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Uncontrollable shaking--lasting an hour! I'm desperate

This is not the minor shakes I got as a teen during a panic attack. This is like my muscles had minds of their own. I could feel them tensing and shaking--like you would if you were shivering in the cold. Violent shakes--my whole body. Almost like a seizure. It was even hard to breathe. Went to the ER and they did blood tests and urine test and whatever they did came back ok. My thyroid was checked about a year ago and was fine. I've been having hot flashes/sweats a few days before my period--dunno if that's related. Should I get my thyroid checked again or is a year ago recent enough?

I just upped my Prozac to 40 from 20 like 3 days ago. I've been on 40 b4, most of my life in fact, and this never happened. I'm 35 btw.
Also on Seroquel and Inderal, both small doses---both for a couple years. Xanax for most of my life, very small dose. I'm on Xanax, low dose, but thats been since age 14.

The ER doc didn't know but thought it may be a reaction to the Prozac or hormonal. I also felt hot, and it would go to my hands, my chest, my head...I was cool-to normal touch wise but was burning inside my skin.
I'm getting a blood test from my obgyn on my next period for FSH/LH.
Anyone had this? what did you do? I am freaking out!
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replied January 17th, 2012
i've had these EXACT symptoms accompany my panic attacks. it is extraordinarily freaky, isn't it? you are NOT alone.

i too have taken low levels of xanax when needed and i am one year older than you.

first of all, let me congratulate you on your clean bill of health from the ER. that is huge and you should celebrate your physical health!

how was your sugar/carbohydrate and/or alcohol intake prior to your symptoms? for me, there is a connection.

unfortunately, the best i have been able to do is ride it out. seriously. it's scarey, but effective. i find a quiet place and i lie on the floor and i let the muscles go all psycho on me. i have had this happen maybe a dozen times. and it ALWAYS passes. even though it feels like holy hell while you're riding out the worst of it, it passes like a wave that crashes on the beach and then pulls back out to sea. it takes bravery. i'd bet you have the strength to do it.

but back to that ER conclusion - you are physically healthy. *sigh of relief* knowing now that it is nothing physical based on your evaluation, you should feel the courage to focus on the triggers of the symptoms. try to see how the mind is impacting the body.

