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Forums / Treatments, health professionals and therapies / Brain tingling is it withdrawal or anxiety?

Topic: Brain tingling is it withdrawal or anxiety?

10 posts, 0 answered
  1. AliSa05
    AliSa05 avatar
    13 posts
    25 April 2020

    After coming off a combination of antidepressants I’d taken for 5 months abruptly (on drs advice) I have experienced brain shivering feeling and uncomfortable tingling through my body for 9 months now. The whole process was extremely stressful so I don’t know if I’m going through some form of withdrawal still or if it’s just a new physical reaction of anxiety. I’m on one SSRI now.

    So bit of background was on one SSRI for 10 years felt well stopped, went downhill, tried to resume same SSRI with no positive effect so ended up on multiple new good so cold turkey off and on new one now for 9 months...still not great with all these new physical symptoms.

    Do I try go back on original SSRI I was well on for 10 years again? With risk it won’t be effective again....or do I persevere with this one thinking it could be some form of withdrawal still from all of the others I was on?

    anyone experienced something similar?

    Can you have a poop out on one medication and then try again a year later and it work?

    im very sensitive to any changes hence reluctant to do anything drastic.

    tganks I trust this group

  2. jess334
    Champion Alumni
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    jess334 avatar
    394 posts
    26 April 2020 in reply to AliSa05
    Hi AliSa05,

    Sounds like a lot of changes in a short time.

    I experienced those same symptoms while withdrawing from my SSRI, but the withdrawal only lasted a month to 6 weeks at the most. However that was only my experience and I am not a medical professional.

    Did you speak to your doctor about these new symptoms/side effects?

    Kind thoughts, Jess
    1 person found this helpful
  3. Nurse Jenn
    Health professional
    • Health professional
    Nurse Jenn avatar
    436 posts
    26 April 2020

    Hi AliSa05,

    Great to see you reaching out to get some support about the 'brain tingling'. I am sorry you are going through such a hard time finding the right balance in your medications. I can not offer you any specific advise about medications on the forum but I know many people have different experiences of withdrawal from medications. You are definitely not alone. There is something that is called Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome (you can Google this) that is not a formal diagnosis but so many people have withdrawal symptoms coming off antidepressants that it has been named. In saying this, there is also a lot of sensations that anxiety can create physically as well.

    I recommend that you have a discussion with you GP about your symptoms. Determining where you symptoms are coming from can take some investigation and I encourage you to start a daily 'symptoms diary' that you do for a few weeks where you write down when you experience the brain shivering and other symptoms of concern, and also a summary of physical activity, diet and a rating of your anxiety/mood. Sometimes you can find patterns to what triggers your symptoms which can be helpful.

    It is also important that you do any medication changes under the supervision of you GP. You could also talk to your GP about a more gradual dose reduction approach as an option rather than going 'cold turkey' if you decide to switch again? Another option would be to speak with a Pharmacist. I hope you get to the bottom of this brain shivering experience which sounds very uncomfortable.

    Wishing you the best possible outcome,

    Nurse Jenn

    1 person found this helpful
  4. therising
    Valued Contributor
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    therising avatar
    1804 posts
    26 April 2020 in reply to AliSa05

    Hi AliSa05

    Before I got to the end of your post I thought 'You sound like you have heightened sensitivity'. You led me to research a little on 'sensitive nervous system'. It was quite an education, so I thank you for the prompt. Must admit, I do have a passion for wondering about things.

    It's pretty trippy when we can sense our own insides working, like when you can actually feel your own nervous system giving off vibes. It reminds me of how normally we can't feel our heart working until we become anxious enough to actually feel our heart thumping in our chest. This heart sensation can also come after a vigorous cardio workout. In these cases, it takes a lot of stimulation to feel our heart working. Typically, we don't take much notice of this incredible organ.

    Myself, I actually work on ramping up my awareness as to why I'm feeling what I'm feeling. I actually look to certain sensations. While, on the medical side of things, what I look for would be labelled as symptoms, on the natural side of things they're basically messages/cues my body's giving me. Example: Feeling pressure in my head (headache) will either be my cue to drink more water or else it will be telling me I'm spending too much time in my head (overthinking, wondering and so on), often a cue to become more physically active.

