503727 tn?1210439110

always feel lightheaded and dizzy

Hi I'm 25 female and I have been told by my doctor that i have a panic disorder. I am always lightheaded and feeling dizzy. I feel like I could pass out at any second. This is ruining my life. Im scared to do anything alone. I cant go to a grocery store, mall, nothing. I am too scared that I'm going to pass out and I have tried to overcome it but I cant. As soon as I get into a place I get so dizzy and my vision is all messed up. I get so hot and sweaty and my heart races. I want my life back. I still dont believe that its just anxiety causing all of this. I feel like I have something else wrong that the doctors cant find even though i have had bloodwork, mri, ekg, and they were all normal. I started taking .25mg of xanax once a day. still dont feel any better yet. So if anybody has any help please give it to me. I feel like i have hit rock bottom
539 Responses
266195 tn?1215310411
You and I sound almost exactly the same.  I feel dizzy ALOT and I am afraid to be alone or go to a store, When I get in a store I get dizzy, hot and I can feel my heart racing in my chest.  I too have had all the various workups for my health and am otherwise fine.  

I took xanax, and the first pill worked fine then after that they didn't work anymore
Now i've started prozac and I feel even worse, everytime I stand up I get the feeling im going to black out.  Hopefully this will go away soon.

I feel like my life is over, like I will never have it back and I am just destined to lie in a bed all the time worried about everything and be dizzy.   I find that talking to people about it does help though, so anytime you need someone to talk to you are welcome to give me a shout on here

266195 tn?1215310411

You should fill out your profile so we will know more about you :)  
503727 tn?1210439110
thank you so much for responding. it feels so good to know that i am not alone with this and that i have someone to talk to about it because nobody understands it like my friends or family. they think im crazy and its all in my head. why would i ever want to make something up? nobody understands and i hate feeling so alone with it. i am so happy i found this forum, i will try to figure out the profile thing. ttyl
266195 tn?1215310411
Hey you ARE NOT alone.  My parents and friends are the same exact way, they just say "shake it off, you will be fine".  They just don't understand how hard it is to shake off, IT IS VERY HARD.  I've even been accused of making all this up so people will feel sorry for me, I WISH I WAS MAKING IT UP!!!  It's so horrible.

I feel so unstable, and when I say unstable, I mean I feel like I cannot control anything and my panic and anxiety can just take me over.  But have you ever noticed that even in the middle of the worse anxiety attack, if your in public with friends or something, you will aways excuse yourself properly before running off?  I notice I do that, it's weird.  Some may not, I dunno.

The most important thing is that you are not alone and you are not crazy!  This is a real problem, just as real as someone with diabetes or something.

Do you ever get full blown panic attacks?
323525 tn?1229339047
You are definitely not alone here.  Back in August of 2007, I started getting really bad panic attacks almost every single day... things kept getting worse and worse as the months went on... I could barely go to my classes, couldn't go out to bars, malls, stores, anything without panicking(heart racing, dizzy, shaky, feel like i'm going to faint).  It was like this anxiety literally took over my life.  By November I started to get into a deep depression.  I was crying almost every night, sometimes for no reason, but most of the time because I felt like I had no life.  I even had my mom crying for quite a long time because she literally could not help me.  This is something you have to manage yourself.  And no one will understand what you are going through unless they have been through it.  That's the toughest part.  I was completely against medication up until this past February.  I tried everything... going to the doctors to get several tests done that all came back normal, went to a therapist, tried exercising, completely got rid of caffeine in my diet... NOTHING worked.  That's when I broke down and said I NEED to at least give medication a try.  My therapist first put me on zoloft... I had pretty bad nausea with that and it didn't seem to work so we switched to celexa.  I have been on that for about 10 weeks now and I can't say enough about it... I still get very minor panic attacks about twice a month, but it is NOTHING compared to what it used to be.  I am soo happy now, even my friends and my family have noticed such a big change in my mood... I wouldn't go back if someone paid me.  So, my suggestion is, if nothing else works for you, you should definitely try an SSRI and see if it works... it make take more than one try, but it's totally worth it.  Good luck!!!

