Do you feel mild electrical shocks or tingling sensations in your head that go away as fast as they show up? They’re called brain zaps. Also sometimes referred to as brain shivers, they are not going to harm you although they can definitely be very startling, causing discomfort and sometimes pain, dizziness and tinnitus, too.
While it is true that they tend to come and go very quickly, the amount of time brain zaps linger and bug a person at a time can vary greatly. Some people may encounter them only for a few hours or days, while others may experience them for months or even years. So in other words, brain zaps can be short-term or long-term.
The intensity of brain zaps vary from person to person, too. Some people report that theirs are mild, and thus they are easier to cope with. On the other hand, some say that their bran zaps are so severe that they interfere with everyday living — indeed, it can be hard to lead a normal life if you feel like your brain is being electrocuted!
Here are the common causes of brain zaps, according to medical professionals:
Discontinuing antidepressant intake
Most cases of bran zaps are reported by individuals who have stopped taking antidepressants. So in other words, brain zaps are withdrawal symptoms of antidepressants. Antidepressants are addicting, and any drug that can be addicting can cause withdrawal symptoms once their intake is stopped.
Side effects of certain drugs
On the other hand, there are also certain types of antidepressants that can cause brain zaps as side effects. Other drugs that can cause brain zaps are psychotropic drugs, which are drugs that are used for treating problems that have something to do with the mind, behavior and emotions.
Movement of the eyes
Some people report that they experience brain zaps when they move their eyes from side to side, but their claims are being doubted by some professionals.
Having anxiety is not really a direct cause of brain zaps, but it’s something that can have an impact on the intensity and duration of brain zaps. Doctors say that anxiety can make an individual more sensitive to brain zaps, thus making them feel a lot stronger, longer-lasting and more frequent.
So how can brain zaps be remedied? Here are some of the recommendations of the pros:
Refrain from abruptly quitting medications
As mentioned earlier, brain zaps are commonly withdrawal symptoms. It is well-known that withdrawal symptoms tend to be at their worst when a person quits taking an addicting drug cold turkey. To keep brain zaps at bay or keep them at manageable levels, gradually tapering off the dosage of the drug is the right approach, and it’s the doctor who prescribed the drug who can provide the right way to do it.
Have lots of patience
Some medications can cause bran zaps as one of the side effects. The good news is side effects tend to get weaker and weaker as the individual’s body adjusts accordingly to the medication being taken. It’s also a good idea for the person to let his or her doctor know about it to see if a different drug may be prescribed.
Keep anxiety under control
The problem with anxiety is it can make anyone who suffers from it experience all sorts of bodily sensations in an exaggerated manner, such as the beating of the heart. Brain zaps can also feel a lot more intense and prolonged to someone who has anxiety, so it can help a lot if one’s anxiety can be managed effectively.
Have omega-3 and B vitamins
A lot of people who complain of brain zaps report that supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins considerably helped in keeping brain zaps to a minimum. Other than taking supplements, the inclusion of foods that are rich in those nutrients may also be done to help in dealing with brain zaps.