The Seven Deadly Spins / Rate-A-Report

Disclaimer: The following post appears to have been inspired by illegal substances. Well, this is simply how my mind works sometimes. I do not have the good sense to halt and reconsider before clicking Submit. Please form your lynch mob accordingly.

OK, I’m normally pretty good with words, but maybe some of you folks can help me out here.

I’m trying to help describe my experience – to friends who still aren’t really sure what it’s like, and also to the doctor next time. Would some of you folks be kind enough to read the remainder of this post and then tell me, in your opinion, how “clear of a picture” it gives you?

Suddenly, a poor imitation of Dave Barry descends upon the scene and possesses the Thread-Starter for precisely one paragraph:
(Or, annoy the nearest person by forcing this upon them, and say to them, “Bob, obviously you should feel obligated to pretend you care about people you have never met, so read this and tell me if you understand it.” If the person’s name is not Bob, you should address them as such anyway; They will implicitly understand that “Bob” is simply a generic persona in a hypothetical discussion and react accordingly.)

George returns … despite popular demand. No increase in coherence or sanity is noticed.
Qualities of me / my “dizziness” are:

  • Non-spinning (not “true vertigo”), no throwing-up
  • No false visual perceptions of light, movement, etc (e.g., surroundings don’t appear to “move”; I don’t imagine I am “in motion”)
  • No syncope or being off-balance (I never faint, fall, lose balance, etc)
  • Essentially constant, not episodic (few activities are OK, as is sleeping, but otherwise, ever-present)
  • Intense yet indescribable (“inner vertigo” – somewhere in the head, it feels like something’s going berserk, but vision and balance don’t show any such false signals, so it all feels restricted to a pure sensation, rather than something concrete – whereas “the room is spinning” is definable)

We once had a riding mower for our big yard. When riding it, I felt fine, but when I got off, I felt lightweight, like I weighed ten pounds. I’d be lightheaded in a “spacey” sort of way, and when I’d look up at the sky, it would literally look to me like the entire sky was being pulled away, sliding off into space.

That bizarre illusion is long gone, but have you ever ridden a vehicle that, when you got off, made you feel like something “just wasn’t right” upstairs? Better yet: When you were young, did you ever spin around in circles in a room? Remember how the room would initially “spin,” but even after the spinning stopped, there remained that distinct weird, non-visual “residual” lightheadedness?, like something inside you was still disturbed?

Remember that feeling, the “invisible dizziness”, the indescribable quality of it because all the visually noticeable sense of dizziness had evaporated? Well, that’s quite like it. It’s “there,” but … it’s not. It’s just an abstraction. It’s like looking at a work of abstract art, but perceiving it as thought it was a photograph with perfect focus.

I love your sense of humor George!

I’m still learning about dizziness and the terminology, etc., there are some terms in your list that I would have to look up to understand, such as syncope, and false signals…I have a lot to learn. I do like how you note what is “not”. I am very curious what responses you get from your friends and your doctor.

Going on three years now I have finally given up trying to explain my symptoms to my family and what it feels like to be me 24/7 now… they all have it stuck in their heads that I have sporadic episodes of the classic type migraine pain in the head and that I’m perfectly fine the rest of the time. It’s so frustrating.

I once told a doctor when my head is really bad, it feels like my spirit/life force is attempting to exit my body out through my skull, and I will lose consciousness and die at any moment. That Dr. looked at me like I was out of my mind… I’ve never used that description again.


My message was more one of “feeling” than of “thinking.” Which is probably why it evokes the bizarre. The key sentence is the one about spinning in circles and being dizzy AFTER the room stops whirling. That’s as clear a description as I know. The abstract art vs. sharp-focus photo analogy means that it’s a very abstract sensation yet its presence is crystal-clear and unmistakably real.

Crystal: I can clear up a couple of terms. Syncope means fainting. “False signals” (or “false perceptions”) basically means that the body thinks it’s perceiving or experiencing something – like light, or movement – when it actually isn’t. (This often means that different parts of the body, such as the brain, balance system, and eyes, are not working together properly.) If you have vertigo or “true vertigo” it basically means you have the illusion of spinning.

It can be very useful, including for your doctor, to make a list of “IS” and “ISN’T” for your experience. That can help clarify what your experience is like, and it can help narrow down the list of accurate descriptions. Sometimes if the description is vague (like “dizzy” is a very broad term, for example), it makes it harder to pin down just what is going on.

As for what responses I’ll get from friends and doctors … I should think most of them will be sending me recommendations of good psychotherapists in my area!

Oh well, parts of the post sounded vaguely amusing at the time. Maybe I WAS on some sort of substance?

George xxxx you’re a card. :mrgreen:
First of all, gather all friends for a get together,
George’s dizzy party…
You could get them drunk as skunks, Take them fishing on a Tinnie (small aluminum boat in oz) and rock the Boat with wild abandon, dance throw some fish in the bottom for them too trip over… just for fun!!!
Or even better still go sailing during a storm or cyclone, my hubby and I did this, what a holiday!
It’s lasted for 15 years, a holiday to remember.

Or a lovely day in the park, find a swing set and twist it hard until it can go no further.
Then Spin them and ask them to walk.
Before effexor that was my everyday experience.
Remember the days when you first tried alcohol, and drank too much?
The bed spins we call it here in oz…
That’s been my life, everyday for 15 or so years.

I love your sense of being George, you’re embracing your emotions and letting it all hang out.
I Love you for that.