Jerking in response to a mildly concerning thought

Less than 2 years ago I developed some very violent jerks which could go on and on, mostly at the trunk, throwing me about usually when in bed. They gradually went away but in the last few days there have been 4 or 5 isolated occurrences of something very similar that strikes me as a hugely exaggerated startle reaction as if somebody set off a klaxon horn right behind me and I literally tried to jump out of my skin, except that rather than the stimulus being say a sudden noise or unexpected touch, it seems to be triggered by a mildly concerning thought; not even that much of a big deal. For example, it happened this morning when I remembered that I would have to check the wheel tracking of my car due to making a low impact with the curb last night. This thought prompted me to violently ‘jackknife’ in the bed. Has anyone experienced this?

That sounds extremely distressing. I haven’t experienced that exactly but I get a spasm in my ribs left side, mostly mild but sometimes it’s more like an electric shock and that makes me jerk. I also over react to sudden noises - lots of things now make me jump.

I put it down to nerve damage or anxiety (which I’m being treated for - my MS nurse said there was nothing she could give me for my ribs!) or, more likely a mixture of both. If I’m worrying about something the rib spasm often starts.

I’m afraid I don’t have anything to suggest that will help. I’m trying to do a bit of exercise, some meditation and some tai chi and I think these things help me a bit.

All the best - J.


I might have asked you this before, or perhaps it was another poster.

But are you on any antidepressants at the moment?

I used to find an exaggerated “startle” response was a side-effect of some ADs, notably citalopram.

Used to nearly hit the roof just from the post dropping through the letterbox in the morning.



Hey Tina, That’s interesting ! I’m on citalopram and I jump like a bitch at the slightest thing… My great uncle had shell shock from ww1, used to jump at sudden noises by all accounts. Kinda feel like that, so good to know it could be the happy pills and not that my nerves are shot to shite… Andy

Hi I think I have a similar thing to what you experienced 2 years ago, although it affects various parts such as my knee jerking up and my head whipping round to one side, this happens when I’m relaxed. I’m also easily startled although that’s by something happening. Anyway my point is nothing has ever been decided as to why this happens but I have found that tegretol can be helpful. Maybe ask your neuro about it, it might help.

I also didnt get an explanation from the doc last time, though I have been put on Amytriptaline since. Maybe I am having something of a relapse. I am not on anti-depressants Anitra, but now you mention it I do seem to recall your earlier post - it must have been me. I will endeavour to look back through my past posts (just wish the site search tools made it straightforward) . Happened again today when I saw an internet news story on type two diabetes - which I have. Cant say I worry too much over that - I suppose not nearly enough really when I consider the advice of the doc, but its as if thoughts/topics that my brain has tagged as something to worry about or potentially worry about, trigger a response or nervous process that has come to be magnified out of all proportion. I really would like to get to the bottom of it but since I am not diagnosed I am very wary of asking to be referred back to my neuro unless its incontrovertible evidence of something neurological.

Ah, sorry if I repeated myself. The subject matter seemed vaguely familiar, but I wasn’t sure, and certainly not sure if it had been you (similar posts don’t always mean same poster).