503727 tn?1210439110
I have always been against medication I guess because I feel that its not anxiety thats causing me to have these panick attacks. I think that im dizzy all the3 time because i got some brain tumor or some rare disease that the doctors keep missing...but thats most likely just the anxiety giving me these thoughts so 3 weeks ago i explained to my doctor how bad its really been. she gave me xanax and celexa. so im so excited to hear that you take that and it works because alot of people havent really heard of it. i take .25mg xanax once a day which doesnt do anything and i have been staring at my celexa pills debating to take them for the past three weeks (dont ask me why, just scared to start them i guess) but now since i hear some positive feedback on it i will start it tonight. thanx
i see this is from 2008....I feel like this now. Have you conquered it?
Hi there krisjason1!!  I am happy to chat about whatever is going on. It would work best if you started your own post though with a few more details about things. Do you take Xanax?  Or Celexa?  Have you started these?
323525 tn?1229339047
no problem.... I was exactly like you... petrified... but I got over it.  And don't be upset if Celexa doesn't work for you... everyone is different.... I heard a lot of positive things about Zoloft and it just didn't work with my body.  I also took xanax when I first started Celexa... my therapist told me it will help keep the side effects low.  However, I will tell you that you shouldn't continue to take xanax every day for a long period of time (more than a month) because it will become addicting and it is very hard to come off of it... so if I were you I would stop taking the xanax soon and only take it if you are having a panic attack. If you have any more questions or just need to talk please don't hesitate... I will always be here for advice or whatever... we all need all the help we can get! : )
Avatar universal
Hey sorry tocome in on your guys convo but I too suffer from the same thing I think something is wrong and cant take care of it. I think the worst and scared to go out. I wanted to say that xanax sucks I took it and didn't work, plus your on the smallest dosage of it so maybe you should ask you pcp to up the dosage. I am trying to find a anxiety med that works because I get no relief from the ones I have had so far. But as for you, you are not alone. Get back at me.
503727 tn?1210439110
the xanax isnt workin for me but thats probaly because i am taking the lowest possible dose. you know what gets me is i was reading the side effects and of course it says dizziness. so i dont know if i dont feel any better because im feeling a side effect or its just not working. but i am going to start the celexa tonight and hopefully it will start working but in the mean time im just trying to get through the day....btw does anybody find that flurescent lights like in walmart screw with their eyes? or is it just part of the panic attack?
Avatar universal
Everything that you have described in this thread is anxiety panic related. Dizziness, fear of passing out, vision issues from lights, sweats, and not believeing the docs after they did all your bloodwork. These are all common with anxiety disorders.

If your meds arent working you should go back to the doc to either up your dose or try a different med. Are you doing any counseling at all either? They might be an underlying reason for your anxiety that may come out with counseling.

503727 tn?1210439110
My primary care doc started me on the meds. i have not yet seen a therapist but i am in the works of trying to find one. i know i have a lot of other issues in my life that im sure is making everything worse and talking to someone might help.
Avatar universal
I feel the same way. I just started feeling like this really. I got a cold and  my heart was racing and I was getting light headed all the time and dizzy kinda having shortness of breath. I try to stay away from stress as much as possible but because I am a singal mom and just starting a new job that is full of stress it tuff.  I think that everything just builds up to the point that you can't take it anymore. I also feel that talking to someone really helps because as I am writing this I am feeling a bit better.

I have not seen a doctor yet nor am I on any meds to fix my issue. I plan to see my doctor in the near future in regards to my condition.
Avatar universal
I'm a 30 year old man, and have suffered from anxiety for as long as I can remember.  All these symptoms you have been talking about can be attributed to anxiety.  It took me a really long time to figure it out for myself - I was convinced I was dying from an undiagnosed illness.  My family and friends blew me off as just "worrying too much" and that I needed to relax.  Unless someone has been there, it's pretty safe to assume that no one will understand exactly what it's like.

