May 02, 2008

MdDS Defined

Mal de Debarquement Syndrome is an imbalance or rocking/swaying sensation often both "felt" and "seen" by the sufferer that occurs after exposure to motion (most commonly after a sea cruise or a flight).*

After alighting or "debarking" (debarquement) the traveller continues to feel "all at sea", unable to get their land legs back. Although most travellers can identify with this feeling and do actually experience it temporarily after disembarking, in the case of MdDS sufferers it can persist for many weeks, months, even years afterwards.

The symptoms are with you constantly, they never leave, nor can they be alleviated by any anti-motion sickness drugs (eg Stemetil, Serc etc)

"Like trying to constantly walk on a mattress or trampoline" is a good description of a main symptom, which is usually most pronounced when the patient is sitting still; in fact, the sensations are usually minimized by actual motion, for example driving. — Excerpted from http://www.mdds.org.uk; see also vestibular.org

*My MdDS is from a flight in 2003. I feel phantom motion but I don't see it. If I lean down (like to pet the cats), I'll feel like I'm falling forward but I can see that I'm not. My brain does not know how to process the conflicting signals and it's very disorienting. I don't feel phantom motion 24/7 anymore but, even now in 2013, my brain has not learned how to handle signal mismatches, and I keep shooting crooked pictures and wobbly videos.

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