View Full Version : Head Banging


Swirl
04-30-09, 10:52 AM
I did a search on this and I can't find anything on it on this forum, so I thought I would start a new thread. I am not sure if this is posted in the right thread.

I've been banging my head on my pillow in order to fall asleep as far as I can remember. I still do it to this day. It's very self soothing to me, and when I don't do it I get all tense and anxious and can't sleep.

I found this link on it:
http://www.mamashealth.com/child/headbang.asp

I was just wondering if anyone here also does this. It suggests that it may be due to stress, but even when I am not stressed I do this. I find that it develops in feeling stressed if I don't do it though.

When I was a child I would also rock very hard on the couch, banging my whole body against the back of the couch in a sitting position. I would also do this in the car. I must have looked like a mental case in the backseat to other passengers driving by, lol.

Now though I just bang my head to sleep and I do rock a bit when I am sitting and listening to people, and I shake my leg fast when I am on the computer and stuff.

sarek
04-30-09, 01:07 PM
While i have not come across this per se it does seem to me that its just a form of stimming behaviour.

monostereo
04-30-09, 02:17 PM
That's interesting. You made me remember that I used to do the same thing when I was much younger. Hard to say when I stopped, but perhaps sometime as a teenager. In regards to the article, my brother used to smash his head against the wall when he was a tyke....you'd have to hold him until he was exhausted to prevent him from hurting himself.

pADDyjay
04-30-09, 04:50 PM
I did a search on this and I can't find anything on it on this forum, so I thought I would start a new thread. I am not sure if this is posted in the right thread.

I've been banging my head on my pillow in order to fall asleep as far as I can remember. I still do it to this day. It's very self soothing to me, and when I don't do it I get all tense and anxious and can't sleep.

I found this link on it:
http://www.mamashealth.com/child/headbang.asp

I was just wondering if anyone here also does this. It suggests that it may be due to stress, but even when I am not stressed I do this. I find that it develops in feeling stressed if I don't do it though.

When I was a child I would also rock very hard on the couch, banging my whole body against the back of the couch in a sitting position. I would also do this in the car. I must have looked like a mental case in the backseat to other passengers driving by, lol.

Now though I just bang my head to sleep and I do rock a bit when I am sitting and listening to people, and I shake my leg fast when I am on the computer and stuff. wow, how interesting...
I used to rock my self to sleep every night untill I was 13yrs..rock, chairs, or just jump up and down really fast...hmm

thanks for the thread...P

angie1960
04-30-09, 07:37 PM
My seven year old bangs her head when she gets frustrated - it is very scary

not2late
04-21-13, 02:57 PM
I have done what you are describing my entire life (I am almost 60 now) and have never come across anyone else who does it until now. I was just diagnosed with adult ADD a couple of years ago and have been trying to see if there is a connection. I would like to hear if you found any information.

Thanks.

Ksal72
06-13-13, 03:17 AM
I am 35 years old and have been doing this my entire life. I would describe it as very self soothing. When I was a baby, my parents thought I was autistic because I didn't walk or talk until I was about 18 months. I had horrible ear infections too and would rock all the time. As a child, I started banging my head on the couch for hours and I continued to do it all the way through my teenage years. It sounds crazy but when I was little I started listening to music while I did it and found it totally soothing and relaxing. I do tend to get overwhelmed by my environment and rocking and head banging has always been a way to drown out all the extra stuff. I have been able to live a very normal life and have learned as an adult to taper down and adjust my behavior, especially being married and with a child. My husband and daughter know that sometimes I need to withdrawal for a bit and rock or head bang in my room to wind down. I can only describe the feeling I get when I do it as a very relaxing release of energy.

navyjake9019
06-14-13, 01:55 PM
I have a son who is 18 months old, and when I was preparing to be a dad (e.g. reading, taking classes, etc.) I remember something/someone saying that babies tend to like to be rocked and or shooshed because it mimmicks the sound and motion they experience in the womb and find it comforting.

