BRAIN ZAPS ARE KILLING ME!! NOT KIDDING!

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I was just reading posts on this discussion board which were from a few years ago about people experiencing the shock-like brain zaps (which I call zingers), and I'm hoping that some of you are still discussing this condition.

I have been reading everything I can about this brain '"pain" and I am very confused on how it affects everyone so differently.  I take Celexa 40 mg daily and Seroquel 25 mg for sleep.  I was told by my shrink that he thinks these "zaps" are due to neurotransmitters firing incorrectly. I've also read that these zaps occur when discontinuing serotonin drugs. Well, I've been on Celexa for 12 years and these zaps started about three years ago, around the time I started Seroquel.

The only way I can describe these zaps is like having Tesla coils in my brain firing and firing for sometimes up to hours, debilitating me to the point that I can't walk, talk, have blurry vision, but I sure can scream.  My whole brain inside feels like I'm being electrocuted, especially when the zaps shoot around to my brain stem and a little ways down my neck.

EEGs have shown nothing, but I believe that is because they were not done while I was having an brain attack.

It is a Saturday, so I'll have to wait until Monday to ask my shrink if I should be put on a different drug for sleep because I have intractible insomnia, and have had this since I was a child (the insomnia not the zaps).  My circadian rhythms are off kilter my neurologist said, so I would work 3-11 p, and 11 - 7 am shifts at the hospital when I was most alert.  Then coming home to the kids and a hungry husband was so much fun. 

Anyway, many posts on the previous discussion said that these zaps said that they don't last long and one can get on with their lives perfectly well.  I am very happy for them, in fact it gave me some hope, but I'm writing this note now with the Tesla coils flaring  Think of the movie Frankenstein and the doctor has these electrical coils that wind way up to the ceiling and flashes of electricity would flow between them - well that's what I experience and sometimes for hours. The doc would scream, "He's alive, he's alive!"

Well, I feel like I'm dying - not trying to be melodramatic but I am a shell of myself.  I also have a neurologic disease called 'trigeminal neuralgia' and I thought it was the cause of the zaps, but my pain doc said no.  He has never heard of brain zaps, so I printed out stacks of info on it for him.

Thanks for listening - reading.  I hope someone will respond.  Also, how do I get a picture into the little box in the upper left-hand corner?

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  • Posted

    I have nerves buzzing under my skin sometimes and I have pudendal neuralgia  (a medium case) and I don't think my pain doc ever cared about this symptom...

    anyway, trigerminal neuralgia is very serious and I think you need new medication...I take lyrica and it works nicely

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    • Posted

      Hi Mary, thank you for replying.  I just replied to Dorothy90221 about the brains zaps I get and also about the trigeminal neuralgia

      I am very happy that Lyrica is helping you. I had been on Lyrica about 10 years ago, but the side effects were intolerable.  I got such blurry vision that I could no longer make out shapes or read.  But Lyrica has been the ONLY drug that treated my face pain, so I'm going to ask my eye doctor about what happened to me while taking the Lyrica. I'm having cataracts removed soon, so maybe they played a part in the blurry vision I experienced.  Blurry vision is even one of the side effects that is mentioned on TV when there is a commercial about Lyrica.

      I sure didn't like reading that your pain doc is not considering your symptoms.  Pain is pain, and it must be treated, and doctors are obligated to find out what the best treatments are for their patients. In Dorothy's note to me, she mentioned holistic practioners.  This is something I have been considering. Osteopathic doctors are amazing in how they treat the "whole" patient, not just the symptoms you come in with.  Maybe give it a try.  I sure am going to try.  Get copies all of your medical records so that any new doctor you see will have your medical history on hand. Patients are notorious for not remembering important things to say while at the doctor's office, especially if the doc appears in a hurry.

      Good luck Mary.

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  • Posted

    Oh my goodness.. I am so sorry you have such a terrible condition. You don't seem to be getting the correct help either. I really think you should contact a  sound holistic practitioner as those drugs are creating some of those conditions. Conventional medicine is not treating you well. Good luck. 

