Does Anxiety Cause Dizziness

Does anxiety cause dizziness is a question that comes up again and again. The traditional answer that most doctors will tell you is “yes”. Conventional and traditional medical thought says that anxiety causes dizziness and indeed there are many people who have been suffering with dizziness for years that have nothing physically wrong with them, they are just anxious.

But is this conventional opinion actually true? Lets look at anxiety and its relationship with dizziness more closely. The vestibular system that control balance from the inner-ear is highly complicated and not as well-understood as other parts of the human anatomy. Dizziness never killed anyone so medical research is thin on the ground here.

When something doesn’t have a clear physical cause, doctors like to tell you its psychological. But what they find it hard to accept is that there may be a physical cause that they don’t understand.

Looking at a symptom and saying “it’s anxiety” and packing them off to Cognitive Behavioural Therapist is much easier than saying “I don’t know”.

Why would anxiety make you dizzy? What would the function of it be? Anxiety is there to protect us, it is the fight or flight response. We hyperventilate to get more oxygen to the lungs, our heart beats faster to keep the blood pumping to our muscles, the adrenalin makes us ready for action. All of these things make it easier for us to fight the beasts that used to prey on us, or run from them. But dizziness doesn’t help us, it hinders us and there is no reason for it to be there. The fight or flight response has evolved over millenia and it is unlikely that dizziness is a part of it.

So does anxiety cause dizziness? Perhaps some of the fight or flight response and the physiological changes it brings can cause you to feel a bit of balance while you are anxious, but the idea that anxiety is a major cause of chronic dizziness is not one I believe.

I suspect that the link between anxiety and dizziness has been so often talked about that many doctors assume it’s true when the evidence simply does not exist.

6 Replies to “Does Anxiety Cause Dizziness”

  1. This is a very good article and smacks of truth. I also do not believe “dizziness” is caused by anxiety. I am of the opinion people could help regulate their anxiety by doing some moderate exercise. This will use up the adrenaline and take their minds off their situation. I have articles and ideas at my site above. Thanks.

  2. Very informative article. I found that or according to my experience anxiety causes dizziness. The person become so dizzy and he/she even have any desire to do anything.

  3. Good article. It is unfortunate this part of the anatomy is so unknown. I have had chronic problems with vertigo, dizziness, and unsteadiness and I believe it started right after an anxiety attack I had. It has been 6 months and even though my anxiety is under control the dizziness has become a problem of its own and all I can think about is that my anxiety damaged my vestibular system or SOMETHING. It feels that way, I constantly wonder if it is true. Seen all the doctors, still undiagnosed.

  4. I feel that anxiety clouds my brain making me unable to think clearly or concentrate on anything. For me it is more of a headache then dizziness unless I’ve not eaten in a while. Drs are most of the time so generic with a problem, I once got assigned medication for a headache and had to pay for it and after a week no improvement. So I went back to find that I didn’t need that medication because what I had was something different according to another dr. I gave up, I wasn’t paying more money so I went home and relaxed for a few days by burning incense and had a lovely bubble bath and I felt better that way surprisingly.


  5. I like the article and it raises a good question; however, I couldn’t help my self but wonder if there might be a missed factor here.

    For example, hyperventilation, which is almost always in conjunction with anxiety, has been known to lower the level of oxygen in the brain by up to 50%. This is due to the Bohr Effect and so called unbalance between oxygen and Carbon dioxide levels in the blood (C02 is what switches places with the oxygen when the hemoglobin moves through the blood, and allows oxygen to be absorbed into the tissue). This is a massive number, and if it occurs then it is easy to perceive that this might cause the feeling of dizziness.

    I have always felt like my own dizziness during anxiety in the past was actually simply the unsteadiness feeling perceived by the lack of oxygen to my brain during acute hyperventilation.

    A personal detective moment proved to me that if I can reduce the total volume of my breathing, thus raising the C02 level and getting more Oxygen to the brain, this feeling went away. This is a technique of the Buteyko Method and is highly effective.

    feel free to contact me at,

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