Motion question

by Bridie

I have been searching for an answer to this question for years and someone pointed me in the direction of this site. I have never been diagnosed with SPD however I am suspicious. A bit of background: I have an anxiety disorder with panic attacks which I predominantly triggered by motion which causes dizziness. It's a viscous cycle.

It started when I was 16 and took some travel tablets when going on an overnight boat trip. 24 hours later I lost all sense of balance, became hot and clammy, nauseous etc. It passed within a few hours. After flying home a few days later I noticed that when standing in the kitchen I could feel the floor moving up and down (logically it wasn't, I figured I had sea legs). Ever since then I have been intolerant to motion of varying degrees. But the odd thing is it doesn't make me sick, it makes me dizzy. Not a spinning dizzy, but an up and down swaying dizzy.

The worst is when flying. On take off and landing I feel an incredible heavy crushing feeling in my head and I have to fight with everything I have to not lose consciousness. This feeling also happens when the plane 'dips' during the flight. I get so anxious about this feeling that I avoid flying. I feel the movement of a pontoon over water as far more exaggerated than it is is, I struggle to

stand up. I hate going in elevators as I can feel the movement even before I get on and still after I get off. Sometimes I have to hang on to the mattress when my husband rolls over in bed at night because I feel like I might fall off! I can't go on a trampoline or jumping castle with my kids and if I'm on an escalator I have to walk on it to lessen the feeling of the movement.

As an aside, may be related, when I feel dizzy and therefore anxious/panicky, my way of 'coping' is to cause pain to myself. I pinch, scratch, bite, pull my hair etc, anything to feel some sort of external stimulation to distract me from the internal horrible feelings. The odd thing is I often can't feel the pain until later, and will therefore be covered in bruises without realising it.

I am seeing a psychologist for the anxiety, but he doesn't seem to get that if the motion issues went away so would the anxiety, I am sure of it. I have seen 2 ENT's about the motion issues but they don't have ny idea why I feel it except that as soon as they hear I have anxiety they write it off as 'all in my head'.

So I guess I'm wondering if it could be a sensory issue? Does anyone else understand where I'm coming from? Can anyone relate to this?

Comments for Motion question

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 22, 2020
Coping stratagies
by: Anonymous

I am a woman in my late 20's and have motion challenges and dizziness as well. My experience with ENT's and psychologist is that they won't help. The ENT said it was migraines and to see a neurologist, the neurologist said she didn't know what it was, but it definitely wasn't migraines. In my experience psychologists want to talk about what you are thinking and aren't good giving coping strategies for physical suffering.

I have come up with a few strategies that I find helpful.

1. Weighted lap blanket in the car and on planes (just make sure you put it in a bin by itself going through airport security) It helps to make me feel more grounded and less overwhelmed by movement.

2. I bring lemon or lime water with me in the car. Anything acidic will do to lesson feelings of nausea. When I was a kid I often threw up on long car rides, now it is more of a persistent queasiness. I went through a period in high school where I ate as little as possible because it would just come back up. Now, as long as I have my lemons I can eat most foods.

3. I Sleep with lots of blankets or a heavy sleeping bag on top of me. This has a similar theory to the first suggestion, but it is more preventative. If for you, like for me, it is proprioception related, then make sure you give your system some calming supportive input each day. It will help that sensory system function a little more smoothly.

4. I am not married, so this isn't one I have tried, but I suspect that if you have your husband give you a back massage before and/or after extended travel it will help alleviate symptoms. Deep touch pressure might be helpful.

On a slightly different note, I find collecting to be useful to do and focus on in situations where I feel sad and like I don't have enough control over my own life and sufferings and am tempted to hurt myself so that I can have some control over pain.

know that you aren't alone in having these problems and that sometimes trial and error on yourself is more productive than going to medical professionals. This website can be a good place to share tips. If you come across any on your own that I haven't thought of, I am always interested in coping strategies of physical suffering so please post.

Apr 20, 2020
The Epply Maneuver
by: Raya Rody Burstein, MS OTR

My daughter has SPD and suffers from dizziness. We had a physical Therapist perform the Epply Maneuver several times and her symptoms went away. The difficulty is in the semicircular canals of the ear. If that doesn't help you, I would consider getting vestibular therapy from an Occupational Therapist.

Apr 15, 2020
Dizziness after being on a trampoline.
by: Anonymous

I wonder if it is an inner ear crystal issue?

Nov 24, 2018
This might be you
by: Anonymous

My daughter has had ongoing dizziness since being on a trampoline several days ago. While googling, I found this article that may be you...

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Adult SPD .