In a study of the prevalence of panic and other anxiety disorders in
persons with complaints of dizziness, 87 patients referred to a clinic for
vestibular disorders completed self-rating measures of anxiety and
depression; 32 also underwent a structured diagnostic interview. Thirteen
(14.9%) of the patients met the DSM-III-R criteria for panic disorder,
agoraphobia, or both. They rated themselves as much more disabled by their
dizziness than the patients with no psychiatric disorder. Panic disorder
was equally prevalent among patients with and without vestibular disease.
In some cases panic disorder may provide an explanation for the dizziness,
whereas in others it may be a comorbid condition compounding the disability
attributable to the vestibular disorder.