Mal de Debarquement Syndrome
by Jane H.
I am merely trying to raise awareness of a misunderstood and often misdiagnosed health condition called, rather grandly, Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS for short) If I may I will explain more.
Basically, with this condition it is an imbalance or rocking sensation that occurs after getting off a boat or “debarking” (debarquement).Other forms of motion are also known to trigger it. Once back on dry land the traveller continues to feel “all at sea”, unable to get their land legs back. Although a lot of travellers can identify with this feeling and do actually experience it temporarily after
disembarking, unfortunately in the case of MdDS sufferers it can persist for many months, even years afterwards. The symptoms are with you constantly, they never leave, nor can they be alleviated by any anti-motion sickness drugs. “Like trying to constantly walk on a mattress
or trampoline” is a good description of the main symptom, the illusion of movement, not to mention the others, nausea, gaze instability/visual disturbance whereby objects jump and
shimmer in front of you, often like looking at things through a heat haze, constant tinnitus, imbalance, I could go on. However I must stress at this point that there is no rotational or “spinning” vertigo with this condition.