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Exploding head syndrome


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  • Administrator

I've experienced this myself -- it's a withdrawal symptom, another manifestation of neurological hyperreactivity. It happened a few times, randomly, and I hope it never happens again. http://www.clinicaladvisor.com/exploding-head-syndrome-or-ssri-withdrawal/article/236503/

 

Exploding head syndrome or SSRI withdrawal?

Sharon M. O'Brien, MPAS, PA-C April 13 2012

 

When a recent patient described hearing an intense noise that woke him from sleep, it wasn't clear to me at first what he was experiencing. He described the experience as terrifying, but not painful.

 

The patient underwent MRI, but nothing unusual had been found. He did have a history of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) use and had recently been weaned from the medication.

 

Patients sometimes report feeling “brain zaps” or electrical sensations when being weaned from SSRIs. At first I thought he may be experiencing this side effect, but as he continued to describe his situation, I was not convinced SSRI use was to blame. He had no other withdrawal symptoms and said the episode occurred as he was trying to fall asleep.

 

Exploding head syndrome (EHS) is very rare. I can't say for sure that my patient actually has it, as he has only experienced symptoms on one occasion. However, his description seems to fit the syndrome. EHS is named after the sound patients with the disorder perceive hearing. Patients with EHS will complain of a severe noise that usually occurs when transitioning from wakefulness to sleep, although it has been recorded by polysomnogram in all sleep stages.

 

Patients may describe EHS symptoms as hearing a gunshot, an explosion, a bomb going off, a clash of cymbals, or thunder that awakens them from sleep. It is often accompanied by shortness of breath and increased heart rate. The cause is unknown, but etiology appears benign.

 

EHS episodes last for seconds and have a random pattern. Some patients may experience the symptoms several times and then never experience the problem again. For others, episodes can be quite frequent.

 

EHS does not cause pain, but it does cause anxiety and fear, as patients often believe something so intense must be serious. Some patients have described seeing flashes of light when the sound occurs. One theory is that EHS could be a manifestation of seizure activity.

 

Because EHS is benign, treatment is mostly reassurance.... EHS symptoms often decline after patients understand that the illness is benign.

 

In medicine we are often taught to think of horses not zebras. This case was a reminder that sometimes it is appropriate to look in the zoo....

 

Sharon M. O'Brien, MPAS, PA-C, works at Presbyterian Sleep Health in Charlotte, N.C. Her main interest is helping patients understand the importance of sleep hygiene and the impact of sleep on health.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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  • Administrator

My comment:

 

Sharon, your intuition about this phenomenon being related to SSRI withdrawal and "brain zaps" was correct. "Brain zaps" are thought to be a variety of Lhermitte's sign, abnormal electrical discharges in the brain.

 

I am a peer counselor for those tapering and recovering from antidepressant withdrawal syndrome. Often, withdrawal leaves the patient with nervous system hypersensitivity that does not show up on any tests but can be very significant.

 

In those who experience severe withdrawal syndrome from too-fast tapering, the nervous system hypersensitivity precludes treatment with any other neurologically active medications or even supplements. Such patients may also be hypersensitive to formerly tolerable foods. This can last for months or years.

 

Disordered sleep is very, very common among those suffering from withdrawal syndrome. Sleep panic, startling when drowsing off, and other alerting reactions are often reported. Patients will report having frightening dreams or hearing frightening noises, which cause them to startle and awaken with anxiety.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Another long, low whistle. I have occasionally heard some loud sounds while settling down for the night, usually in the form of loud car horns or backfires. (I live near the Pennsylvania Turnpike so this didn't particularly alarm me.)

 

I had one really strange experience pre-AD. I was stressed to an extreme and while lying in bed about to go to sleep, started seeing stained glass-like colors and shapes that obliterated my vision. I was terrified and thought I might be having retinal detachment. My vision was fine the next morning and the next and the next and eventually I discovered a phenomenon known as "headache-less migraine", the symptoms of which were exactly what I had had that night, all of it due to stress.

