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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Headaches

Question: Can not Sleep because of Shocks in Head

 deedee - Tue Jul 13, 2004 11:07 am

I am desperate and need to know why my son who is 23 is getting shocks in his head when he tries to go to sleep. He can not sleep unless he take Ambien but he got the shocks in his head before the Ambien so it's not related to that. The only medicine he takes is 1,125mg of Depakote (for 4 years). Could this be the Depakote doing this to him. None of the doctors know what it is and he is suffering in the hospital (psychiatric) because he had a manic attack from stress over no one knowing why he gets the shocks, ringing in the ears and being off balance. He has had a MRI of the brain and nothing, he has had complete ear testing and nothing. He has been given several drugs with the depakote and still nothing. He was so doped up from all the drugs they gave him that he could hardly speak or walk. He can not live like this. I really need to find out if the depakote is doing this or if there is a underlying reason physical that is causing this. Other than this he is very smart (college graduate), a computer programmer, but these shocks in the head, ringing in the ears and being off balance has destroyed his ability to function. PLEASE HELP
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Tue Jul 13, 2004 3:26 pm

User avatar Has he had an EEG done before? What were the results of that?
 deedee - Tue Jul 13, 2004 8:14 pm

Thank you for your quick reply.

I'm not sure if he has had a EEG, when I see him at the hospital tomorrow I will ask. Would this test be given by an Ear specialist. He had a bunch of test for his ear and the MRI too. Would a Neurologist perform this (we saw one right before his second hospitalization) or would someone do this during a sleep study (we are thinking of maybe having this done)?

Please let me know as soon as possible so I can let the doctors know what you recommended.

Thanks again,
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Wed Jul 14, 2004 2:24 pm

User avatar An EEG is also known as an electroencephalogram. A device that reads brain waves. Its used to diagnose epilepsy among other brain disorders. Please read more about it in our EEG page.
 deedee - Wed Jul 14, 2004 8:17 pm

Hi again, yes I'm aware of what it is for I wasn't sure if he had one. He said he did not. The pdoc is giving him Klonopin and upping his Trazadone to see if it helps if not when he sees the neuro doc I will ask if he can have an EEG done and a sleep study too.
Thank you but I'm still concerned about the depakote doing this. Pdoc said he never hear of it but that doesn't rule of the possibility that it might be the depakote.
 Maryheart - Wed Jan 19, 2005 11:33 pm

Hello 8)
I am responding to the man who can't sleep because of shocks in his head. I also have this problem, and I am currently trying to figure out why I have random shocks coming from my head, sometimes into my arm and hand. When this happens, it is like being frightened, and I wince. I also have ringing in my ears, and can actually hear and feel the pulse in my head. Sometimes, just looking right or left will bring on a shock, or wave of shocks. Any sudden movement on my part can bring them on. I have had a CTScan and it was supposedly normal. I have recently stopped taking Lexapro, an antidepressant.
I am supposed to start Effexor now, but I am hesitant to start any new drug during this condition. A doctor told me it might be neuralgia, but I do not have any pain, just shocks.
Please help me, if you know anything about what may be causing these shocks.
Thanks! :cry:
 Steward - Fri Jun 10, 2005 9:38 am

I am sitting here right now at 3:15 AM CST in Texas because the explosions/shocks in my head are just too much to bear this night, this has been going on some 3 months now buts seems to be getting worse, now in the evenings when I feel my nerves ending getting sensitive with the quicky feelings I know I will have a hard night with
small shocks of electricity, the electric shocks gets worse the more I lay there, as long as I stay awake night or day (in day not as bad seems like) there is only hint of the shocks/explosions waiting on me to just try and nap a little, I am so tired and sleepy at this moment I hope I get this correct as I am feeling it, I have tried so many things in search of a cure and sleep, I also dread the night time coming so much now I can't put it into words, I simply dread the night coming.
I am misfiring in my brain I am sure, at times I feel it could be some pain but not sure as I am half in and half out trying to sleep but one thing for sure if I don't get up right away and stay up for the night (this is the 3rd night in a row) the shock treatments get worse and more frequent.
IIf I can get to sleep before the shocks get bad I am good for 4 to 5 hours sleep, I can't think of anything else but this, I need help very bad please, my MD has no idea what is going on and thinks it will just go away but I can't last too much longer without rest, thanks kindly for listening.

