Ebert Psychological Services
Dizziness and Vertigo
PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGICAL DIZZINESS OR VERTIGO
When vertigo occurs it feels as if your whole world is crashing down. Sometimes you feel as if you're falling to one side and your head cannot be stabilised. The only coping skill you have is to go to bed for a long time and lay there in darkness until the vertigo or spinning reduces. Sometimes people can be left with a terrible headache or migraine and they remain sensitive to noise and light. People feel scared and worry that they might be having a stroke. It is a traumatic event. Sometimes people recover from their first episode quickly and do not consider it ongoing concern. If and when the symptoms occur again people start to worry about it "happening again"; "what's wrong with me"; "I will never be able to live a normal life again". All of these concerns are valid and create anxiety for anyone who has experienced these symptoms. The anxiety in turn reinforces the fear associated with these symptoms occurring again.
When you experience these symptoms is is best to inform your GP so that they can perform some investigations. It is also good to have a review from a Neurologist to assist in making a differential diagnosis. However sometimes a diagnosis is not given as the tests may come back clear. This in itself may be more anxiety provoking for people as they then start to feel that there "is something wrong with me" or "I can't live the rest of my life like this". People then start to withdraw socially and stay at home as to avoid the symptoms being triggered when they're out and then they can't or don't know how to cope. They also withdraw from exercise and have extensive sick leave which is totally understandable.
I have experienced Psychophysiological Dizziness myself and I know how terrifying it can be. I have also been fortunate to work with Dr Sarah Edelman who has developed a Psychological Intervention Program to assist people with these symptoms. Her Program has been researched extensively with excellent outcomes.
Since 2011 I have received referrals from Sarah as well as other Neurologists and Ear Nose and Throat Surgeons to treat people with these symptoms. The approach to therapy is based on Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with many people developing excellent coping skills to reduce the intensity of these symptoms. Most people have been prepared and able to travel for sessions. However sometimes it is too hard to do so and Home Visits are available.
I look forward to meeting you and assisting you to re-engage in your life.