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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I have a lot of stress / panic I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night with spine problems. One night recently it felt like a stabbing pain in the middle of my spine. Last night my spine or nervious system felt like it was freaking out and had all sorts of sensations.

Is this something you experience? I almost never see anything in relation to it online in searches!

Shocks in spine or a sort of quivering feeling. Its really physical and bothersome feeling.

I've had scans before and nothing shows up. This has been largely tied to panic and anxiety (insomnia)
 

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Hi,

I will post here the account of my pains/sensations from a year ago, almost to a day. (I wrote it for someone in PM, and you reminded me of it now).

I only rarely experience some of it now, but back then, the pains, tension, and shaking/buzzing were almost a constant. Also, most nights I would wake up in pain, and that lasted for years, but 2019 and 2020 were particularly bad. Pains were worsening with anxiety and stress, as well as with season, as months from November to March were very triggering for me. What I describe here is somatization in someone without resolved trauma, in constant state of fight/flight/freeze/collapse, and also deeply dissociated/depersonalized. All the sensations, pains included, were somehow indirect, as everything else about me at that time. It was as if someone else sat and wrote me an e-mail in order to describe it, and then I would "read it" and feel them. It was pretty bad.

"...basically my somatization comes from involuntary tension in my muscles, that worsens with anxiety. I literally cannot relax my muscles most of the time, and in the worst case this can bring really bad pain, that resembles continuous cramps, and just pins and needles when it is not that serious.

Sometimes it can be like my abdomen and back are made of stone, that much they are tense, but not because I work out, lol, but because they are in involuntary spasm. My legs too.

The worst pains tend to be pelvic and hip, and then my back, rib cage and legs. I also have two different types of headaches, one located at the right part of my head, and the other one that starts at the very low end of my spine, past my hips, goes up my spine as a light current, passes neck and jaw and goes through the root of my nose, past my eyebrows and distributed over my forehead. It goes with tingling, like electricity, especially along the spine, and in the root of my nose. It has also something to do with tics - blinking with one eye, and nose twitching. I do not have tics all the time, just once in a while, when my anxiety worsens.

Sometimes I notice vibrations out of the blue, while sitting with my laptop or walking, and these are not painful or unpleasant, just strange, like I am plugged to a cell phone vibration.

I think that all these manifestations, such as that vibrating feeling, have to do with micro spasms and then muscle relaxation. However, I distinguish it from kind of feeling my own blood stream pulsation, as I think this is due to my attentiveness to otherwise normal bodily functions, like I notice things that would go under the radar of a normal conscious mind.

This over-sensitivity can manifest not only in being overly aware of my body, but also of stimuli such as light, sound or smell."
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks.

Is a lot of this muscle? What happens with me is I wake up with what feels like crazy sensations IN my spine. It doesn't seem like muscles really, but I could be wrong. I don't have like tense or painful muscles afterwards. Instead it feels like my CNS is going crazy. Online searching isn't helping much.

I hear you on the stimuli. That one sucks and when its really bad I have PTSD style jumpyness and can "feel sounds".

I see you do have the "electricity alone the spine". It can be like that. One time it was just in one spot and felt like a drill going in.

It doesn't always happen. Sometimes i just wake up. Sometime I wake up in a panic over something and its more mental than physical and I freak out until i'm awake enough to realize its irrational. Then I breathe/meditate and calm down.
 

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Tbh, I don't know, but I guess that both nerves and muscles must be involved.

I mean, you could also have some other spine problems that get exacerbated when you are anxious, a lot of people have them.

The good news is that, if your problems are due to anxiety and PTSD, they can go away once you resolve your trauma and feel calmer and more grounded.

If you sit long hours, be sure to walk a bit every day, or do some light exercise, that helps.

I hope you'll find a way to resolve it...
smile.png
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited by Moderator)
Yeah I've had this happen before and then had it go away.... Now Its been really hard with Covid and work from home. Easy to isolate.

I just don't see much out there similar to this specific experience. Everybody is different I guess.

When I read about nocturnal panic some stuff is pretty different at times. Like I've woken up anxious and with the spine thing but from what I can tell my heeart isn't exactly racing. I don't know that I have real shortness of breath. But perhaps I do but its just not the focus becuase something else is so crazy.

Anyways I see a lot of overlap of stuff in research of classic panic attack symptoms and really have to dig to find certain things - Often this site is where you might find them. PTSD sound sensitivity stuff. Spine electric shock stuff.

i suppose it is all Panic Disorder (Anxiety).

