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Linda D.
Linda D., Psychotherapist, LMSW, CASAC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 705
Experience:  LMSW, CASAC
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Having brain zaps since yesterday. Been drinking a decent

Customer Question

Having brain zaps since yesterday. Been drinking a decent amount of beer over the last 5-6 months. But I didn't have these zaps. 6-8 beers a night for like 5-6 months I would guess. Wednesday night I had 10 beers. Thursday and today I have had these zaps again. Still on Effexor 75 mg ER and 2.5mg of Xanax. What would cause these zaps all of a sudden? I only drank 2 beers last night and I'm not drinking any tonight. Unless you think I should still have 2 to ween myself down?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Anyone there?
Expert:  Linda D. replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** helped you once before. Dr. Z is not online very much anymore. Would it be okay if i helped you tonight? Linda D., LMSW, CASAC

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
please. This time I don't get it. The zaps just started when I hadn't done anything different in my routine
Expert:  Linda D. replied 1 year ago.

Well the first thing to understand to alleviate any anxiety you may be having is that brain zaps are totally harmless although uncomfortable. Brain zaps are commonly reported during discontinuation of antidepressant medications. Is it possible that since you have been drinking quite a bit that you have forgotten a dose or more of your Effexor?? Linda

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No. I have taken the Effexor every single morning.
Expert:  Linda D. replied 1 year ago.

Also, yes, I think you should have 2-3 beers tonight, since you don't want to experience alcohol withdrawal. I am an alcohol and chemical dependency specialist. Alcohol does not cause brain zaps.

Expert:  Linda D. replied 1 year ago.

It is confusing then why you would be getting brain zaps..........can you describe how often you are getting them, and what you feel like? Any other symptoms??

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
why am I having them ? I'm 99% sure I've taken every dose. The only one I may of missed was Thursday morning. But I always put them on my night stand before bed and take them in the morning when I first wake up. I had 10 beers Wednesday until 2am. Woke up at 4:45 am and 99% sure I took my Effexor and daily vitamin.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Diarrhea. Loss of appetite. Seems like every 5-10 min unless I'm laying in bed. Nauseous also.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just feels like my brain and body are being shocked.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you think I should go to the ER? I'm sweating also.
Expert:  Linda D. replied 1 year ago.

The other reason individuals have reported having brain zaps is due to high levels of stress and /or anxiety..................have you been a lot more anxious??

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No not at all more anxious.
Expert:  Linda D. replied 1 year ago.

Honestly, as I said, they are more uncomfortable and unsettling than anything else.......brain zaps are not harmful and will discontinue. I think it is more likely because you drank so much Wednesday night that you may have forgotten to take your Effexor yesterday. The diarrhea and lossof appetite can also be related to drinking the 10 beers until late at night.... do you get overly worried when you think you have a health issue??

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
for sure.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That's where all my anxiety comes from. Anytime I feel something weird with my body my mind races with it.
Expert:  Linda D. replied 1 year ago.

By the way, brain zaps are much more common for people who take Effexor than other SSRI's. You are going to be okay.....do not worry. They are harmless and will probably stop by tomorrow. The stress and anxiety of worrying about them can actually prolong how long you will have them.

Expert:  Linda D. replied 1 year ago.

Like I said, you can have a couple of beers, relax, and breathe in deeply through your nose while saying I am breathing in calm and then breathe out through your mouth and say I am breathing out worry. Do this 5 times.................okay?? I need to help another person now. I would appreciate you taking a moment to rate my service to you and welcome anymore questions you may have for me. Let me know tomorrow how you are feeling using this thread. I will have it remain open, okay?? Linda D., LMSW, CASAC

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Its just crippling. Don't want to get out of bed. Feels like I'm losing my mind an balance and I'm having a seizure or brain aneurysm or something crazy.
Expert:  Linda D. replied 1 year ago.

No, that is irrational fear lying to you. Do not believe it. It is not true...............you are safe and you are okay.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thanks. I had two beers and it didn't help me.
Expert:  Linda D. replied 1 year ago.

You are used to 6-8 beers you said, you can have a few more if you would like. I really do need to go help some other people. Will you let me know how you are feeling tomorrow?? Linda

Expert:  Linda D. replied 1 year ago.

Remember as Dr. Z reminded you , we only get compensated for positive ratings for our services so please do not forget to give me your rating. Thank you. Sincerely, ***** ***** LMSW, CASAC

Expert:  Linda D. replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, I was thinking about you and thought I would check in and see if you are feeling better. Linda D.