Jishin-yoi: the feeling of earthquake drunkenness

It usually starts with a jolt.  If walking or standing, I notice the ground beneath my feet start to move, or if sitting I feel it along my spine.  I brace myself for what is coming, look up at the light switch to see if it is moving…

… but nothing.

Check Twitter but there are no messages saying ‘quake!’ or, as we have got used to them and levity has crept in, ‘first!’  No reports from the Meteorological Agency announce an aftershock has been recorded.  If there are other people around, my friends or students or coworkers, they do not seem to have noticed anything amiss.  I shrug my shoulders, try to escape the sense of unease and get back to whatever it was I was doing.  It must have been what I have started to think of as another ‘ghost aftershock’.

So I was perhaps gladdened, perhaps saddened to read this story from the Tokyo Times today.  On the one hand, it is nice to know that I am not going completely insane, that this is a recognised side-effect of being somewhere shaky.  As a Liverpool lass, I am also reassured to discover that this feeling is shared with sailors returning home after a long sea voyage.

The sadness comes from realising that, as with so much of the post-quake effects, however bad it is here, others have it so much worse.  A slight sense of giddiness every now and then is nothing compared to those in Northern Japan who have suffered panic attacks, fevers, vomiting and falling down, in addition to the many other physical and mental hardships they have had to endure.

Earthquake drunkenness will, I suspect, go away given enough time.  A recent visit to Kyoto, which sits on a different plate to Tokyo, saw the ghost aftershocks disappear completely for the duration of my stay.  Yet there are many serious problems affecting Tohoku for which people can’t wait for time to do its healing work, instead, help is needed much sooner.

So please, grab yourself a copy of #quakebook while I grab myself a glass of something fine and single malt-like.  It may not be strictly orthodox medical advice, still I reason, if you are going to be affected by ghost drunkenness, you might as well try to chase it away with the real kind!

Whisky glass and bottle on my desk, with postcard of ship at the Pier Head, Liverpool

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Jishin-yoi: the feeling of earthquake drunkenness

  1. I get this when I’m laying down waiting for sleep. I always check in the morning to see if there were any quakes around 1-2am (when I go to bed) and usually… nothing. I can’t even imagine what it would be like in the north. Those poor people.

    • That sounds bad, hope it isn’t disturbing your sleep too much!
      I get it the worst when I’m walking down stairs. And the feeling is just like the kind of dizzy spell you would get if you stood at the top of a flight of stairs, in a long skirt and heels, with nothing to hang onto. It’s grim.

      But yes, nowhere near as bad as it must be for the survivors in Tohoku.

  2. Jeanne Driscoll

    This is an urgent matter I must relay to you about “Earthquake” hangover and I have evidence to prove it to you with the links, I’m providing to you. Mal de Debarqument syndrome is Earthquake Hangover and it’s all related to Motion Related Issue’s and probably Stress. Please watch this video and read links I have provided to you.

    This is an urgent medical issue for you to understand so you can try to treat The Good People of Japan that are suffering with this life altering Mal de Deqarquement Syndrome of (MdDS). We need International Attention on Mal de Debarquement Syndrome because it is not as rare as doctors suspect because of the lack of knowledge to this Syndrome.

    Please take this seriously because Earthquake Hangover Mimic’s Mal de Debarqment Syndome (MdDS)

    Mal De Debarquement Syndrome a rare & life altering disorder! It’s more common then people think it is. This usually goes undiagnosed because the lack of education to Dr.’s. This syndrome mimic’s exactly Earthquake Hangover in Japan.

    http://www.mddsfoundation.org/mdds_complete_symptom

    http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2011/04/14/how-t…/
    http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=4180415
    http://www.mddsfoundation.org/professionals/profess

  3. Jeanne Driscoll

    Jishin-Yoi/Earthquake Hangover = Mimic’s Jishin-Yoi
    Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS) or disembarkment syndrome is a rare disorder of perceived movement that most often develops following an ocean cruise, other type of water travel, or motion experience including plane flights and train travel. For a few, there is no known motion event; the onset appears to be spontaneous. MdDS persists for months to years.

    Common symptoms include a persistent sensation of motion such as rocking, swaying, tumbling, and/or bobbing. This sensation of motion is often associated with anxiety, fatigue, difficulty maintaining balance, unsteadiness, and difficulty concentrating (impaired cognitive function). Often, the motion sensation seems to disappear when riding in the car or participating in other motion experiences.

  4. Jeanne Driscoll

    Jishin-Yoi/Earthquake Hangover Mimic’s the Exact Same Symptoms of Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS) Proof with links below
    Jishin-Yoi/Earthquake Hangover Mimic’s Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS) Proof with Information Provided Below With Links.

    Mal de Debarquement Syndrome

    Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (or MdDS) 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). Although other forms of travel have been known to trigger it.

    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, unfortunately 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 the 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

    http://www.mdds.org.uk/

    http://www.mdds.org.uk/symptoms.phtml

  5. Jeanne Driscoll

    please read this this is very important information
    Jishin-Yoi/Earthquake Hangover Mimic’s the Exact Same Symptoms of Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS) Proof with links below
    Jishin-Yoi/Earthquake Hangover Mimic’s Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS) Proof with Information Provided Below With Links.

    Mal de Debarquement Syndrome

    Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (or MdDS) 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). Although other forms of travel have been known to trigger it.

    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, unfortunately 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 the 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

    http://www.mdds.org.uk/

    http://www.mdds.org.uk/symptoms.phtml

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