I was on Zoloft for a long time, and it helped.  But I didn't want to be medicated forever. So I started seeing a therapist who coached me through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).  Basically, you describe your train of thought when you are feeling panicky, identify the point where you "derail", and try to recognize it the next time and do it differently.  You're trying to adjust your body's natural instinct for "fight or flight", so to speak.  It really works.  I'm telling you, therapy helped me more than any medication.

I've been off Zoloft for months, and have been feeling a little more panicky than when I was on it.  But I'm still coping - it's unfortunately something that doesn't seem to ever totally disappear.  You have to recognize that you're doing it, and change your thought patterns.

As far as your symptoms, they can mostly be attributed to chronic hyperventilation syndrome.  It's a real syndrome, and is found in anxious people.  We don't breathe properly as we're always in "fight or flight" mode.  We're always slightly hypoxic, which is why we feel faint, dizzy, lightheaded, foggy, etc.  This makes us feel even more anxious, and then we breathe even less, and the cycle continues.

My best advice, physically, is to make sure to SLOW your breathing.  When you're feeling anxious, hold your breath.  The reason we're dizzy is because we're not exhaling enough CO2 (why the breathing in a bag method works).  So, inhale slowly but not too much, hold your breath for a few seconds, exhale slowly, and repeat.  Don't breathe too deeply or this can worsen the signs, but just slow it down.  I'm telling you, this works.  The only other physical tip I have is to exercise REGULARLY and eat healthy.  This has helped me probably more than anything else.

The adrenalin that kicks in with anxiety causes all the other symptoms (shaky, feel like you're gonna lose it, heart racing, etc.) and that just makes it worse. Just realize that it's always going to be there, and that it will go away.  No one's ever died from a panic attack - they will subside.  The worst thing would be to let anxiety ruin your life, cause you to become depressed, etc.  By focusing on your symptoms, you only make them worse because you become more aware of them (racing heart - why is it racing? am I going to die?  Pass out?...then all of a sudden your heart is beating even faster).  So, you've got to adjust your train of thought.  The best way is to find a therapist that deals with anxiety, buckle down and just go.

I hope this helped.  Best of luck.
407812 tn?1211307057
I use to feel the same way, is like we twins lol.. I had all the same test done and they all came out negative so my doctor told me I should try a chiropractor I did it helped alittle but still felt the same... So I went to my other dr that takes care of me for my anxiety and he perscibed me paxil cr 25mg and that helped me alot it took away my dizzyness, headache and the lightheadness I been pain free like for 2months now, maybe you car talk to someone about the paxil.... Good luck... I hope you get better soon.
Avatar universal
does anyone ever feel like they are not there? like you respond to all your friends questions, normal conversation and all, but you feel like your head is spinning?
503727 tn?1210439110
thanx for all your advice..i will definitly try some of your techniques. i just bought a book called "The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook". I am going to start reading asap. I see my pc on thursday. im hoping she recommends a good therapist.
511019 tn?1214337323
Autonomic Disorders like POTS could cause some of these same symptoms.
Avatar universal
i feel for all of you because i know what your going through. i have had panic disorder for thirty years. dizzygrl, you are on a very low dose of xanax that's why it's not helping. yes, it is addictive, but so are most of the antidepressant drugs. i've taken xanax on and off for a long time. the dose that works for me is .50mg three times a day, i stared off on .25mg three times a day. it's the best thing that i've found to control the panic attacks. of course everyone is different and maybe therapy might work for you, or an antidepressant. i agree with bgstewer, controlling your breathing helps. try not to worry too much about having a disease, most of us that have panic disorder have done the same thing and it turns out that we're fine. i hope you find what works for you. your fellow panic attack friend. remar
Avatar universal
Although its not a nice thing to go through, its good to know we're not alone. I've just come off some tablets that i took for my anxiety, i was on a very low dosage but this last week i have felt very light headed and as though i am about to pass out at any time, this has certainly never happened before and is very scary, so obviously I start thinking something is wrong, but i'm now telling myself its psychological so trying to breathe through it and talk to friends and collegues about it.

