Sudden shivering of the brain or brain shocks is referred to as brain zaps. They are the most unbelievable withdrawal symptoms when stopping certain anxiety and depression-related medications. Brain zaps get the name from the uncomfortable sensations that make a person feel like experiencing electrical buzzes, tremors, jolts in the brain.
- People who are on depression and anxiety medications are often on the fear of dealing with withdrawal symptoms that may produce brain zaps and millions of people are on antidepressant medications every year.
- Antidepressant medications are like a habit without which the patient may find it impossible to cope up with depression symptoms.
- Antidepressants, psychiatric drugs have withdrawal symptoms when attempting to discontinue.
- The fear of withdrawal symptoms makes people use antidepressants and psychiatric drugs even more.
- No medical intervention or medication has been invented to control brain zaps so far. Natural remedies can help people avoid serious withdrawal symptoms that include tapering off from drugs slowly.
- Increasing GABA naturally and checking on supplements that support the cognitive health of a person.
The natural remedies also stress upon managing anxiety to a great level so that antidepressants are not the only way a person seeks to reduce depression.
Understanding Brain Zaps
Brain zaps often come out in brief moments and disappear. No clear trigger or any warning signs show before a brain zap occurs. Discontinuation of antidepressant medications is also referred to as antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. Most people who rely on antidepressants experience brain zaps during short sleep or once they wake up from sleep. Brain zaps are triggered further when excessive alcohol is used for anxiety, which affects the brain. The following symptoms and sensations may be felt when a brain zap affects a person:
- Nausea and loss of appetite
- Ringing in the ears
- Dizziness and vertigo
- Sudden brain shocks that feel like the whole head is affected
- Sudden movement of the eye or head
- Seeing short bursts of white light
- Irritation in the throat, and
- Difficulty in swallowing.
Causes Of Brain Zaps
The cause of brain zaps is not entirely known but they are usually associated with the withdrawal symptoms of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These are mostly prescribed as an antidepressant for people who suffer from anxiety and depression. Discontinuation syndrome is a temporary condition that occurs with an introduction.
Examples of a compound that cause withdrawal symptoms include Zoloft, Citalopram, Paroxetine, fluoxetine, and Escitalopram. Brain zaps are not the only withdrawal symptoms of dreams that people wean from drugs like Prozac. The visual effects also include
- Dizziness and
- The prickly sensation in the hand’s arms or legs.
This does not even include the side effects of antidepressants. Antidepressants side effects also include:
- Sleep disturbances
- Weight gain sexual
- Headache, and
- Cognitive impairment.
Brains zaps are an outcome of discontinuing other drugs too. These drugs include
- Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake
- ADHD medications including Adderall. Adderall consists of amphetamine salts
- Benzodiazepines for anxiety treatment, and
- MDMA, an illegal party drug
Changes in the levels of serotonin reaching the brain cause withdrawal symptoms. The medications work by blocking serotonin transporter and increases the levels of serotonin in the brain. They also increase GABA activity which is why chemicals are released when the levels of serotonin fall in the brain. After a sudden shock takes place along with, low levels of GABA in the brain, it causes and proves as a hypothesis for brain zaps. All of these are closely related to the withdrawal symptoms.
Natural Treatments That Help In Preventing Brain Zaps
1. Try To Taper From The Drug Slowly
The most effective antidepressant withdrawal treatments require more and more research. A single activity able to limit the symptoms of brain zap is tapering from the drug slowly rather than stopping cold turkey. If you have been on a high dose of antidepressants or you have been taking small doses for a long duration of time, it is best to taper from the drugs slowly, instead overnight.
This will be able to decrease your chances of experiencing brain zaps when you stop the medication. However, the strategy is known to work if you combine physical activity along with the withdrawal activity.
2. Increase Gaba Naturally
Gamma-aminobutyric acid is one of the most potent neurotransmitters of the brain. It helps in curbing insomnia and cited nervousness and depression, thereby boosting the levels of GABA naturally.
- You will be able to experience brain zaps once the levels of GABA goes down.
- Additional benefits of Gamma-aminobutyric acid include fighting inflammation, muscle loss, protection against heart diseases and postmenstrual symptoms.
- The mood-enhancing effects of Gamma-aminobutyric acid are due to the inhibiting activity of certain nerve cells in the central nervous system.
- Try sticking to a regular sleep cycle and limit the caffeine intake.
- Establish a bedtime routine to help yourself unwind. Get yourself regular exercises and include high-intensity workouts if possible.
- Try to get 5 to 7 minutes of sun exposure twice a day, it will help in boosting the vitamin D levels of the body.
Supplements To Support Overall Health
Although supplements do not act as a quick fix solution in getting rid of brain zaps or brain shocks, it will help tackle anxiety and depression when taken for a long time with patience. Supplements help in minimizing withdrawal symptoms or side effects – this is a completely wrong thought.
However, it can support the mental and cognitive ability of a person including supplements that include:
- Vitamin D3 to prevent vitamin D deficiency
- Vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 which can support GABA production in the brain
- Omega 3 fatty acids or fish oil supplements that may cause anti-inflammatory effects
- Valerian root ashwagandha which is naturally coming and beneficial for the nervous system
- Magnesium that will fight sleep diseases restlessness and muscle tension
- Calming essential oils such as lavender essential oil or chamomile essential oil
- Glutamine and L arginine that will work with Gamma-aminobutyric acid and support the growth of hormone levels
Brain zaps can happen for no obvious reason. They are more common in those who suffer from withdrawal symptoms of anxiety and depression. Some people report that the duration and frequency of brain zaps get worse when they are dealing with elevated stress. Try to perform stress-relieving activities such as yoga, prayer, meditation and join a faith-based organization.
Engage yourself in writing or reading. If the stress becomes chronic it is not uncommon to experience brain zaps. An important part of your brain zap treatment plan should always include managing stress and giving your body the time to overcome the withdrawal symptoms it may be suffering from.