Meds: Ativan 1 1/2 mgs a day
Atenolol 12mgs 3 times a day
Cardziem 120mgs at bed time
 Monica26b - Wed Aug 24, 2005 8:51 am

I am 32, and for the past 7m I have had these . Now every day about every five min. I can feel them in my ears, the back of my head hurts, I have tingling in my arms and hands, and this is scaring me. I am on Klonipin, Effexor, Zertek-D. My ears are fine. I am very dizzy and disoriented. It is taking all I have to type this. I cannt drive. SOMEONE PLEAse HELP
THank you!
 Steward - Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:44 am

Bless your heart, I have been to a MD and he simply does not know what it is, I also now get shocks in my chest when I try and sleep, but anyway you are most likely having inner ear trouble and it is scary but don't fret over it too much, number one try and calm down because if it were very serious you would have been in trouble before now, not saying it does not need to be looked at by a doctor but if you have read any other posts on this subject you have found no one knoews anything, you are most likely having a lot of stress over this as I do at times, do you have any stress in your life that is like bad at this time? I know most everyone has stress but I am asking if you have more than normal now, anyway keep in touch and I will talk to you and this will go away I promise, you may email me direct if you like, it is steward7 at and of course the 'at" is @ to stop spam, let me know what is happing as soon as you can,,,Marvin
 Steward - Wed Aug 24, 2005 1:07 pm

Where in the world can one turn when a doctor that has been in practice more than 40 years has not heard of this or really wants to research it? This is ashame that people have to suffer because of either stupidity or simply do not care, new medical problems that is now occurring with so many new meds out how do you keep up Mr./MS. Doctor, I hate to think this is a sign of the future to come of the new MD doctors, yes I know M.D. seem to have all gone south when it comes to more than one disease, if we have to buy a doctor for every problem we have we are in trouble, if you do then the doctor will refer you to another doctor until you run through most specialists, why? Is the medical schools so money crazy that they can't teach our doctors more than one thing at a time? I understand "specialty" in one area or the other but give me a break on the doctors being so dumb they have no idea what the other parts of the body is doing or not doing, a suggestion or a maybe would be nice but no it is MRI's and a zillion dollars in tests given and still you may not know a thing and I don't after 3 months, I say if you can't fix me you should get no pay, if you the doc. want me to test for a zillion things then go back to school you should have some idea what is wrong,,,a mechanic of any motor driven vehicle can change out parts until he/she hits the problem and you pay for all the unwanted or needed parts plus the extra labor and this is exactly the way it feels when I go to my personal doctor as many others do, if I die while you are working on,me you should not get a dime no matter the excuse/s, my doctor is simply dumb when he says "I have no idea" BUT we can run some tests, well yes we can providing we have the money and not all guess work to replace parts until we get it right or maybe not, we will have to just die because of not truly caring under educated over paid or just too busy with too many patients to care for just one at a time successfully, girls and boys it has all turned into money, a racket,,not every doctor is a parasite, some do care but damn few,,,oh yes, my now and 3rd MD in 4 years gave me a prescription that will knock me out, why would you want to patch us up and not research just a tad Mr. Doctor to actually help a paying customer and build a rep. of helping your paying customers thus making them feel better and their lives are worth a little more than a dollar sign, I don't care how you perceive or dislike what I am saying Mr. Doctor it is the truth and I see it every day, I visit the older sweet hearts that everyone has thrown a side, they have pains and mental suffering that no pill will fix, it would help them and us doctor if we could assume we would be cared for just a hair more than a animal or we were worth a little more the almighty dollar in your eyes, we are human and should be treated a such,,once a sharp dressed Marine recruiter convinced I could stop a bullet by becoming a leather neck well he was wrong,, but you know when you are young folks can snow you pretty easy with words pretty easy from those we respect. You should by any terms act as a doctor not a bank account or a new graduated Vetenerian or simply state on your front door in bold lettering "I am a quack" that is so money hungry that I must first and utmost pay (me) up front or (my receiptnest) before I will make a educated guess at what is wrong with your body, if I can't figure it out I will give you some pills that will knock you out so you will not know what is happing in this world or care what is happing any place, just a little truth would be refreshing, then if I your quessing doctor quack is correct you must worship me as your god and be part of my bank account until death do us apart because mainly I now have your life or death in my hands dear customer, no more bull please, NO if's and's or but's you are either A good doctor or simply a MR QUACK M.D. that sucks the life out of people that are already half scared to death and trust you and your education to correct their problem/s, is this not what you want to do is heal with your expertise for your pay Sir/Ms? Sorry but with all my bad experiances with M.D.s and other doctors recent months I will die without your help or live in one of your nursing homes you invested in and do so proudly at home unmedicated in order to finally get out of this nothing but greed type of world we now live in where there is just to many gods if I count you, where our President can shame the highest office in our land and then stand in our face boldy with a straight face and lie like a $7 whore by simple wording "I did not have sex with that woman",, or "I smoked but did not inhale" nonsense and did so thinking the public is that dumb, yes we forgive but never forget, play with words all you want but sooner or later doctor you will be in the same spot and you better hope your doctor of choice Mr. Doctor is not some quack when you are scared out of your mind or while in that doctor/s care take your last breath in his/hers hands, think about it because if you die I will be there waiting on you to come in with my pitch fork to examine you before you enter,,,,,,Marvin O. Steward

