Perceputal Dizziness), both of which I now know are 100% TMS. I’ve had TMS my entire life looking back. I have read Mind-Body Prescription by Sarno and also Pass Through Panic by Weekes. I’m now doing Schubiners 28 day UYP program. Hoping to get some relief. I’m just posting a short post here so I can follow this thread.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  5. BinLA

    BinLA Peer Supporter

    Hi Anniebobber,

    Still up and down for me with the dizziness. (We'll call it.)

    It's more:
    -Brain Fog
    -Thick heavy, slow eyes/head
    -General druggy feeling in brain at times (slowness)
    -Feet even sore from trying to re-balance all the time

    For me, it really comes down to times of very high stress.... and lifting.

    I was doing better and did some moderate lifting (sit ups etc) and agitated the head again and now I'm very off balance, etc.
    Frustrating becuase it felt like it was trying to clear off.

    It does now seem to highly relate to straining/lifting for me. (Which I enjoy)

    However, I can walk, do some cardio and even play tennis without any reaction which I also enjoy.

    This is all a little hard for me to quantify with TMS attributes as it seems so specific to a particular action.

    Yet, the symptoms themselves... are classic for chronic stress disorder.

    So, still trying to work it all out - without letting it stop me from living life.

    Good luck to you in moving through this.
  6. BinLA

    BinLA Peer Supporter

    Hey all, just a quick check-in.

    Hope everyone enjoyed their holidays. I did for the most part, despite my body's attempt to fuss at times.

    Overall, I'm about the same as I was a month or so back. Improved, but the off-balance thing really still hasnt' gone.
    I can function fine, and as before... even play some tennis at times, walk stretch etc. When I try to lift weights or do resistance exercises like
    push-ups, it's still a mixed bag. It can sometimes ramp the symptoms way up. Other times it won't. (Lifting is how this all started for me.)

    Otherwise, I'm getting on with my wobbly life. Of course, there is disappointment that I can't live "normally" at this point... but I'm working hard
    to be grateful for all the good things I do have.

    I admit I'm confused as to why this stuck like it has. Other sx have come and gone. Even the panic attacks etc. They've mostly gone and they just make
    an occasional visit. But this one has been sticky. I hear it can be that way. Hard to find people going through this same thing... so hence, it's hard to know
    if I'm taking the right approach.

    So, just trying to do what I think is right... without making it a centerpiece of life.

    Curious to know how anyone else is doing if they're going through this.

    All the best!
    Anniebobber likes this.
  7. solarflower77

    solarflower77 New Member

    Hey BinLA,

    I have had those symptoms for a week now, pretty much relentlessly. It was also caused by what might be called a "mechanical event" - I had a blocked ear, was cleaning it with hydrogen peroxide, the last time I put those drops in suddenly the whole room started spinning. I knew something went wrong. I turned my head to let the water out, and when I stood up I felt dizzy and nauseous. Have been for the last 7 days. It went away for about 24 hours (not completely but I felt more connected to my environment and not so sick) but returned. I went to a walk-in centre, they looked into my ear, the eardrum was a bit red, got antibiotics in case it was an infection from all the excessive cleaning but the antibiotics didn't make any difference.

    I feel dizzy all the time. I also feel nauseous when I walk, and a lot of air comes up from my stomach (burping). When I lie down I don't burp. Basically I feel like I am drunk all the time.

    I am not sure if it's physical and I damaged something in my inner ear that is affecting my balance, or whether it was physical to begin with and now my psyche is running the programme on a subconscious level causing TMS. I can't really see a doctor for 2 weeks because of work.

    I have been very stressed recently, and a week before it happened I had heart palpitations for 7 hours, I ended up going to A & E because they just wouldn't stop. I had anxiety and panic attacks when I was younger which I resolved with EFT.

    I'm very sorry you've had that for a year, it's scary. How are you feeling now?

  8. BinLA

    BinLA Peer Supporter

    Hi Solarflower,

    You know, I can't tell you how many stories I've heard of dizziness (off balance etc) starting with a random event like you speak of. I've literally heard and read dozens, maybe hundreds. It's so common... and the stories are never quite the same. Which tells me it's likely a product of TMS/anxiety in nearly all of these cases.

    My current working theory is that stress taxes the body/brain to the point where it can become suscpitible to changes in perception states when minor injuries/events happen.
    In your case an ear issue, in mine heavy lifting. (Working out.) I remmeber in the past I had struck my head and had months of dizziness/full headednesse, etc. But I didn't hit it hard enough to cause that, doctors confirmed. So... I believe we can get into a kind of primed state where our systems can be "tripped" easily into these disfunctional states.

