Avatar universal

Brain Shakes

I've read other posts and questions about people experiencing "brain shakes" as a result of various conditions, or as a possible withdrawl symptom from AD drugs and such. However, I  have experienced the sensation of my brain shaking, long before I had ever taking any kind of prescribed drug of any sort, and i have never even once taken an AD drug. Though I remember is occuring before this, the first time I ever remember really acknowledging the brain shake was when i was kneeling down at a church altar. I had my head in my hands and it felt like someone inside my brian was shaking it back and forth, like a vibration almost. But I experienced no other symptoms with this. No pain, no fatigue. I've experienced this many times over the last 10 or so years, and I can't seem to find a common denominator to why this is occuring. Perhaps emotional stress is to blame, since that is a rather general, wide, and encompassing possibility. Any one else experienced this?

This discussion is related to Brain feel like it is shaking, Doctors haven't been able to help.
39 Responses
Avatar universal
OMG! I was so happy to see your post so I know that I am not going crazy! I keep telling people that I feel as though someone puts their hands in my head and shakes my brain around. Sometimes it's kind of mild, other times heavier shaking/tremors. And I've done several tests...not taking any AD drugs at all. Only thing I ever take is ferroglobin for my anemia. This has been going on for many years but it has become very frequent. I don't know what to do!
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I have had this brain shaking thing for close to 10 years...... I have not got anywhere near to a diagnosis....... I pray all day that it will go away....... What can I do??
Have u found any help yet
Avatar universal
I experience the same thing. It's quite frustrating. I actually had some days where the shaking went away and I almost felt normal again but that was shot-lived. The only thing that helped a lot was a small dose of Ativan (took away the shaking and made me very tired) but I refuse to take prescription meds.
Avatar universal
I know about something called dissasociation, and it is a sensation akin to a sort of "out of body experience." I have had brain-shakes (as I so fondly refer to them) off and on for 13 years. Currently I am having them without any other symptoms, i.e. increased heart rate or shallow breathing. I feel as though I am not fully in touch with my body - I feel as though I am purely in my head. Supposidly these brain-shakes we are all feeling are a product of anxiety. It makes sense that the person above felt better after taking atavan.

Dissasociation is something experienced by those who have been through a trauma(s). If anyone else out there has been through something traumatic and experiences these brain-shakes, I would like to know. I had many traumatic experiences growing up (abuse), and recently (within the past 10 years) have been in a vehicle that was rear-ended causing me to suffer with post tramautic stress disorder (diagnosed).

I notice my brain shakes occur when I am doing something I don't want to do, like go alone to my car-park at midnight or when I walk down a large flight of stairs.

Hope to hear from someone and that this forum isn't dead.
Avatar universal
I just had one of these brain shakes tonight. No other symptoms. And yes I have just had a traumatic experience. And life has been stressful the last couple years. Last week My daddy died unexpectedly. I was getting out of work when it occurred. I'll post if I find out more about it.
Avatar universal
This sounds similar to something I've been experiencing, except my sensation is like a vibration sander is running in my head.....kind of buzzing.  More recently it's gotten more specific.  The buzzing starts all in my head and then seems to vibrate in just the area of where a hat band would be if I wore a hat.  Then may or may not go back to the whole head.  Weird.  A few months back I realized I was forgetting peoples names that I know I should know (worked with for years) and often forget what I'm doing in the middle of doing it...embarrassing when it happens.  I've got a LOT of fogginess and headaches.  For most of the day I feel like I'm in a whirlwind trying to grab a thought to hold on to.  Also, I've had hep-c for 25 years (maybe longer).  

Anyway (sorry for rambling), I went to a neuro doc who did a MRI and it showed mild atrophy (central and somewhere else that starts with a P).  Also something about an enlarged ventrical.  He's now sending me to a medical university to check it out further.  He did some lumbar punctures to look for NPH but it was not conclusive.  

