Internal vibrations are like tremors (involuntary, repetitive and rhythmical movement) or shaking sensations that occur inside your body, in which you can feel them but not see them. The quivering sensation may be felt anywhere in your body, your head, arms, chest, abdomen, legs, or internal organs. Although they are not dangerous, they may cause discomfort in your daily life. As the severity varies from each person, some may not need treatment. The internal vibrations or brain shakes treatments depends on an accurate diagnosis of the cause.

These internal vibrations are thought to have the same cause as external tremors, where the nerves in your brain that control your muscles are damaged, but the shaking is too subtle to be seen. Some studies have suggested that internal vibrations are early, unusual symptoms of movement disorders, especially in people with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or essential tremor. Internal vibrations or brain shakes have also been associated with social anxiety or cessation of certain medications, especially antidepressants. The associated symptoms along with internal vibrations or brain shakes may give a clue of the cause.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disease that affects people over 60 years old due to the loss of brain cells producing dopamine. Symptoms other than internal vibrations include:

  • Slow, shuffling movements
  • Stiffness of the trunk, arms, legs
  • External tremors in the hands, limbs, face, jaw
  • Expressionless or “mask-like” face
  • Small handwriting
  • Dizziness, poor coordination and balance
  • Quiet or hoarse voice
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Constipation

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic condition that affects the central nervous system as the body’s immune system attacks and damages the nerves. It usually develops between the ages of 20 and 40. Symptoms other than internal vibrations include:

  • Muscle stiffness or weakness
  • Numbness in the arms, legs, body, face
  • Pain
  • External tremors
  • Dizziness, vertigo, poor coordination and balance
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred or double vision, color blindness
  • Speech difficulties
  • Difficulty controlling urination or bowel movements
  • Impairment of memory, attention, concentration, judgement

Essential tremor is the most common type of abnormal tremor that can develop at any age, more noticeable over the age of 40. It is associated with mild degeneration of the cerebellum which is the part of the brain that regulates the quality of a person’s movements. Symptoms other than internal vibrations include:

  • Head nodding
  • Small movements of the arms and legs when active
  • Twitching in the eyelids or face
  • Shaky voice
  • Poor balance
  • Difficulty with writing, buttoning a shirt, drinking from a cup
  • External tremors during voluntary maintaining a fixed position or performing tasks

Internal vibrations in the brain or brain shakes are a common symptom of anxiety, it is often described as if your brain was suddenly jolted or zapped. This sensation usually occurs sporadically and without warning, sometimes it can only be felt in your brain, or the entire head or body. Some common symptoms of anxiety other than internal vibrations include:

  • Dizziness
  • Trembling or external tremors
  • Shortness of breath, tight throat
  • Rapid heartbeat, chest pain
  • Chills, sweating
  • Numbness, pins and needles

Brain shakes that occur due to discontinuation of certain medications, such as antidepressants is part of an antidepressant withdrawal syndrome (AWS). These symptoms usually appear in days or weeks after you have stopped or decreased the dose of the antidepressant and may last a few weeks. Other symptoms that a person may experience include:

  • Headaches, dizziness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty with emotions
  • Nausea
  • Visual disturbances
  • Confusion
  • External tremors

Internal vibrations or brain shakes can be difficult to describe to your doctor since it is not seen. A diary of your tremor with information such as what time did they happen, what were you doing then, how long they lasted, what do they feel like, and any associated symptoms may help guide your doctor to a clearer diagnosis.