    It's been proven that stress affects the way our senses/perception functions, hormone balance, etc. Even regular non-anxious people can get dizzy spells during times of high stress. (My wife gets them.)

    You also have anxiety of corse, and this condition (dizzy/off-balance drunk feeling) is highly correlated with anxiety and stress. I refer to my condition a stress disorder, though it's included plenty of anxiety and panic.

    Of course, add to all of this that TMS can jump in and use any of this for any reason it wants.

    So, we have to follow the lead of people who have come out of this. I've had this for quite a while but I'm living my life. Most days are pretty good. I struggle and get down about it at times but I just keep going. I function fine, am generally in a good mood and just have to live with the fact that I can't work out as much as I used to with heavy lifting as it makes it considerably worse, whereas if I just lift lighter or do more controlled workouts it seems OK. (So there is some physical element to this I believe, which the TMS purists may not like to hear me say - but it's what I believe.)

    Anyway, on we go. Let me know how it's going for you and more importantly what approach you are taking to move through it.

    Hang in there.
  9. solarflower77

    solarflower77 New Member

    Thanks for answering BinLA. I am struggling with this one. It came on a second after that ear event and my mind finds it difficult to let go of "what if I damaged my inner ear" dialogue.
    I also find it really hard to be nauseous all the time, and the burping is real enough. I have never heard anxiety manifesting in burping and feeling sick without any breaks.
    My symptoms never go away, they are 24/7. From what I read TMS symptoms fluctuate, come and go, vary in intensity. I am pretty much all the time the same, dizzy, drunk feeling, the resulting confusion from that state, and sick in my stomach. In the evenings I feel warm, tickly sensations in that ear too.

    Of course, I am not on this forum to argue what is TMS and what isn't. Nothing would make me happier than finding out this is caused by stress and unresolved emotions. I am trying to deal with it like I did with all the anxiety in the past, emotional work, working with stress. I wish I could say I just ignore the symptoms but it's impossible, feeling nauseated and dizzy trying to work, shop, travel, read, study is quite a challenge. The dizziness makes me feel like a part of me is not really there. Disconnected from my environment. Like I am watching reality on a tv screen, I know I am participating but I don't fully feel it.

    How have you been able to sustain the belief that it's TMS for almost a year? Especially since you have not experienced any change. I had back problems, anxiety, stress but all those would come and go, I could see they are transient. This has a different feel.
    zclesa likes this.
  10. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    @solarflower77, have you been back to see an ENT specialist to rule out a physiological condition? Even if it's minor, you want to rule out or at least obtain knowledge about any physical conditions before assuming and treating something new as TMS. Some of your other symptoms might be TMS and brought on by an actual inner ear problem - or maybe not.

    That being said, I do think that TMS can manifest as truly chronic, 24/7. But don't assume that if you haven't been properly checked out.
  11. BinLA

    BinLA Peer Supporter

    Hi Solar,

    Here's some info on anxiety-related stomach and GI issues like belching:
    https://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-symptoms/stomach-upset.shtml (Stomach Upset, Discomfort, Distress, Queasy Anxiety Symptoms.)

    I also will say quickly, I agree with Jan... and actually I assumed you had seen a doctor and ruled out any (definite) medical cause of this. Please do, as it's always our responsibility to do so when we're trying to rule things like that out.... and rule TMS in.

    With that disclaimer out of the way...

    I can't tell you why it happens. Why did I bonk my head and get 2+ months worth of awful symptoms for what doctors said didn't even appear to be a concussion?
    (Real concussions rarely even last that long unless you've had many.)

    I'm not saying you couldn't have agitated something in your head/ear with the drops. What I'm saying is... there's this very blurry line when people with cranked up nervous systems and TMS (which you have both of seemingly) encounter injuries/physical issues. That blurry line is something I can't put into words well, I can only say I have read dozens, if not hundreds of stories of people doing seemingly benign things (like me lifting weights I've lifted a million times before) and ending up with some bizarre lingering symptom set because of it.

    And when it comes to head/ear issues... it's like a black hole. (No pun intended) Rarely do people seem to get clear answers... and often these things just rectify on their own.
    (Disclaimer again - I'm not a doctor and you should see one, or many.)