All that said have you had a MRI?  I'm hoping they can now figure it out to get rid of all my "bad feelings in the head issues".
Avatar universal
I have been experiencing brain shaking as well.  It concentrates only in the back of my head where the spine starts.  I've had it for two nights in a row and it happens when I go to bed and try to relax and go to sleep.  There is no pain, no vision problems, no nothing else.

This is the second time that I've had this brain shaking and my conclusion (and I hope I'm not just being innocent) is that they're caused by too much stress and caffeine.  The first time I had these series of shaking was four years ago:  I was pregnant, we were not doing good financially, and our family company had to close bringing us LOTS of family problems.  

Now I'm having them again and, whether it's a coincidence or not, I believe it's pure stress.  We had a house fire a couple of months ago, the house is not finished yet (we're rebuilding), my husband got a transfer to another city, and the market is not the best for us to be able to sell the house and buy where my husband will be working.  I've noticed I've been very stressed lately and I "believe" the brain shaking are just confirming it.

When I had it two nights ago, I tried to remember what I did, ate, or drank during the day and I realized I had too much caffeine.  I got up, drunk two bottles of water in order to "wash off" my body, went to the bathroom, and went back to bed.  The shaking came back as soon as I laid down but it went away in just a matter of seconds.

So my conclusion after reading and doing my research is that possibly they are caused by stress and caffeine.  I'm planning to relax as much as I can and will try not to worry about things I can't change.  We'll see what happens.


