Mind Blowing ... Exploding Head Syndrome

A short film looking into how it feels to suffer from the sleep condition known as Exploding Head Syndrome

Is It All in My Head?

Despite the over-the-top name, your head doesn't really explode. The name does fit what goes on inside the dome of the rare person who does have this odd condition. I know from first hand experience what Exploding Head Syndrome feels like. My bouts were even stranger, because my brain ka-BOOMs happened in my teen years, and most of the time while I was awake.Just going about my day. As quickly and as unexplainable as these instances occurred... They stopped in my twenties.

I never thought much about the loud KA-BAMMs I felt, but I never forgot the feeling. I didn't even know it had a name, or that it was considered a "condition." I just thought it was just "one of those things." Until one day, I was listening to late night talk radio and the topic was Exploding Brain Syndrome.

Exploding Head Syndrome has been described as a very loud sound. Like that of an explosion, almost bomb-like. Some experience loud ringing, screams or shouts, and even buzzing-like sounds... just to name a few sounds that people have experienced. None the less the extremely loud sound is really shocking, but oddly enough, usually there is no pain, swelling or any other physical trait associated along with the mind explosion. Some people often complain of flashes of light during an attack.

Often the person who has this condition does feel a sense of fear and anxiety after an attack, and even an elevated heart rate, or even difficulty in breathing. But the same is true with any kind of sudden trauma such as vomiting, and many other illnesses. Although it is sometimes distressing to experience, its not thought as harmful to one's self.

Exploding head syndrome is rare and there is not much documentation regarding the subject. It most often occurs just before deep sleep, and sometimes upon coming out of a deep sleep. Attacks may increase or decrease and can disappear for long periods of time or entirely, without any reasoning. On average people over the age of 50 are most likely to experience Exploding Head Syndrome, and women are at a higher rate of experiencing Exploding Head Syndrome than men. EHS has been reported in people as young as 10 years old.

Exploding Head Syndrome is believed to be connected with stress and extreme fatigue. Though still what actually causes the mind blowing effect in individuals is still unknown... It is speculated that possible explanations are minor seizures affecting the temporal lobe, sudden shifts in middle ear, the Eustachian tube may suddenly move, or even an extreme case of tinnitus .

Even though, Exploding Head Syndrome is not considered dangerous, and does not seem to have an effect on sleeping, many people who do have the condition do seek help for their symptoms from a doctor. One medication that has been used to treat Exploding Head Syndrome is clomipramine, which is an antidepressant.

Since many believe that stress is causing the brain bomb, maybe a more natural or holistic approach may help? Some suggestions that could stop your dome from errupting, and could greatly improve your well-being anyway... Exploding Head or not. Many suggest these buffers to lower stress levels like reading, taking walks, yoga, relaxing music or a hot bath before bed (of course let's not discount the power of sex as a stress reliever.) These steps have not only demonstrated to be a positive effect in quality sleep, but in quality living in general.

What Causes Your Stress? Understanding Stress Management

Comments 39 comments

loua profile image

loua 6 years ago from Elsewhere, visiting Earth ~ the segregated community planet

Quite fascinating phenomena, its not surprising that stress might be the culprit, its the cause of so many aliments...

You would think that society would be more cognizant of the need to address stress as a social issue...

Good article, thanks for sharing it...


Jimmie Mac profile image

Jimmie Mac 6 years ago from Lurking around Florida Author

Thank you loua,

Stress is a time-bomb, for sure. I believe we were ment to live simpler lives in harmony with our surroundings... not to spend lives in cubicals and grid-lock


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

I think I'm THERE!!!!!


Jimmie Mac profile image

Jimmie Mac 6 years ago from Lurking around Florida Author

I hope not Lorlie6... for your own well being and quality of life


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

I hadn't heard about this syndrome, Jimmie. Very interesting. Enjoyed the videos, too.


Jimmie Mac profile image

Jimmie Mac 6 years ago from Lurking around Florida Author

Thanks from taking the time to read my little Hub on a rare condition William. Remember you not hearing of EHS is a good thing.


Dink96 profile image

Dink96 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

I thought I had done a fair amount of neuro research, but had never heard of this. Glad yours resolved itself; however I can imagine the sufferers' frustration of dealing with this afflication, yet having no real relief or adequate answers. I can very much relate to that experience. Very informative hub on an obscure topic. WELCOME back to writing! I for one have missed your style and substance.


Jimmie Mac profile image

Jimmie Mac 6 years ago from Lurking around Florida Author

Thank you Dink...


AEvans profile image

AEvans 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

I have heard that before and I didn't know what in the world it was! Thanks for providing greater insight on the issue. :)


Jimmie Mac profile image

Jimmie Mac 6 years ago from Lurking around Florida Author

Thank you for reading, AE. I would say have a blast, but it could be a poor choice in words.


Miss Take 6 years ago

well now we know, stress is a killer for sure


Jimmie Mac profile image

Jimmie Mac 6 years ago from Lurking around Florida Author

If it causes your brain to mimick an A-Bomb... its not good


Angela_1973 profile image

Angela_1973 6 years ago

I think I am there too but 7 p.m is my wine hour and then everything is better.


Enlydia Listener profile image

Enlydia Listener 6 years ago from trailer in the country

Was there pain accompanying the sound?


Jimmie Mac profile image

Jimmie Mac 6 years ago from Lurking around Florida Author

Enlydia Listener, there is no pain accompanying the sound, and thank you for taking the time to read and comment on both me Hub accounts.

Angela_1973, ha... the might powers of the grape estate elxir.