It is just so frustrating. does anyone know if this is normal to feel light headed and faint after coming off tablets?
Avatar universal
Hey guys, was just reading over everyones comments, i can pretty much relate to everything said... I just started taking Celexa (again) after 2 years of being off it, and have some of the side effects, dizzyness, major sleep problems, and some nausea. they are slowly going away, but you have to remember that they are more present at the beggining and will soon go away, and then you will start to feel better, it may take a few weeks, to over a month, but just give it a chance.
My MAJOR thing is the constant dizzyness and lack of focus, almost like a cloud is around me and i cant concentrate on things and am sensitive to light, so hopefuly the pills will start to work soon and i can get back to living a normal life. Good luck to you all :D and remember that you can live with an extreme illness in  your brain (like cancer or a disease) without actually having it. Its just anxiety.
Avatar universal
I'm sorry to but in. I just came across this forum as i was searching for blackouts. I do not have anxiety nor panic attacks, however i have  the racing heart. This was diagnosed as Premature Ventricular Contractions or PVCs (and they say they are "nothing serious")  and my vision goes completely black very often and i feel like i am going to pass out. I passed out 4 years ago, 4 days after giving birth to my son... just check out this web site. I AM NOT A DOCTOR. I have just been through a lot with my family.  Please! It may or may not be worth your time. Please know your family history. http://long-qt-syndrome.com
Avatar universal
I had panic dissorder for over 17 years and still have severe anxiety dissorder with added de personalisation, de realisation and slight OCD over my health just to name a few, i have had every heath check known to man and it always comes down to its just anxiety! I hate the doctors and specialists everytime they say that but think its important to get to a point where you actually accept the diagnosis and thats when my panic attacks stopped. I can still feel when ones coming on and i normally have .25 xanax everyday for a couple of days just until the fight or flight response turns off in my body. There are some really good books out there like power over panic that really helped me through the really tough times but in the end it all comes down to accepting that although i feel like im going to die from some strange exotic illness that doctors haven't discovered its actually just anxiety.  Keep on keeping on people your not alone.
504535 tn?1210527032
i find that keeping busy can help reduce the anxiety.  when you're busy, your mind is at work on something else rather than thinking of your troubles ;) works like a charm for me, only problem is, when im not busy, the anxiety strikes. ill find myself going on google trying to find answers that only make me feel worse.  i was taking sertraline (zoloft) and didnt find it effective.  i stopped taking it and now im trying to shake the last bit of this anxiety stuff off.  meds can be good if you are in really deep anxiety though, only use them temproarily (or at least thats what i say) until you can conquer these panic attacks.  having scientific reassurance helps a lot.  since you've been tested for multiple things and show up fine, be relieved, that's perfect.  dizzyness is very common in anxiety and so is sweating.  that can go away once your mind is on something more pleasant.  hang in there and take this one day at a time until you can get over this. i know, it's hard, i know first hand and im still not completely out of the anxiety trouble, but keeping a positive mind will help.
537497 tn?1292553056
My anxiety started when i was 23.. not too long after my first son was born.. I got dizzy once, and ever since then it's like I'm just waiting for it to happen again.. I went through the same thing.. I wouldn't go anywhere because I thought I would pass out and die!! I went to the doctor she gave me zoloft and ativan.. that helped a little, I was able to go to the store again, but I would still get nervous, but I had my ativan handy i would be in an asle and pop an ativan with nothing to drink I felt like a druggy.. but it will pass, just stop waiting for it to happen, I know thats easier said than done trust me, but it will pass i promise... try to find one thing that makes you feel safe.. like say to yourself if i take a shower i will be fine that will help.. I too have OCD and i would do the craziest things to make myself believe that i was fine, I would say if i just go sit on the porch and count the cars that go by for 5 minutes and i count all of them then nothing bad will happen.. I know that sounds crazy but I have had OCD since I was 5.. It runs in the family.. just know that you are not alone and you are not gonna die.. well maybe when your 80 and begging for it..
well good luck and keep us posted and if you feel like talking I'm here..
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