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Author Topic: Buzzing, vibrating and electric shocks in the head  (Read 52925 times)

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Offline GreyGoose

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Buzzing, vibrating and electric shocks in the head
« on: September 10, 2006, 06:04:00 PM »
Greetings

Many people with various anxiety-related disorders either directly due to the disorders themselves or sometimes because of the side effects from the medication(s) they are on (often an SSRI or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) experience bizarre and frightening symptoms such as an occasional and brief "buzzing", "vibrating", "jolt" or "electric shock" sensation in their heads. Sometimes people also experience dizziness, vertigo or feel like they are about to pass out during these times or they may even think that they are having a stroke and rush to the emergency room.

I was just wondering if any of these symptoms sound familiar and if any of you would care to share your own stories here. I know that I sometimes experience these symptoms myself and I have heard quite a few others describe them.

- Regards, GreyGoose
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Offline jerseygirl

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Re: Buzzing, vibrating and electric shocks in the head
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2006, 01:03:52 PM »
I've been getting the tingling and electric shocks sensation for a couple of weeks now. The start of it coincided with a doctor's visit allaying my fears about heart fluttering - the heart issues stopped almost immediately, and the head issues started. I've noticed that I feel much better when I'm doing something - for a couple of days after I went back to school, I felt almost completely normal. It's when I'm alone with my thoughts that I start feeling things. I'm not on any medication, so I'm guessing (hoping) it's the anxiety itself.

The one thing that is weird is that the tingling feeling is sometimes pretty enduring. I felt tingling on the side of my head and left cheek for close to a week almost non-stop. But again, I noticed that sometimes I would wake up feeling completely normal, then start in on "Do I feel it? No... am I sure? wait - there it comes. Just a little. Is that it? Yup..." as if I was making myself start feeling it again.
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Offline GreyGoose

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Re: Buzzing, vibrating and electric shocks in the head
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2006, 01:21:05 PM »
Hi jerseygirl

Thank you for the reply. These appear to be very common symptoms related to anxiety. I forgot to mention that sometimes people will also have these symptoms (or at least a few of them) when they are weaning themselves off of certain SSRI's (Paxil comes to mind). Let me ask you something...when you get these, do you feel them in your head/brain or just in other parts of your body (or both)?.

Since symptoms can sometimes be so vague and difficult to describe, I have compiled a short list of various phrases I have heard other people use over the years to describe the symptoms I mentioned earlier...

* A current of electricity briefly flowing through my brain.
* An electric buzz sensation.
* An electric jolt.
* Brain zaps.
* Brain shocks.
* An electrical tingling sensation traveling through my head/brain.

I'll add to this list if I can think of any others.

- Regards, GreyGoose
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Offline apple

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Re: Buzzing, vibrating and electric shocks in the head
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2006, 01:24:02 PM »
When my anxiety starts to build, it feels as if I have wool or some kind of fog in my head, my neck starts to tingle...sometimes my head buzzes too.  Then if this turns into an all out attack...I feel like my Brain is getting electric shock and can last for a while on and off.  Sometimes afterwards my brain feels like a lightbulb that makes noise and shorts little bits.(old, old lightbulb feeling)

I know it is my anxiety that does this and only when I get some sleep from exhaustion does my head feel better.
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I hope everyone could suffer less by knowing more

Offline jerseygirl

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Re: Buzzing, vibrating and electric shocks in the head
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2006, 02:45:04 PM »
GreyGoose - It's generally head/brain. Right now, however, my head feels (for the moment) normal and the tingling is only going on in my cheek. I really want to google that, but it's probably a bad idea.

You're so right about the vagueness of the symptoms. I'm really not sure how to describe it. I think the occasional sharp pains are kind of like mild electric shocks. What I'm calling tingling might actually be more what you're calling buzzing. Honestly, sometimes these things are so subtle that I feel that no one expcept for me (and other hypos and GAD people) would even notice anything, although sometimes they are more pronounced.
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Offline GreyGoose

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Re: Buzzing, vibrating and electric shocks in the head
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2006, 03:28:47 PM »
Hi Apple. Yes, I get that foggy-headed feeling a LOT and it drives me nuts. It's sort of like your brain has been anesthetized with Novocaine or something and you just feel numb inside.