Tank Abbott 6 years ago

I suffer from this and feel I should share my symptons...

Basically, my explosions manifest themselves as loud whooshing sounds (think seashell against your ear or someone blowing really hard straight down your ear canal). Normally there's a pulse of three or four smaller ones which alert me that I'm having an ESH attack. When it occurs, I'm always very much aware of it and not sleeping.

Something I've noticed since finding out about the condition is that it induces mild sleep paralysis - I physically cannot move my limbs, although my head frequently twitches and my mouth can open, although I cannot vocalize sound.

It's only manifested itself for the last three years during unviersity, and I tend to have a few weeks where I have a lot of attacks and then no more for a long period of time.


Jimmie Mac profile image

Jimmie Mac 6 years ago from Lurking around Florida Author

Thank you Tank!

Your sharing the symptoms that you experience may help someone else who may suffer by isn't sure of what may be going on in their head.

I hope you find relief.


CarolR 6 years ago

This is the biggest pile of crap I have ever read. Honey, you need to do your Research! Microwave auditory effect. Electronic harassment. Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!


Old Woman Who Sits in The Dark 6 years ago

It sounds like you need to research electronic harassment since this is a likely cause of this "manufactured syndrome."


CarolR 6 years ago

I did not mean that I don't believe that you are experiencing your symptoms -- that is believable. I trust that you are going through those things. Please check out electronic harassment - it is on the rise in this country. Don't be fooled. Someone might be toying with you and making you think that you have a condition that you DO NOT HAVE. Best of luck to you, my friend.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

Certainly would not be a way I'd enjoy waking up. An odd condition to be sure.


Sinead 6 years ago

Hi I am an 19 yr old female and got this really loud continuous shouting noise in my head last night that got louder and louder and just before I woke out of it (I was half asleep) My arms and head raised up uncontrollably but it was like I was watching myself doing it... It was scary! So this morning I typed "dreaming of a loud noise in your head" into google and exploding head syndrome came up I couldn't belive it was actually a recognised medical condition. After reading symtoms etc it made me recall an incident quite similar about 9 months ago except this time I was awake I heard someone shouting something loud in my head except this time I thought they were saying words which I couldn't make out then I was quite frighted but thought "I must have been asleep" At this point I was wide awake and creeped out.. but this shouting was followed by an extremely loud noise it was like a school bell going off inside my head! I was creeped out by this for a few days but later forgot about it until last night.. I really hope this condition is nothing to worry about??? Thanks for reading, Sinead :)


Fenixfan profile image

Fenixfan 6 years ago from Mississippi

Dude this was great. You had me so skeptical when I saw the title. Definitely a great title and very well written. Something tells me you've been writing a while. Let me leave this and go become your fan. Gotta keep an eye on this kinda stuff.


Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 6 years ago from Minnetonka, MN

I know every year I have to go to the doc and get my ears cleaned out or I hear the loud train like sounds and pow. Tell your readers to keep the ol ears clean. It helps.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 6 years ago from USA

stess rears it's uglee head again!! no pun intended!!

informative, thanks! I don't have experience with it, but it sounds horrible! Good Luck and stay healthy!


MrMarmalade profile image

MrMarmalade 6 years ago from Sydney

Of all the pains that one usually achieve as you wonder through life the holy headache is one that I have managed to miss.


Specialk3749 profile image

Specialk3749 6 years ago from Michigan

I have never heard of this condition. Thank you for making me aware of it.


creativelycc profile image

creativelycc 6 years ago from Maine

Wow, I never heard of this. I'd like to research this. You must have been so frightened when you were experiencing this. So happy these episodes stopped in your twenties. Great hub, thank you for sharing!


tdarby profile image

tdarby 6 years ago

Amazing! That is possibly the craziest thing I have heard all month. I never knew this existed.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

This is very interesting. Thanks for sharing this information. Without this (new) knowledge my heart will surely abruptly cease to work when I hear an explosion in my head, for it will ‘think’ there is no more brains left in my head in need of oxygen-enriched blood. I like your style of writing. Take care!


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

WOW, I am so glad I meditate! I have felt pretty freakin stressed before! Well done and great reporting on the mind blowing exploding head syndrome.


lxxy profile image

lxxy 6 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

I used to get some of these effects. Pounding my head against the wall due to a migraine every time a killer low pressure system hit didn't help. haha..now in SoCal, don't have that problem.


sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator

EHS is a new one for me too. Love the image of the literal experience which is quite funny despite its lack of empathy. I've known quite a few who have experienced a chronic swelling of the head but the etiology of that affliction has been traced by W.H.O. to exploding ego.


Pagelift profile image

Pagelift 5 years ago

Exploding head syndrome, what a great name, but I'm sorry to anyone who is actually experiencing this!


Sembj profile image

Sembj 5 years ago

It was not until the third paragraph that I realized that the syndrome was for real - I think the photo while graphic made me wonder about the authenticity of what might accompany it. Even after reading your article, I had to Google the syndrome and read more. That tells you something about the state of my head. Thank you for the article, it's not everyday I hear about a syndrome with such an interesting name - but sad for those who live with it.


PSSST! profile image

PSSST! 5 years ago from Conneticut

I didn't know if this was for real at first.....still not sure...interesting...weird...


Bhanu.Jas profile image

Bhanu.Jas 5 years ago from Australia

Great Hub.It would be my pleasure to read your hubs.

Bhawana


Rae rae 4 years ago

Wow, so im not the only one, this morning I felt the same thing it I like my brain exploded. and I was wondering is this is a reoccurring thing. it was pretty scary.


Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

Great hub! The first picture took me off guard though! LOL

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