Anxiety & Balance Disorder

Anxiety Disorder

There are many types of anxiety from panic to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions in the United States. It affects all age levels and more women than men are diagnosed with panic disorder, phobias, and agoraphobia (fear of public places). More men experience social anxiety.

Balance Disorder

A balance disorder is a problem with the body's vestibular (balance) system. Your eyes, ears, skin and muscles, and brain all work together to keep you feeling balanced. Issues with any of these systems can throw off your balance. Fainting or vertigo are both examples of balance disorders.

Anxiety Symptoms

Symptoms of anxiety can mimic symptoms of balance disorder. You might feel dizzy, faint, nauseous, or unsteady on your feet as a result of anxious thoughts and sensations. These symptoms will go away when the anxiety passes. Additional symptoms include: shortness of breath, a racing heart, sweaty or cold hands, an impending sense of doom, a foggy brain, and more.

Balance Disorder Symptoms

If one aspect of the vestibular system (eyes, ears, brain, and skin and muscles) is compromised, you may feel dizzy, off-balance, shaky, fearful of falling or even nauseated. You will also have anxiety. You can feel out of control when your balance is compromised, and this is a great source of fear.

Anxiety and Balance Disorder

It is expected that those with a balance disorder will feel anxiety according to Dr. Orit Bart, a professor at Tel Aviv University. She and her colleagues documented that anxiety and balance disorders occur together. They found that children often had both and when they practiced physical balance exercises, the symptoms for both disorders improved. According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, there are around 40 million people suffering from anxiety. Balance disorders affect close to 20\% of the population. And those with balance disturbances usually have some level of anxiety. But the reverse is not always true; anxiety does not mean you will have balance problems.