P.S. Not proof read, simply too angry to care!
 Monica26b - Thu Aug 25, 2005 9:10 am

I went to my GP yesterday, I should not have drove, but have no other way.
He told be to double my Klonipin and see a shrink! I do not like taking any more meds than needed. So I have done some research on my own. I have been on Effexor xr for about 4m. They have come out with a NEW symtom list. and there is was,Dizziness,sweating,confusion,impaired cord.sensory dist(including electric shock sensations) tiredness,ect. This was common in several SSRI's Paxil was another. So, I printed it and am going to take it to him. I also have Fibromyalgia.
Doctors just hand out the newst meds, without and concern of what it might do to their patients. Or look at you like your crazy and don't have a clue. I work at a very large trauma hospital, and it is a shame. I have now lost my job, been there 3 years, due to my being out. So yes stress is also i'm sure a factor in this as well.
So now what, I just go all day feeling like I'm sticking my finger in a light socket every five min. i guess.
I hope this helps someone. I am now going to try to get someone to help me.
Thank you and good luck to all. This is an aweful and scary feeling!
:idea: :shock: :!:
 miltam - Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:51 pm


I completely understand your "brain shock" problem as I've had it for over 10 years. It's absolutely terrifying when it happens. I have good nights and bad nights. The bad ones are having up to 20 or more shocks. Another bad night might be just one but a very very bad one, so bad I'm surprised I'm still alive after it. I'm just so surprised my brain isn't fried because the shock is so intense.
Good nights are when there are no shocks and those nights were rare until the last year or so. I seem to be going for weeks without the shocks and then they reappear but they reappear worse than ever. It always happens this way.
My neurologist can't help, he's never even heard of such a thing and then gives me an antidepressant. Well I don't take medication unless absolutely 100% necessary and so I won't take this, especially since he has no clue about the shocks so how could he prescribe something for something he doesn't understand.
I hate these shocks and I wish they would end but it's been 10 years or more and they just keep slowly worsening in regards to intensity. The amount of them I have hasn't changed a lot over the years, but the intensity definitely is slowy worsening. It terrifies me as to what it's going to be like in 20 years.
 Pain in the Head - Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:30 pm

An intense, lightning bolt of pain in and across my scalp, near to but not actually on the biggest bump on my head. It feels, for lack of a more medically precise definition, like a pick-ax being hammered into my head. The strange thing is that it's all very recent.

About five days ago I got a bump on my head, then a few more, and a few more still. Maybe 5 or 6 in total. They were red, itchy, tender, non-pustulous, about 1 to 2 centimeters in diameter, and generally confined to the back, left side of my scalp. The doctor said it was a scalp infection or shingles, prescribed antibiotics, and has since ruled out shingles.

