In a previous article I discussed the importance of including balance issues in any discussion of the contributors to panic attacks and anxiety. Amazingly, this connection hasn't received much attention, but it appears as though that's changing. Yes, children with balance issues are being assessed for signs and symptoms of anxiety, and intervention strategies and techniques are being developed and implemented. This is great news, as it holds the potential to save millions from life-long suffering.
As you may know, in addition to our sense of hearing the inner ear is the headquarters of balance and equilibrium. Within the membranous labyrinth, a fluid-filled structure deep within the inner ear, is a relatively large area known as the vestibule. And it's the "vestibular system" that monitors and manages balance and equilibrium by receiving and integrating input from the eyes, ears, and muscles of the trunk, neck, and limbs. Of course, the vestibular system gets a little help from its friends, one of which is the brain's cerebellum. I guess it would make sense that the cerebellum is a major player in the integration of sensory perception, as well as motor control.
Now then, disorders of the vestibular system can cause all sorts of mental, emotional, and physical problems, including panic and anxiety. The panic and anxiety generated by vestibular system dysfunction is most often triggered by the misinterpretation of, and overreaction to, the troubling symptoms it produces. I mean, we're talking dizziness, loss of balance, headache, attention and focus issues, tinnitus, trouble focusing and tracking with the eyes, distorted hearing, confusion, and loss of memory. Think those would make you anxious and panicky? I'm thinking so.
Just recently I assessed a young man who was having a very tough time with panic and anxiety. As he told me about his wealth of physical symptoms he included feeling very unsteady on his feet and sensing something was wrong with his balance. Heck, forget about being a clinician, as a recovered panic sufferer I immediately knew what he was describing and why it was upsetting him. Listen, in spite of its lack of marquee status, this is an incredibly common issue for millions of panic and anxiety sufferers.
Again, the outstanding news is the balance/panic/anxiety phenomenon is now being assessed and treated in children. The treatment formula is a very simple balance-focused physical regimen using a variety of equipment in assisting the child in managing his/her environmental experience and movement within space. And, of course, the more progress made by the child, the greater the decline in the potential for panic and anxiety issues.
So it looks as though this is a "win, win, win" situation here. A traditionally ignored contributor to panic and anxiety is getting some major attention. A contributor to panic and anxiety is being addressed in childhood. The potential for lifelong pain and suffering is being greatly reduced.
What's not to like?
I've worked hard in helping others with creative and effective relief strategies for depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. And it's all based in my own emotional and mental health history and recovery; as well as my clinical training and experience in counseling. I'm inviting you to visit my blog at http://chipur.com. It's a haven of sharing, learning, and relief for those enduring depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Come on, stop on by and participate, won't you?