Hi Jerseygirl. You've described it perfectly and this is what has really been plaguing me lately (especially today).

Sorry this is such a short response but my head feels like someone drilled a hole in it and ran an egg beater through my brains right now so I have to find something to take for this. I've also been doing some fairly scatterbrained and senile things lately and that scares me. I almost feel like I've suffered years of brain damage from alcohol, drugs, etc but deep inside, I know it's probably just the anxiety. Wow, I hate this :speechless-smiley-004:

- Regards, GreyGoose
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Offline jerseygirl

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Re: Buzzing, vibrating and electric shocks in the head
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2006, 05:24:53 PM »
I hope you start feeling better, and thanks for posting this thread! To be honest, the only thing that made me able to get through the first few days of these sensations was finding this site and realizing that all of these things could be anxiety symptoms - while my dad kept telling me that earlier, I hadn't quite believed it until I found other people who felt the same way.
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Offline sam

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Re: Buzzing, vibrating and electric shocks in the head
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2006, 05:26:54 PM »
Ohh yeah, and that sharp POP noise just inside your skull.. been there a lot!  I get the electric jolts in my hands and shoulders as well.  I'm not taking any medication so that's not the cause.  It only happens though when my anxiety levels are up. (very frequently lately)  I get dizzy and have to bend over like when you are hyperventaliating just to keep from passing out.
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Offline aussiegirl29

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Re: Buzzing, vibrating and electric shocks in the head
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2006, 12:09:42 AM »
Yes, I get a tingling on the left side of my head. I've thought I was itchy or something but I couldn't scratch it as it felt like it was coming from inside my head. :fragend005:
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Offline kelro

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Re: Buzzing, vibrating and electric shocks in the head
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2006, 02:52:43 PM »
Oh thank GOD for all of you. I just had a baby 7 days ago and for about a week leading up to the arrival I started having lots of dizziness then the panic attacks came. Now I have a history of panic attacks but I thought I'd had it under control and hadn't had an episode in years.  I was just seen in the ER about 2 wks ago. They ddi an MRI, EKG, loads of blood work, etc etc and found nothing. In fact, my midwives were convinced that I was getting dizzy (plus as an aside-I was getting almost daily ocular migraines) due to my pregnancy and all the fluids in the head, etc. So now that I had the baby, I natrually assumed I'd feel great. NOT so. I wasn't really sleeping for about 1 wk before the baby came, started having middle of the night panic attacks because I'd get a dizzy, or "whooshing" sensation and/or BUZZING, electrical kind of feeling in my head that scared the S*&T out of me!!!  Now I've got a 7 day old baby plus my 6 and 4 yr olds. My husband is doing sooooooo much for me while I've had to accept the fact that nothing medically is wrong at ALL and I've got some big time postpartum WITH anxiety going on.  I've already seen a psychiatrist who put me on Remerol-anti depression, Ambien for sleep and Klonopin for anxiety.  I feel like I'll stay in  this medicinal STUPPOR forever. But I know I've got to accept that this anxiety is obviously a very real thing. And this nonstop BUZZ in my head making me believe I'm having, I don't know--mini strokes or seizures all day and not is NOT because something's seriously wrong with me in terms of a life threatening disease. But in fact it's MY brain and body creating this. I even dragged poor hubby to a neurologist and an ENT this week-----all within 3 days of my giving birth because I just really was certain something else would be found.   I could use any and ALL support I can get right now. And I just haphazardly put in a search on the internet for "anxiety and head buzzing" and found all of you. Thank you Lord!! I feel a lot more confident in this psychiatrist's assessment of me now.  Another aside..........if anyone's still listening/reading is that the postpartum is hitting hard too because I can't breastfeed while on all these meds. I breastfed my other 2 children for over a yr. Now I'm dealing with these emotions of wanting to breastfeed and be there for my new little guy and NOT even wanting to hold/pick him up.........such a mixed bag of crazy emotions. AND perhaps an entirely different topic for a different forum!  :angel-smiley-006:  Thanks for listening, Kelly
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Offline o-ren

