I have CP and have a sensation of falling. — Scope | Disability forum
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I have CP and have a sensation of falling.

wheelz613 Community member Posts: 1 Listener
edited November 2022 in Cerebral palsy
Hello, My name is Donna and I have CP.  I use a wheelchair 24/7, but am able to transfer to attend to my needs.  Ever since I was born, I've had this sensation of falling in certain situations.  When I get them, it feels like I am either free falling, or I'm on the edge of a cliff ready to fall.  They seem to be triggered when I am sitting and there is open space around me.  For example, sitting on the toilet and my chair is taken away.  I feel like if I don't hold on to the bar, I'd fall.  Now that I am 40, the frequency of feeling like this is increasing.  It is now affecting my ability to get in and out of the shower.  Has anyone else felt like this?  Thank you.


  • DisabilityPlus
    DisabilityPlus Community member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi Donna, what you describe can be associated with a symptom of anxiety.  There could be many other reasons, such as Vestibular Issues, but generally, it's associated with Anxiety. We see many people with CP in our counselling sessions with these symptoms, so please don't feel alone.
  • DisabilityPlus
    DisabilityPlus Community member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi Donna, if you feel Anxiety is a factor, you might want to try some of these tips. 

    Coping Strategies

    Try these when you're feeling anxious or stressed:

    • Take a time-out. Listen to music, meditate, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
    • Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.
    • Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
    • Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
    • Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health. 
    • Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.
    • Count to 10 slowly. Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary.
    • Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn't possible, be proud of however close you get.
    • Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?
    • Welcome humour. A good laugh goes a long way.
    • Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
    • Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress.
    • Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? When you’re feeling stressed or anxious, write in a journal, and look for a pattern.
    • Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you.  
    There is no one fix for all; everyone has different issues and problems, but as we know, disability can increase anxieties on all fronts.   

    Just to be open, this is a post from DisabilityPlus Counselling
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 7,562 Scope online community team
    Hello there @wheelz613 and welcome to the community, thanks for reaching out about this, I hope you've found the replies to your post helpful :)

    You are certainly not alone, as I have CP and experience this feeling too, especially around open spaces. Even in familiar environments like at home, in the last few years I've found myself needing to walk closer to walls, or things I can hold on to for support, just in case, as I feel unstable on my feet. Or I get stuck, and can't move until I feel more supported physically. 

    I'm sorry it's impacting on your ability to use the shower, have you spoken to your GP about how you've been feeling?

    I know that as adults with CP moving into our 30s and 40s, we can experience post-impairment syndrome, and this can impact each individual differently. It might also be well worth checking in with your mental health, and exploring anxiety, and possible triggers for what is happening. 

    Let us know if we can help with anything further, please don't hesitate to ask.

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  • Richard_Scope
    Richard_Scope Posts: 3,614 Scope online community team
    Hi @wheelz613
    It's great to virtually meet you, Donna. I have CP too and use a wheelchair. What you have described could well be anxiety about falling - I fall more than I would like. 
    However, I would suggest that you speak to your G.P. and explore if there is anything else going on. Things like low blood pressure can make you feel very disorientated and coupled with the effort that is required to transfer from a wheelchair, could lead to a light-headed falling sensation.

    Please let us know how you get on or if you need any support.  
    Specialist Information Officer and Cerebral Palsy Programme Lead

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