I am having trouble with avoidance and organizing thoughts and doing work. Some people manage to have really good lives while experiencing at this level. For me its hard to function. Intrusive thoughts and ruminations. I'm working on it. I felt like yesterday and may be the day before were pretty good. Sleep was a bit better too. Then last night I woke up after like 1 hour or so with the damn spine thing. It throws me off.
 

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I am sorry you feel that way. I always try to tell myself that one bad day does not make a difference, and that tomorrow is a chance for things to get better. I know that for some that may sound silly, but that kind of thinking got me through some of the worst of times.

About nocturnal panic...idk...besides all that I wrote, I used to wake up soaked in sweat, shaking, obviously in a state that one could call physiological "panic", but I did not feel that, as I was so dissociated. I mean, I was obviously triggered, and my body was behaving like there is a tiger chasing after me, or eating me alive, but on the emotional level, I didn't feel anything, as I didn't feel like myself.

Also, I have completely disturbed breathing pattern due to trauma, I keep my breath a lot, and it is very shallow and slow. In therapy, my T often reminds me to breathe. So, I rarely, or perhaps never had accelerated breathing as a symptom of anxiety or panic, because my trauma reaction is reflected in slowing down bodily functions and falling into collapse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited by Moderator)
May be you can help me with this. Do you know what normal breathing vs shallow is? Like how to tell/measure?.
I swear what happens is I get locked in to fight or flight mode and then my breathing gets shallow. I can control it but then when I go to take a nap (which never ever works) I think it goes back to normal and gets shallow. But its hard for me to really know. I just know that i can never actually fall asleep. At times It seems i'll get close and bounce back up. I described it to a family member and they surprisingly said they have experienced the same thing. And we don't think its Apnea cause laying on side / normally don't have problems. Only during timses of panic/anxiety.

Edit: The only thing I've really done is read that average breaths per minute are like 12 to 16 or whatever and I remember it being fine.

But I find when people show breathing exercises online its very much at or beyond my capability hehe. And also like I said sometimes when I go to try to sleep it seems to get really shallow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
New Psychiatrist. he wants me to taper on the Clonezepam and start Gabapentin which he said has been a game changer for a lot of people who have CNS problems sleeping. Upping the Zoloft to 100 from 50. So we'll see how this goes.

Any thoughts on Gabapentin are appreciated - My worry is it isn't "hardcore" enough for my situation. I'm not really trying to cure DP/DR so much as stop from being stuck in fight or flight mode. Agoraphobia. Bad memory. Depression. I want my ol' self back and if i feel a bit disconnected thats fine i suppose.
 

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way back when we didn't know that I had depersonalization I had taken a dose of aripriprazole 10.mg and my symptoms got much worse. So, for the washout I was given clonazepam 2.mg just for a few days. I woke up next morning felt more present and like I had slept much deeper. I had much more energy. So, I continued on clonazepam but we knew it was on borrowed time,- tolerance would develop. We had no idea what was wrong on the paradoxel response to clonazepam made us think it was something neurological. So, we tried to test a number of anti-epileptics as an alternative like gabapetine, trileptal, lamotrigne and topiramat without effect at all.

An alternative to gabapentine could be pregabalin that was not on the market back then. It is slightly related to gabapentine but approved for the treatment of generalized anxiety. The text also adresses gabapentin effect on sleep as they are related.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3699256/

It might take several months to taper out from clonazepam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah he was talking like it wouldn't be too bad to taper from the like 1.5 month of ~75mg of Clonezepam but I'm thinking that it should be tapered slowly. So he is prescribing some 25mg for me to use to start tapering. I can try to cut it down and start with the Gabapentin which he thinks will help better with sleep/prolonged sleep.

The Neurological stuff I think existed before Clonezepam. When I had issues 10 years ago and now I think even pre medication I would have the spine zaps and wacky stuff.

When I am looking up Gabapentin stuff on the internet its not looking too great. Not a lot of info for sleep and also ofcourse horror stories.

I dont have this stuff really during the day. its just night panic and stuff. He does not like how Clonezepam is over time and claims that sure it can help me get to sleep but not stay asleep. can mess with some stages of sleep???? shrug.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well. 600MG Gabapentin at 10pm. ~.6 mg Clonezepam + Melatonin + Advil PM + ~12mg of seroquel at 11:30. Went to bed at around 12 to 12:30. I believe I slept pretty good. I think. But its 11am and I still feel super sedated and drugged. I feel like I havent slept in a long time. Very drowsy and sedated.
 

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To me it sounds like you are not suffering from depersonalization but a functional disorder like fibromyalgia with problems like sleep, pain and defuse neurological symptoms. There can be dissociative symptoms to a functional disorder.
 
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