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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes anxiety and depression in an elderly person?

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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2850 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 13 Apr 2018 in Mental Health
Question: can anxiety cause a sense of loss of balance in very physically fit and healthy 76 year old woman who had suffered anxiety attacks years ago?
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
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Detailed Answer:
Hello Ms. Degennaro,

Anxiety can cause a feeling of unreality and possibly a feeling of imbalance, but it will not cause actual balance problems. You write that you, or the person you are describing, has a "sense" of loss of balance. Do you mean that they are actually experiencing imbalance or rather feeling like they it without having imbalance?

Loss of balance can be caused by inner ear problems, or problems in the brain, such as with the cerebellum (hindbrain). Neurological causes such as Parkinson's disease can cause balance problems but usually this is not a presenting symptom - other symptoms would come first. Nystagmus which is a movement problem with the eyes, can cause imbalance too. Weakness, from a variety of causes, can cause imbalance, but that is not classically what we think of with imbalance. Some medications can alter one's balance too.

Please let me know if what you are describing is an actual balance issue vs a feeling of balance, and any other details, such as when it occurs, etc.


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