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Old 09-07-2006, 02:43 PM   #1
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Unhappy uncontrollable head shaking

At the end of the last school year I started to get these inconcontrollable head tremors whenever I was in a social situation with a large amount of people. It usually happened with teachers who I was a little intimidated of, but only when they would make eye contact with me. My head, what feels like brain, would shake back and forth for about a second. It would continue to happen spontaneously throughout the day. I had no troubles during the summer and know that this is supposedly anxiety.

I don't want to go on drugs and frankly, am already a very laid back and relaxed person, so I don't know what to do. I do not want anyone to notice, but I'm guessing they have.

I usually have headaches throughout the school day and have read situations similar to mine where the condition gets worse as you get older. I can't let this happen. I want to have a career that involves being in the proxmity of large amounts of people.

I'm fine in one on one situations and when I sit in the back of the class, most of the time. But when I feel that people are watching me it happens.

Is it a chemical imbalance that happens? I'm afraid it could lead to brain damage or the condition can get worse.

Please, someone tell me what to do, or share similar stories.

Thank You.

Last edited by toostressed845; 09-07-2006 at 02:44 PM.

 
Old 09-08-2006, 10:14 AM   #2
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Re: uncontrollable head shaking

I started the same thing in my mid teens.I haven't thought about this in a long time you could be me. When I was about 10 my hands would tremble when I was anxious and at about 15 my head would shake also only when I was the center of someones attention.Yes it is hard to control and what I was told was that is was Familar Tremor meaning it runs in familys.Ask your doctor about it and if your head is shaking when you ask him who cares that would be a good thing because he will then see it for him self. I know that you don't want to take meds but I have and still do 40 + years later ask your doctor what he can give you that is not addictive and he will know. Did you know that Lauren Bacall has the same thing. Good luck and feel free to ask me any questions.

 
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Old 09-08-2006, 10:25 AM   #3
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Re: uncontrollable head shaking

Anxiety related to specific situations seems very treatable via cognitive therapy (coping techniques, exposure to the situation under controlled circumstances, etc.). You can probably even do it yourself but I'm not sure of the exact procedures.

 
Old 09-10-2006, 07:45 PM   #4
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Re: uncontrollable head shaking

Too stressed -

I have the EXACT same thing. I mean, EXACT. I noticed this started happening to me in my late teens. It would (and still does sometimes, unfortunately) mainly happen when I was eating in front of people and we caught eyes but also when people that were in some sort of authoritative position made eye contact with me as well. It is so bizarre because I've always been extremely confident and never had a problem in social situations but it has severely hindered my existence. It's like all of a sudden your neck starts to shake and you have to look away. I have been searching for what it could possibly be and have scared myself into believing I have some neurological problem, but unfortunately I really believe it is just tension from anxiety and for some reason our muscles in our neck respond more severely than others (as it is for some people who's hands or legs shake). If you happen to find any information on this, please post about it! I do know that the more you think about it and anticipate it happening, the worse it becomes.

 
Old 09-11-2006, 01:24 PM   #5
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Re: uncontrollable head shaking

.Ask your doctor AnnieinPa if you have Essential tremor or also known as familiar tremor.You sound just like me.Nothing to worry about and it can be helped.

Last edited by ms_mod; 09-12-2006 at 08:37 AM.

 
Old 09-11-2006, 05:49 PM   #6
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Re: uncontrollable head shaking

This also happened to me when I was in my teens. I remember feeling sooo embarassed and humiliated. I'm 38 now and it isn't as intense and I guess I cope with my anxiety a bit better now so the shaking doesn't get so bad. I have to admit I am terrified of public speaking especially in class. I sometimes feel like my face starts to shake, as silly as that sounds

 
Old 09-11-2006, 06:04 PM   #7
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Re: uncontrollable head shaking

I've had the same problem since my teens and I'm in my late 30's now. I know my problem came from anxiety. Meds and relaxation techniques help somewhat, but if I'm terribly nervous and am talking directly to someone, my head will shake, just like you all are describing. Sometimes I avoid talking with someone if I'm having anxiety, because I've already got it in my head that it will happen.