If you're not litterally slamming your head into the pillow, and more like a light bouncing motion off of it, maybe the motion of "banging your head" or the sound it creates inside your head is triggering that primal sense of safety in the womb.

If you're just looking for some company in your "rocking out" bedtime routine :D, it seems you've found some. But, if you're looking to curb the impulse, something you may want to try is a rocking chair before bed.

Or, for our son, we bought one of those sound machines from a "Babies" store, that has recordings of the sounds a baby hears while inside the womb. It's basically the mother's muffled haertbeat: swoosh, swoosh, swoosh. You could try that to see if it triggers the same kind of soothing response. They're failry inexpensive, and some even look like teddybears instead of an alarm clock (and who doesn't like teddy bears :yes:)

yellowflowers
06-14-13, 04:20 PM
My brother did this throughout his childhood and teens, he may still do it now, I don't know. We shared a room for a long time, and every night he would start up violently rocking his head from side to side, it used to scare me, and also annoy me cause the noise was so loud and he could do it for a long time getting faster and faster. I used to call out his name, he wouldn't hear sometimes and I'd have to get up and but my hands in his shoulders. He might not stop immediately even then. And when I stopped him and went back to bed he'd start up again a few minutes later.

It makes me want to cry thinking about it. There is a year between us. I feel guilty I used to be angry at times, neither of us understood ourselves or each other. And there was a lot of stuff, stuff now as an adult I think, how could my parents not have noticed these things? I think they did notice, but my family function by ignoring problems.

I'm not sure it was a problem specifically, just in my brothers case, part of a bigger picture of stuff my parents should have done something about, instead they only noticed his academic failure, and the only reason they could come up with for that was he was a bit stupid. NO HE WASN'T and NO HE ISN'T. **** like, if they had opened there eyes for two minutes.

Like so many things I think he didn't know why he did it. I never thought he was actually asleep or in an early stage of sleep doing it, but as a child I thought the reason he wouldn't stop even when I was holding on to him was because he couldn't hear or anything cause he was shaking his head so violently. But maybe he was?

I saw this on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhythmic_movement_disorder

But I'm not at all sure it was something like that. He used to sometimes say it helped him fall asleep, that he couldn't fall asleep without it. I think that what SAREK said about stim'ing/ self-soothing could be more what it was for my brother. Sometimes I used to think it was because he was such a deep thinker that he needed to cause this huge distraction - prob a bit similar to self-harm, to stop thinking/escape his head. And he did go on to do some self-harming, maybe loads, but some that I knew about.

I have to fight with myself not to rock, I had a lot of 'movements' as a kid, they were soothing/OCD'ish stuff I think. My parents would tell me how much of a freak I looked doing them, and I was lucky enough to be able to control them. Still to this day I can lapse into them, and especially rocking - it is so soothing, like once I start I feel scared I can't stop it feels so good and I can kind of tune out, it's lovely, but also I guess the social shame stops me

X

Meagan
06-14-13, 06:50 PM
Yellowflowers, you are sweet to be so sensitive (in retrospect) to your brother. You shouldn't feel too guilty, though. You were just a kid, and even the adults in your family didn't know what was going on. I hope you and your brother are close now.

CthulhuMinion
06-14-13, 07:01 PM
I only head bang when I'm listening to br00tal metals \m/.