    Also, the more you speak of your dizziness the more it sounds a bit like depersonalization which is highly common in anxiety/stress disorder. (It may be THE most common?)
    It's almost like its own condition it's so common. Many stress disorder experiencers seem to have that as their primary and often only real regualr symptom.
    Some refer to it as "anxiety".... meaning that to them that's what anxiety is. So, it's a highly common condition with stress.

    Also, another clue is that you say "this feels different' and I know what you mean. Most of my (myriad) of symptoms in stress disorder come and go. Up and down.
    Panic one day, GI issues the next, back pain the next, depression the next, then weeks or months of doing just fine. It's a s*** show.

    But, yes... I've gotten on with life and steadily improved since this all started years ago.

    The balance problems and head issues (PPDS) have indeed stuck though... and apparently aren't ready to go on their way just yet. It, like depersonalization is a "sticky" symptom that seems to have an "on" button... and takes quite some time and work for the "off" button to be engaged. I'm still working through that process mostly by just trying to live with it as it is.

    Again, I do curtail my heavy workouts some becuase it directly makes it worse. Whatever physical mechanisms are involed are immediately agitatd by that kind of strain. (Whereas I can run or play tennis without much kickback.) I know the TMS purists will say I'm avoiding and letting TMS win, but I need to be able to walk and function and there's no reason to engage in the only thing that seems to make it directly worse when I can just enjoy other things. (Though I admittedly do miss heavy workouts.)

    As for my sustained belief... I still believe this was caused by stress. We can call it TMS, anxiety, stress disorder, etc. I believe that my body was in a primed state to "dislodge" something phyiscally that wasn't going to repair itself quickly without a lack of stress, which is hard to do in life. So, I'll keep onward wtih living and allow it to express and hopefully leave. Some days are better than others.

    Hang in there and try not to build it up. If it's indeed related to stress/anxiety... it's just another look of the same thing.
    JanAtheCPA, Marls and westb like this.
  12. solarflower77

    solarflower77 New Member

    Thanks for your replies. I have seen a nurse in a walk in centre. She said my eardrum looked red and gave me antibiotics. Of course the trouble with ears is you can't see the middle or the inner ear so it can only be diagnosed with an MRI or by symptoms. I will go to see an ENT next week to rule out physical issues.

    Thanks for the link. The one thing that would confirm it's TMS/stress related is that since September I've had the most stressful time in 10 years.

    Also 3 days after the ear event I was so unwell I cancelled a 2 week job that I didn't want to do anyway because I knew it would cause me a lot of stress. 15 minutes after I cancelled I suddenly felt much better and my symptoms almost disappeared. I kept walking just to make sure I felt ok again. After a while I decided that maybe I was much better now and that I could go to work after all. So I called them up and the moment I said I'd come after all, I had a cold feeling in my feet and legs and got a bit dizzy. When I got to work a few hours later I was still relatively ok but the next morning all my symptoms were back.

    Now of course my mind is saying I only imagined feeling better for a day. I love my mind...

    I used to have depersonalisation as part of the anxiety package and it indeed felt similar. But minus the nausea and dizziness. I think dizziness is now causing me to feel unreal. It's like being on a boat, you can't really connect with your environment and others when you're feeling sick and vertigoed, about to throw up. So not sure what is causing what.

    It will be intetesting to see how I feel once this job is over (next Tuesday) and also once I see an ENT. 2 weeks ago the whole night of heart palpitations was resolved by seeing a doctor in A&E. They just stopped after an exam and an ECG. So I know how terribly psychosomatic I am. I had a long break with minimal symptoms after I had dealt with the anxiety last time, over 10 years.

    I guess it's not over yet. It also seems like it can never fully resolve, since the wiring is so sensitive.
  13. BinLA

    BinLA Peer Supporter

    When I had the workout incident, I was in an extremely high stress period at my job. The busiest time of year for my job. (Which is normally not bad stress-wise, but it's really bad for like 2 months due to my industry)

    So, can I prove that's why my head decided to react to some exercises I had done hundreds of times before? No. Do I suspect that is indeed why? Of course I do.

    Glad you're going to get checked out. It's good to be sure.

    You do paint a picture of a classic TMS/anxiety/stress disorder personality though. Takes one to know one. :)

    But, you can still improve and all of this can resolve in time with the right approach. Life quality can improve greatly. Just be patient with yourself as you work through learning how to implement the right mindests to go forward.
    Marls likes this.
  14. solarflower77

    solarflower77 New Member

    Thanks for the encouragement BinLA.

