Vestibular Anxiety

Vestibular disorders can cause anxiety. Some vestibular disorders can be so subtle that you might not realize that you are suffering from some kind of dizziness or vertigo and assume your anxiety has a psychological cause (read Anxiety and Dizziness for more information).

Take the case of someone who feels anxious and “strange” in a supermarket. A psychologist might tell them that they crave control and feel trapped in a supermarket and this causes anxiety. A cognitive behavior therapist might suggest that they tackle the negative thoughts they have around supermarkets. But they might be missing the fact that supermarkets, with their long isles, tiled floor and strip lighting are prone to exaggerating small vestibular weaknesses and making people feel slightly odd or slightly dizzy and detached.


Lots of anti anxiety medication also works as vestibular depressants, which numb the message from your ear to your brain and stops vertigo, dizziness and anxiety.

The best ways to tackle vestibular anxiety are:

  • Vestibular Rehabilitation – a series of physiotherapy exercises that help your ¬†brain correctly interpret the signal from your ears. Takes time and commitment!
  • Vestibular Suppressants – drugs which control dizziness and may also control anxiety. ¬†Only treats the symptoms and does not provide a solution.
  • Ginkgo Biloba – may work by increasing the blood supply to the brain and some people swear by it for dizziness and vertigo.

If you are interested in the physical causes of anxiety, read Killing Anxiety From The Roots. It has a lot of information on this.

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