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BrokenPieces

Compulsive Muscle Contraction

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Okay, I have this totally weird thing that has gone on for years, but seems like it's gotten much worse lately. I HAVE to contract the muscles in the back of my head and in my neck constantly. I also have to "pull" the muscles around my eyes, and sometimes I have to suck air down my throat compulsively (this one tends to come and go). It's to the point on the neck/head/eyes thing where it it totally driving me crazy, interfering with my life. I have to do it until everything "feels right." And then the "feels right" goes away (in about 2 seconds) and I have to do it over again. I had a neck MRI today (because I get headaches from the nerves at the base of my skull, and I wouldn't be surprised if they were irritated because I have to do this all the time), and it was torture not to be able to contract these muscles while the scanning was going on. When I'm busy and don't notice it it's not a big deal, but when I get quiet (reading, watching a movie, especially just prior to going to sleep) it absolutely drives me insane.

Is this an OCD thing? I've never been diagnosed with it, but I'm definitely obsessive, and this seems pretty danged compulsive. When I was a little girl there were certain "rituals" I had to do (say the exact same made-up poem to my parents at night about seeing them the next day, so they wouldn't die during the night), and I still have a tendency to do ritualistic things (have to kiss my son on both cheeks at bedtime, have to say "See you in the morning!" as if that would keep anything bad from happening in the night).

So, what do y'all think? OCD?

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I think I would not rule out OCD, but I think I'd see a neuro doc. I'm no professional, but it seems some or all this could be a neuropathic challenge. I'd at least seek professional consultation regarding this condition. Don't be alarmed, quite often mental and neuro problems go hand in hand.

Warmest Regards,

Deepster

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I think I would not rule out OCD, but I think I'd see a neuro doc. I'm no professional, but it seems some or all this could be a neuropathic challenge. I'd at least seek professional consultation regarding this condition. Don't be alarmed, quite often mental and neuro problems go hand in hand.

Warmest Regards,

Deepster

I second this.

The right side of my neck goes crazy if I'm anxious. I was convinced it was neurological for years but recently learned my mind triggers it.

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Hi,

Currently I'm experiencing a milder version of what you just described (muscle-related rituals). It is pretty annoying. I can't tell for sure whether they're actually tics or compulsions. Out of a sudden I just feel like i have to twitch my facial muscles until it feels "just right".

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I finally found someone who experiences the same thing! This has been bothering me for years and it's always a different muscle I feel the urge to contract almost every minute. If it's not my arm/shoulder it's my neck or something. It really bothers me and I even end up in pain from doing it so often. That's what I keep wondering too, if it's OCD or something else.

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Yep, I am OCD and one of my many tics is a shoulder shrug. I also like to straighten out my leg muscles and flex them and sleep as stiff as a mummy when stressed.

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Personally I have a rather weird problem where, if I am paying attention to a muscle contraction on one side of my body, I have to "make it right" by balancing it out evenly on the other side, and some times I can only do this by performing the same muscle contractions with the opposing muscle group(in the presence of one) on both sides of the body until it feels perfectly even, again the only time I need to do this is when I think about it, it reminds me of when I gave up smoking and only really wanted a cigarette when I thought about it.

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Oh my God.

I thought I was just weird! I cant believe other people do this too! And I say to my mum when she asks why that it just doesnt feel right! I cant explain it any other way and then *bam* here you all are saying the same!

I love this site.

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Wow. I'm so relieved to have found this thread. My doctor and shrink both say they don't know what it could be, one tells me to ask the other about it.

I'm going crazy(er) with this thing. It usually starts while I'm driving and then lasts for the rest of the day. I'm SO TIRED OF IT! It's exhausting.

Any suggestions?

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davidood:

Welcome to DF. welcomeani.gif Look around. See that there are many forums. Don't be bashful about starting your own thread. Acquaint yourself with the posting guidelines and so forth.

You might try a behavioral response exercise. Try not doing this for just 30 seconds. Or less. Get good at trying to stop it for just a really short period of time. Then slowly, slowly increase the time. If you feel compelled to react or respond with some other compulsion delay for a short period of time.

In other words, try for short time outs and over time lengthen.....

tim

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I also cannot answer that question for you, but I think the neuro advice was really good advice.

I have no idea which of my many diagnoses this comes from, and I have ruled out anything neurological with my neurologist. I clench my teeth, all the time, even while sleeping, to the point that I have to take muscle relaxers every night. I have chronic tension headaches from it. I have frequent problems with rebound headaches from taking so much excedrine tension headache, I have to take breaks from them and switch to the prescription version - fioricet. It has been a nonstop battle for as long as I can remember.

I have tried relaxation therapy as well as biofeedback, chiropractic and physical therapy, but I have no improvement. They're all calling it TMJ, which usually means teeth grinding, but can include clenching as well. Mine gets much worse when stress or anxiety are high, when I'm in a social/panic situation and when I'm manic.One of my chiropractors actually referred me back to my dentist to have a specific kind of mouth piece made, not for grinding, but it's made with like cinderblock shaped pieces between your back teeth that keeps your mouth open far enough that your muscles are supposed to be unable to contract. Unfortunately, my insurance won't cover it. I guess they'd rather continue to pay for years and years of headaches then pay a couple hundred one time, but that's medicaid for you, they tend not to want to cover preventaive care, which makes very little sense to me.

Anyway, good luck figuring out what it is and finding the right treatment.

Take care,

Debbie

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I have had this for many years, but for the last 2 years it has been out of control.  Medicine doesn't seem to help.  Has anyone had any luck with a different method?

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Can't do anything with it. I keep contracting my muscles and it's not about any special part. It's about every little peace of my body, my all muscles. U contract all of them all the time. I can't relax. Never ever. It's getting hard to live this way. I can't handle it anymore, any advices?? :( 

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I started taking geodon which helps.  Its only when I am around a very few select people that I don't have some compulsion.  I have hidden it over the years, but the last couple years it has been worse.  I can't still my mind or body long enough for meditation, but for some it helps.

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3 hours ago, Hai said:

I started taking geodon which helps.  Its only when I am around a very few select people that I don't have some compulsion.  I have hidden it over the years, but the last couple years it has been worse.  I can't still my mind or body long enough for meditation, but for some it helps.

But Geodon has really bad side effects, what about them? And Does it help at all to stop muscle contracting? 

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I finally found someone who experiences the same thing, i have been having ocd for almost 12 years and i am on medications faverin +seroxat  i am much better with my obsessions and compulsions, however each time when i get stressed i have to contract my foot muscle in order to feel ok, and i keep thinking that will not be able to stop thinking of moving my foot muscle, and i have to contract my foot muscle again and again and this interfere with my daily life work and even when i am sitting home relaxed it just makes me crazy can anyone help and tells me how to deal with it!!!

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Ugh... i have had this for many years. It comes and goes but when it comes it can be very uncomfortable. Mine is the shoulder shrug on my right side but then gets in to my delts too. Really sucks. Feels like Parkinsons or something. 

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I’ve experienced the same for about 11 years or so. It started a after the doctors threw a bunch of different medications at me trying to help cope with my Tourette’s as a kid. I’m not sure if it’s a direct result of the medication, Tourettes, or some other cause I’m unaware of. I get this all over my body and it seems to mainly stay in my left shoulder but mine is pretty severe all over my body when I’m stressed and sitting still as well. I can’t sleep ever because of this unless my body is so exhausted that I’m able to sleep. It is  probably the most annoying thing ever, but I noticed when I’m busy I don’t even think about it so that’s a plus. When I do have it though I won’t be able to breathe properly if I don’t satisfy this annoying ass muscle contraction. 

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