 

Methinks this goes to show what stress can do to a person, and those elevated Cortisol levels in withdrawal can certainly produce some mighty strange and scary stress effects.

 

May our psychiatrists get everything they so richly deserve.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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I have experienced the flashes of light in withdrawal, but without the sound.

 

At the time, I was either waking up or going to sleep, I can't remember which.

 

I had been reading a magazine article, and when the flashes of light occurred, images from the article suddenly popped into my head.

 

It was pretty bizarre.

 

 

I came off Seroxat in August 2005 after a 4 month taper. I was initially prescibed a benzo for several months and then Prozac for 5 years and after that, Seroxat for 3 years and 9 months.

 

"It's like in the great stories Mr.Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it's only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer."  Samwise Gamgee, Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers

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i am sure I posted about this sometime ago. I have had this several times a loud explosion and a flash of white light when i was waiting to drift off to sleep.Its very alarming.

Started Seroxat(Paxil) for panic attacks in 1997 stopped the drug in 2005 tapered over 3 months ( doctors advice)

Suffered severe and protracted withdrawl ever since.

No other medication taken.

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I have had this. Only in wd. Never before.

Everything was ok. And then it wasn't.

 

Med History

11/2009- 50 mg Zoloft (1st ad ever) in combo w/.50 xanax for 2 weeks then use xanax as needed (1st benzo ever)

9 days on Zoloft, I was awake for 9 days straight C/T Zoloft

11/2009- trazadone to sleep for 2 weeks c/t Trazadone

12/2009 start 10 mg Lexapro w/ Xanax as needed

5/2010-3 week taper off lexapro

9/2010? back to Lexapro 10 mg after 5 or 6 weeks c/t leapro

12/2010-10mg paxil

5/2011-6 week paxil taper

8/2011 5mg lexapro

last lexapro pill January 7 2012

all this as per doc orders Thanks Doc!

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Interesting....

 

I get this alot, especially lately. And I wake up in a horrible horrible emotional place.

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Whatever it is....it feels like we took LSD and it is scary. I guess the way thru it is to just remind ourselves that it is the drug, over and over again.

 

Nickie if you wake from this, go take a quick shower. Water hitting my face helps alot and tones down cortisol/adrenaline.

 

Hugs

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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I was getting this too. I researched it and found out it's something some people deal with. I kind of put it in the catagory as my audio hallucinations, that can range from bells, phone rings, etc. But now I don't have this anymore, thank God.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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  • 4 months later...

Hello all

I just had this exploding head thing last night, it scared the hell out of me! I hope it dosent happen very often, i feel as though im going crazy when it does! I couldntbsleep the rest of the night! Happy dreams People, happy dreams.

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I've had this once too. It was a horrible experience.

 

I've also had the hypnogic jerks occasionally, and sometimes I just get a load of loud internal chatter in my head. Some would call it auditory hallucinations, I guess. It only happens when I relax and try to drift into sleep.

Off Lexapro since 3rd November 2011.

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Niacin is very helpful for the auditory hallucinations that are a part of hynogogic hallucinations. I get the same things, lots of background voices. I also get the loud bangs, bells, whistles... all of it. I tested the Niacin again. I stopped taking it for a few days to see if these things came back and sure enough, they did. It's interesting how something so simple like Niacin can be so effective. I have no idea why it works. But I read a book about Orthomolecular doses of it is effective for Schizophrenia. I'm sure if I had more of a scientific mind I'd remember the specifics of it all. But I'm not like that.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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I have had this. It's very upsetting. I think it has something to do with being exhausted for me because while the quantity of my sleep is better most of the time now, I think my sleep patterns are still disrupted. Last time, I was just falling asleep and within five minutes or so of me drifting to sleep, I heard someone say my name very loudly. That was what startled me awake and scared me. There was no one there of course, and it made me heart pound. I read up on it and it's a bit different than a panic attack like I was having early on, but still quite upsetting. I try not to fear it, but just endure these tortures. I have had it probably five or six nights, over the past year. Scary but harmless.

