Overload

Traumatic injury to the brain and head banging

Category: Illness or disabilities

Type

Involuntary and voluntary

Introduction and description

 

"A man left with half a bashed-in skull and permanent brain damage after a bar room beating has been awarded $58 million (£38 million) by a Californian jury"

Traumatic brain injury (TBI)  occurs when an external force traumatically injures the brain. It can be the result  of an external mechanical force, such as rapid acceleration or deceleration or an impact or blast waves.  In other words, brain trauma need not cause penetration of the skull to cause injury.  But it can also be the result of penetration by a projectile.

Even in the absence of an impact, significant acceleration or deceleration of the head can cause brain injury.  If the head is shaken, diffuse injuries result, as shown in the diagram, as the brain impacts the skull.  The violent shaking of an infant that causes shaken baby syndrome commonly manifests as diffuse injury.

If there is an impact to the skull which causes no penetration, it can  produce what are called ‘focal injuries’ injuries to more specific points of impact, again close to the skull itself.

Where there has been an impact to the skull, however, shock waves which go through the skull and brain can result in tissue damage elsewhere in the brain. Damage may occur directly under the site of impact, or it may occur on the side opposite the impact (coup and contrecoup injury, respectively).

When a moving object impacts the stationary head, coup injuries are typical, while contrecoup injuries are usually produced when the moving head strikes a stationary object.

Where an object actually penetrates the skull, tissue damage can result from both shock waves as well as the direct damage done by the object.  In effect, shock waves can also destroy tissue along the path of a projectile, compounding the damage caused by the missile itself.

Generally speaking spiritual experience seems to be most prevalent when there has been penetration of the brain by a projectile, which damages specific areas of the brain directly.  Where the injury does not involve penetration, the damage is often more widespread and, as it were, not ‘targeted’.  A boxer, for example, who suffers repeated blows to the head, in the long term simply suffers brain damage in the areas where the blows have impacted, although clearly the shaking of the brain in the skull, can itself cause damage. Babies who are shaken suffer similar widespread brain damage. 

The exception to this is where bipolar disease or schizophrenia result.  Both these can cause significant spiritual experience.

Effects

"Tragedy struck for Kurt Darren, the popular Afrikaans singer during the early
hours of Sunday morning when, while driving home with his assistant and
a friend, after watching a rugby game at a Pretoria restaurant, they were
forced to swerve for an oncoming car driving in the middle of the road. Kurt
is now suffering from double vision and memory loss"

Traumatic injury to the brain can, in both the longer and short term cause other sorts of diseases and illnesses which come within the general heading of  brain damage. 

Examples include hydrocephalusParkinson’s disease,  Multiple Sclerosis,  ADHD,  Brain haemorrhage,  Brain tumour,  Concussion,  Stroke,  Meningitis,  Encephalitis,  and  Epidural hematoma

It may even be the cause of certain kinds of Autism

Sight impairment can also be a consequence of this sort of injury.

Causes

Medics at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham,
doubted Ben would survive his horrific injuries, and
told his grief-stricken mum to prepare for the worst,
but incredibly, he survived.

There are any number of causes of brain injury, whether penetrative or not.  Some example causes include: 

  • Violence - in the US, violence accounts for 11% of all TBIs.  TBI is the third most common injury to result from child abuse.   Abuse causes 19% of cases of pediatric brain trauma, and the death rate is higher among these cases. Domestic violence is another cause of TBI.  Firearms and blast injuries from explosions are other causes of TBI.  This is the leading cause of death and disability in war zones.  Explosives used in World War I caused many blast injuries; but the positive aspect of this was that the large number of TBIs that resulted allowed researchers to learn about localisation of brain functions. Blast-related injuries were common problems in returning veterans from Iraq & Afghanistan; the symptoms of such TBI's are largely the same as for TBI's involving a physical blow to the head. 
  • Transportation accidents - in the US motor vehicle accidents account for 20% of TBIs,  and bicycle accidents for 3%.  Motor bikes are a major causes, increasing in frequency in developing countries 
  • Construction site accidents as well as work related and industrial accidents 
  • Sports injuries - It is estimated that  between 1.6 and 3.8 million traumatic brain injuries each year are a result of sports and recreation activities in the US.  About one in five career boxers is affected by chronic traumatic brain injury (CTBI), which causes cognitive, behavioral, and physical impairments.Dementia pugilistica, the severe form of CTBI, primarily affects career boxers years after a boxing career. It commonly manifests as dementia, memory problems, and parkinsonism (tremors and lack of coordination). 
  • Falls - in the US, falls account for 28% of traumatic brain injuries.  It is worth noting that in the US, patients with fall-related TBIs have an 89% survival rate, while only 9% of patients with firearm-related TBIs survive. 
  • Being struck by an object  - in the US these account for 19% of all TBIs

TBI is a major cause of death and disability worldwide, especially in children and young adults. The following chart is for the US and shows the percentage of deaths by cause.

TBI is a leading cause of death and disability around the globe and presents a major worldwide social, economic, and health problem.  It is the number one cause of coma, it plays the leading role in disability due to trauma, and is the leading cause of brain damage in children and young adults.  In Europe it is responsible for more years of disability than any other cause. It also plays a significant role in half of trauma deaths.

