Home / Research & Resources / Does Anxiety Cause Lightheadedness?
Does Anxiety Cause Lightheadedness?

Does Anxiety Cause Lightheadedness?

Can anxiety cause lightheadedness?

Having an anxiety disorder means you might experience a vast array of symptoms. These symptoms may be both mental and physical and can be frustrating to deal with. Since there are so many possible ways that your body can handle this anxiety, it can be hard to diagnose. Commonly, the question is asked; can anxiety cause lightheadedness?

Lightheadedness, in particular, can be incredibly disruptive to your daily life. Feeling dizzy or lightheaded often exacerbates feelings of anxiety, especially when you do not know what is going on. It may also be hard to tell where the lightheadedness is coming from if you do not realize you have anxiety.


As one of the most frequent indications of anxiety, lightheadedness can take a toll on your body and mind. When it comes to stress, feeling lightheaded is related to your oxygen intake. Both hyperventilation and its opposite affect CO2 levels in your blood, which, in turn, causes these anxiety symptoms.

The feeling of dizziness that correlates with anxiety has some of its telltale signs. This lightheadedness may be sudden, gradual, frequent, rare, or other anxiety symptoms. That unpredictability makes it difficult to pin down a specific cause.

Anxiety Lightheadedness

  • Feeling unbalanced or unsteady
  • Legs do not feel supportive
  • A sudden feeling of dizziness or fainting
  • Feeling faint and weak to the extent of possibly passing out
  • Tough time placing feet due to incorrect perception
  • Feeling vibrating or moving on the floor when standing
  • Feels like walking on a boat that is on water
  • The room rocking, running or swaying
  • Eyes darting around
  • Pressure or spinning in the head

A plethora of causes is possible for lightheadedness. Because of such ambiguity, your doctor may have a challenging time finding out the actual source. Many tests are available, so trial and error may be their initial course of action after those tests.

If you already suffer from vertigo, there is an increased chance of anxiety. Vertigo is feeling like you are moving when you are not. This term is synonymous with dizziness and may cause the room to feel like it is spinning.

If an episode of lightheadedness triggers your anxiety, it can be for several reasons. An anxious reaction to something related to your fear may throw you into a vicious cycle. Your body has a few reasons for its response to this anxiety.


  • Involuntary activation of the postural reflex, causing feeling off-balance
  • Surprise from the imbalance, activating the startle reflex of the body
  • Alarm about dizziness triggering stress response
  • Fear of worsening dizziness
  • Fear of passing out

In the long term, excessive amounts of anxiety may cause other health problems. That is why it is crucial to speak with your doctor if you continue to experience spells of dizziness. They will know how to diagnose and treat the lightheadedness, regardless of the cause.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Can anxiety cause lightheadedness?

Relief from anxiety and related lightheadedness is entirely possible. There is no cure for anxiety in general, but it is manageable. However, if there is an underlying cause, treating that will likely ease all the stress you feel.

There are some lifestyle changes you may need to make to get on the path to recovery. When paired with medication, these changes will benefit you in the long run. It may be uncomfortable at first, but that is a big part of the recovery process.

For your doctor to give you an official diagnosis, they will need to ask you some questions and possibly run a few tests. These steps are to ensure that your lightheadedness does not stem from anything else. After ruling out any other causes, they will likely start to consider an anxiety problem.

Treatments for Anxiety

  • Medication
  • Since several medications have dizziness as a possible side effect, you must be cautious when taking medications. Your doctor will help you decide if this route is the right one for your situation.
  • Never change your medication without speaking with your doctor.
  • You and your doctor may have to assess any current medicines that you take if they cause dizziness.
  • Therapy
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is extraordinarily successful for many anxiety disorders. Your doctor will give you instructions based on your case.
    • This treatment may involve delving into your psyche and addressing complicated feelings and events. It is helpful to move past these feelings.
  • Self-care
    • Meditation and relaxation techniques help with anxiety, but they may also improve your overall quality of life.
    • Getting enough sleep every night also helps in the long run by letting your body have enough time to recharge.
    • Exercising regularly keeps you in shape while encouraging the release of endorphins and dopamine. Take it slow with a treadmill or stationary bike to help you stay balanced.

Whatever you and your doctor decide as a course of action, they will be there with you every step of the way. Discuss your plans with the people you trust. This way, you will have a support system to be there if things get tough.


It is alarming to feel lightheaded, especially if it is for seemingly no reason at all. Anxiety may cause dizziness even at the most random times. Since it is challenging to connect anxiety to lightheadedness initially, it is vital to approach an open mind.

Feeling better when you have anxiety can feel impossible. Often you will find yourself in a vicious cycle of worry that causes symptoms and symptoms that cause concern. This cycle may impact your health in the long run, and addressing these issues is critical.

When you speak with your doctor, ensure to give them all the information and symptoms that you can. This information will help them narrow down potential causes. In return, your treatment will be that much easier for your doctor to create.


  1. https://jaoa.org/article.aspx?articleid=2680402
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/generalised-anxiety-disorder/diagnosis/
  3. https://www.neuropt.org/docs/default-source/vsig-english-pt-fact-sheets/anxiety-and-stress-dizziness4ca035a5390366a68a96ff00001fc240.pdf?sfvrsn=80a35343_0
  4. https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/symptoms/lightheadiness#:~:text=In%20people%20with%20anxiety%2C%20lightheadedness,the%20symptoms%20is%20breathing%20rapidly.
  5. https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/53017-Why-anxiety-dizziness-balance-disorders-and-what-to-do-about-it
  6. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323717
  7. https://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-symptoms/dizziness.shtml


Leave a comment