I'm glad I found all these posts.  It made me feel better.
Avatar universal
I've had this problem with jitter brain now for about a year.I feel it is do to stress also but not sure.I've noticed that when it seems like life is getting a little tough one way or the other ,dealing with the negatives that come along with making a living or whatever else stresses you out.Thats when it seems to occur . I hardly ever get this condition while I am awake.It seems to only occur when I am in a state of sleep. If it is taking a nap or sleeping at night at bedtime. It is not painful at all , just annoying. I also noticed when I am sleeping on my back it occurs more often than when I sleep on my side.I do have a herniated disc in my neck at the C-5 and 6 and buldging disc at the C-6 and 7 Plus I have a syrinx cyst in my spinal cord running from the C-4 to the T-2.The doctors claim it is a small cyst but curious if this might be the problem to why this condition is occurring.Any help would be appreciated.The doctors just look at you like you are nuts :(      
Do you have Chiari malformation? I do and my brain shakes.
I have Chiari Malformation and Syringomyelia and have just started experiencing brain shakes. Not sure if the two/three are related. Was scary the first time it happened.
Avatar universal
I get the same thing life is extra stressful for me at the moment I geuss it that haven't went to the hospital. I smoke a lot of weed and cigs and drink alil more then I should but even after a month or 2 clean I still go throgh it.
Avatar universal
My brain shakes usually happen when I'm doing something I shouldn't be doing, (I.e talking to myself or something sexual o_o) but ever since I weaned myself off of zoloft, I've been experiencing them irregularly and also irregular heart beating. Any suggestions?
2106936 tn?1333955356
i am 22 years old and i was just playing a video game with my husband tonight. we were talking on mics to a friend on our team and all of a sudden it felt like my brain was shaking in my head! i was panicked like omg am i having a seizure!? i did kinda feel like i was inside myself or something. my whole body kinda felt, i guess numb, but i could still move, it was like a dream or something. i had a headache for over an hour after and i rarely get headaches so i kind of get freaked out when i get one. i have a 3 year old baby boy so im hoping its nothing serious. i know they have warnings about seizures on video games and stuff so im scared of that. i play them a lot (mostly at night when my son is asleep or away for the night or whatever). a couple hours just about every night if i can. this has never happened before except once at school years ago but i hardly remember it, i only remember that it happened. i had something happen once about 6 or 7 years ago in my kitchen where it felt like my whole entire body was shaking on the inside so im wondering if there is a connection. i have actually felt that particular sensation more than once and it is really freaky. if anyone has any idea or relation to this please let me know. i have no insurance so i cant see a doctor so if i can maybe figure it out myself that would be good!
Avatar universal
I had this for the first time today, the only way I could describe it is my brain was vibrating also i kind of started to lose my hearing everything sounded fuzzy then i couldn't hear at all. just had it happen again i think it may be anxiety related. I used to have seizures years ago this wasn't a seizure at all. i just decided to look around on the web to make sure i wasn't crazy. very strange feeling.
Avatar universal
I am so delighted to read so many comments of ordinary folks who are dealing with this illness "brain shaking" sensation. My name is Jean Alexander and i am the author of "Fear my surrounding". My ordeal started back when i was a young boy traumatized and fearful of my environment, I begin to develop social anxiety disorder where i get anxious and my head shook uncontrollably. I can feel my brain foaming and a shaky sensation when i am around people. I go sleepless night angry at my circumstances it often cross my mind may be i am losing my mind.
Avatar universal
I has this happen for the first time this morning.  I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep so went to the living room and fell asleep ont he couch with the tv on.  At about 7a.m. I was that realm when you aren't awake yet but not completely asleep either.  Then I felt like my brain was shaking inside my head and it woke me up.  I'm not sure how long it lasted....maybe 10-30 sec.  It scared me though.  I have been stressed having been out of work for almost a year now and wondering how I am going to pay the bills now that U.I. has run out.  Any answers as to why this happening would be greatly appreciated.
Avatar universal
I just had this brain shaking feeling. It was like a vibration. I now have a dull headache. I have been under a lot of stress so maybe this is what caused it. I don't know. I'm kind of scared now.
Avatar universal
Hi, I read your comments on brain shaking, and I just want to say you are not alone. My neurologist did look at me like I was nuts. He was of the opinion that a  person cannot feel anything inside the brain. Oh really? My brain was shaking all day, all night for 2 years solid. I also had an injury in my neck at c-6 c-7, and then a whiplash injury that involved 2 nerve root decompression surgeries at C-2.  My brain shaking started one day when I was sleeping in a reclining chair. It felt like an earthquake in my head. I thought wow that was weird. And it went away quickly. Then the earthquakes happened a couple more times, and then it went in to a permanent shaking for 2 solid years. It did not hurt, but I got extremely exhausted from not sleeping much. Doctors did not believe me, and I grew increasingly frustrated with them...so I stopped going. Eventually, somehow they (the brain shakes) just stopped. Then the shaking started happening in my face, my chin, my nose. I noticed I could make it worse by turning my head to my far right when lying on my side. So I know its all neck related. But test after test confirmed nothing. MRI's, CAT scans, physical exams, trying different things like glucosamine, omega 3 fish oil, ibuprofen, and more horrendous drugs (that all made me sick). I don't drink or do drugs. I even eliminated caffeine from my system to prove that 'that' wasn't the real issue to the doctor. In my case its neck related, and I think you also have neck issues that are messing with some nerves that go to your head.  I hope you have found out something since your post from August 29, 2010.  Let me know. You can write back to spalted_wood***@****
Avatar universal
I have also such kind symptoms. It's like smth inside shakes my head. But I also have a new symptom connected with my heart. Palpitations causes also my backside of my head
Avatar universal
This is quite strange.

I have this problem where I feel my brain is shaking or trembling inside. As a result I'm unable to focus on one thing, the attention spam has gown down, the body feel weak, and I tend to forget things more often as days passes. It feels as if there is a void inside that has developed over the years and the weakness will not go away.

The days goes normally, but when this mild shaking or trembling occurs, the day breaks there, and what ever I was doing, focusing, thinking shatters. As I try to wonder what's happening, I realize my body has gone into a emergency mode, where it can't focus on anything else, but the shaking, its like the body is using all its powers to tackle the shaking, without you knowing about it, unless you STOP and think what's wrong.

Tension, high stress levels, financial losses is again common cause that I can see here.

Meditation has helped me a lot, to become calm inside, control the shaking and feel strong inside, instead of shaky, broken and lost inside. Moreover Yoga helped a lot too.

Strangely my family has the same problem, though its more severe with them. As someone mentioned, when my mom puts on a hair band, the shaking inside her rises to a new level and her head also starts spinning. We call can see her spin her head.  

