Head Shakes/ Neck tension


So I don’t know if this is related to social anxiety but I was doing research and saw a lot of stories that I can relate to on here. I made an anonymous account because I really don’t know what to do at this point and this seems to be taking over my life.

I’m in my last year of high school and I started getting headshakes about 3 months ago (new years day) while I was at a lunch with family friends. I remember it so vividly and the fear and confusion I was feeling when it happened. I brought a glass of water to my mouth and it felt like my neck almost froze then started shaking. These were super quick shakes but it was the longest feeling I’ve ever felt. That day I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was so embarrassing, but I then came to the conclusion that it was just the alcohol from the night before. I quickly forgot about it until I went to an event with my parents and there were a lot of my parents’ friends there who I had conversations with. I was fine talking to them while standing, but then as we went to the dinner table, that’s when things got horrible for me. While I was having a conversation with one of my dad’s friends, I picked up a glass as he was talking. As I went to put my lips on the glass, my neck tended up and shook so quickly but I knew he noticed it. After that I felt a lot of embarrassment and I remained quiet, lowkey and blunt. I then had to leave because I couldn’t take it anymore. Why is this happening to me?

Another time was last month, when I had an incredible opportunity to meet someone very well known. I admired his work and was thrilled to meet him. Throughout our whole conversation however, my neck was so tense, just waiting to jolt or make my head shake. I was so interested and intrigued by what he was saying to me and another 2 students next to me, when suddenly he looks at me in the eye mid sentence and my neck feels like it’s about to burst. I tried to stop it but it was completely out of my control. My head shook for less than a second but I still pray that he didn’t notice it.

Lately it’s been getting worse. My neck feels constantly tense and it makes me want to avoid social situations at all costs. I was giving out handouts in class and all throughout i could just feel my neck tensing up, about to shake. I also can rarely move my neck without their being the smallest jolt or twitch. I do t know what’s wrong with me and it’s beginning to terrify me. My best friend invited me to dinner with his family this weekend and I want to go so badly but I don’t know if I can because I’m scared that I’ll look stupid.

I want to talk to someone about this but I’m worried they won’t understand or they’ll think it’s silly. At this point I really don’t know what to do and how to stop it. I’m not a person who tends to be socially awkward or worry about things all the time. In fact, I’m pretty outgoing and I love meeting new people so I don’t know where this condition came from. Next year I’ll be going to my dream college and I can’t wait but I’m also terrified that whatever is going on with me will impact my ability to connect with new people and enjoy my time at college. It’s a huge relief to know I’m not alone but I’m just sick of it and will try anything to stop it. Last month I went through 2 weeks where I was just totally depressed and angry because of it. I was a different person.

I made this anonymous post because I wanted to talk directly to someone who might understand what I’m going through at the moment. Please if you have even the littlest knowledge of what this is/ how to stop it then let me know because I’m terrified this will take over my life. Thank you.


Perhaps you might enter into this discussion:


Hi there,
I can completely relate as this used to happen to me before I was diagnosed. Sertraline is the only med that really helped although there are side effects. The point is please get help. There is help you understand; you cannot afford to try to fix this on your own. Avoiding people and places is a HORRIBLE way to exist.


I’ve dealt with this and deal with very intense feeling symptoms at times. The therapy can be very helpful but it takes time, practice, and patience. The Social anxiety Automatic Cycle is a handout in the series and talks about these types of social anxiety symptoms and why it happens and how to get better. That and the correlating session where this handout is discussed in the series, I believe it’s session 12, are very helpful in their discussion of these types of issues and have provided me with much needed relief at times. You should perhaps review them if you want to. However, I’d recommend you go through the series step by step as it’s just a symptom of social anxiety. I do realize it can feel extremely intense because I’m dealing with and have dealt with similar stuff. For the record, I’m just a series user and not a professional.

Good luck.