[intro]Coming under the category of parasomnia, Exploding Head Syndrome is a rare and exclusive condition that involves a series of events that occurs just preceding the onset of sleep. The condition is primarily manifested as a loud boom, not very different from a very loud explosion in your head.[/intro]
What Is Exploding Head Syndrome?
The onset of the event has been manifested in different ways from person to person. However, the common phenomenon observed is that of an extremely loud noise. The sound can be similar to a gun going off near your ear or a bomb explosion occurring right in your vicinity. There have also been sounds of loud cymbals and other undecipherable sounds.
Though there is no actual physical injury associated with this event, what makes this event even more distinct from other mental shock that occurs as a consequence can last for an extended period of time, sometimes lasting more than months and even years. Immediately after an event of Exploding Head Syndrome, there have been reports of victims experiencing visions of bright flashes of light. There have also been reports of bouts of shortness of breath. These are basically signs of elevated heart rate and the symptoms dissipate within a short span of time.
What Causes Exploding Head Syndrome
Exploding Head Syndrome has been mostly associated with extremely high levels of stress and fatigue. It has been observed that people over the age of fifty are most prone to this condition. There has not been a comprehensive study about this phenomenon since the events have not been appropriately documented by the victims. Due to this, the root cause of Exploding Head Syndrome has not been identified.
Another reason why the condition has not received any significant exposure is that the condition does not actually pose any major physical threat. In a lot of cases, it doesn’t even affect the sleep of an individual and hence medical attention is not sought following these events. They are perceived to be a one-off event and not taken lightly by the people around the victim. However, not it is deemed necessary to consult a physician to ascertain the symptoms are indeed indicative of this phenomenon and to rule out other physical or mental conditions.
Due to the lack of investigation into this condition, not many medications or treatment modules have been devised to treat this condition; however, in certain cases clomipramine, which is a known tricyclic antidepressant, has been used in treatment of this condition.
In recent times, quite a large number of people have been sharing their own experiences associated with Exploding Head Syndrome on public forums online. With more and more data coming in, health care professionals have been working on identifying a pattern and thereby identify the root cause of the condition, which will consequently help them to produce a formal therapeutic strategy.
Most incidents have been linked to lack of sleep in the victims and hence poor sleeping habits have been noted to put people at higher risk of developing the condition. In some cases, the episodes have been reported to occur in combination with “sleep paralysis” which can be a terrifying experience for the victim. One of the victims reported to have experienced sleep paralysis as condition similar to an experience of drowning. The victim remembers trying to kick in desperation to reach the surface, but failing to do so in end. In the case of Exploding Head Syndrome, the victim compares the event to somebody suddenly hiking up the volume to the maximum level on a radio on which static is playing. It would even leave the ears of the victim ringing for several hours after.
How To Deal with Exploding Head Syndrome
Health professionals who have been researching on the condition over the past couple of years have advised potential victims to take things easy and get involved in activities that can help the mind to calm down. Practicing proper sleep discipline can also go a long way when it comes to keeping such events at bay. Although the condition is not physically threatening and incapable of causing long term damage, victims of Exploding Head Syndrome are known to experience elevated stress levels, which could end up interfering with their normal life activities and deteriorating the quality of life.
From the perspective of somebody suffering from Exploding Head Syndrome, the most important aspect to be keeping in mind is that you are not alone in your experience and sharing your experiences can help make life normal.