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Re: Buzzing, vibrating and electric shocks in the head
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2006, 08:58:07 PM »
I have only recieved these symptoms after I took celexa.  Before celexa I was only experiencing parethesia.  After 6 months and quit celexa the buzzing, vibrating feeling in my head has never left. I still feel like a ball of force is moving around from my left side of the brain to the right. Sometimes it goes from any direction and it last for 20 minutes then it relaxes.  However it never totally leaves, it just slows down.  With these feelings I am having a more difficult time to concentrate and envoking my parethesia.   If I stop this, I know my anxiety will be gone.  The question is how.
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Im here

Offline CGPanic84

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Re: Buzzing, vibrating and electric shocks in the head
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2007, 01:34:14 PM »
I apologize, and I KNOW that this is an OLD topic, but I have had the EXACT same symptoms happen to me, and am in dire need of help/reassurance!! It started when I started on Zoloft to take for my anxiety/panic attacks, that were mostly chest-related at the time....

I at first thought I was going INSANE when I had my first vibrating/electrical sensation. I thought for sure I was going insane, and I didn't know WHAT to expect. I thought for sure it would lead to a seizure, I would black-out, or something!! :(

I was initially told that I was suffering from Panic Disorder/Panic Attacks. since I at first was getting the typical attacks of the heart palpitations, clenching chest wall pain, lightheadedness, and freaking out that I was going to die or have a heart attack.

So my doctor decided to try putting me on Zoloft, in the SSRI class of anti-depressants since she thought for sure it would do me wonders and eventually get rid of and eliminate my symptoms. My GP promptly wrote me a script for Zoloft at 25 MG, and told me, "take this, you will be fine and it will do you wonders!"

So I left, of course stupididly believing every word she said. I went and filled the prescription, and the next day popped my first pill...

About a few hours into taking it, I had the WORST feeling in my life (well, it only got WORSE from there). I felt severely woozy and lightheaded, and had to sit down to balance and keep myself together. It felt like the entire room was spinning, and my head just felt BLAH all together, like I was getting a head illness or something. I was in a store that day, since I assumed everything with the med. would be fine, and was getting ready to check out when it just HIT me like a ton of bricks. Now, I have had lightheaded spells TONS of times in the past as well as Panic Attacks and Chest Pains, and it was NOTHING like those I had experienced before!!  B-;

After that ONE day of taking the pill, I deviated away from taking it again! My symptoms improved, and I no longer had any more of those light headed spells after that one day..

However, as I was STILL suffering from the severe heart palps, chest pains and anxiety/panic attacks, my mother convinced me to give the med. another try, since my "sis was on an SSRI for her GAD and it was working her WONDERS." Still skeptical about taking the med., but DESPERATE to get rid of my other symptoms, I again popped the med...

Now, the first day I was fine, and this was on a Friday. I was back in the apartment with my fiancee, and it was late one Saturday night, and I was just lying in bed waiting for my man to finish getting ready for bed so I could follow up as well. I then all of a sudden felt this ELECTRICAL SURGE seem to VIBRATE throughout my head/brain, along with a ten-fold pins-and-needles feeling that surged through my head. I then felt the electrical surge feeling continue to surge through me, even going up and down my spinal cord. I PANICKED, of course, not knowing WHAT was happening to me. I started seeing blotches, and I PANICKED that I was going to pass out, have a seizure or SOMETHING!! I ran around the apartment, the feeling still going on through my head. I then tried sitting on the bed to calm myself down and regain myself, and it seemed like it started to pass. Then, I felt ANOTHER attack, worse than the first, which truly caused me to have blotchy vision and just go into utter chaos.  :sprachlos020:

My fiancee drove me to the hospital in case by the time we got there my symptoms worsened or progressed. Eventually, the off-and-on symptoms DID pass, after about 45 min. to an hour of pure hell and off-and on VIBRATION FEELINGS and ELECTRICAL FEELINGS surging through my brain.

