Confused - Not MAV?

I have suffered with dizziness for around 6 years. I have a constant 24/7 rocking sensation. I don’t want to offend anyone but I am wondering if MAV is considered a real condition? I know migraines are but is MAV?

It makes me wonder if for some of us (including myself) it is really actually anxiety. I’m not saying it is “all in our heads” or we are crazy I’m just wondering if this dizziness and all these symptoms can be from anxiety? How were all of you diagnosed with MAV and is there a certain way to diagnose it?

I don’t have any history of past headaches and rarely get headaches. I do get a stiff neck at times. I also don’t think anyone else in my family have had migraines. Although, I do know that my dad, aunt, and cousin have all dealt with anxiety problems in the past. How many of you have tried taking migraine meds? Has it helped? How many of them have been antidepressive drugs or anxiety related drugs and did those help? I have tried a migraine med and it did nothing for me and I am curious if an anti-anxiety drug would be more benificial.

Lastly, the only thing I have noticed is that on the left side of my head around my temple area I can feel my blood vessel inflammed. I can’t feel it on my other temple, which kind of makes me think of migraines. Can anyone else feel one of their blood vessels inflammed?

Thanks, J

Hi Jason.
I never have headaches either nor does anyone in my family have any history of migraine. I have been on Nortryptiline since July , as well as folling the migraine diet , with good results and almost feel good most of the time.
Good luck with your recovery , sorry I can’t help you with the blood vessel question.

Hi Jason, I too have no history or family history of Migraine headaches but have been diagnosed with Vestibular Migraine after the following tests, MRI, vestibular testing, audiogram, the test for BPPV.

I have no anxiety problems that I know of :wink: but am aware that anxiety can cause some of the same symptoms.

this is a very good question.

having had severe disequilibrium for 2 years i was referred to dr halmaygi in sydney who is considered to be the best neuro-otologists in australia and also possibily one of the best in the world. he said i likely have MAV but he also said anxiety may be perpetuating the problem also. because i am constantly feeling off balance and unstable my brain is on ‘high alert’ which keeps perpetuating the problem and therefore it becomes a never ending cycle. does this make sense?

he referred my to a physchologist who specialised in patients which dizziness and balance conditions who deal with people like us all the time. she actually gave me a 10 page report about how the whole cycle works and how the brain keeps the dizziness/disquilibrium/rocking etc going. when i go home i will type out the key points because they will probably be benefitial for you.

she tried to teach me how to ignore it and pay no attention to it so i am not ‘feeding it’.

dr h prescribed an anti-d but it didn’t help my disequilibrium at all so i went off it.

however, i think my problem stems beyond anxiety as it fluctuates in more of a MAV like manor ie. foods, hormones

Thanks for the replies. I have never tried following a migraine diet so I might ask my doctor about this. I think that is crazy that you can have migraines with no headache or history of them. I have been told by one doctor that it’s absolutely possible to have migraines with no headache and another doctor told me that it wasn’t possible. It’s hard to get a clear answer on all of this from doctors.

Ella - I understand what you mean about the never ending cycle. They both seem to feed off of each other. That report your psychologist gave you actually sounds really interesting. Did your psychologist think you had anxiety and do you know if it is possible to have constant dizziness/rocking with anxiety? Is there any way you could send that to me, I could give you my email address. If its too long thats fine. Was that able to help you at all? Thank you!


A propos of this thread, I just wanted to remind people of the paper Migraine–anxiety related dizziness (MARD): a new disorder?, J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2005 Jan;76(1):1-8, by Furman JM, Balaban CD, Jacob RG, Marcus DA.

Scott posted it on this website in the Science and Research - Articles section


Makes perfect sense to me that they feed off eachother. If the brain is always trying to compensate for the imbalance it feels then that sure can make you feel anxious! Hard to say what comes first. I’ve had a long history of migraine as do family members. For a long time I believed I had an anxiety disorder but I know believe I feel anxious because the world doesn’t look right to me (constant movement) and the sense that your world isn’t stable is very disturbing indeed.

Hi Jason,
Anxiety is common amongst MAVers “during” a migraine.
I have “terror” attacks just after the visual aura; anxiety can also be an aura.
My terror attacks are similar symptoms to panic attack.
Over the years, I’ve learned to see them coming and relax into them, by being able to do this, I’ve realised they’re not panic attacks at all, just another strange part of my migraine event.
For years this symptom/terror made it impossible to define the rest of my symptoms as it was so overwhelming.
It’s probably one of the reasons Drs have had such a hard time diagnosing many of us with anything else but panic/anxiety.

People with epilepsy can present with anxiety aura called interictal anxiety aura. See here:

Migraineures also suffer from postdrome and prodrome, anxiety and depression/tiredness.

Also, there is a psychological dizziness.
It’s called, phsycogenic dizziness.
Cognitive therapy has been used successfully for this illness.

See here … ndrome.pdf

Hope this helps,


Jen -I read the article about phsycogenic dizziness. This sounds a lot like me and I thought it was very interesting. Thanks for sending it to me.

Hi Jason,
Over the years I’ve looked for answers as to why I have these symptom.
I wasn’t diagnosed quickly; it took 15 years.
There were years where I wondered If my illness was complicated by phsycological problems.
You know? What came first the chicken or the egg?
I think phsycogenic dizziness is rare but highly fixable through cognitive therapy.
A lady was diagnosed with it on another site and she got better within months of therapy.

I forgot to answer your other question about sore spots on youre head. I often have sore tender spots on my head and face. I think it’s called Allodynia.
Here’s something about it:
Migraine, even painless migraine can cuase the weirdest symptoms.


Wow I’m sorry it took so long to get a diagnosis. What was it you were diagnosed with exactly? I’ll have to look into cognitive therapy! What site was the lady diagnosed with this on?

Hi Jason,
the MDds site.

Diagnosis, Migriane related dizziness.