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I've been getting short, extremely painful electric shock sensations for over a year (maybe 2 or 2.5) now but just had the worst two I've ever had and am pretty freaked out. I've heard about brain zaps as a withdrawl symptom (though Im not positive this is the same thing) and they DID start about the time I was going off Effexor - I can't remember the timeline exactly though and from what i've read brain zaps seemed to go away with time. I have been on meds, off meds for a few months then back on meds and have no change in frequency or intensity (meds= too many to count but mostly antidepressants/anxieties and atypical antipsychs). They can be more mild or so bad that if i was standing up I would fall down. They happen when I am awake and when I am falling a sleep and sometimes wake me up from sleep They're really on and off also I'll have times when i get them several times a day or go for a week or two without them. I feel them all throughout my body but felt them more intensely in certain areas the last 2 I had and those two also made me physically jolt. They only last for a second but there usually are between 3 and 10 in a row. I posted something somewhere else without mentioning my medication/psych history and people said that it could range from anxiety (which seems unlikely to me) to seizures that could put me in a coma to MS and to see a doctor immediately but I decided not to because i have mentioned it in the past to my pdoc (although the past two were so much more intense and scary that it seems like a bigger deal now) and because I think it's likely that it could be something less urgent due to my med/psych situation. I see my pdoc next week and will talk about them. Im pretty worried about if these are a sign of neurological problems, if i'll be stuck with them forever, that I'm going to go into a coma and just that they'll happen again (which they will). Has anybody else here experienced or heard of this or have ideas on what it might be related to? If you have had them does anything you do make them stop or less painful ? (they hurt so bad I cry).  Not looking for a diagnoses just ideas or similar experiences and what works to make them better. Sorry that was super long...

Edited by em3424
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It is really common for people with mental health problems to have physical illness go undetected or dismissed. People who experience psychosis can struggle to communicate symptoms. Others mistrust doctors after bad experiences of psych care. Your physical health is as important as your mental health, getting this treated will likely lower stress and improve your mental health. People with schizophrenia deserve good physical health care, however lucid clinicians feel they are, medical problems deserve care. I read a schizophrenia foundation report saying that people diagnosed die sooner, lack of physical health care being a factor.

Can you trust someone close to help you keep a diary of these shocks and come to a doctors appt to help you ask about it? The danger of going online are the kind of scare stories you have heard. Don't worry about what may be, see a GP and don't minimize your symptoms for fear of being dismissed.

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i've not taken antidepressants so no brain zap history

but i have had tactile "hallucinations"/somatic "delusions"

but i can't say of the electric shock sort

but if i had that happening and were at all in possession of insight to consider

i might consider it could be something mental health related

sadly titania's remark about schizophrenics having shorter lifespans is super true

but then i met someone on here who's ninety one so ...fuck anything can happen


i don't know what it could be but i kinda think it could be any number of things

and it must be really tough to deal with and to bear the waiting to find out

distraction seems like a real long shot when that's happening

and i totally hear you on fearing permanence when things suck

two to two point five years is a long time to suffer with this

and i wish you well in finding timely resolution and relief

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Ok thanks guys. i'll call my dr in the morning. I was seen by a neurologist a couple months ago to rule out something else but didn't mention these because they weren't super intense at the time and sometimes I'm so used to them being there I forget that other people would not automatically assume they were there - not sure if they would have done more or different tests for that (they only did one test when I went) but my doctors should know about that

...I worry I'll be really bad about putting it off to get it checked out though - Im so nervous about it being something bad or being something they can't diagnose or being not believed or being told they can't fix it etc. :(

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I know it can be really tough but I encourage you to press them to not ignore this

It's obviously distressing and sounds like hell and

Do you have anyone who advocates for you?

Or maybe you're in position to advocate for self?

Having someone who believed in you is huge

Someone in person as well as online

I believe you, I mean

I have two people who advocate for me at various times and it's nice to have in person support in that way if possible

And I wish you well in finding answers and relief

Crap. I already replied.

Anyway, hopefully you'll be granted the time and investigation this merits with your current team and not have to seek more input from new doctors, but maybe that's an option to relieve some anxiety. That that exists possibly as an option might be calming, I mean. A plan b

Edited by mellifluous
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It sounds a lot like Myoclonus Jerks.


They can be quite common actually :) and is not necessarily linked to a specific disorder.


There is also Myoclonus Seizures, however they are epileptic & usually in conjunction with other types of seizures.


The best way is to see a neurologist, as suggested. They will be able to do an EEG to figure out if there is seizure activity.

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