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    • Posted

      Dorothy, Thank you very much for replying to my post.

      I agree that taking a holistic or osteopathic path would be better for me, and I have given it much thought.  However, I have so many different diagnoses that I wouldn't know where to start.  I have begun obtaining my medical records from all of the specialists I see, but it is a cumbersome and expensive project.

      One thing that I read in many of the discussions is that most people have these shocks for only a minute or two or maybe a bit longer, but mine last for hours and worsen over time until I literally pass out. I can't walk, my balance is completely off, my speech is slurred, and my body feels like I have no bones inside my arms and legs. I can no longer drive a car, so my 1994 black Camaro sits in the garage covered over to protect it, but sometimes I sit in it and pretend. I drove to Aspen Colorado yesterday during my dream trip. Oh, I've gone so many places and will continue to go many more places if my neurotransmitters done shut me down completely. I'm trying to get to Alaska next.

      I'm 66 years old – luckily now on Medicare – but in 2001 I was placed on full disability because of all my problems. What was kind of funny about this is that the judge who made the final decision that I was disabled said in his letter that it must be considered that she is “approaching advanced age”. I was 53 at the time – jeepers. It drives my husband crazy but I still have the heart and soul of an 18 y/o old and sometimes act like it – I'm a people person and he is not.

      Besides these brain shocks I get, I also have trigeminal neuralgia, which is damage to the 5th cranial nerve (there are 12), and my neuralgia was caused by a misplaced needle by a dentist giving me a novocaine shot on the bottom right side of my jaw. This was in 1999 and it took about a month or so for the symptoms to really flare up. It is like having a flame thrower being shot at the right side of my face from my chin all the way up to my forehead and into my right eye. The pain is indescribable, and if you read up on it, you will find that it is called the suicide disease. I've seen many neurologists and pain management doctors, and have had numerous MRIs, but none of them showed anything. For the horrible pain I get from the neuralgia, I have been on morphine, codeine, baclofen, Lyrica, and Valium. I had to stop the morphine and the Lyrica due to very bad side effects, and the Lyrica actually took almost all of the neuralgia away, but it caused me such blurry vision that I could no longer make out shapes or words. The morphine I just didn’t like taking. It's a strong pain reliever, so why didn't it relieve my pain. Now I only take Norco and Valium. I have also undergone nerve blocks called stellate ganglion blocks where steroids are injected into the nerve bundle in the brain stem from which the trigeminal nerve root begins and then from there it follows a path up the side of the face and sometimes into my scalp. They never did any good – and they were very costly.

      Regarding these brain shocks (which I call 'zingers'wink, my son found out some information on the internet that the combination of Celexa (for depression) and Seroquel 25 mg (low dose) for sleep could be messing up the neurotransmitters (especially serotonin) in my head, which are what are being affected when the zingers occur. The Celexa does not have something called a “half-life” (?) so it stays in my system most of the day, so when I take the Seroquel at 10 PM, the two drugs interact inappropriately. The overacting neurotransmitters are definitely the cause of the brain shocks, but no doc I have talked to has any idea what to do. And I give all of them copies of what I print out online.

      The trigeminal neuralgia is totally unrelated to the brain shocks – which are caused by the neurotransmitters firing off kilter as I mentioned above. The only way to diagnose or study these brain shocks would be for me to have an EEG done right when I'm having the zingers. I was in the ER two weeks ago with my hands trying to pull my head off of my neck because of the pain. My husband told the doc about the neuralgia, but when I tried to explain what I was experiencing and that I was NOT having an attack of the neuralgia at this time I came across as a blubbering idiot. She felt that I was having a generalized anxiety attack and an attack of the neuralgia. So she sets me up for a CT scan and gives me a 2 mg IV push of morphine. I begged her to do an EEG right then, but she had never heard of these brains zaps, so to her I was just a crazy lune having face pain. I printed out tons of articles about brain zaps and sent them directly to this ER doc, and I hope she has read them.