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  • Administrator

I've had this a few times -- a loud clap as I was falling asleep. Hasn't happened in a long while, though.

 

Like Romido, I chalked it up to yet another obnoxious phenomenon brought on by withdrawal syndrome and autonomic dysregulation.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Niacin is very helpful for the auditory hallucinations that are a part of hynogogic hallucinations. I get the same things, lots of background voices. I also get the loud bangs, bells, whistles... all of it. I tested the Niacin again. I stopped taking it for a few days to see if these things came back and sure enough, they did. It's interesting how something so simple like Niacin can be so effective. I have no idea why it works. But I read a book about Orthomolecular doses of it is effective for Schizophrenia. I'm sure if I had more of a scientific mind I'd remember the specifics of it all. But I'm not like that.

 

Apparently Niacin releases histamine in the body, so there might be a clue there. High histamine levels also have a connection with schizophrenia, I believe.

Off Lexapro since 3rd November 2011.

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  • 1 year later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

I've just seen this after following a link Alto posted. I've experienced this phenomenon too

many times since jumping on the drugs bandwagon! Loud noises that can be anything , 

the doorbell, (my doorbell is extremely loud and was fitted for someone who was hard of hearing).

gunshot (never happens here) . thunderclaps.......

I never knew what it was but it was terrifying for a long time because I thought someone or

something was  trying to scare me to death and succeeding.  Eventually I stopped being scared

and thought it was just me dreaming. It makes sense now I've read this! It's worse when insomnia

is bad but maybe that is because it's withdrawal that makes the insomnia worse. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Cool. This has happened to me a few times in withdrawal. Interesting. I just thought I was dreaming and had dreamed a loud explosive sound.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • 2 months later...

sometimes i wake up to odd sounds, too (doorbells, or just odd sounds.) i also get the mental chatter phil and shanti were talking about. this goes in waves and they both seem to coincide with each other. i was thinking it was glutamate activity related as it happens a few days after i get pretty anxious. i take l-theanine but I'm not sure if it helps or not. interesting to see that niacin may help. i was advised to stay away from niacin though. 

on 37.5 - 50mg zoloft/sertraline for GAD from 3/1996 to 4/2013 (17 years) 

too fast taper from 1/13-4/13

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  • 6 months later...
  • Administrator

More on exploding head syndrome

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/01/how-to-defuse-exploding-head-syndrome/384553/

 

....Researchers think that the cause of EHS lies in the brainstem reticular formation, an area of the brain that regulates sensory-motor reflexes, eye movements, motor control, and transitions between sleep and wakefulness. The theory is that as we approach sleep, the brainstem acts as a night watchman, switching off those functions. In EHS, this routine is somehow disrupted, resulting in wild brain-cell firings that cause the perception of loud noises and flashing lights, as well as muscle spasms.

 

As of now, there are no diagnostic tests for EHS. Researchers considered the possibility that it may be a form of seizure, but EEG testing, which is used to detect epileptic activity in the brain, has not shown epilepsy as a cause. The symptoms of EHS can be so distressing, however, that patients become convinced that they have something very serious, and end up getting tested for other conditions such as strokes or tumors. There is also no specific treatment, although a variety of medications, including anti-seizure drugs and calcium-channel blockers, have been used to alleviate the symptoms. A study by Gautam Ganguly, a neurologist at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, suggested that the best treatment for EHS may be simple reassurance that the condition is benign rather than an indication of something more serious. He reported the case of a 57-year-old man whose symptoms had not recurred six months after doctors convinced him that his EHS was nothing more than an inconvenience.....

 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Only had this while starting paxil a few times, and once when I hit tolerance.

Paxil start September 2003 due to Fluoroquinolone adverse reaction that I wish doc. knew what it was. 10mg. most of the time with a few short runs of 20mg. FAST tapered 3 times and finally hit poop out or a reaction to nsaid's in Nov.2013. Started a 10% taper Jan. 2014 and have been ok until Sept 14 and went through a short hell. Now plodding through and looking for the light with unrelenting insomnia and pain, fog, loss of interests....<p>12/20/14 - .8mg.