Another reason I'm speculating is black magic. Something you can't see but you can feel it. The unexpected financial losses, followed by illness in the family and co-incidences (bad/ugly) which surprises you.
Avatar universal
It's nice to see a community coming together regarding these brain shakes/shudders/quakes. For the last 8 years I have called them "brain quakes". I have had a multitude of tests, MRIs and crazy looks. When they first started I would wake up and wake my husband up asking if he felt the earthquake (we live on the East Coast). I would ask our neighbors and wait for something to be on the news. Nothing! I began having problems with my balance and walking in general. Stairs I was always falling up or down them. Had a constant headache for over a year, was told I have optic neuritis. Would develop speech difficulties - recalling words, pronouncing words, putting words in correct order, etc. The latest neurologist I went to see asked me if I was certain they weren't "just hallucinations." As the years have gone on I occasionally get brain quakes without any other symptoms and at times I get all of the above symptoms.
Avatar universal
It was really good to come on here and see I wasn't the only one that has these. I didn't even know how to google a brain shake. Was very surprised to see other people get them. I've never seen a doctor for them. But lately they have gotten worse..or should I say scarier. Twice already driving through the bank drive thru I've had a brain shake..and I've ended up coming too close to the sides of the drive thru. I've had them just standing still. Was standing still getting ready to take a family picture..my brain shook. I thought I was gonna lose my balance. It's such a weird feeling..it scares the hell out of me. Seeings that it's happening while I'm driving..I think it might be time to go see a doctor and hopefully see why it keeps happening. Just plain scarey! I've also noticed my short term memory has gone nuts. I can't even put together a recipe without making a mistake. I guess I was scared to go see a doctor in fear of being told I'm crazy..
Avatar universal
I have just stopped citalapram 20mg and my doctor put me straight on mirztazapine, a AD that I take at nite, but because I've suddenly come of the citalapram my brain shakes all the time, every time I move my head it's like an electric pulse in my head, awful, just praying this will go away when the other tablets kick in !!!
Avatar universal
Thank you all for your posts. The "brain shakes" started with me about 3 weeks ago and are getting worse. As I have vertigo, lupus, hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia and w few other things I could excuse the fatigue and my eyes feeling out of focus. A bit of dizziness was nothing new. But these brain shakes are getting worse. I work for a Physical Therapy place so I spoke with one of the therapist. I told her this is not vertigo, I know exactly what that feels like. I don't have any inner ear problems or sinus issues and I haven't had any changes in my medications since October. She had no idea what it could be. I have an appointment with my neurologist in 2 weeks, but I'm afraid he'll just put me on another pill without blinking an eye. I have an appointment with my Rheumatologist at the end of March and he'll just think I'm nuts. If anyone gets an answer - please post it!
Avatar universal
Thank you all for your posts. The "brain shakes" started with me about 3 weeks ago and are getting worse. As I have vertigo, lupus, hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia and w few other things I could excuse the fatigue and my eyes feeling out of focus. A bit of dizziness was nothing new. But these brain shakes are getting worse. I work for a Physical Therapy place so I spoke with one of the therapist. I told her this is not vertigo, I know exactly what that feels like. I don't have any inner ear problems or sinus issues and I haven't had any changes in my medications since October. She had no idea what it could be. I have an appointment with my neurologist in 2 weeks, but I'm afraid he'll just put me on another pill without blinking an eye. I have an appointment with my Rheumatologist at the end of March and he'll just think I'm nuts. If anyone gets an answer - please post it!
Avatar universal
I experienced severe "brain shakes" in my college days (18-22 yrs) right as I would lay down and close my eyes. I never drank coffee or energy drinks then, was not on prescriptions drugs, nor did I ever use recreational drugs. I have not experienced it since those days (I'm now 30).  They went away once I graduated and my stress levels returned to normal and I was able to get a full night of sleep every night (8 hours).

Exhaustion, I believe, triggered my episodes.
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