      I also have scleroderma and many of the “overlap” syndromes, including heart and lung problems along with osteoporosis and an almost complete shutdown of the gastric motility which our bodies rely on for our food to go from top to bottom. The full gastric motility from the minute you swallow to when it travels through the digestive tract and then out the back door has a “snake-like” movement that the digestive tract needs to help wiggle the food through your system. I have found enough soft foods (oh, the Yoplait vanilla yogurt is heaven and I eat up to 6 a day) to eat so I'm not starving. Milk shakes/malts have been a life-saver, especially strawberry. Yumm.

      Well, this became too long of a reply note but I heartily thank all of you wonderful but unfortunate people who suffer from these electrical shocks for taking the time to read what I had to say. Let's hope that some doctors will consider these disruptions of our neurotransmitters as worthy of study, even if they just come to understand what is occurring.

       

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    • Posted

      you've had some really good advice here.

      don't bother about your old notes ...start again with support from someone new...who won't abuse you.

      try lovely warm baths soaking in epsom salts...i reckon you have a crisis of magnesium...take as much as you can. imposs to overdose...just gives you the runs ...often a great thing...so its used to relieve constipation. hope this helps.

      love marey xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  • Posted

    Hi sounds like your pretty low at the moment, it's all a bit disconcerting , I take magnesium for my dystonia and the fuzziness in the brain has stopped. I sometimes got a freezing sensation down the back of the neck and stroke like symptoms , I actually thought I was having a stoke but wasn't . It's got a million times better since I ate better healthier and took magnesium and vitamin D. Get your vita checked  and look into magnesium . By way unless you get a serum magnesium test Yupik find the other is not acurate and nagesuim plummets if your taking drugs that change your serotonin uptake . Hope I've helped 
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    • Posted

      that is so helpful and re-assuring to read!  i do hope gaiagal gets to see it soon and is persuaded to follow a natural path to health....with just these simple steps taken sytematically x
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  • Posted

    I know exactly what you are referring to, about the zaps.  I've had them off and on for years--they first started when I was going off Prozac and later Zoloft.  But they've started up again in recent years.  You should know I've got White Matter Disease--that is a bunch of vascular lesions in the white matter of the brain, probably from my advanced diabetes.  Oddly enough, my neuro guy, a sophisticated doctor at Boston's Massachusett's General hospital, hadn't heard of them either.  Ridiculous!  They're easy to Google.  Anyway, you might want to consider having an MRI or other neuro-imaging done to make sure there is nothing obviously amiss with your brain.  Best of luck.
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  • Posted

    hope you can balance your blood sugar among other things x
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    • Posted

      Thanks much!  Actually it was out of control for years--up in the 500s, even around 700 and 800!  As a result I have really bad neuropathy and white matter disease.  But about a year ago I started a strict protein drink diet.  My blood sugar normalized as soon as I began the diet--and that had huge benefits to my general health.  Thanks for your comment!
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    • Posted

      congratulations unreal9...that is absolutely fantastic!  i admire you and appreciate how difficult that must have been. really well done
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  • Posted

    I'm sitting here at my desk having brain zaps, too.  I HATE it.  I have no warning, and it's just like someone has hit me with a stun gun.  I did laugh about the part where you called the zaps "zingers."  It's almost what it sounds like when one of the zaps fires off in your head.  The only thing I've found that helps some is magnesium tablets.  I'll take a couple and then the zinging lets up a little.  
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  • Posted

    Just had some of those 'zingers' don't know what I would do if they were as long as yours though, they are truly horrible. I am on Paxil/Seroxat which are famous for zaps.  I also have adrenal insufficiency and my mind really acts up with low cortisol and it unbalances my blood sugars. Just something to think about. Good luck with treatments xxx
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  • Posted

    Dear gaiagal,

    Have you tried taking high quality fish oil supplements to counter the brain zaps? They can help stop that response when coming off of some anti depressants.  I learned that when I came off of mine.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I have been on Fluoxetine 40mg for over 3 years and have suddenly stopped taking them. I have regular brain zaps which I can describe a an old fashioned flash cube constantly going off in my head and my eyes,
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