Friday, 19 March 2010

Exploding Head Syndrome

One has these conversations after a couple of gins. You know the ones; when you discover you're not the only person who knows how many panes of glass there are over the door of No.10, Downing Street; who stumbles on a paving stone and then looks around to see if anyone was watching; or who has met Tom Baker in a filling station.

K and I were having one of these last night, and I mentioned what I'd never admitted to before; that sometimes, just as I was dropping off to sleep, I'd experience a sound like a pistol shot inside my head.

Her eyes lit up with recognition (and I sensed, relief), because she'd had that too. It sent me Googling, and it turns out, according to Wikipedia and other sources, that we've both had 'Exploding Head Syndrome'.

Good name. Nobody knows what it is or what causes it and there are no known side effects, but we are not alone. Apparently it coincides with stress (which probably explains why I haven't had it since I started my gap decade). Some people get voices or bells, but mostly it's like a gun or a bomb going off...except you know it's in one's head, not outside.

I'm intrigued at how this is going to look on my CV. "Known Medical Conditions: Exploding Head Syndrome." I've a feeling that this may not be a major plus, but like any child of the 60s, I'll wear it with pride.

Which reminds me, dear blog friends. I just don't seem to be posting as much at the moment and, loyal though you all are, I really don't deserve to be on your side bar. I'm not going to stop, and do please call in from time to time, but I seem to have temporarily lost my regular blogging mojo, so I really don't merit a mention at the moment, and I won't be in the least offended if you remove me pro tempore.

Besides, it mightn't look good, to be flagging someone with Exploding Head Syndrome.


  1. What a owndeful syndrome title....Mr. Fly is very jealous, his just has a boring medical name.

  2. What is the syndrome when you can't damn well type when sober called?

  3. sugar, if y'all only posted once a quarter, i'd still bloglist y'all! bless your heart, i just love seeing y'all at the top of the list with every new post! re: y'all's malady, we must have taken the same drugs! ;~D xoxoxoxo

  4. Hi!
    That is most interesting. I don't get that but I get falling sensation which wakes me up just as I have dropped off. Wonder if that has a name? Congratulations to K on passing her test!

  5. your feed languishes in dignity on my blog roll and will continue there!

    Aloha from Hawaii my Friend!

    Comfort Spiral

  6. Nope, you're staying on my sidebar mister. If for no other reason than you're my first exploding head syndrome blogger. Can't say I've experienced it myself - I tend to get the much more common "feeling like you're falling" syndrome just before I, er, drop off...

  7. but when you do bob up it's so interesting

  8. I HAVE THIS - yes, I am shouting because I thought I was alone too. It doesn't often happen but it is like a very loud noise and I am astonished that the bichons sleep through it - until I realise that it is inside my head.

    Thank you oh thank you for telling me what this is - and no, you are staying put on my sidebar.

  9. Yup, you're stuck on my sidebar. I am not fickle in my affections. And you have a syndrome. That's better than just having insomnia.

  10. Fly - I think that's known as a snydrome.

    Savvy - Ah, our mispent youths. Wish I remembered mine better.

    Sarah - Hypnic Jerk. Sounds like a tiresome cross between a hippy and a beatnik.

    Cloudia - Thank you. I feel honoured to be there.

    Steve - I wonder whether the falling one is an archetypal throwback to when we slept in trees.

    Lulu - I'm not sure if I'm bobbing up or drowning.

    Fancy - Welcome to the Exploding Head Club! The first time is unnerving, isn't it? I remember thinking 'aneurism'. Like you it's very infrequent, but it doesn't half wake one up.

    Madame DeF - I hadn't thought of it like that. Quite a good syndrome, too. Nothing red brick about it.

  11. I have this too! It is particularly annoying when it happens in the night because I wake up convinced that I've been shot. I also hear a phantom alarm going off sometimes (you know, the phone alarm) and think it's morning when it's not.
    What a relief it's a syndrome with a name and not my brain collapsing!
    Hope you are all well!

  12. That sounds a bit disturbing; I get the falling off a cliff sensation but don't like the sound of a gunshot (no pun intended)! A friend at work told me today that he has something called post nasal drip. I am still wondering if he was pulling my leg- must google it and find out.

  13. Helen - Maybe there's a genetic link; some McDougall or Gillieson or Lyon in our roots who woke to the faux sound of rutting deer or thunder in the glens?

    Alienne - Post nasal drip has a less lunatic ring about it (but it's potentially less of a crowd puller).

  14. Lady - The best my free translator could do was 'The response is I can the biggest support which does for you'. To which I can only reply: 'Remarks your kind incomprehensibility more than I appreciate your' (并且我最恳切地意味此)

  15. Bro, no way, I ain't the kind of fairweather blogger who takes people off his sidebar, exploding head or no exploding head :-)

  16. About that "falling-asleep" matter: There is a theory that if one doesn't wake in time, that one will actually fall to one's death. That is, get a heart attack or whatever happens before one hits mother earth...

    So BT, what will happen if your head explode again and you get exploding head amnesia?

  17. How extraordinary! Hadn't heard of that but it sounds so fab that you will be staying in my sidebar as well (the public bar is a tad sweaty anyway)...

  18. I think you should swap it for Blogging Brain Syndrome. Far more useful.

    Not that I can talk lately...


  19. Hey! Thanks for popping by my blog - and yes, that was me and my song! Glad you liked it. The music sort of fizzled out when I went to university - and to be honest, I never really enjoyed writing songs! But I still dabble, play the fiddle and the guitar, and now that I've graduated I'm thinking of taking up the piano!

  20. Gadjo - Thanks Man.

    EV - That's true, about dying if you hit the ground in a dream. Many people have reported that.

    Amanda - Thank you Maam.

    Laura - Blogged brains sounds like the sort of thing I have to tackle here with rods and plungers occaisionally.

    Kirsty - Veels geluk met jou lied. You should keep it up. (She may not thank me for it, but you can see 'the other Kirsty's' 2003 video here:

  21. I'd heard of exploding head syndrome but presumed it involved one's head actually exploding. I occasionally mused on where the worst place might be for that to happen, and decided it would be thirty thousand feet up as a jumbo jet pilot. Very glad to be disabused of that notion. And impressed enough to have (virtually) met someone with the real thing to keep you on my sidebar for eternity.

  22. But, did you have another big bang Brother T? Do you mean that an unfortunate dreaming faller had jumped back to life to proof that as a fact? Or maybe some tossers now speak to some dead fallen dreamers?

    Damn, I used to enjoy that falling feeling...