1/01/15 - .75 mg.

1/15/15 - .42 mg. better sleep now, hope it continues...

2/11-15 - .25 mg. doing really good!! 2 weeks feel 85% of old me!

3/17/15 .14 mg. Knee pain bad!

4/07/15 .05 mg. this is so small now that I am estimating and just licking it off palm small as a "." 

4/13/15 NOTHING !!!! Took my last little micro dose on 4/12/15. ????????????????

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  • 6 months later...
  • Mentor

I have had this twice in my SSRI Withdrawal period.  Both times under 16mgs of Paxil, when I had started at 25mgs of CR.

Paxil: 12/24/18 0.8mg, 3/24/19 0.64 mg,(syringe change issue date?) 4/22/19 0.60 mg, 5/24/19 0.60 mg, 7/7/19 0.52 mgs, 8/4/19 0.44mgs, 11/4/19 0.36mgs, 2/1/20 0.28mgs, 3/1/20 0.24mgs (crash April 6)

 

 

 

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InvisibleUnless

ive had both the aural and visual components of this while taking meds and also in withdrawing.  while taking the meds, it seemed especially likely to occur if i was more tired than usual (often from skipping a night of sleep, as the meds generally made me do about 4-14 times per month over the long term).  taking my bedtime meds (including the antipsychotic of the period) may have also been an agitating factor, though its hard to tell since i rarely tried to sleep without them due to dependence.

 

an interesting difference is that such EHS symptoms tended to be right while falling asleep initially while i was on the meds, and in withdrawal they are more often occurring during waking up from a period of sleeping or dreaming instead---a more prolonged experience of deafening noise (like hurricane winds) and/or explosions of light rather than the usual, more confined single or double explosion with a flash of pure whiteness.

 

it is barely meaningful to draw lines around ambiguously quasi-seizure activity because all psychotropics can cause abnormal firing patterns and functionality and a wide variety of side effects are seizure-like in manifestation.  if we dont understand seizures, comparing or connecting other neurological experiences to them is nearly useless except to differentiate them from patterned and replicable firing patterns which still cause disorder.

from 2005-2012, i spent 7 years taking 17 different psychotropic medications covering several classes.  i would be taking 3-7 medications at a time, and 6 out of the 17 medications listed below were maxed or overmaxed in clinical dosage before i moved on to trying the next unhelpful cocktail.
 
antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, tetracyclics): zoloft, wellbutrin, effexor, lexapro, prozac, cymbalta, remeron
antipsychotics (atypical): abilify, zyprexa, risperdal, geodon
sleep aids (benzos, off-label antidepressants & antipsychotics, hypnotics): seroquel, temazepam, trazodone, ambien
anxiolytics: buspar
anticonvulsants: topamax
 
i tapered off all psychotropics from late 2011 through early 2013, one by one.  since quitting, ive been cycling through severe, disabling withdrawal symptoms spanning the gamut of the serious, less serious, and rather worrisome side effects of these assorted medications.  previous cross-tapering and medication or dosage changes had also caused undiagnosed withdrawal symptoms.
 
brainpan addlepation

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator

Alto writes:

 

 

When a recent patient described hearing an intense noise that woke him from sleep, it wasn't clear to me at first what he was experiencing. He described the experience as terrifying, but not painful.

YES!  That's how it is for me.  My brain lights up, and my entire nervous system fires.  With some deep breathing, I can sometimes settle down, but I can imagine for someone not knowing what to expect (I've had phenomenon like this since the late 80's, just not very frequently) that it could be frightening.  If hubby had it, he would be terrified he was having a stroke.  Luckily we've kept him off the SSRI's. 

This is the first place I've seen it coupled with a noise.  As I listen to relaxing MP3's to drown out hubby's CPAP, it's on random play, and sometimes a change in the music is enough to set it off.  As far as an inner sound, like fireworks or doorbell, I think I've experienced that, too.  That is harder to pin down, because I'm always waking from a dream - was the sound in the dream, or was it from the external environment?

