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Benign Positional Vertigo and Depressed

I am seeing a man that has been dealing with BPV for almost 4 weeks now.  He'll have a few good days and then have another attack.  He has been in the emergency room twice when it got so bad he couldn't move.  He has become really depressed to the point of talking about suicide.  I had him call his doctor last week because he was so irrational and the doctor told him to get off the steriods that he was taking which helped his emotional state for a few days and everything was going good again, but today he had another attack and has fallen back into his depression.  I don't know what to do for him.  He is 18 years older than me and keeps telling me to move on with my life due to the fact that he doesn't believe he will ever get better.  He told me today that the doctors tell him it will only get worse.  He is so down and is giving up on living.  It didn't help that he is a professor and one of his classes was given to another instructor due to his having to get coverage.  He was doing so well yesterday and made plans for today and then was hit with a vertigo attack this morning.  He is on several different kinds of medicine.  I want to believe that he will have a normal life again and am trying to make him see this - am I wrong?  I can't seem to convince him that I love him and will be there for him no matter what - he would rather be alone than pull me down with him.  He is a minister, yet he is losing his faith as well in asking God why this is happening to him.  I feel like I am on a roller coaster with his ups and downs - am I fooling myself that we can get through this?  Does anyone have any advice for me?  for him?  I feel like I am losing this battle.
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Avatar universal
Hi - did your boyfriend ever get relief for the dizziness and/or BPPV?
I hope he's ok now. Your post was so heartfelt and caring.
I pray he's feeling better now.
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152264 tn?1280354657
Thanks Mimi. I am not a medical person, but when you've been dizzy for 9 years (or 25, depending on how you count), and the doctors don't know why, you learn a thing or two when going through all the differential diagnoses. :)
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402205 tn?1230481005
Great post Nancy, I knew nothing about vertigo and learned a lot from you. Thank you!!

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152264 tn?1280354657
P.S. BPPV usually does NOT get worse. Many doctors know little or nothing about dizziness unless they are ENTs.
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152264 tn?1280354657
What kind of doctor(s) has he seen?

If he truly has BPPV, it is VERY treatable--in fact, quickly curable in 85 percent of cases--with head maneuvers. (Medications do nothing for BPPV.)

Sometimes BPPV recurs, but in extreme cases I think there is a surgery that helps (canal plugging).

If he hasn't, he should be seeing a neuro-otologist (inner ear specialist, an ENT with extra training in the inner ear). See lists of these doctors at the American Neurotology Society Web site.

Physical therapists with special training in vestibular (inner ear) disorders are called vestibular rehab therapists, and they know how to treat BPPV. His ear doctor can refer him to one.

It's hard to believe doctors are giving him medication for BPPV. Maybe something else is going on.

Please get him to a neuro-otologist if he hasn't already seen one.

Meanwhile, read up on BPPV. Here is an excellent place to start, with detailed and up-to-date information by a well-respected dizziness specialist:


Good luck to him. BPPV should not ruin anyone's life, because it's VERY TREATABLE!!

If he is depressed for other reasons, he needs to get help for that from his family doctor or psychiatrist.

Nancy T.
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