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Sudden Paralysis

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I suddenly freeze. Cannot move, except eyeballs. Cannot talk, my tongue plants itself on the roof of my mouth, and then my jaw drops. I am in whatever position I was in sometimes for over a hour. Other people can move me, but I will stay in that position that they leave me in. My mind is conscious, and aware of my surroundings. Sometimes I tremor or shake a little, especially my head. Sometime is accompanied with a headache. I have been hearing voices, terror screaming, dogs fighting, sensation that mice are running over me in my bed. It started a few years ago. Gets worse at night. I told my doctor, but she doesnt really seemed concerned, put me on Abilify. That medication seemed to amplify it. My friends say I am faking it, and to go get a good nights sleep. I sleep at least 6 hours a night, eat all the time, work hard. It is scary, there is no information on it. What is it?

Sudden Paralysis

Answered by on -


Your experience sounds very frightening. What you may be experiencing might be a form of sleep paralysis, which is not an uncommon sleep disturbance. You might find this technology, education and design (TED) video informative. In the video, Ami Angelowicz explains the experience of sleep paralysis. I can’t say that this is what you are experiencing because I would have to see you in person to make a diagnosis but you might find the (TED) video of interest.

Your symptoms may be caused by an underlying sleep disorder and exacerbated by the medication Abilify. It’s important that you revisit this issue with your doctor. If he or she is unconcerned, ask for a referral to a sleep disorder clinic to undergo a sleep study. A sleep study often requires an overnight stay so that doctors can monitor your sleep cycle and check for irregularities. Once you undergo the sleep study, you may have a better understanding of what is happening. Sleep disorder specialists may have a solution to this problem. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Sudden Paralysis

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Sudden Paralysis. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 20, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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