Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS) is an imbalance or rocking sensation 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 such as walking or driving.

For a sufferer of MdDS to have a chance of it not becoming the “persistent” form of the condition, it is crucial that they diagnosed quickly. Sadly because of the ignorance surrounding it, this is not happening.

Awareness of MdDS needs to be raised so that people do not have to endure the anxiety and frustration of not knowing what is wrong with them, and often being dismissed as mad, because “it is all in their head”.

More information on MdDS can be found by visiting the MdDS Foundation website.