We just went back to the apartment, and I went to bed that night.

The next morning, I woke up, and probably a mix between me having the attack that night and due to the fact I didn't get much sleep, I felt completely SLOW and BLAH the entire day. I could barely bring myself to speak, I dragged myself slowly across the room, and I just overall felt like a complete pile of ****!!  :traurig001:

I called the doctor-on-call (since it was a weekend) and told him about my horrific experience. You know what he did?? He "Poo-Pooed" me away and told me "Oh, it's not the medicine, just you. It was probably just a bad Panic Attack." I was SO mad....he also told me to "continue on the med." >:(

I continued taking the med., and that following week, on a Wednesday, I had ANOTHER milder, but more PROLONGED attack that lasted off-and-on for about 2 HOURS!! :( :( It kept me up until like 1:30 a.m., so needless to say I slept in late the next day...

The problems FINALLY seemed to dissipate, for about 2 weeks. However, after those 2 weeks were up (and I was still on the med.), I AGAIN began getting the weird head attacks!! Most were not as severe as the first, but they were still attacks nonetheless. Now, I have had Panic Attacks, and know what those were like, and sure these caused me to have Panic Attacks also, but moreso since I didn't know WHAT THE HELL was going on!!! :(

I was then getting head-related zings/buzzings/electrical sensation attacks EVERY DAY, sometimes mild and bearable and other times not.

I eventually STOPPED the med. after having it in my system for a month, but my stupid GP (she is a good doctor, but not for things like this) told me to QUIT IT COLD TURKEY. She said I should not experience too much side effects, if any.

Well, needless to say it made my head attacks TEN FOLD!! Sometimes they were mild and bearable, like before. And there were days I went without attacks. But when the bad ones struck, they left me PARALYZED in certain limbs, my head felt like it was going to go into CONVULSIONS or something, and it was just like PURE HELL!! I was completely conscious during these attacks, so you can imagine the FEAR I was under during this time.

I had an attack that was SO BAD once: I was just sitting on my computer, and then I all of a sudden felt this WEIRD sensation in my brain, particularly on my RIGHT side, and it felt like my brain/head was going to go HAYWIRE!! It physically felt like I was about to have a stroke, seizure or SOMETHING, even though I never did!! Well, of course I PANICKED, and I called the ambulance in fear it was in fact a TIA, stroke, or seizure about to happen!! I walked downstairs from my apartment, and as I stood on the stairwell by the doors to my apartment complex, I could feel my WHOLE RIGHT LEG BUCKLE UP, GO NUMB, and I COULD NOT EVEN MOVE IT!!! I was PETRIFIED!! What the HELL was going on with me?!?! :( The ambulance came, and before they came I could feel the feeling return in my right leg, it went "erect" again and I was able to regain control of it. I had to BALANCE myself by holding onto the railing of the stairs while it happened. Yet I remember every speck and detail of it perfectly...  B-;  :sprachlos020:  :(

After about a month 1/2 or so, and after starting on a mult-vitamin since I thought maybe I had some vitamin deficiencies that were attributing to my problems, my problems not only began to dissipate, but the head zings almost vanished COMPLETELY!! I still get the dizziness/lightheadedness and my head will feel quooky/odd still at times during some of my Panic Attacks, yet NOTHING like I had to endure before!! And sure, I still get heart palps and anxiety, but NOTHING like the torment and torture I had to go through getting ON and then OFF the Zoloft!!!  :(

I am now seeing a Psychiatrist, who prescribed me with Lorazepam and also prescribed me with Lexapro, even though I TOLD him about my reaction to Zoloft. He was STILL convinced, however, that it was just Zoloft and that another SSRI should do the trick. Well guess what happened???

