Lexapro withdrawal brain zaps can begin to appear during abrupt cessation, after a missed or reduced dose, and can occur at random when taking the drug as prescribed.These disturbing sensations also occur after using street drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy, often after a period of binge use. Zaps also typically accompany withdrawals from other antidepressants as well as benzodiazepines and other hypnotics and CNS depressants.
Sensations of jolts of electricity going through the head, neck and down the spine and outward can persist for days, weeks and even months. The term brain zap does not come from medical literature, per se, but is taken from vivid anecdotal descriptions. Despite their disconcerting characteristics, medical research has not provided complete answers so far to brain shocks, shivers, jolts and zapping.
Organic Chemicals and CNS Support
The body in its seemingly miraculous complexity, produces organic chemicals (neurotransmitters) that take care of essential functions such as muscle movement, coordination, expression of emotions, and uncountable others. Toward a simple comparative analogy, one might visualize an irrigation system that serves an orchard full of trees. The spacing of trees (like the spaces between nerve cells), enables continuous transfer of essential water and nutrients along an orderly irrigation line and keeps the orchard alive and thriving. If one were to cut that irrigation line, the result would be a haphazard mess of drowning tree roots in some spots where the water floods over, and withered trees from the drought and nutrient deficits created in other places.
The breach of irrigation lines would generate chaos and begin to degrade the vitality of the orchard. One notices that to fix such a disaster does not involve pouring experimental chemicals into the soil but fixing the cut irrigation lines and perhaps remembering to fertilize the soil richly with organic raw materials. The body, like the orchard, needs to be supported with the right nutrients to keep thriving and healthy in the same way.
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While the entire picture remains far from complete, pieces of information hopefully shed some light regarding the mechanics of electricity and the brain. Neurologists study the way electrically charged neurons “fire” from cell to cell within the brain and CNS, sending impulses along the axons (could be likened to hydro lines strung pole to pole that send power across a city). Thankfully, hydro lines are insulated, so we don’t get electrically shocked or zapped when we walk or drive down the street.
Similarly, there is a myelin sheath (covering) that insulates the whole length and breadth of each nerve cell (neuron). The sheath wraps the long axon part of the neuron (like the trunk of a tree is insulated and protected by tree bark), and this insulation extends out over each of the tens of thousands of synapses that string themselves outward from the cell body (interestingly, these closely resemble the branches of a tree).
An example to illustrate the mechanics of electrical flow might be the sparks that fly after a windstorm brings down and severs electrical power lines. Hopefully, you have only witnessed this on film or video. The point is that electrical impulses flow perfectly along an insulated line until a breach impedes and disrupts the flow of electrons. One also notices that to fix a cut power line involves mainly restoring the integrity of the insulation around the wire. The electricity flow will take care of itself once that insulation breach is repaired. No more sparks.
Nutrition Plays an Important Role
These observations may seem oversimplified, but indeed the analogy is intriguing enough to invite further study of the mechanics that may be connected to brain shivers and uncomfortable electrical jolts and how to best heal from and avoid them. Within this amazing symphony of electrical flow and organic chemical metabolization and action, the brain and CNS are designed to perform thousands of coordinated and health sustaining tasks. A big part of brain and CNS support is providing the right raw ingredients to fuel the machine, which is why we value the role of nutrition so highly, as one of the most important and fundamental parts of our program at Alternative to Meds Center.
Healing After Lexapro Withdrawal Brain Zaps
Through their research, neuroscientists tell us that the myelin that wraps and insulates nerve cells is made of fat and other components. Myelin is destroyed by drugs, alcohol, high sugar, poor sleep, vitamin and mineral imbalances and deficiencies, and other known factors.
While no one has yet determined that degraded myelin sheathing is 100% responsible for zaps during and after drug binges and withdrawal, certainly no harm and possibly much good could come from doing the things that support adequate myelin production.
Alternative to Meds Center provides a holistic drug withdrawal and recovery program which abides by the nutritional guidelines of orthomolecular medicine and seeks to repair and stabilize neurochemistry after drug and alcohol damage. Nutrition, improved sleep and removal of neurotoxins play no small role in the repair of health where substances such as antidepressants or others have damaged or impacted nerves, myelin, and other tissues and their vital functions in a healthy body.
Find Out More
Contact Alternative to Meds Center to find out more about our protocols that aim to help those in recovery from drugs and other substances through a comprehensive treatment program that involves restoring health, and removing impediments to health, in a very comfortable residential setting. We will happily provide detailed information concerning our phases of treatment that may assist you or a loved one who seeks help with the correction of addictive biochemistry, safe medication reduction, and other issues including Lexapro withdrawal brain zaps.
This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.
Dr. Samuel Lee
Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente. He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.
Diane is an avid supporter and researcher of natural mental health strategies. Diane received her medical writing and science communication certification through Stanford University and has published over 3 million words on the topics of holistic health, addiction, recovery, and alternative medicine. She has proudly worked with the Alternative to Meds Center since its inception and is grateful for the opportunity to help the founding members develop this world-class center that has helped so many thousands regain natural mental health.
Medical Disclaimer: Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.