i wish peace for your mind...
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replied January 17th, 2012
U r so sweet. But this has never happened. It didn't feel like a panic attack necissarily. B4 hand I was freaking a little b/c I thought I was having an allergic reaction to something, as I was itchy, thoght I had red bumps on my arm, felt itchy inside and warm in my hands. But I didn't know what it was from. I had just had frosted mini wheats--a new flavor--but I've never reacted to it b4. I have a small wheat gluten allergy but never really had any problems from it. I was freaking a little about the possible allergic reaction to something--I thought maybe it would get worse. But the shaking--the sheer violence of it didn't seem related I could see a fast pulse and clammy hands. Could the shaking be an allergic reaction?
I've recently started taking more vit c, d, and changed my calcium to a better brand with magnesium. Also started eating genisoy bars. I've eaten soy in zone bars and muffins b4 w/out a problem. All these changes made w/in the past 1.5 weeks.
Er doc said to take benadryl for 3 days along with prednisone.
Could this be a reaction to Prozac? Or hormonal?
I've noticed that my legs felt like they might spaz (kinda restless leggy) w/in the past 2weeks and maybe those were unfinished versions of this?
Oh and I don't drink--had champaign on new years but that's it. And I eat lots of whole grains but I do have a sweet tooth. Not overboard. Of course now I can't eat. I scared out of my mind. I can't stand not knowing what's causing this. Feel hot and chilly.
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replied January 18th, 2012
i'm still fairly confident, based on my own experience, that it certainly might be related to your overall anxiety.
the shaking i had (which i was told by 3 doctors was anxiety related) was intense. the shaking is what i might consider convulsive. not just the typical muscle twitches/jitteriness that i had known before. the shaking was involuntary and massive. full-body/full-muscle systems. still, it did pass.
could it follow a wave of catastrophic thinking? like freaking out a little because you thought it might be an allergic reaction? that could certainly have been a trigger. check this. once it happened to me when i tried a new form of probiotic supplement. i took the supplement and started freaking out that it was going to have a bad impact on my system - it had some extra herbal ingredients in it that i was unsure of. and of course once you ingest something, it is in your system. so for me, it was a sort of trapped feeling - knowing i had put something into my system and thinking it might have a negative impact. the hot and chilly sensations were present. i felt a general wave of anxiety that intensified rapidly as i continued to think about it. the shaking started like tremors and soon intensified to full-on earthquake-like shaking. i sat on the floor and just let it happen. it came and it went.
seeking a second opinion is a viable option. and you definitely might want to explore more avenues to get to the bottom of the issue.
for me however, i finally came to the conclusion that it was, as my doctors told me repeatedly, my anxiety. that i am an anxious person. it was kind of a relief actually because it meant that i could stop chasing the illusive diagnosis. i'm simply wired a little bit differently than people who don't have anxiety and i need to give myself the space and compassion to be anxious. i've come to terms with that. barring any physical medical explanations for the symptoms, i had to come to terms. it is anxiety in it's truest, most intense form.
i really hope you can get to the bottom of it because i know how scarey it can be. but none of the symptoms you've listed above are out of the range of anxiety-provoked symptoms.
oh, and i recently discovered i have a wheat intolerance. i gave it up and have had some very interesting results. dizziness has dissipated and anxiety levels have been less. maybe a little more focus on your gluten issue might prove beneficial?
peace...
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replied January 18th, 2012
Yes the allergic thing may have been a factor. But the reaction vs the anxiety seemed way more than it should have been if that was the case. I'm not ruling out anxiety but going to the point of convulsing, which I've never done before, just doesn't convince me. I'm scared to death of it happening again and b/c I have no answers, that could be at any time.

I'm even scared now to take my Prozac thinking that maybe the increase had something to do w/the shakes.
I still feel itchy and hot skin...I don't know if anxiety can cause that too..it feels like an allergy but to what I have no idea, which causes anxiety.

I'm seeing my primary doc on Fri. I'm hoping there are more tests they can do. I'd appreciate any other insights, reassurance... I'm dropping my class and turned down a job b/c I cannot function right now.
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replied January 19th, 2012
My gyno called back about the ER visit and said to see my primary doc. So I have an appt on fri. I am so scared. Not knowing when this will happen. I dropped my class--what a joke, like I can concentrate. I feel like my life is over and no one will know what the hell this is.
My psych hasn't even called back and this is the 2nd day. I feel so alone.
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replied January 19th, 2012
What is your worst fear?
At this point, you have this one fact: A singular episode in which you were "tensing and shaking." Intensely. Admittedly, that is a horrible occurrence. But it has not progressed, has it?
The pattern of catastrophic thinking is what really does us anxiety sufferers in. It becomes a never ending chain. An example:
I used to fear business meetings and would have immense panic attacks before every meeting no matter how short or how long they would be in duration. Often, I would be so scared, I quite literally felt as though I would piss my pants. So here is how my chain of thoughts would go:
"I'm really scared about this meeting and I'm afraid I'll piss my pants."
"Oh man, what if I piss my pants in front of all my co-workers."
And those thoughts would cycle over an over again. And the anxiety got worse and worse. Which would make me feel the urge to urinate even more. And ultimately, I would back out of attending very important meetings.
But you can challenge thoughts like those with a couple different tactics. By saying "So what?" And "What is the worst thing that can happen?" By being loose.
I don't know all the ins and outs of what you're dealing with right now, so this is just a shot-in-the-dark example so to speak. But what if your internal conversation went something like this:

Your thought: "Holy crap, I had an intense hour of shaking. Even though the ER said there was nothing overtly wrong, I still feel like there is something very wrong. I'm afraid it will happen again."

