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.

More information on and support for sufferers of MdDS can be found at

2 thoughts on “Mal de Debarquement Syndrome”

  1. I had no idea there was a separate condition. This sounds like a serious motion sickness. Almost as if it is a form of vertigo. I think that many things may cause this, namely, dysfunction in communication in the nervous system. We are helping people who have nervous dysfunction everyday.
    We love what we do and are helping people regain hope.

  2. I know this feeling. I have experienced it when getting off a boat but thank goodness it has only been temporary. I couldn’t imagine having the feeling of motion all the time! My heart goes out to those that do.

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