Brain Zaps? - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2014, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Brain Zaps?


I've heard this term used before but I'm not sure exactly what it is supposed to describe. I think I may be having them?

I've been tapering off Zoloft from 200mg to 0mg, I'm currently on 50mg. My doctor has me tapering at -50mg every 5th day (4 days per dosing stage). I was on 200mg for a whole month before I decided to taper...

Day we decided to taper: 150mg
day2 - 150mg
day3 - 150mg
day4 - 150mg
day5 - 100mg
day6 - 100mg
and so on...

Just yesterday I started noticing these unusual, slightly irritating sensations. They only occur a few times every hour, and they are like pulses (meaning they last for a split second). The best way I can describe them is as an electric "zap" that shoots from my hand, up my arm(s), and ends up at my brain (or inside my head).

Are these the brain zaps that everyone is talking about? If so, I attribute it mostly to my SSRI tapering and hope/assume it will subside within a couple weeks. The only other two things that I can think of that could be causing or adding to this effect is my:

- lack of sleep (the past few days I've been getting 4-7 hours of sleep and I usually get 10-12)

- coffee consumption (morning - daily)

Now, If and when the notion of thy marital conflict presents itself amid discussion, I shall acknowledge and exude multitudes of sympathy from within. For as long as you shall encounter aforesaid botheration, I am your biological father.

In the spirit of remaining candid and forthright, personal grievances of mine rein ad infinitum. Per contra, interpersonal differences between female companionship and I, of irreconcilable ilk, do not appear to be among such aforementioned affliction.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2014, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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ok, no one gives a ****... cool

Now, If and when the notion of thy marital conflict presents itself amid discussion, I shall acknowledge and exude multitudes of sympathy from within. For as long as you shall encounter aforesaid botheration, I am your biological father.

In the spirit of remaining candid and forthright, personal grievances of mine rein ad infinitum. Per contra, interpersonal differences between female companionship and I, of irreconcilable ilk, do not appear to be among such aforementioned affliction.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2014, 07:47 PM
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it shouldn't be in your hand or arm, usually people just feel a zap in their head.. when i took zoloft i had strong feeling of electricity running all through my body everywhere and i was like that for a few weeks...also i couldn't stop moving my left hand. it went away some time after stopping it...sometimes i would jump in my sleep. i dont think you should be drinking coffee while tapering if you're having weird effects like that though. i've had a really bad reaction from mixing caffeine with drugs...probaby should have gone to ER so I"m lucky...be careful. you might need to taper more slowly if possible too.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2014, 08:04 PM
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How long have you been taking them? - thats a rather aggressive taper if you have been on them a while. I would go at 25mg reduction per week personally. But maybe you haven't been on them long.

At the very minimum, you should probably stay at each dose until withdrawal effects have gone.

It could be brain zaps, but what I got (and understood as these) were kinda jolts in my head if i looked too far to the side with my eyes, or moved my eyes too quickly. Was always linked to eye movement for me.

Withdrawal will be the primary candidate for any strange physiological effects though, esp if you have been on em a while.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2014, 08:44 PM
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From what it sounds like, I'd say they are brain zaps but they aren't anything serious to worry about. They'll pass in due time.

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I'd feel better dead

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2014, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splendidbob View Post
How long have you been taking them? - thats a rather aggressive taper if you have been on them a while. I would go at 25mg reduction per week personally. But maybe you haven't been on them long.

At the very minimum, you should probably stay at each dose until withdrawal effects have gone.

It could be brain zaps, but what I got (and understood as these) were kinda jolts in my head if i looked too far to the side with my eyes, or moved my eyes too quickly. Was always linked to eye movement for me.

Withdrawal will be the primary candidate for any strange physiological effects though, esp if you have been on em a while.
This.

Diagnosis: Social anxiety disorder and depressive symptoms
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2014, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llodell88 View Post
it shouldn't be in your hand or arm, usually people just feel a zap in their head.. when i took zoloft i had strong feeling of electricity running all through my body everywhere and i was like that for a few weeks...also i couldn't stop moving my left hand. it went away some time after stopping it...sometimes i would jump in my sleep. i dont think you should be drinking coffee while tapering if you're having weird effects like that though. i've had a really bad reaction from mixing caffeine with drugs...probaby should have gone to ER so I"m lucky...be careful. you might need to taper more slowly if possible too.
Yea, that's what I thought. Hence the "brain" part. I guess these are more of
peripheral/extremity zaps, but still the same thing basically from what I understand...

Starting Zoloft, and each time I upped my dose, I noticed increased anxiety/agitation for a few days at a time. Never experienced what you did (or this) until now.

When you say couldn't stop moving, were these tremors or voluntary movements to soothe an irritating sensation or uneasiness? Two totally different things...