Your challenge to the thought: "So what if it happens again?"

Your thought: "If it happens again, I might lose control, I might lose consciousness, I might not be able to take it."

Your challenge: "So what would happen if I lost control or lost consciousness? I, or somebody else, might have to call the ER again."

Your thought: "But it would be so terrible! I might even die!"

Your challenge: "What evidence do I have that I might lose consciousness or even die? I was recently at the ER and they said at worst, it might be an allergic reaction to something."

Your thought: "But I'm not convinced!"

Your challenge: "So I'll go see my doctor tomorrow as scheduled and express my concerns. Yes, that's what I'll do."

Does this make any sense at all? Does it resonate? If you allow yourself to think catastrophically and entertain all the "what ifs," you only serve to intensify an already painful situation. But... if you can challenge some of those repetitive negative thoughts that are not based on fact, but on worry, then you can see the reality of the situation as it stands - which at this point - from what you have posted - was that you had a really scarey episode of shaking, you are unconvinced that you are fine, and you are going to see your primary care physician tomorrow.
You are doing the best that you can. You can do nothing more, logistically speaking. You are being proactive in seeking help. You can however help yourself by trying to break the pattern of negative "what if" thinking.
It is a challenge for all of us w/ anxiety issues. It might be our biggest challenge.
Good luck at your appointment and may serenity find its way into your mind offering you expansive comfort, reassurance, and strength.
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replied January 19th, 2012
Oh yes I know about that. And my thinking isn't always healthy. I worry and do "what if"...
The lack of control, like when one has a seizure, is what scares me the most. No self talk, relaxation breathing, etc helped it at all.
I had what I think is another hot flash this morning...after my period ended (which was about 2 days ago)...I've never had one after my period, only before. Maybe it is partly hormones. I hear they're hard to test b/c the fluctuate so much. But I really think I should have them tested anyway.
Maybe my thyroid, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, mri to make sure it's not neurological.
I know what you're saying and I'm trying to do that, really. It's VERY hard w/the concerns I have.
My psych finally called back (didn't even apologize for being 2 days late calling me) and said, of course, she thought it was panic. But I am not convinced, esp. b/c it didn't seem like she cared and didn't give me any other advice. Plus I've never had an "attack" like this before. My attacks are different.
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replied January 21st, 2012
I saw my primary doc and doesn't know either but is guessing anxiety. Said to talke an extra Xanax if it happened. There's no way that would tame this. He ordered 2 blood tests--thyroid and sedimentation. Said he didn't know much about the hormone end. So I called my obgyn but no one was there. Having to worry about an hour long attack I have no control over is making me nuts. I want to find a new psych and a naturopathic doc.
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replied January 24th, 2012
I called a naturopath about payment options and waiting for call back.
Called my obgyn about anything they can do (testing?) waiting for call back. Saliva testing is best for hormones but most docs don't do it so ppl have to order them online, costing 200. Why do I have to do everything??
My psych doesn't care so I'm looking for a new one.
Good thing I quit school or I'd have no money to pay for this s***. Well, I still don't...
I'm having other symptoms now...very sensitive to sound...I feel like a tickle in my back and head...I can't describe it. I hate it. I don't know how to make it go away.
I upped my Prozac to 30 to see if it helps.
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replied April 28th, 2013
oh my goodness....this helps me so much... I've been having these sort of convulsion/shaking attacks for around a year now, I had loosely made this link myself as they started after my 21yr old brother (with wife and 4mnth old baby daughter) was diagnosed with a brain tumour (he's ok now so no worries). but since then any time i feel even slightly ill i get these spasms and shakes as i already had a phobia of vomiting i thought this was it getting worse but i see now it is the combination of that and the stress of the trauma i'd experienced. at least i'm not alone.
It appears i'm an anxiety sufferer too. (also dyslexic so sorry about the spelling)
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