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lydiabauman

Dizzy and disoriented in large crowds

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I’m in a large high school with a lot of students, so there are obviously lots of crowds when the bell rings and I have to go to my next class. I was diagnosed with POTS last year at the end of the school year so I never really got to experience POTS and school. I have some other medical problems too, but my doctors/specialists are still trying to figure it out with me. Since I’ve been in school I’ve noticed this dizziness and disorientation in crowds. Every time I’m in a crowd I get really, really disoriented and confused. It’s a weird feeling and it’s hard to describe. It feels almost like I’m dreaming and my spacial awareness feels off and everything is just off. It makes me feel kind of like I’m going to pass out or fall asleep. It’s really strange and I was just wondering if anyone else experienced this weird feeling in crowds.

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That sounds a lot like vertigo and/or sensory overload symptoms--they can go hand in hand. I don't get the spins but more often I have sensations of movement outside of my body--like the walls or ceiling are moving, or the sidewalk warps ahead or banks when I turn the corner. A couple of years ago Hubs and I were at a zoo and I lost sight of him. I was sudden in panic because I couldn't find him. I was so out of it I could not think to just use my cellphone to call him.  I felt as bewildered as a small child in the same situation. I sat down on the closest bench and it was long enough for some relief because I only then thought to call him. As I was punching in the numbers there was Hubs standing in front of me--he had come back to look for me.  This episode became part of my medical history and was an element of my dysautonomia diagnosis. Your primary can do a Dix Hallpike test in their office. It takes moments to determine if you have vertigo. I was prescribed PT and it has been tremendously helpful in restoring my balance.  It's very uncomfortable to experience these symptoms but it can improve with medicine, like low dose 2mg valium taken as needed, or  physical therapy. I do hope you get this all sorted out and feel better soon.

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I have had that issue. 2 years ago is when I noticed it. I take 1/2 pill of dramimine to take care of it. Check with your doctor and see if it is something you can try. Mine feels like sensory overload because it is just so much noise from so many bodies and I seem to have noise sensitivity. I usually avoid crowds when I can, but there are times where I can't/won't. My symptoms come on sort of like a panicky feeling and my head starts to swim. If I leave it too long I will get dizzy but I usually don't leave it go on too long without the dramimine or leaving the area for a few minutes. 

 

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I've had this as well as WinterSown mentioned, it typically feels like sensory overload with a little bit of vertigo for me. Loud music, plus lots of people, different lighting in the room can often give me this 'out of it'/ 'drunk' feeling. It was much worse at the beginning of my illness because it would bring on a lot of anxiety but nowadays if its there it just feels like a normal reaction my brain has.

I also have depersonalization disorder as well, so that can make things feel daydream like or fake or make me feel detached from my surroundings. Often times new places or lots of stimulation (sounds, lights, people, cars, etc.) can make it a bit worse.

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When I get in a crowd - which I avoid - I get that same feeling. Often it leads to syncope or even seizures ( autonomic type ) if I do not retreat. Unfortunately that is the reason why I avoid crowds or gatherings, I only last a very short time. In my case it is because the noises, stress and even communication with others causes an abnormal release of norepinephrine, which causes an immediate fight-or-flight reaction in me. I really have not found any way to conquer this - except avoiding crowds. I hope this is not the case for you!!!!! Best wishes!

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This is a very common symptom of dysautonomia.  It's very scary at first, but the best thing you can do is stay calm, take deep breaths and try to remember you will feel better as soon as you get out of the crowd. It may sound strange but I used to practice going to stores (just for 5 minutes at first, then for longer periods) to accustom myself.  That helped. I don't think most people take a specific medicine for this symptom, but it will improve when your other symptoms start to improve. 

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I started noticing this when I was first diagnosed with POTS a few months ago too. I also felt like I would get more nervous with loud noises and crowds, like I was stuck in fight or flight mode and it would send me into a confused state of panic. My heart would pound and I would feel like I was about to give a presentation in class, just with loud noises and crowds. My holistic chiropractor said that my adrenal glands were off which was probably raising my cortisol levels turning it into a vicious cycle. She recommended I take a supplement called DSF, and I can tell you it really helped me. My heart didn't flutter as much or have chest pains and it didn't send my body into a panic. I don't have these episodes as much in crowds and loud noises don't startle me as much.

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