A slower taper would be more comforting, but the zaps probably aren't bothering me enough to warrant that. I also want to get off this crap asap!

Quote:
Originally Posted by splendidbob View Post
How long have you been taking them? - thats a rather aggressive taper if you have been on them a while. I would go at 25mg reduction per week personally. But maybe you haven't been on them long.

At the very minimum, you should probably stay at each dose until withdrawal effects have gone.

It could be brain zaps, but what I got (and understood as these) were kinda jolts in my head if i looked too far to the side with my eyes, or moved my eyes too quickly. Was always linked to eye movement for me.

Withdrawal will be the primary candidate for any strange physiological effects though, esp if you have been on em a while.
4-6 months. This is the taper regime my psychiatrist recommended. At the time I didn't see anything wrong with it. Good advice though^

I tried the eye thing and have noticed the same thing happens to me right now, only, once again, the zaps are felt mostly in my arms and wrists (even when it's my eyes triggering it)... weird

That is what I figured. Caffeine doesn't normally affect me to this point, and although I'm not sleeping as much, 4-7 hours is not that bad. I'd bet my money this is the ssri. What a crappy drug...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bert Reynolds View Post
From what it sounds like, I'd say they are brain zaps but they aren't anything serious to worry about. They'll pass in due time.
Thanks. That's exactly what I was thinking too!

Now, If and when the notion of thy marital conflict presents itself amid discussion, I shall acknowledge and exude multitudes of sympathy from within. For as long as you shall encounter aforesaid botheration, I am your biological father.

In the spirit of remaining candid and forthright, personal grievances of mine rein ad infinitum. Per contra, interpersonal differences between female companionship and I, of irreconcilable ilk, do not appear to be among such aforementioned affliction.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2014, 02:00 PM
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A: i just needed to wave my fingers back in forth rapidy for some reason...my hand felt really light, almost weightless. it's sort of involuntary but i could stop it with effort. i think i did it more when i was trying to concentrate on something.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-06-2014, 02:29 PM
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4-6 months isn't a very long time to be on them, still I would wait for all withdrawal effects to go each step before reducing again
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-06-2014, 03:40 PM
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I get brain zaps when I miss a dose of venlafaxine. Been on it for years. Lost count now. They are not painful like with some people. Some people say they are like migraines. I just get a 'zap' and some kind of auditory buzzing. Never bothered me. Mine seemed to occur mostly when I moved my head... which is not easy to avoid doing. It is good in a way as it reminds me I missed a dose! I am on 150mg morning and 150mg night. I used to be on double that.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-06-2014, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack View Post
I get brain zaps when I miss a dose of venlafaxine. Been on it for years. Lost count now. They are not painful like with some people. Some people say they are like migraines. I just get a 'zap' and some kind of auditory buzzing. Never bothered me. Mine seemed to occur mostly when I moved my head... which is not easy to avoid doing. It is good in a way as it reminds me I missed a dose! I am on 150mg morning and 150mg night. I used to be on double that.
How's ven working out for you? How good is it for anxiety/sa (once you've stabilized your dose)? I hear it can actually increase anxiety in some people due to increased norepinephrine.

Also, in some people it seems to cause emotional blunting like the SSRI's. I hate that side effect! Do you get that with ven?

Now, If and when the notion of thy marital conflict presents itself amid discussion, I shall acknowledge and exude multitudes of sympathy from within. For as long as you shall encounter aforesaid botheration, I am your biological father.

In the spirit of remaining candid and forthright, personal grievances of mine rein ad infinitum. Per contra, interpersonal differences between female companionship and I, of irreconcilable ilk, do not appear to be among such aforementioned affliction.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-06-2014, 07:26 PM
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When I took zoloft I did not experience brain zaps, but I usually did not taper whenever I went off it. Withdrawal for me made me sleep a lot, and restfully, and I did not use caffeine back then. Now I use caffeine with a different drug for anxiety/depression and it causes mood instability but more importantly it causes me to feel less of a bond with people, replaced with an insatiable urge to get things done, which can't be done because of the lesser bond and detached autistic or antisocial thinking. I'm not sure how best to describe it. Like nothing matters enough if I don't keep active, which I can't due to insomnia from the caffeine (and the medication itself, though I feel that side effect is waning). It is difficult to deal with anything added to the drug, like caffeine and today nicotine, which unexpectedly produced a hypertensive crises along with caffeine, some of it in the form of yerba mate so there were other things in it which enhance the mao inhibiting effect of the medicine. And I started using caffeine again to counteract the hypotension as a side effect of the medicine. I can't tolerate caffeine. So I am afraid I will experience unbearable hypotension while cutting back on caffeine until I am off completely. I will be sure to tell my doctor all of this when I see her on the 15th.

I hope that helps. The extra stuff about my medication and using other substances will be useful to you if you are a conceptual thinker, as you probably are.


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