 
Old 09-12-2006, 04:26 AM   #8
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Re: uncontrollable head shaking

I am soo thankful for these message boards. So many things that happen to people have happened to me but at the time I thought I was so alone and the only one suffering. I can't tell you how many times I have mentioned symptoms to my Dr.'s and they seemed as if they didn't know what I was talking about, then I come here and I see people have similar problems as I do.

 
Old 09-12-2006, 06:40 AM   #9
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Re: uncontrollable head shaking

lorriem-
I can't tell you how thankful I am knowing there is a name to this! The only thing that scared me though is that when I researched essential tremor, it said that alot of times it gets progressively worse. There is a very lovely lady that goes to my church that I see whose neck goes back and forth constantly (she is maybe 70) and now I'm terrified that she has this and that is where I'm heading. Right now it is intermittent and as I said brought on by situations. Also I have a seven month old son and I have seen him make movements that mimic what we're describing and I am so heartbroken thinking he may have what I have. I couldn't stop crying to my husband yesterday because I'm still in my mid twenties, but this terrible thing has kept me from SO MANY things in my life. I couldn't interview for jobs, I had problems going out to eat with people and I just don't want the same for my children. I am so relieved though because for years in the back of my mind I have always believed that I have some terrible neurological disorder that just hasn't fully surfaced yet and that is where the tremors came from. Every doctor chalked it up to anxiety after I was tested for MS (which I still believed I had the early stages of until I found out about ET) and my scans came back fine. Anyway, thank you again for your posts (everyone!). It is so encouraging to know that this isn't all in my head!

Last edited by ms_mod; 09-12-2006 at 08:38 AM.

 
Old 09-12-2006, 06:43 AM   #10
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Re: uncontrollable head shaking

One more thing - do the meds really help? And if so, are the side effects bad?? Thanks!

 
Old 09-12-2006, 10:19 AM   #11
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Re: uncontrollable head shaking

Wow, I thought I was the only one who experienced a trembling head when I'm stressed. Mine started in my teens too (I'm 45 now) and would occur during oral presentations. In later life, my head would tremble on one to one interviews when I was asked a pointed question or whenever a question would shift to something specific about myself. You're correct, its feels involuntary and VERY difficult to control. If I had anti-anxiety meds back then, I would've definitely taken a small amount before an interview instead of suffering. My only option back then was to lean my chin in my hand when I answered questions which probably looked as foolish and categorized as "bad body language" as the shaking intself!

I vote for meds (some type of benzo) as needed. You don't have to take them on a daily basis. If you feel generalized anxiety all the time, you might want to consider talking to your doctor about starting on an SSRI for anxiety-it's been helping me.

 
Old 09-12-2006, 10:57 AM   #12
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Re: uncontrollable head shaking

ANNIEINPA
I also saw an older woman in my church (the choir director) get worse but that was when I was a teen.I am in 60 now and I very rarly shake so don't let one person who might not even have what you think you have bother you. Put that out of your mind. I also have a daughter who is 40 no shaking. I have three grandchildren no shaking. Do not worry. It is easy to say because I did also but the more you worry the worse you feel.Yes my dad and grandmother both had the same thing but today you can get help. I had a doctor when I was in my 20's who saw how upset I was and he found an article about familiar tremor and gave it to me to keep in my purse to read and if someone asked why I was shaking to show it to them.

As I said in my first post look at Lauren Bacall who has the same thing and she has been in movies longer then I have been alive.This doesn't get her down.
Also all babies make jerky movements please don't look for something that is not there.
Yes meds help please ask your doctor about this and about the part of it gets worse as you get older I have seen posts here that show you it doesn't.

Last edited by lorriem; 09-12-2006 at 11:04 AM.

 
Old 09-12-2006, 11:36 AM   #13
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Re: uncontrollable head shaking

I use to lean my chin on my hand also.I forgot about that.
Meds are the only way for me also.I did valium years ago but stopped since I wanted more children.I stopped the valium but only had the one child.What works for me is a beta blocker which is used also to stop stage fright and neurontin which is a do all drug for so many things.
Those two drugs helped me in my working life. I taught piano for many years and had to play also in concerts so the beta blocker help me with that. I also went into decorating and helped many people every day put their homes together. That required a lot of one on one time with people. Those two drugs helped me with that also.

Last edited by ms_mod; 09-12-2006 at 12:08 PM.

 
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