cause of meniere's--anxiety/stress?

Discussion in 'Your Living Room' started by wbfree, Oct 4, 2006.

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  1. wbfree

    wbfree New Member

    I was reading in another post about the idea that stress/anxiety may be the root cause of meniere's disease. i have battled generalized anxiety off and on most of my life but otherwise have been very healthy and active. -am 40 years old---diagnosed with MM 1 1/2 years ago. The suprising thing is, since I have had MM, I have not had anxiety problems. I sometimes feel that Meniere's is my way of handling anxiety. It may be coincidental, but I was wondering if anyone else had this notion--that the cause of meniere's is related to or caused by anxiety. Has anyone seen any studies regarding the root cause of this dreadful disease? Thanks, JW
  2. Linda1002

    Linda1002 New Member

    I don't think anxiety and stress cause MM, but I do believe they contribute to the symptoms.

    The medical profession still does not know the cause or cure.
  3. deercharmer1

    deercharmer1 Somewhere in the forest....

    Ditto what Linda said....
  4. thornapple

    thornapple New Member

    It could be that stress triggers whatever medical events are going on in our inner ears. Whatever is going on with me is certainly made worse by stress.

    I don't like to see people sit around blaming themselves for causing their own illness, though; I mean, stress can be bad stuff, but plenty of people experience stress and do not get vestibular disorders. It's just one of those things.

    It is advisable to reduce your stress if you have a vestibular disorder because it makes symptoms worse. If you can figure out how to do that, please share!!!! We all need it, here. In fact, this forum is one way to reduce stress for all of us.
  5. Wobbles

    Wobbles Storm (April 15, 1992 - November 17, 2006)

    Hi JW and welcome to forum,

    That’s good news about you being anxiety free ever since being diagnosed with MM. Bearing two burdens is no fun. Did you make any dietary or other life style changes when you came down with MM? Perhaps, these changes affected your anxiety in a positive manner.

    As far as the root causes of MM, I am of the opinion that there will be more than one culprit. There seems to be such large variety in how our symptoms manifest themselves that I find it hard to believe that we have the same disease. My guess is that there will be a complex of similar diseases that tie us together.

    With that aside, many studies have focused on viruses, bacteria, trauma, and autoimmune as potential causes. My favorite is autoimmune , but only because I think that it played some role in my situation.

  6. Amethyst

    Amethyst She believed she could, so she did.

    Hi JW - Welcome.

    I also have a history of severe generalized anxiety but unfortunately I have not felt any relief since the onset of meniere's earlier this year. That's great news that you've had some relief...I hope it stays that way for you. :)

    As to the root cause of meniere's in regards to stress, the way my ENT explained it is that in my particular case it looks as though the enormous stress I had been encountering triggered an underlying issue...resulting in mm. He believes that an inner ear issue was lying dormant until the stress piled up and activated it. He made it very clear that stress in itself does not cause mm (but it sure can aggravate our symptoms) - the cause still remains unknown. I'm of the same belief as Joe - there is likely more than one culprit.

  7. angels29

    angels29 New Member

    Hi! Well I know for me , if I am more stressed than usual my MM symptoms act up. My tinnitus also changes. I think stress can be one of the triggers associated with MM.
  8. pardonme

    pardonme Guest

  9. cheese

    cheese New Member

    I sometimes resent the link between anxiety and mm to the point of anger

    I was never anxious and a perfectly functional person until my first vertigo attack.

    Then for 4 years i was told i had a panic disorder, which of course i knew was bullshit... but once you've been "tarnished" by having a psychosomatic illness you often feel like the boy who cried wolf

    I remember having a vertigo attack so severe that i couldnt move an inch, and all i remember is my dad yelling at me to get up and snap out of, basically treating my like i was putting it on.

    I also remember trying to tell my family that the doctors thought I had MM and they wanted to do more tests, and all they did was roll their eyes at me treating me like i was full of shit, just because some shrink had put ALL of my problems down to anxiety without ever laying a hand on me, testing me, or anything of the kind ..........Psychiatrists have DEFINITELY done me more harm than good. I do however feel that psychologists can be a tremendous help.

    This is a quote from an article that someone posted here before the site crashed ...It is written by Doctor House I believe. I think it is a great quote.

    "Another frequent and, we feel, devastating approach is for the patient to be told that there is a large emotional overlay and have psychiatric consultation recommended. This does have the beneficial effect of getting the patient permanently out of the office, but it makes an already difficult situation much worse for him/her. The man who is having difficulty keeping up in our competitive world because of Menière's disease now has the added burden of his family's feeling that he has invented an emotional illness to excuse his inadequacies. The housewife feels herself unloved and resented because she does not carry her part of the family work and responsibility.

    Dr. William Crary, a psychologist, has carefully evaluated a large number of patients with Menière's disease as part of a long-term study being done at the Los Angeles Foundation of Otology under the supervision of Dr. Jack L. Pulec. Crary [personal communication] was unable to connect Menière's disease with a specific emotional problem or personality type.

    All normal patients with a serious incapacitating illness have somatic psychiatric problems, but this situation is vastly different from psychosomatic disease. One has only to halt the course of Menière's disease, and see tension and nervousness disappear, to have this confirmed."
  10. Linda1002

    Linda1002 New Member

    Cheese -

    That is an excellent quote. Can you find out for sure who said it?
  11. cheese

    cheese New Member

    I'll try and google it Linda. It was the only part of the article that I copied though.

    Im not sure if you remember the article, but it was only posted about a month ago ......I think the article was from the mid 70's ......Im almost 100% positive that it was Dr House though.
  12. Linda1002

    Linda1002 New Member

    The Dr. House at the clinic in southern California?
  13. cheese

    cheese New Member

    That was my guess ...... but I really cant be sure
  14. abra

    abra New Member

    I posted it is again, it's an older article but very informative...skip down to the English part.
  15. Linda1002

    Linda1002 New Member

    Thank you!!
  16. cheese

    cheese New Member

    aahh .... you're a life saver abra. that was doing my head in.
  17. Linda1002

    Linda1002 New Member

    I remember from before. This is an excellent article in many ways!!
  18. thornapple

    thornapple New Member

    Wow, there's a lot of interesting stuff on there, but it's all in portuguese! Hmmm....I know people in Brazil.....
  19. Orion

    Orion New Member

    For me, I agree with Amethyst. Meniere's is what manifested after years of ongoing anxiety. I have had tinnitus and ear fullness for 20 years without any other MM symptoms. My anxiety level has steadily increased over the past 5 years, and I chose not to really deal with it, at least not in a healthy way. I just kept driving myself harder and harder; that would actually distract me from the anxiety for a while. I think the MM is my body's way of finally getting my attention that I need to deal with the anxiety. Just what Amethyst said -- the underlying inner ear problem was there all along and the anxiety finally pushed me over the edge. I take this as a wake up call and am dealing with the anxiety finally and examining how I've lived my life. I don't know if this will take care of the worst of the MM symptoms (constant dizziness, brain fog) but I have a feeling it will. I also feel intuitively that MM is a warning...that if I continue to drive myself and not deal with the underlying anxiety disorder, the next thing to go physically will be much worse. This is not blaming myself but is based on what I know about mind/body connection and the deliterious long-term effects of anxiety/adreneline on the body.
  20. Gwendelyn

    Gwendelyn New Member

    Thank you for re-posting that artical Abra. I learned my lesson now to save all the articals I like just in case ;)


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