Ultimate Loss of Control - Thinking Outloud

I know this board is for people like me who suffer migraines and the effects of all the neurological symptoms but I, on the other hand, also have an anxiety disorder (GAD) with panic attacks and agoraphobia. I just wonder sometimes if because I obsess over my health and am extremely hypervigilant, that perhaps I blow my symptoms out of proportion. I mean, I can’t even get a common cold without worry that it might be something worse or that it just couldn’t simply be a cold. And so everything becomes magnified to me.

I’m not sure I would qualify myself as a hypochondriac, surely I fit some of the description but I don’t always think I have something that I see on TV or that someone I know is suffering from. I just tend to take the symptoms that I do have and, as i said, obsess. It’s a vicious cycle because once I’ve conquered a symptom and when I say conquer, I mean I’ve accepted and no longer worry about it and it dissipates, I tend to get another bizarre symptom. Almost like, “OK, so my foot hurts…I don’t have bone cancer, it’s because I stubbed my toe earlier…but now my knee hurts…”

My anxiety has always, just as it is with most of us panicky people, a fear of losing control…whether it be mindfully or physically…is mindfully a word? It is now! But anyway, I wonder how much of my dizziness and vertigo are anxiety related, psychogenic/somatic, however you want to clarify. Because if someone were to ask me what I see as the ultimate loss of control, it would be being dizzy or suffering vertigo.

It IS a total loss of control, when you think about it. What other symptom, other then something life threatening such as a heart attack or stroke, could cause you to become so incapacitated having your world seem like a carousel or a constant moving ship? Nothing, really.

So, in theory it seems that maybe the symptoms that I do have, and I do have them, are magnified by my overactive mind and some emotional issues I’ve not dealt with. What those are, I’m not sure but something is wrong with me, mentally.

As I write this, I wonder if any of you may have those same thoughts. That maybe you aren’t as physically ill as your mind makes you believe. And not that I’m saying that any of us make this stuff up. I know that what we suffer is real, but I really do wonder how much of it is magnified? Any thoughts?

Another thing, has any of you ever heard of and/or tried EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)?


Hi Andrea

You’re not the only one who has thoughts like that, believe me - I’ve done it too. It’s hard to separate out the anxiety provoked symptoms from the rest and I’m no nearer cracking it either. It’s a fact that there is a definite link between mind and body when it comes to symptoms - lots of physical problems are caused by emotional stuff & if you tend to be obsessive about your health then of course it becomes a vicious circle. I’ve given up thinking I can completely change my personality and thereby cure my anxiety. If you’re born a sensitive person prone to worrying, there ain’t a great deal you can do about it. However, I do think that being dizzy is, as you say, one of the most out of control feelings to have and it is not surprising it causes extreme anxiety.

I think I have read articles about vestibular problems and heightened anxiety - it seems the two go together, so we shouldn’t blame ourselves for being ‘weak’ and not able to cope.

Best wishes

Dear Andrea,
yes my husband and i sat down one day for a chat, and i asked him if he thought this could all be due to anxiety, this was after a neuro saying she felt it could be. we discussed if this could be possible and all i could think was for me what came first the chicken or the egg.
the fact is whether or not this illness is caused by somato form disorder or not its still here, if it is, i suppose all one could do is try and find a way of ridding ourselves of it, iether by meds or a therapist. you may have something deep inside youve never truly gotten over even if you thought you have. ive looked in this area as i was abused as a child , and if this illness dosnt get better due to the meds the docs give me, i’ll soon be getting therapy to see if it will help. dont beat yourself up anymore, YOURE NOT CRAZY!!!
i see colours,lights, all sorts of crazy auras, i have rocking for 13 years now, i have the best hubby and daughter in the world, and a wonderfull life. so why would this be???
maybe the migraine and or mav or whatever this is could be caused by anxiety, dose it matter where its from. you just need to get the help thats required to fix this problem, being proactive about your health is a good thing.
you sound like an intelligent person , so keep on track, you and youre family deserve it.
hugs from jenny.

I replied about it in another post, and I agree that the two are linked: if you feel like you’re falling over a cliff, don’t you get anxious. When you have vertigo, it’s terrifyiing. And, the fear of it returning is justifiable. A lot of the medical articles talk about migraine associated vertigo and anxiety disorder. They can’t be separated: yet we are NOT responsible for feeling anxious about feeling dizzy and out of control. Personally, I don’t like it and I also beat myself up about the worry–but then I think that it’s reasonable to worry about an incapacitating symptom that you have limited control over.
I’ve looked into the EFT stuff: they publish it for free on the web, and I just don’t buy the fact that tapping on my chest and repeating phrases will free me from anxiety.
I’ve only tried it for a few minutes.
My daughter has MAV, and she saw a psychologist who used biofeedback, and she was diligent about listening to the tapes and trying to raise the icy cold finger temperature, and the harder she tried, the worse she felt. The psychologist’s student “blamed” her for not relaxing and getting better. All that came from that experience, was her distaste for psychologists and all calming hypnosis CDs.
There’s a famous physician who was pusning the mind-body connection, and I knew a man whose cancer came back, despite working with the physician and visualizing. He felt guilty that he hadn’t tried hard enough.
So, I think our anxiety is real, because it’s linked to our problem, and to try and assign blame or feel shame for feeling it doesn’t do anyone any good.
Not to say I don’t fight against it, or get upset about the anxiety, but I’m trying hard not to blame myself.

I’ve used EFT for a few other things in my life and I did find a relief from those. I’ve attempted it on the vertigo/migraine stuff but I don’t know how positive I am when I make my affirmation. The tapping works like accupressure. But anyway, I am going to give it some time.

I’ve suffered with my anxiety, panic and agoraphobia for waaaay longer than I’ve had the problems with the migraines. Even though I did suffer with migraines (but without neurological dysfunction)as a teen (though I didn’t know then that they were migraines). This is why I have a hard time thinking that the MAV is causing the anxiety. Sure, it causes my already present disorder to flare up and of course, if a person gets dizzy they are likely to panic. But in my case, I do tend to believe that my anxiety sometimes causes and most definitely makes the vertigo worse. AND I am 75% sure that I sometimes imagine my dizziness to be worse than what it really is. So, while there is the chicken and the egg scenario with anxiety and MAV. My anxiety existed far before the vertigo ever started.

Either way, it’s a vicious cycle and I hate it. :frowning: I just want to be normal again.

I completely agree about the chicken and the egg: stress filled situations make me anxious, and I worry about feeling dizzy, so I worry some more. What came first.
But, once when I was really in bad shape, I was sitting in the doctor’s waiting room, looked up at a magazine page, felt a spin, and felt my heart start to race–but I didn’t feel anxious. So, I know that they’re tied together, and it is a vicious cycle. And I totally agree that it would be great if it was gone.