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Eye clinching and rolling, unwanted memories, urge to shake violently. What is going on?

Dec 2014
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Practicing since : 2007
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Hi, I'm a 27 y/o Caucasian male. I have trouble with memories creeping in, and if I'm not fond of these memories even if its unwaranted I get the overwhelming urge to shake violently if I'm alone. If I'm around people they manifest with eye clinching and then rolling them up or to the side until the urge passes. As long as i'm engaged in conversation or there is a lot of noise around these urges come maybe once an hour sometimes not for weeks. Everytime I think I'm done with them they come back. However one constant is they are always accompanied by a memory of me doing something or saying something, typically very vivid almost as an unwanted day dream. They could be memories from 10 days ago or 10 minutes, and typically are as simple as me saying something to someone and it not coming out the way I wanted, and regardless of the response it got I get that urge to have a pseudo-seizure. My best guess is its psychological in nature and just a stress factor. Possibly, because they happen more frequently when I'm alone and it is quiet enough for my mind to drift uninvited, they are just my mind keeping itself awake and getting my body involved by going through pathways that are associated with something other than pleasantries. Maybe its just that the memories were not formed properly and it causes me to remember them differently then I would have liked to which stresses my brain. Anywho I'm no doctor so I'm interested if anyone could tell me whats going on. I don't want this urge to have a pseudo-seizure to become too strong to control in a place like work. Good to note that the eye clinching did not start happening until recently, probably the last year or so, while the shaking in private has gone on for more than 10 years, so there is a trend that its growing harder to control.
Posted Wed, 10 Apr 2013 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi 48 minutes later
Welcome to Health Care Magic

First of all a brief summary of your condition-
You are a young caucasian male, with no significant past history. Total duration of illness is about 10 years. You have complaints of unwanted memories creeping in and these memories are followed by urge to shake body or clinch eyes in public. These urges occur often. You are aware of that these symptoms are wrong but you are not able to control them.

Now coming to discussion-
Most likely these symptoms are due to a disorder called as OCD). It is a type of Anxiety Disorder. Obsessions and compulsions are its features.
Obsessions are repetitive idea, impulse or thoughts that are intrusive and dominating, they invariable produces distress to individual.
Compulsions are motor acts that are done in order to avoid distress associated with obsession.

In you situation- You have problem of unwanted intrusive memories creeping in. These memories dominate your mind and you try to avoid these, but you can't control them. Memories are followed by urge to shake or clinch eyes. These are producing anxiety and stress in you. In a number of cases OCD is associated with tics also.

Now coming to management part-
Treatment is required in this situation because if not managed at this state it will progress further and will affect your work and social life. Management include both Medicinal (Pharmacological) and Non medicinal (Non pharmacological/Psychological) treatment. Combination of both is best in managing OCD.

Medicines like SSRI as Fluoxetine, Paroxetine, Fluvoxamine etc. are given in high doses to treat OCD. These are very effective and have very less side effects. Other drugs as Clomipramins can also be used in management. Opinion by a good psychiatrist is needed for that.

Psychological management is also very useful. First of all individual is taught to relax himself by deep breathing exercises, by showing relaxing pictures or by light music etc. After relaxation under controlled condition he is asked to think about his problem. When memories creep in he is asked to avoid or delay the shakiness or eye clinching. With practice individual learn to control symptoms (Exposure and Response Prevention Technique). Behavior therapy by a psychologist is most useful in cases of OCD. Thought Stopping techniques are other methods.

I will advise you to do light exercises, practice yoga and meditation for relaxation. This will help you to avoid the memories and consequent shakiness or pseudo seizure. Visit a good Psychiatrist near by for proper evaluation.

Hope I cleared your doubt. I will be happy to answer you again if you have more queries.

Dr.Seikhoo Bishnoi MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Eye clinching and rolling, unwanted memories, urge to shake violently. What is going on? 6 hours later
Hey thanks, I was leaning on the OCD side, as I find that actively doing things just to do them as avoidance techniques are helpful, although I don't do most of them obsessively as of yet, which I'm sure is where a lot of people end up with having to do things over and over and over again just to avoid certain things they know will cause them anxiety like checking the locks a dozen times. I don't do things like that, as I said yet but I have worried that it might be coming to that. Living alone its very easy to get a little lost with these things as there are not enough distractions around. I will try the meditation and once the weather warms up I will try doing some light jogging and running and maybe listen to music when I do both, possibly jazz or classical, other then my contemporary rock which is fun but not necessarily relaxing and actually promotes shaking and harsh movements of the body when listening to heavy beats. Probably where I got the avoidance technique of shaking was from listening to rock, and conditioned myself that violent shaking was the best way to where I didn't even need the music to produce an reaction anymore. Thanks again if those simple techniques don't work I will try therapy or maybe some natural relaxers before I go the route of pharmaceutics. I think its still early enough that over time I may be able to condition my body to react normally to these unwanted stress.

On a side note I do have extreme social anxiety at times. I can remember times where I would lock myself in a room and pretend to be sleeping to avoid talking with visiting family or friends. Not sure if its the post-reaction that causes the anxiety or its the anxiety that is the root of the reaction. If the social anxiety is the root then I will probably need to start using medication, but I feel if I start my day with relaxation techniques and get the blood flowing right then my mind should be able to handle it. We will see.
Answered by Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi 3 hours later
Hello again

If you can try light jogging, meditation and other relaxation exercises like I have mentioned you will definitely see improvement. This is not a typical OCD but as you are young and you are having some features, it may progress. Try to avoid the things by self-control or avoidance techniques.

Social Anxiety is a part of Anxiety Disorder. Avoidance of friends or family members may be a part of anxiety. However, I think root cause is not social anxiety but it is anxiety associated with OCD. Due to obsessional memories and compulsive jerking you have started avoiding people. It is a normal part in OCD. When OCD will come under control, you will definitely see improvement in your social anxiety.

Wish you a good health. If you are satisfied with conversation, please review.

Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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