That was about two days ago, the good ol' days. Now I get the shooting pains described above, and though brief, they're absolutely driving me crazy (just popped a Vicodin an hour ago, so am optimistic on the pain front). Anyway, I really hope someone can answer these very similar posts, and give me some insight as to the origin of this problem.
 LovesDaisies - Wed May 13, 2009 1:21 am

I have the same thing! However, mine have only come twice (knock wood) in the past 3 years or so. I just had one the other day where it feels lie electric shock waves in the back of my head. They come in about 30 second intervals. They physically make me flinch. No pain, just this weird feeling like someone is kinking a hose and letting a little water out at a time. Kind of a "Pffffffft" feeling, if the feeling actually made a noise. The first time this happened I went to the ER and the doctor on duty said I was having muscle spasms in my neck / head. I tried to tell him that it felt like it was coming from INSIDE my head, not my neck. But he insisted on the muscle spasm theory. So he gave me a shot of valium. By golly, it went away! And didn't come back until about a week ago.

I was at a function with my husband and it started again. Scared the crap out of me. Fortunately there were 4 doctors present (3 from Harvard!) who laid me down and talked me through it. They, too, came up with a spasm theory. No one had any muscle relaxants, so they told me to drink a glass of wine to see if it helped. By golly, again, they completely went away.

During the day if I stare (like while driving) or am on my computer (like now), I'll get a single "shock" or sensation that travels from my head into my hands. The same feeling as the spasms, but just in a singular format. It literally goes to my fingers. Not a tingling, but this electric shock-like feeling.

I'm at my wit's end. Its so frightening, it's causing me episodes of sudden rapid heartbeat because I'm flying into a panic stage every time it happens.

Please doctors...someone HELP ME.

(BTW, I"ve had 3 MRIs over the years - for various dizziness, vertical vertigo and they've found nothing . I have a small cyst on my right temporal lobe, but the doc says it probably has been there since birth and is most likely not what is causing this symptom).

Anyone familiar with Arnold Chiari Malformation? Could this be what I have?

Again, PLEASE HELP. I hate even leaving the house because of this.
 [OvO]wl - Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:17 pm

I was prescribed SSRIs 5-6 years ago when I was at university. When I was on them I had an epileptic fit and i fell down 2 flights of iron stairs in a shop, and I was taken into hospital and given a CAT scan and everything to determine what the cause of the seizure was. I have trouble going out because of bright sunlight flickering through trees. I can't go to the cinema because it induces seizures. I cannot use a CRT screen for the same reason, I also can't drive. 8 months ago I was walking down the street and I was overcome with this incredible dizziness and confusion, I couldn't see anything [altered vision] I carried on walking holding my head because i was getting hundreds of these headshocks in rapid succession. I managed to make it to the end of the street where i tried to cross the road. I didn't make it across the road, I had a seizure and smashed my head against the concrete. When I came to i was surrounded by paramedics asking me who i was, but i couldn't remember because of concussion. Also i lost feeling in one of my fingers for 3-4 months.

SSRIs are very dangerous, I want to get better but I don't see how i can unless i go back on them and i am worried it might make it worse...
 Invictus - Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:38 am

I have just returned from seeing a neurologist about this problem. I have had a form of what has been described here for about 20 years. It can be very scary. The symptoms vary in degrees, timing, etc. by individual, so there's no real point in detailing my own specific experience. Suffice it to say that it is close enough to most of those described here to be considered within the same category. In any event, this neurologist told me that, while no one has an explanation for this phenomenon, or even an understanding of why it occurs, it is well documented and rather common--once you look into it. He said that he has had episodes of it himself. I'm posting this to reassure those who, like me, have been frightened and wondering what the heck is wrong with them and to let them know that, so far as medical science seems to know, the condition is neither life-threatening, nor known to lead to more serious issues. The neurologist advised me to let him know if they worsened or became more prolonged or affected facial muscles and such, as this could mask the signs of a stroke or other more serious medical condition. But the important thing for me, at least, is to know, after seeing dozens of doctors about this over the years, who never heard of these sleep/shock symptoms, that it is actually quite common and, so far as they know, beyond the annoying and frightening aspects of it, are benign. I suppose that, having experienced it himself, this particular doctor went beyond what other doctors might have done, and did the research for himself. I hope that this posting helps to alleviate some of the fears expressed here.

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