 

I've also had it from misinterpreting external sounds, internally.  The best example of it is a freight train roaring by the house (I live on a train line) becomes the screaming of thousands of people in distress.  NOT a good thing to wake up to - and even after I realize "oh.  That was a train," my chest keeps pounding for quite a while.  Breathing exercises distract me from the cortisol explosion - but let me emphasize that the Breathing exercises do not calm me.  They only distract me while I wait for the system to settle.  Sometimes that is 45 minutes.

 

Again, I associate it with the serotonin drugs - (including LSD, of which I was a user in the long ago and far away) and the withdrawal from them.  That I have them so many decades after being of SSRI's (though SNRI's and tricyclics were in there), I treat them like "flashbacks."

 

But they are scary, it's just that I'm experienced enough with misperceptions and hallucinations to get through them.  I have not told anyone about them, ever.  Till now.

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Purplestars22

I have had EHS a couple of times this year and this week. I experience noises while falling asleep and/ or waking up. The noises would be ringing bells, door slamming and various noises. I have noticed this happens when i have increase in stress or in a bad wave. It is so terryfying, anxiety and cortisol surges provoking. It is surreal leaving me traumatized and having shame of experiencing this horrendous symptom. There are times when I am afraid to fall asleep and manage to sleep only when I listen to YouTube videos playing on my phone.

Celexa 20mg 2008-2012 for Social Anxiety

Failed attempt to stop reinstated

1 year taper skipping doses

Celexa free 12/2013

1/2014-5/2014 took 5 htp every other day

Failed Reinstatement 5mg of Celexa on 12/2014 for 5 days only

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I'm relieved to see this, I have had this happen several times over the past few months whilst in protracted withdrawal and never before. I find it very distressing. As I wake I hear a very loud gunshot in my head.... or does the noise wake me up? It is so tangible yet I know it is internal as I seem to feel it in my head at the same time.

For me it is very different to the phenomena of incorporating an external sound into the script of a dream.

It is however one of the less common sleep disturbances that are a constant feature for me now at 12 months off meds. I often feel like I have not slept at all, even when I do.

Zoloft 8yrs CT (for anxiety) Crashed few months later, diagnosed major depression. Reinstating did not work.

Several poorly tolerated short term meds including Effexor, Mirtazapine. Eventually stabilised on Lexapro.

Sometime in the 90's bipolar diagnosis added and seroquel. CT'd from that quickly as I didn't think I fit the diagnosis.

 

Lexapro 5yrs? (9 month taper 2010) - Diagnosed ADD shortly after becoming psych med free.

Dexamphetamine- 2011-July 2014 (6 month taper)

Crashed late 2014: over sensitive to light, sound, people, usual foods, caffeine and life.

{July 2014- quit smoking, Dec 2014 quit caffeine, chocolate, sugar, processed foods, don't drink}

Supplements: Magnesium Citrate, Vit C, Pro-biotic.

Feb 2015-current: intolerance to minor stimulation, terror, anxiety, doom, delirium, anhedonia, insomnia, lethargy, weakness, bodily tingling, numbness, ticks and jolts, tinnitus, back pain, gastric disturbance, facial pain, ticks and tingling, EHS.........

Oct 2015- developed frozen shoulder-ongoing

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  • 3 weeks later...
antidepressantsNoMore

I've had this a lot during withdrawal. It wasn't something I wanted to talk about. I had one psychotic depression about five years ago- same thing after stopping anti-depressants. Maybe it was a relapse and caused another psychotic depressive episode. It sucked because it happened a lot in a period of 6 or so months. It is very distressful. Thankfully, it no longer happens anymore.

trintellix 1 mg and rexulti .5mg

 

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  • 6 months later...

I have had this too, maybe after the 1st month or two after Paxil withdrawal.  I'd occasionally hear a bang, or like a door slam.  About a month ago I woke up to what I thought was someone pounding on my door (at 3am) it scared the crap out of me, and I jumped out of bed. was so relieved it was what I chalked up to a very realistic dream.  I hope it doesn't happen again.