Headbanging

Headbanging can describe three different things all of which have the same effect:


  • A type of dance  - which involves violently shaking the head in time with the music, most commonly in the rock and heavy metal music genres.  This does not actually involve physical impact, it is simply a form of shaking the head violently.  The term "headbanger" was coined during Led Zeppelin's first US tour in 1969. During a show at the Boston Tea Party, it is said that ‘audience members in the first row were banging their heads against the stage in rhythm with the music’, these days no physical impact occurs.  I suspect however that this is all apocryphal.  It has caused illness.  In 2005, for example, Evanescence guitarist Terry Balsamo  incurred a stroke from headbanging.
  • A children’s syndrome  - found often in small children who bang their heads on the floor, the bars of their cots, or the wall.  Medically this is known as ‘Stereotypic movement disorder’ -and I quote "a disorder of childhood involving ‘repetitive, nonfunctional motor behavior’.  According to some research  “Head banging is surprisingly common. Up to 20 percent of babies and toddlers bang their head on purpose, although boys are three times more likely to do it than girls. Head banging often starts in the second half of the first year and peaks between 18 and 24 months of age. Your child's head banging habit may last for several months, or even years, though most children outgrow it by age 3”.  Current theories on why they do this seem to centre around - and I quote here without necessarily agreeing.
 
  • Self-comfort - theory one says that toddlers who indulge in this behaviour do it to relax. They bang their head rhythmically as they're falling asleep, when they wake up in the middle of the night, or even while they're sleeping. Some rock on all fours as well.  This theory has some validity as far as I can ascertain, as underlying this theory may be the effect also achieved from  Listening to beating sounds and rocking, swaying and swinging
  • Pain relief.— Theory two says that some children may head bang to get pain relief from teething or an ear infection, for example.  The current theory appears to be that “it distracts them from the discomfort in their mouth or ear” but I do not believe this for a moment, what I do think is that the head banging affects the lobe of the brain that handles pain and knocks it out temporarily - thus giving them temporary pain relief. 
  • Frustration and anger - this is theory three, but anger at what?  I have suggested an answer below. 
  • A need for attention  - which if true, is indeed a sad reflection on their parents. 
Unfortunately there are few doctors who accept anything other than a materialistic explanation and there may also be a non materialistic explanation. 

Being a child is a very special state.  Many many little children I have talked to, live in a world totally unlike the isolated world of the adults they are forced to live with.  They feel connected to each other, often have 'friends' that we don't see, which are incidentally quite genuine and real, not 'imaginary', and they see and understand far more than many adults.  But many children are forced by adults to stop being children, they are pressured to act like small adults, pummelled with endless belief systems, and forced to 'grow up' far too fast. 

They may well be frustrated and angry, but they have every reason to be. 

Children for example, may well be head banging as their Reasoning processes become developed, and their Memories start to fill up with the rubbish foisted on them by adults,  out of the sheer frustration of losing contact with their Composers!  These children may be spiritually gifted but be losing their contact with the spirit world.  See How does spiritual experience work.
  •  
    A new sports phenomenon  - amongst some sports personalities who bang their heads on goal posts, on the ball, on the basketball post, on the floor or grass of the stadium and so on, before they start a game.  The aim is to get ‘inspiration’ but it is clear that they do it to become more intuitional and less rational – go with their feelings and not their rational mind.

    In effect, these adults are doing the same as the children who head bang - get rid of the intellect, the chattering mind and back to intuitive thought - 'let go and go with the force Luke'.
 

How it works

 

Brain damage of this kind may cause a whole range of types of spiritual experience - from hallucinations to visions, from out of body experiences to near death experiences, from inspiration to wisdom!

And bizarre though it may sound, it has even resulted in a sort of state of bliss - almost permanent connection with the spiritual world.

Some people experience a spiritual experience once at the time of injury and some obtain permanent spiritual experience via the injuries they have received.

Even though at the time of the brain injury, brain tissue may not have been damaged in areas to provide an experience, it can be destroyed  later as a result of what is called ‘secondary injury’. Doctors classify the damage that occurs at the moment of trauma,  when tissues and blood vessels are stretched, compressed, and torn, as primary brain injury and that which gradually develops later as secondary injury. 

"Cognitive deficits that can follow TBI include impaired attention; disrupted insight, judgement, and thought; reduced processing speed; distractibility; and deficits in executive functions such as abstract reasoning, planning, problem-solving, and multitasking."

Memory loss, the most common cognitive impairment among head-injured people, occurs in 20–79% of people with head trauma, depending on severity. People who have suffered TBI may also have difficulty with understanding or producing spoken or written language.

But from a spiritual point of view this can be beneficial - as long as the person realises it can be.  Memory is a huge block to spiritual experience.  We fill our heads with trivia and belief systems much of which is incorrect. 

Two deliberate activities used by those in the East who practise deep mediatation and relaxation methods are the Suppression of Learning - occasionally called mindfulness - and Reduction of the rubbish in memory.  Free of all those pointless and incorrect 'facts', suddenly the world becomes a simpler place and the 'right brain', the creative part of us can take over.  Without the stuff drummed into us by schools, universities and the media, we are open to wisdom and inspiration.  Suddenly [like the autistic] we find skills others don't have and the ability to make music or paint and draw wonderful paintings.

 

Brain injury does not have to be negative, as long as we don't insist on returning to the false world of the cerebrally overactive.  The world is full of clever men, who appear at the moment to be doing a great deal of harm to the planet and their fellow creatures, but it is woefully short of wise men.  Wisdom comes with separation from the chattering mind and entry into a world of peace and contemplation.

Brain injury is terrible, but it can be put to positive use as long as you let the angels help you!!

Observations

There seem to be any number of case histories on the Internet of people suffering hallucinations, visual and auditory from traumatic head injuries.   But I have also included some inspirational ones too.

It may be worth noting that although trepanation is often believed to be the method used in olden days to cure or aid headaches and head injury, it may actually have been a method used to provoke spiritual experience, very drastic of course, but it could well have worked.

Related observations