Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I Have Been Vindicated!!!

Yea -- I'm not as crazy as I may sometimes sound!!! For years I have tried to describe the exact symptoms and feelings listed below, and I have finally discovered that this IS a real thing! "Brain shivers" or "brain zaps". Every time I have ever tried to convey these feelings to anyone else, they look at me like I'm completely nuts (and let's face it, my nuttiness is nowhere near complete... yet).

Jon was describing a similar feeling he was having the other day and I was so excited that someone else actually knew what I was talking about -- even if for all I knew, it meant we could both be dying from a brain tumor or who-knows-what...


"Brain zaps" are said to defy description for whoever has not experienced them, but the most common themes are of a sudden "jolt," likened to an electric shock, apparently occurring or originating in the brain itself, with associated disorientation for a few seconds. They are sometimes accompanied by brief tinnitus and vertigo-like feelings. Immediately following this shock is a light-headedness that may last for up to ten seconds. The sensation can be described for many as a flashbulb going off inside the head or brain, coupled with a sudden sensation of pressure within the ears which is similar to the feeling of trying to relieve inner-ear pressure. Another ancedotal description of a "zap" is as though someone had opened up the person's skull and dragged a staticky blanket across his or her exposed brain. Essentially, it is a wave-like electrical pulse that quickly travels across the surface of (or through) the brain. Still another description is that it is like a bug zapper in stereo traveling back and forth across the back of the head, accompanied by a taste of aluminum foil in the mouth. Moving one's eyes from side to side quickly has also been shown to trigger these zaps and causing them to come in rapid succession. It is thought to be a form of neuro-epileptiform activity.

You're probably wondering why in the hell this even came up or how in the world I stumbled upon this? Good question. I'm about to switch my crazy pills (which I have absolutely no problem admitting that I take, btw) from Zoloft to Cymbalta, so I was reading about some of the side effects and whatnot. Turns out, these "brain shivers" can be a symptom of withdrawal from SSRI drugs, which means I was probably just irresponsible about taking my vitamin Z at the same time every day. Or so I'm diagnosing myself. (maybe the same thing with Jon since he takes blood pressure medicine?) As it turns out, my grandmother has been describing these same feelings to my mom for years, but Mom never understood what she meant. At least I come by it naturally... of course, you can come by cancer naturally, too, I guess...

I always heard that many of the people who went into the field of psychology &/or psychiatry were really just interested in getting to the root of their own psychoses & issues. And to think that I started out majoring in Psychology in college. Go figure...

2 Comments:

Blogger Rebecca said...

I had those bad when I'd forget my effexor. Even worse when I tried to get off effexor. It took several months to completely stop taking it.

6:32 AM  
Blogger *the queen* said...

Unless you have felt them, they are hard to imagine... A strange, strange thing...

5:29 PM  

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