Been on Paxil 14 years. 40mg for the bulk of those.

20mg in 2014

10mg March of 2015 - then tapered to 5mg

Then to 2.5 to 1.5 - to 1mg, from Mar-August.

As of August 23 2015, I am flying without a net.  Paxil free!

WD symptoms since tapering mid- 2015:

Short temper, hostile. Brain zaps. Bruxism. Wild vivid dreams  Hives Food intolerance Lump in throat, . Joint pain. Knees, elbows.  Pain in feet. Numbness in hands. Shaking, like I'm cold. Trembling. Tremors, muscle twitches all over. Facial tics. Eye, lips. Head.  Floaters in my eyes. Severe Insomnia (between months 4-5)  then returned from March-October 2016. I'm sleeping better now. Dreams have returned to normal (month 7) High levels of anxiety when around large crowds or in large rooms. Intestinal spasms, heartburn.  Dizzy spells.  Panic/Anxiety Attacks suddenly developed months 8 out.  4 years out, 98% feeling back to normal.  (October 9 2019)

 

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

My comment: Sharon, your intuition about this phenomenon being related to SSRI withdrawal and "brain zaps" was correct. "Brain zaps" are thought to be a variety of Lhermitte's sign, abnormal electrical discharges in the brain. I am a peer counselor for those tapering and recovering from antidepressant withdrawal syndrome. Often, withdrawal leaves the patient with nervous system hypersensitivity that does not show up on any tests but can be very significant. In those who experience severe withdrawal syndrome from too-fast tapering, the nervous system hypersensitivity precludes treatment with any other neurologically active medications or even supplements. Such patients may also be hypersensitive to formerly tolerable foods. This can last for months or years. Disordered sleep is very, very common among those suffering from withdrawal syndrome. Sleep panic, startling when drowsing off, and other alerting reactions are often reported. Patients will report having frightening dreams or hearing frightening noises, which cause them to startle and awaken with anxiety.

 

This was in part what got me the dx of PTSD... 

 

I would hear loud crashing ... since I had a MVA docs said it was ptsd.. I wonder how many military people are given the ptsd cause of this and the simple connection between explosives ect army noise in their experience and this side effect... 

 

interesting

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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  • 1 month later...

I'm so relieved finding posts in their thread !

After so many weird symptoms in to years tapering lexapro, I had the most weird and frightening head explosion today on the way drinking to work. I thought immediately there was a real bombing on the highway, although it truly felt the bomb started from inside my head and movement of the 'bomb' inside my head was super uncomfortable and disturbing. Very very scary even it lasted probably just a few seconds. A second one happened a few hours later when I was walking in the hall way of the office building, this time I actually fell (on to the wall right by me). A lot like a seizure fall without the shaking part.

 

I felt very sick, nausea afterwards, no pain was involved, but felt inner fearfulness.

 

This worries me a lot about driving. Anyone ever had this day time instead of round sleeping? Any other experience related to this symptom? What dose it indicate and what to expect from it?

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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  • Administrator

This is another one of those electrical events in the brain and nervous system.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi Alto,

 

This thread saved me from being panicking from the incidence. I found it is the most informative link available online as its very rare in general. I'm sorry you had it too but at the same time I'm glad you know it as the first hand.

 

Do you know what I can expect from it? I'm thinking to hold longer just because this new symptom but don't know what to look for when deciding reduce further as its not a constant/ continuous symptom.

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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Purplestars22

This article is very similar to exploding head syndrome and talks about electrical signals misfiring in the brain: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2016/08/02/what-really-caused-voices-in-joan-arcs-head.html?ref=yfp

Celexa 20mg 2008-2012 for Social Anxiety

Failed attempt to stop reinstated

1 year taper skipping doses

Celexa free 12/2013

1/2014-5/2014 took 5 htp every other day

Failed Reinstatement 5mg of Celexa on 12/2014 for 5 days only

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Yes, it's something similar to seizure

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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  • 1 year later...

Just signing into this thread. Sleep starts (shocked awake by various symptoms while falling asleep) were what got me into my present mess.

