Dealing with Depression/head tingling


For the past 4 years I have been experiencing constant head tingling and head pressure.
The head tingling is a weird sensation which feels like constant small vibrations across my eye brows, all the way to the back of my scalp.

My GP told me these are anxiety symptoms and put me on paxil, then Effexor. After no change I was sent to see a neurologist, had an mri and CT scan, all found nothing.

I then saw a psychiatrist who said it could be depression and put me on Cymbalta.

**First Time:**
I was at work and all of a sudden I experienced a moment of complete loss of balance and had to hold on to something stable. This vertigo sensation lasted a couple more days, at random moments, but I have been having the head tingling/head pressure since.

*Paxil (Paroxitine) 20mg - Stayed on this for 6 months. The head tingling came every other day but it did reduce the intensity.
*Paxil 40mg - 1 year - Basically the same as above.
*Effexor 75mg & 150mg - No change.
*Paxil 40mg - same as above.
*Cymbalta 60mg - Felt the biggest relief from this, improved mood but still getting them.
*Cymbalta 120mg - Where im at now and experiencing it bad lately.

The only thing I feel reduces these symptoms is sleep and I only attribute this to being able to rest more on the weekend's and I experience this less.

My Dr and dentist both told me I should get a mouth guard for TMJ.

any help is MOST appreciated.


Hi Adam,

I am not an MD, but a PhD.  But, in my years of practicing psychotherapy my clients have told me many things regarding how their meds have or have not helped them. So, I can pass some of this info on to you.

What may help you is your being your own detective.  That is,start to look for patterns when your head is tingling a lot, or a little, or not at all. Make a daily chart to help you find patterns.  

1.  Start a "head tingling" daily chart.  What was the weather like at that time.  Any allergies?
   Did something stressful happen?   Are you hungry? Feeling angry?  Are you overtired?   What did you just

   I've worked with many people suffering from depression, and quite a few have mentioned, that their head tingles.   One Psychiatrist mentioned there are a few of his clients have stated that the head tingles may be a sign that because the anti-depressant is working.  Some people state that their head "fulls full" or like "someone is stuffing cotton into their brain."

I tend to agree more with the psychiatrist who said it may be more depression than anxiety.  Although it is common for anxiety to go along with depression.

Do you find yourself feeling more fatigue lately?  Do you feel you need more rest more often?
This may be depression, or it may be a mild form of a chronic fatigue if it has lasted for more than 6 months.  

In the winter months, are you more tired?  If so, you may have a mild form of Seasonal Affective Disorder (seasonal depression).

Did your symptoms get worse when the Cymbalta was increased?  Should you have it decreased?

You mentioned you lost your balance.  Have you had your ears examined to see if you may have a balance problem?

Also, you may want to check out some medical blogs.  Check out "People like me".  I don't have the exact web site.  I've just scanned it and saw people blog and support each other through their various diseases or ailments.

Effexor has shown some bad side affects.  Effexor has caused anger, road-rage, and suicidal thoughts.  The more the medication was increased the more the person felt suicidal and immediately the doctor got that individual on to Lexapro which has helped that individual.
I've read many negative anecdotal stories on the internet about the dangers and personalty changes Effexor has caused. Quite a few of my clients have adjusted to Cymbalta very well.
However, every single person has a different biochemical system.  It is trial and error with some meds. Stick with your Psychiatrist.  They have more education studying brain chemistry ad medications that the regular GP does not have.

Keep close contact with your psychiatrist when you notice feeling worse, dizzy, more tired, the head tinging, etc.

Get the mouth guard and see if it helps.  Some of my clients have said that the mouth guard relieved headaches and or head pressures.

Lastly, get on the internet and just type in keywords like: "head tingling"   "head pressure"
"People Like me" site, "medications that help head tingling,"   etc.  Whatever you think up, just type it in the search box.

Hope these ideas help you.

Dr. Pat  

Dealing with Depression

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Patricia A. Schafer, Ph.D.


I received my Ph.D. from Kent State,in Ohio in Counseling.I specialize in various forms of depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and forms of addictions such as substance abuse,eating disorders and gambling. My licenses are: Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor -Supervisor(LPCC-S) and Licensed Professional Chemical Dependency Counselor (LICDC) My experience includes counseling substance abusers, families of alcoholics/drug addictions, and codependency issues. I also specialize in social phobia; stress; anxieties; women`s issues; grief and adjustments to life changes. Some therapeutic techniques used are: CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behaviorial Therapy)REBT (Rational Emotive), SFT (Solution Focused) and 12-Step, etc. If you live in the Cleveland area, you can contact me at my office for an appointment at: 440-349-4521. I accept insurance and EAP programs.


Twelve years experience as a professional clinical counselor; 30 years member of Al-Anon.


Experiences of prejudice among individuals in African American and Caucasian Interracial Marriages: A Q-methodological Study (Doctoral Dissertation - December 2008; Wilsnack and Beckman's book: Alcohol Problems in Women (1984). Alcohol use and marital violence: Female and Male Differences in reactions to alcohol(pages 260-279.

Ph.D. in Counseling - Kent State MS in Counseling - John Carroll University BS in Psychology - University of Pittsburgh

Awards and Honors
Previous president of NCOCA (North Central Ohio Counseling Association); previous president of Chi Sigma Iota. Two years VISTA volunteer on Navajo reservation in Inscription House and Shonto.

Past/Present Clients

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