    I'll look to my nervous system for certain cues. I know this is going to sound pretty weird but I start each day meditating on my feet. I'll sit then stretch them and roll them 'round and plant them on the ground and wait until I can feel a buzzing sensation. If one of my toes might be a bit numb, I'll wriggle and flex my toes until the numbness goes away. This is a great way to help with blood circulation too.

    I suppose the question is 'Why are you feeling your nervous system?' Two ideas come to mind

    • Maybe the old meds had numbed it a bit and now you're off them you're feeling your system come back to life or
    • It's hyperactive and calling for closer attention which would be the field of a neurologist

    Would be interesting to know whether you've become more sensitive in other ways. With heightened sensitivity taste, touch, sound, smell and sight can become different experiences. For me, it's certain sounds. Especially not so good with crowded places. Too many sounds all at once can hype up my nervous system to the point of physical discomfort.

    I wish you all the best on your search for answers. Take care :)

    2 people found this helpful
  5. gentlydoesit
    gentlydoesit avatar
    10 posts
    26 April 2020 in reply to AliSa05

    Hi AliSa05, saw your post and felt shivery just thinking about coming off medes, hey I'm not a doctor, but I have been on SSRI for depression, anxiety and a whole range of other problems that aren't listed. Coming off any medes suddenly aren,t recommended, unless there is a good reason! Physical withdrawals are different to everyone, but the brain shivers and tingling you mentioned is often coming off any medication SSRI or not,I get them just thinking of it even though I managed finally after a long time to just take a really basic med. Going cold turkey off one med to another is more distressing mentally and physically than people know, does your GP support you on this?going back to medes that worked before, they really don't work the same second time round because your mental state is always changing normaly,so don't think it's just you feeling strange, and you mentioned you are sensitive to change. All of us are able to adapt so don't dispare, get to someone that get this sorted for you, your post kinda jumped out to me coz that was how i felt for a long time.Tingling and overactive brain spurts is often coming off anything that dulled that part of you on SSRI. Talk to someone more qualified to get answers, clarity is hard to get too. Look take care.!!

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    4873 posts
    27 April 2020

    Just a quick note to say this thread is a continuation of AliSa05's thread from November, which is now closed in favour of this one and to keep the conversation in one place.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. White Rose
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    27 April 2020 in reply to AliSa05

    Hello AliSa05

    I can relate to your brain shivers, or at least I think so. I felt as though there were electrical charges going through my head, headaches and pain in the brain stem. My psychiatrist tried to keep me on that SSRI and added an SNRI to the mix to help with the serotonin problems. Didn't work well and eventually I got off these meds.

    Everyone says they are not doctors and then gives their opinion. I am no different but I do wonder if you have Serotonin syndrome. Worth a google. In the end my GP put me on a medication from a different group of AD. SSRI are the most widely used I understand but meds from the original AD group, Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), can still be effective as they are in my case. None of the awful reactions I had been struggling with and which I believe added to my difficulties. Instead I felt so much calmer and able to think better. Not all in one go but I am so thankful to have this option. It may be something you can discuss with your GP or prescribing doctor.


  8. gentlydoesit
    gentlydoesit avatar
    10 posts
    27 April 2020 in reply to therising
    Hi The Rising, your post to AliSa05 about the physical side to coming off meds, and heightened awareness of our senses. Nice research and post, in the way of offering hope but also an actuall knowing of such feelings. I too have had my addictions of the most legal one methadone, ment to replace another addiction, and so on for a while in my long feeling life. Coming off methadone was horrendous and can only say do it while your young, and can feel electricity running through my hands just thinking of it. I could go on about awareness in colours, sounds, well all scences hitting you at the speed of light. So thanks for that, I always love to learn. Regards.Hey sorry about my bad spelling!!!!
  9. AliSa05
    AliSa05 avatar
    13 posts
    1 May 2020 in reply to therising
    Thankyou for your response. I am seeing a nurologist next week after a long wait (months) so I will update you on the outcome.
  10. flameprincess
    flameprincess avatar
    3 posts
    18 May 2020 in reply to AliSa05
    Yes, my brain shivers and jolts lasted quite a few months after my cold turkey (to another med at doctors advice). Dizziness and balance issues lasted almost a year. Healing is just a time thing.

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