 

Currently manageable most nights. Maybe two or three occurrences before I sleep. Some nights they keep me up for half the night.

Current daily meds. Citalopram 2.5mg morning. Diazapam 1.5mg evening, Propanalol 40mg split 4x10mg throughout day.

 

Recent meds. Fluoxetine 20mg began 24th Nov 2017, CT on 4th December on medical advice due to bad Akathisia. Citalopram 10mg began on 13th Dec 2017, tapered to 2.5mg by 20th Dec 2017 on medical advice. Diazapam 2mg began on 6th Dec 2017 cut to 1.5 mg on 26th Dec. Propanalol 40mg began on 13th Dec. Zopiclone 3.75 mg began 13th December, used maybe 5 times then quit.

 

Previous history. Tricyclics, Fluoxetine or Citalopram for periods of 6mo to 2yrs over last 25 years. Probably 5 yrs in total. No significant ill effects.

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  • 1 month later...

Keeping this thread alive ...

 

For a while have been having noises in the head (along with night myoclonus).  Sounds like a loud crunch (walking on gravel), or a loud click.  Terrifying ...

PAST

Gabapentin:  about 6 months in 2015, 300-900 mg, cold turkeyed Sept 2015 (at same time dc'd Klonopin)

Klonopin: June 2014- Sept 2015; 1mg tapered over 6 mths, dc'd at 0.25mg, withdrawal hellish (perhaps because of concurrent dc of gabapentin)

Mirtazepine: Jumped off at 2.4 mg. (stable in 8 months).

Seroquel:  June 14 - July 24, 2016, 25 mg alternate nights; smaller doses for shorter periods. Total use about 3 months 

Lamictal: March 19, 2018 - 1 mg; March 23 - 1.25 mg; April 6 - 2mg. Discontinued at 2 mgJuly 1, 2018 due to Steven Johnson Syndrome.

 

CURRENT

Supplements: Vit D, turmeric

Naturethroid: 65 mcg for hypothyroidism

Trazodone: Oct 2015 - June 2016; 75 mg tapered over 2 mths, intense w/d after 3 weeks. Reinstatement: 07/25/16 - 25 mg; updosed 08/03/16 - 50 mg;  10/01/16-  62mg; 03/24/17 dropped to 50 mg (stable in 2.5 months)

                           Current psych meds: Trazodone 50 mg

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  • 1 year later...

I see there's not been activity on this thread for awhile but in reading through descriptions other people have given of these electrical events I came up with a way to describe what happens in my brain.  It's like the sound of a bolt of lightening ripping through the sky but without the loud boom of thunder at the end.  Just the ripping sound and it always seems like it's going from the left side of my brain to the right.  The left side is also where I get the ice pick headaches and the side I used to experience migraines on fwiw.

1994  Venlafaxine XR 300mg, 2003 tapered, 2004 off briefly back to 37.5 then 75mg, held, June 2019 up to  150mg, Aug.12 tapered down to 112.5mgs, Oct. 21, 2019 96mg;  Dec. 8, 2019  90mg, Jan. 8 2020 81mg, Feb. 4, 75mg;

2003/2004? Diazepam 10mg/bedtime

2013 Lyrica 300mg to 25mg; April 6, 2020 17mg; April 28, <5mg; May 7, 2020 Lyrica 0 mg!

2013 Tramadol 50mg tablets, 200mg/day divided

2005? Trazodone 50mg bedtime, Feb. 12, 2020 40mg, March 7, 25mg; Oct 1 20mg

2009? Zolpidem 5mg at bedtime. Nov. 9, 2019 Zolpidem 0 mg! 

1990? Omeprazole 20mg in morning.

2010? Levothyroxine 75mcg morning

2011? Liothyronine 5mcg morning

1999? Buspirone 30mg twice a day  August 2019 15mg once a day,  Oct.21, 2019 2.5mg evening  Oct. 25, 2019 Buspirone 0 mg!

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  • Altostrata changed the title to Exploding head syndrome

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