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Article Summary

Symptoms from vestibular disorders are invisible and unpredictable. This does not mean that they are imaginary, but that they often contribute to a wide range of psychological impacts. People who have a vestibular disorder often need support and may benefit from counseling to cope with lifestyle changes, depression, guilt, and grief that comes from no longer being able to meet their own or others’ expectations.

In this section, we talk about the cognitive and emotional impacts of vestibular disorders, counseling for chronic illness, and more.

You're Not Alone

People who suffer from vestibular dysfunction often experience anxiety, "brain fog," and other problems that affect them mentally and emotionally.

Suicide Prevention Resources

Vestibular disorders can be life-altering conditions, often causing significant disruptions to daily activities and quality of life. The challenges of living with these disorders can sometimes lead to feelings of depression and, in severe cases, thoughts of suicide. It's crucial to recognize that mental health support is an essential part of managing vestibular disorders. If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts, seeking immediate professional help is vital.

Counseling for Chronic Illness

Chronic illness can strain your view of yourself, your relationships, your place in society, and your plans for the future. Psychotherapy (also known as 'counseling' or just 'therapy') is a valuable resource when you are struggling with these challenges. This publication provides general information about some of the different ways that therapy can be helpful.

The Cognitive Impacts of Vestibular Disorders

Vestibular disorders can affect your ability to think, pay attention, concentrate, remember, reason, and problem solve.

The Emotional Impacts of Vestibular Disorders

The mind/body connection is complex. Emotional factors – the way we think, feel and behave – can have a significant effect, for better or worse, on our physical health and our capacity to recover from illness. Anxiety, fear, and panic are common emotional responses people have when diagnosed with a vestibular disorder. Thankfully, there are ways to overcome these difficulties and improve your mood, functioning, and quality of life.

Addressing Stressors and Self Doubts

Many people with vestibular disorders experience a subtle erosion of self-esteem when they are told, "It's all in your head." Therapy for the corrosive self-doubt involves external validation of the disorder by physicians, therapists, family members, support groups, and organizations such as VeDA. When patients understand the nature of their disorder they can develop the internal pragmatism that will help them heal.

Chronic Illness & Vulnerability

One of the common aspects of having a debilitating illness or medical condition is a greatly increased sense of vulnerability. When there are things you cannot do for yourself, you are necessarily more dependent on others. This can have profound effects on your sense of identity, confidence, and self-worth. By acknowledging our vulnerability we can develop compassion and acceptance.

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