What Is The Difference Between Vertigo And Psychological Disturbances?

Vertigo And Psychological Disturbances

Psychological disturbances & Vertigo are related in a peculiar way. Medical practitioners have attested to the fact that in some patients, psychological disturbances are often vertigo causes & can lead to many vertigo symptoms. However, in some cases, doctors have observed that vertigo & dizziness give rise to certain psychological disorders in vertigo patients.

The need for clearing the difference between Vertigo & psychological disturbances arises due to a popular misconception. Most people think that Vertigo is a fear of heights, & thus has its root in a person’s psyche. This isn’t true in every case. The fear of heights is a different condition from Vertigo, in that it is mostly psychological while Vertigo is a set of symptoms that are physically felt by a person. Vertigo is also caused by some underlying illness, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed.

In some cases, a person with a fear of heights may develop additional Vertigo symptoms like dizziness, a loss of balance, & a spinning sensation. However, when this happens, it is usually due to an underlying illness, rather than a manifestation of the fear of heights in a physical sense.

The statistics for Vertigo patients suffering from psychological disturbances

On average, medical researchers have observed that around 50% of all people who present with dizziness & loss of orientation in clinics have a diagnosable psychological disorder, anxiety being the top contender in this respect. In a vertigo & dizziness specialty clinic, the incidence of patients reporting with dizziness & loss of coordination also suffering from psychological disturbances is between 3-41%. In some cases, patients with chronic dizziness & vertigo can go on to develop certain psychological disturbances like anxiety, panic, & depression. This can be attributed to their everyday struggle to perform regular activities with their condition.

If their vertigo symptoms are severe enough to cause disruptions in their daily routine or their jobs, then the psychological toll is likely to be proportionately high. In such cases, it is possible for the patients to experience significant psychological disturbances along with Vertigo symptoms.

However, if their vertigo causes their psychological disturbances or if they were already prone to such disturbances, is contested in the medical community.

Differences in vertigo treatment with or without psychological disturbances

Knowing if a patient’s vertigo symptoms are due to an underlying physical illness, injury, trauma, or psychological disturbance, is vital for effective & accurate vertigo treatment. Vertigo treatment options for physical vertigo symptoms like dizziness, loss of balance, spinning sensation, ringing in the ears, & nystagmus, can be treated with the help of Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy, Vertigo exercises, Vertigo medicines, & certain home remedies.

Vertigo exercises like the Epley Maneuver, Semont-Manuver, Foster maneuver, half-somersault manuever, & the Brandt-Daroff exercises are effective in BPPV Vertigo treatment. Vertigo medicines like anti-histamines, betahistine, analgesics, & anti-dizziness medications, are effective in Vertigo treatment for central vertigo & to reduce the severity of vertigo symptoms for peripheral vertigo.

In cases where Vertigo symptoms are caused by inner ear infections like Meniere’s Disease, labyrinthitis, or Vestibular Neuritis, Vertigo treatment includes diuretic medications that reduce the water level inside the ear, & anti-viral medications. In certain cases where Vertigo symptoms are caused by conditions like perilymph fistula &/or indeterminable causes, surgery might be needed to reduce the severity of the patient’s symptoms & treat the underlying vertigo cause.

If your doctor determines that your vertigo symptoms are the result of psychological issues like anxiety, panic attacks, depression, etc., then your Vertigo treatment may consist of anti-anxiety medications, anti-depressants, & certain other drugs.

Your doctor will still recommend you Vertigo exercises & vertigo medications as part of a standard vertigo treatment plan to complement your treatment strategy. However, you should never self-diagnose your condition based on your symptoms, or mix medications unknowingly.

Always ask your doctor before starting any new medication, whether for psychological disturbances or Vertigo treatment, as not doing so may result in adverse side effects.

In any case, your vertigo treatment prognosis will largely differ based on the exact underlying vertigo cause. If physical reasons like head injury, trauma, BPPV, viral infections, & inner ear disorders are the cause for your vertigo symptoms, then your treatment will focus on treating the exact underlying cause.

However, if psychological reasons like anxiety & depression are responsible for your Vertigo symptoms, then your vertigo treatment will consist of psychotherapy, psychological medications, & counseling in addition to the regular vertigo treatment methods.

The prognosis, in this case, is likely to be as good or bad as in cases where vertigo causes are physical, underlying illnesses. It depends on the quality of vertigo & psychological treatment given to the patients, along with long-term monitoring & treating any flare-ups.

In conclusion

The prevalence of psychological disturbances among vertigo patients is no different from that among the regular population. In the event that psychological disturbances bring on Vertigo symptoms, your doctor will define the proper vertigo treatment protocol & procedures.

In the event that your chronic vertigo diagnosis has given rise to certain psychological issues, your doctor will include counseling & therapy in your existing vertigo treatment plan. 

It’s important to understand & make your patients understand the difference between psychological disturbances & afflictions, & Vertigo. They might seem like or be used interchangeably, but are actually quite different, as is expounded more in the article above.


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