Involuntary body shakes

Livi

New Here
I am wondering if anyone can connect to this. I have these big involuntary body shakes and jerks that come when I am anxious or very tired at the end of the day. They can last for some time and feel quite violent when they do. I also get them in the middle of the night if I wake up and find myself in that half wake/half sleep state. When they happen in the night I am awake and aware what's happening around me but I am in a different state/place, my ears are often blocked and I have a whooshing sound that stops me from thinking. I have had this since I was about 15 (I am 46 now and was diagnosed with PTSD about 8 months ago) and have only really started to pay attention to them and try and figure them out. They start as a feeling in my chest and stomach and it's like a build up of energy that the shaking seems to temporarily work out my system, and then it begins to build again. I know they are linked to dissociation and re-experiencing my childhood traumas and as a child I used to actively seek them and get comfort from them, as an adult I move between being frightened of them and searching for them as I did as kid. I thought I would reach out here as I have not read anything that I can fully connect with on line and would love to know how other people manage them. Thanks for reading.
 

Friday

Moderator
I am wondering if anyone can connect to this. I have these big involuntary body shakes and jerks that come when I am anxious or very tired at the end of the day. They can last for some time and feel quite violent when they do. I also get them in the middle of the night if I wake up and find myself in that half wake/half sleep state
The shakes, (& shits, & pukes) are super common with anxiety/adrenaline (and therefore PTSD)… as are “just” muscles shaking with exhaustion/fatigue, or in shock, &/or adrenaline crashing . Both (or all 4) are involuntary, and can last moments or hours, and be localised or widespread, be attached to very noticeable emotions or come ‘out of the blue’, and happen during waking or sleeping.

But I’m not sure either is what you’re referencing? They may be, and we simply have different definitions of big & violence & jerking.

- Hypnogogic Jerks more fit what you’re describing in the space between sleeping & waking

- Pseudoseizures / psychogenic seizures, meanwhile, more fit MY definition of big violent uncontrolled jerking… the kind of “fishing out” (flopping around like a fish) that adults do going through drug withdrawal, delerious with pain, or toddlers do whilst throwing an “I’m exhausted” tantrum… that’s far more about total loss of self-control, or near total loss. Including causing serious bodily harm to one’s self either through thrashing, falling, or loss of situational awareness (like collapsing on a street full of traffic) in addition to loss of self control so great that muscles no longer move in concert, but in flailing catastrophe.

Alternatively? You might also be referencing

- Stimming … which are -usually, but not always- rhythmic/repetitive jerks & rocking movements that are actually an extreme form of self-soothing used primarily by groups of people who have extreme emotions/overwhelm TO self-soothe / attempt to moderate & keep in line. Autism spectrum is best known for the HUGE variety of stimming methods, ADHD is somewhat lesser known for the “jouncing” leg thing (jackhammer/sewing machine fast bouncing on the ball of the foot) amongst others… correction, ADHD people annoy the crap out of most people with the various physical motions we use to self soothe… it’s just that most people don’t recognise it AS stimming/soothing. Because austistic stimming mostly just looks “odd” whilst ADHD stimming is “obnoxious”. But it’s not just people with innate sensory issues/emotional overload who stim to self soothe. Someone rocking back and forth with grief, someone pounding on the dirt -or a nearby strong chest- in hurt/betrayal, an adult rocking or patting a young child… lots and lots of people use (big & usually repetitive/rhythmic, but not always) movement to self soothe

Or?

- Something else entirely. Like many people deal with shaking/jerking in response to certain nutritional deficiencies or medical conditions, and every single one I know of? Gets worse under stress, or when you’re tired.
 

Livi

New Here
The shakes, (& shits, & pukes) are super common with anxiety/adrenaline (and therefore PTSD)… as are “just” muscles shaking with exhaustion/fatigue, or in shock, &/or adrenaline crashing . Both (or all 4) are involuntary, and can last moments or hours, and be localised or widespread, be attached to very noticeable emotions or come ‘out of the blue’, and happen during waking or sleeping.

But I’m not sure either is what you’re referencing? They may be, and we simply have different definitions of big & violence & jerking.

- Hypnogogic Jerks more fit what you’re describing in the space between sleeping & waking

- Pseudoseizures / psychogenic seizures, meanwhile, more fit MY definition of big violent uncontrolled jerking… the kind of “fishing out” (flopping around like a fish) that adults do going through drug withdrawal, delerious with pain, or toddlers do whilst throwing an “I’m exhausted” tantrum… that’s far more about total loss of self-control, or near total loss. Including causing serious bodily harm to one’s self either through thrashing, falling, or loss of situational awareness (like collapsing on a street full of traffic) in addition to loss of self control so great that muscles no longer move in concert, but in flailing catastrophe.

Alternatively? You might also be referencing

- Stimming … which are -usually, but not always- rhythmic/repetitive jerks & rocking movements that are actually an extreme form of self-soothing used primarily by groups of people who have extreme emotions/overwhelm TO self-soothe / attempt to moderate & keep in line. Autism spectrum is best known for the HUGE variety of stimming methods, ADHD is somewhat lesser known for the “jouncing” leg thing (jackhammer/sewing machine fast bouncing on the ball of the foot) amongst others… correction, ADHD people annoy the crap out of most people with the various physical motions we use to self soothe… it’s just that most people don’t recognise it AS stimming/soothing. Because austistic stimming mostly just looks “odd” whilst ADHD stimming is “obnoxious”. But it’s not just people with innate sensory issues/emotional overload who stim to self soothe. Someone rocking back and forth with grief, someone pounding on the dirt -or a nearby strong chest- in hurt/betrayal, an adult rocking or patting a young child… lots and lots of people use (big & usually repetitive/rhythmic, but not always) movement to self soothe

Or?

- Something else entirely. Like many people deal with shaking/jerking in response to certain nutritional deficiencies or medical conditions, and every single one I know of? Gets worse under stress, or when you’re tired.
Thank you for this @Friday I appreciate your detailed response. There is definitely some stimming to soothe going on and I think also some release of anxiety and adrenaline. I am taking in all that you wrote and am going to take some time with it. I did today ask my husband to describe to me what he sees when this happens. Apparently - my shakes don't 'look' as violent or as big as they feel. Just writing this and then letting him read your response today was so great to help us discuss this. You have helped me (and us!) heaps.
 

nearlife6712

New Here
I am experiencing different 'patterns' of shakes/tremors in different parts of the body . I've read about shaking as a form of trauma release . Following these movements and behaviors. Probably not common to everyone but apparently to some.
 
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