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Brain Zaps

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Wondering if anyone else experiences these? I actually came across the term Brain Zaps on a post on this site in relation to another topic–, and I thought ‘if ever there was a term to describe what goes on in my head it’s that!’

Since SAH, as I’m relaxing into sleep, I get an intense ‘pulse’ of energy like my brain having a sudden powerful contraction in my head and an accompanying loud noise like the sound of a speeding car whizzing past (nyeeeeow….. that sort of thing!). It only lasts a second, and it’s not like the hypnic jerks you can get when you first doze off, because I’m fully awake –just very relaxed.

It frightened the life out of me when it first used to happen but it’s less intense now –although if I’ve had a busy/noisy day it will be more intense and there may be more than one.

I’ve never mentioned it to the docs as I had much bigger problems in the beginning and now I’m just used to it (also too embarrassed to do the speeding car impression in front of doc!) I did a bit of research and the only thing I can come up with on the internet re Brain zaps is SSRI discontinuation syndrome –but I’ve never taken any SSRI’s or any other anti depressant.

It’s also not tinnitus –as I have various tinnitus type noises in my head , which escalate according to how much mental activity I do throughout the day. These brain zaps are really specific to the relaxed state before sleep. Just interested to see if anyone else gets them or knows why they might happen?


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Hi Elaine,

I did get Brain Zaps about a year ago when I Stupidly went off my anti-d's. This may be where you read this. But I stopped taking anti-ds for two weeks and started getting these brain zaps. I would describe it as a sound of like ffft ffft like an electric shock. I went to hospital and they agreed it was due to anti-d withdrawal.

I do get occasional sort of shocks to the body when I lay still at first, certainly more so than before SAH. The brain is obviously electrical but I wouldnt dismiss anything as not important. It could be something.

I googled brain zaps and there is such a term


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I too took a SSRI and had the brain zaps. I thought they'd go away after withdrawal, but no. They are STILL with me every now and again. I don't get them when about to sleep, but I do get them when I am relaxed at times. I always say, 'Someone just walked over my grave' to describe the creepy whole body shock feeling that is gone in less than a millisecond.

Also, I stretch involuntarily in the AMs. This may sound normal, but it is anything but. I stretch my whole body stiff and it kills my back. I try and counter it by curling into a ball, but sometimes it is so strong that I can't do that. Then my back is out for about 2hours. Bluh.

I also on occasion say a phrase that I can't stop saying. I'm down to one now, but it started with many. I feel all these things all seem like tourette's in a way, but since they're all getting better...I don't really sweat it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yup, I get them to, just like a very low frequency noise so low you actually feel it as amexdm says like an eletrical current, it happens to me just around the top of the jaw right next to the ear canal on the opposite side of my SAH and does appear worse in bed when just falling asleep but put this down to a silent room and me at my most relaxed state, like yourselves it always seems to happen while relaxed.

Would love to know what causes it and what it is but it really doesn't bother me, like all the other little weird feelings I like the feeling lol

Also get titinus from my SAH which never happend before.

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