Anxiety-Panic Attacks

Anxiety and panic attacks are a common symptoms of SCDS. Abnormal vestibular stimulation is a common trigger for the release of a particular type of chemical (adrenalin and adrenalin-like chemicals) surging through the bloodstream, and this can result in a panic attack. The official diagnosis of Panic Attack requires that the clinician exclude organic causes or drug effects. By definition, vestibular stimulation is an organic cause and would effectively rule out panic attack as the diagnosis.  However, most clinicians do not know how to evaluate for vertigo and so it “flies under the radar” and the patients may be diagnosed with panic spells.  Also, keep in mind that panic spells are seen with just about any vestibular diagnosis, not just SCDS. Out of the thirteen indicators for a panic attack only four are needed to make the diagnosis. Eight of the thirteen routinely happen during a vertigo spell: palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate; sweating; trembling or shaking; nausea or abdominal distress; feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed or faint; feelings of unreality, or being detached from oneself; fear of losing control or going crazy; and chills or hot flushes.