    My update: beginning of the week I did intensive EFT sessions on myself and discovered rage and anger that I feel for myself for taking this job, for making myself do things I didn't want to do. Once it entered my awareness and I felt it in mu body the dizziness reduced by 90%. The burping is gone completely and the nausea is almost gone too. I am still experiencing some dizziness in the mornings when I start work and it all subsides in the evening. Of course I am still here til Tuesday, I haven't removed the stress. To cope I am working with my emotions as I go. I am really looking forward to leaving here.

    I think it's TMS, thank you so much for your support everyone. I will post an update in a week.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  15. BinLA

    BinLA Peer Supporter

    How are things going Solar?
  16. solarflower77

    solarflower77 New Member

    Hi BinLA,

    Thanks for asking, the dizziness, nausea and belching is completely gone. It took a day or two to resolve fully. I have however developed a new symptom which is a thousand times worse for me to process. The context in all this: I got the dizziness and nausea because I felt very angry I pushed myself into doing a job for two weeks with a lady with Alzheimer's which I knew was going to be hard (I have seen her before for a week). Once I realised it was that I used EFT and meditation to acknowledge and resolve the feelings, the symptoms went away. When I returned home three days later I had a weird memory loss incident (not unlike the lady I worked with) which I described here https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/memory-loss-blackout.20528/ (Memory loss, blackout?)

    Ever since that happened I have been obsessing about developing dementia or some brain disorder and losing my mind. As most of us TMS-ers I have had many symptoms of different diseases, almost every time I hear of someone having an illness I develop symptoms of it. I had a CT scan looking for cancer just this year because my cousin's husband was diagnosed with it and I developed pain under my rib a week after his diagnosis. One of my client has vestibular migraines and I ended up having dizziness and nausea for 2 weeks, same symptoms as she has but caused by stress. Someone I know had SVT problems with her heart and I had heart palpitations for several hours and had to go to hospital to be told it's from stress.

    But can my brain also mimic memory loss? Is it even possible? My last client had Alzheimer's disease and 3 days later I get a memory lapse. It does sound like my brain is "borrowing" symptoms, only this time I am stuck, there is no test for it, if I keep getting memory lapses I won't be able to tell if it's the disease or stress because the disease is diagnosed by symptoms. And my symptoms can last for months like my left rib pain. So how will I know the difference? And what would even be the difference between "real" symptoms and "stress" symptoms if the result is the same - memory loss?

    This is truly the worst symptom my brain could come up with, there is no test to "show" my brain it's not dementia or brain disease, and I basically just have to sit and wait for more symptoms or no symptoms. My brain found a TMS loophole! :)

    I am wondering if at this point I should start working with a therapist because it's getting ridiculous...
  17. solarflower77

    solarflower77 New Member

    I forgot to mention this memory loss incident happened an hour after I had a very stressful conversation with my mother during one of her stress episodes which upset me terribly and I was shaking for a while after. It has been an incredibly stressful time for about 5 months now. I started fantasizing about faking my own death and moving to south America.. :)

    How are you doing BinLA?

  18. BinLA

    BinLA Peer Supporter

    Hey Solar,

    Well... I'm very glad to hear you've made progress with the balance/dizzy issues. I'm about a year in... and still up and down with it. Working on getting my mindset as good as I can. Most days I can get right on with things and not pay it any mind. Others, it's hard for me to conceptualize how a non-strucutral issue could last this long.

    So, it sounds like your symptoms are doing the old symptom imperative trick. I don't want to derail the topic of this thread (balance and dizziness) but I'm going to write you a quick DM regarding the issue you speak of which in short, sounds very much like anxiety.

    Congrats on overcoming one set of symptoms, and use that to know you can overcome any.

    For those still dealing with PPPD and balance problems, just know many of us are out here working through the same process. Keep at it.
  19. silentflutes

    silentflutes Peer Supporter

    This post speaks of truth in every word. If anyone stammers or knows anyone stammer, they could replace PPSD with stammer and read it. It holds absolutely true for stammer, neck spasm as well. I am speaking from my experience of 19 yrs of stammering and 5 yrs of neck spasm.
    Sofa likes this.
  20. Sofa

    Sofa Well known member

    Cloudy head and vertigo like feelings. Been there, it comes and goes and it's not fun as you all know.. Feels like we are at a disadvantage to everyone else when the symptoms are present, doesn't it?

    I'm glad the O.P. is addressing this topic. Right now my symptoms are gone, thankfully. Not sure what I did to shake them. For me, I purposely try to avoid thinking about them because that makes it worse. Anyone else like that?

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