I took it on a Saturday, and for most of the day I was fine (aside from feeling a little tired). I thought maybe I was HOME-FREE and found a med. that would work GREAT!! I took it at NOON along with the Lorazepam, which I take 2-3 times daily. After 6 HOURS of the med. being in my system (Lexapro), I got ANOTHER head-related attack of the electrical vibrations, ten-fold pins and needles feeling, and getting sweaty and clammy, then cold. I immediately called my doctor, and STOPPED taking the med from there on out.

I am still taking another med., Lorazepam, for the panic attacks, but I still get the head zings and vibrations occassionally still (perhaps as a reaction to having the Lexapro in my sys. for that one day???).

I mean, my doctors assumed it was part of my Panic Attacks, but how could it make my LIMBS GO NUMB like that and UNABLE TO MOVE, let alone those painful electrical surge feelings I used to always get.
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Offline King

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Re: Buzzing, vibrating and electric shocks in the head
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2007, 06:08:54 PM »
Hi Greygoose

Perhaps I can offer a biochemical focus on this....

As we know all medications for anxiety and depression work by balancing or selectively increasing neurotransmitters in our brains.

Our brains work via nervous transmission along infinite numbers of pathways linking one region to another. Nervous transmission in our brains is affected by the levels of 6 core neuro-chemicals, out of which 3 particularly affect mood - dopamine, serotonin and noradrenalin. GABA isnt a mood chemical but affects adrenalin production causing fight/flight responses. All these chemicals are targets for drug synthesis and effect.

However, its much more complex than that. As you affect one chemical the brain tends to correspondingly increase or decrease other chemicals via indirect mechanisms.

Anyway, because CNS (central nervous system) drugs affect neurotransmitter levels, they affect which pathways are used by the brain.

Or in other words, the change in neurotransmitter levels means that the brain is able to use different pathways than before - or pathways that it had stopped using. The same regions are linked as before, its just that they can be linked via an infinite number of different routes.

Its this switching or restoring of routes that causes a kind of 'rewiring' effect which is often felt as a "brain shock" or as an "electric shock" in the brain. These feelings will often come in the first few weeks or during tapering off for a CNS drug. Or they can occur without drugs.

I also believe that the jolts, buzzes and tingles are caused by similar bases. Although the tingles may be skin or muscle related which are typical anxiety symptoms.

These effects are nothing to be worried about although they have the potential to startle and unsettle us. The brain is designed to rewire itself as needed.

Over a period of time, as the brain gets used to using new pathways (and it does this all the time - its just that for some people taking drugs causes this happens more markedly) the effects felt will diminish. Remember, its the brain's ability to use new pathways or upregulate some and downregulate others at different times that makes it such a special and complex organ. And makes it quite self-defensive, like how a person who has had a stroke with loss of speech is able to speak again after a period of time as new pathways are used (and built).

Anyway, hope this is of interest
King

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Offline itsmeesindee

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Re: Buzzing, vibrating and electric shocks in the head
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2007, 09:25:32 PM »
Hey Goose,

About 15 years ago when I first starting taking anxiety meds I felt as if all the nerves in my body were vibrating. I believe that med was Buspar.  This same side effect happened with a couple other meds I tried until I realized how sensitive I was to the medication.  When I started taking the meds at an extremely low dose and slowly increased it, this side effect was just about nonexistant.  For those people that have side effects when first starting an antidepressant, I would definately recommend starting off at a very low dose.  it does take longer to feel the full effects of the med, but it is well worth it.  Also just know that those feelings do go away after a short period of time and in my opinion a little discomfort for a week or so if definately better than anytime with anxiety/panic attacks.

Cin
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Offline jenny649

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Re: Buzzing, vibrating and electric shocks in the head
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2007, 02:35:00 PM »
Hey there.

I generally don't feel any fo that, but when I miss a dosage of lexapro I do feel brain zaps, which feel basically like your brain is jolting around in your head. As long as I know the reason for it , it generally doesn't scare me too much, but I can definitely see how it would.
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"I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it." --Groucho Marx

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