But seriously, I've gone through similar "phases" when I was much younger. I had a slew of tics, so I'm not quite sure if my limb thrashing was due to excessive restless energy or Tourette's Syndrome.

bkaapcke
09-12-13, 06:08 AM
Head banging, often seen in children can be a sign of serious food intolerance. This needs to be distinguished from food allergy. Food allergy is defined as an IGE antibody reaction which is instant and can cause throat swelling that will cut off air supply and without an epinephrine injection, may cause death.
Food intolerance reactions are often delayed up to two weeks making it extremely difficult to connect them to ingestion of an offending food. It causes an IGA reaction which may display head banging, hair pulling, screaming fits or explosive rage. These last about 15 minutes and often leave you exhausted and suicidal for a half an hour or so.
My doctor described it this way; "for ten to fifteen minutes, every cell in your body, head to toe and fingertip to fingertip, literally can't stand it". This was the first time I had ever heard an explanation that fit my explosive rages. I asked him it would account for head banging in my childhood. His answer; "Bingo, that's an IGA reaction underway".
In my case, the offending foods were; 1) all the ferments, which is anything with fungus or mold in it or made from fungus or mold and 2) wheat. Quite a lot of stuff there.
He had me quit these foods in steps, giving up one or two offenders at a time. Sure enough, by the end of it, All the symptoms had disappeared. Unfortunately, the "cleaner" I got, the more sensitive to small amounts of the no-go foods I became. It doesn't take much to bring back the low level anger that marks this problem. However, without these foods, my life is definitely better. Other symptoms that have improved or disappeared; A constant negative outlook, horrendous acid reflux is gone no more root canals from tooth abcess, no more headaches or clenched back muscles and my pollen allergies have been greatly reduced. I have found a positive outlook and much clearer thinking. In short, I got my liife back.
If this sounds like you, you need to find a doctor with extensive experience with food intolerance and elimination diets. They are hard to find, but they are out there. bk

BeckySue
12-21-13, 08:44 PM
It sounded as if you were talking about me. I banged my head from as long as I can remember until I was in my late 20's (made myself stop), and I used to rock so hard on the couch that I would break the springs in the back (they don't make them like that anymore, lol). My grandmother finally got me rocker recliner and would spend hours and hours on that instead. I finally quite rocking sometime in my 30's. But here I am at 47, and I still find myself shaking my feet violently on occasion. I was diagnosed with ADD about 8 years ago, and I just recently started wondering if that was the cause.

Lunacie
12-21-13, 10:04 PM
I wonder if this is how hyperactivity manifests in many girls/women and some
boys/men - rather than running and jumping we do rocking, leg bouncing, even
head banging. (I'm a rocker and leg bouncer)

BeckySue
12-21-13, 10:24 PM
I was thinking the opposite. I figured you were born with it, and the constant movement is the product of being hyper.

willow129
12-23-13, 07:36 PM
ME TOO ME TOOO
And my brother!!! When we were really little we banged our heads on the walls in our room and actually put holes in the wall. LOL how crazy is that. Weird little tots.

This is so wild!! Oh my god. I can't believe other people do this too. I taught myself to stop cuz....boyfriends and stuff.
I did it because it was soothing. And also I move my legs (I was reading about restless legs syndrome, it's like that I guess, maybe?)

Thank you for talking about this.

suzyq1
05-04-17, 04:45 PM
After 48 years of nicely bouncing my head especially with my new "My Pillow" that has a really nice spring to it. I thought I might look this up. My folks say I have done this since I was a baby. Scaring the hell out of the babysitter who was wondering when I would start spewing up green pea soup and my head would rotate 360 degrees. I always figured it was a way to release the extra energy at the end of the day. My sister used to bounce really hard only in the back seat of the car. My brother also used to rock while sitting watching tv or eating. They both stopped with adolescence maybe even earlier. I still to this day will enjoy a good head bounce. My husband just laughs when I do it. If he's not in bed its guaranteed I will be bouncing. But most of the time I will lay on my side and rock as to not wake him up. I guess I find it to be soothing. None of my three children have any rocking tendencies. I'm interested to know if it does have something to do with the sound. I'm going to keep reading further. I never think about it so I have never asked a doctor even when I was diagnosed ADD several years ago.

Little Missy
05-04-17, 06:25 PM
I'm a side rocker and always have been. :eek:

Zoom Dude
05-06-17, 08:24 AM
I have no experience with any of this, so please treat my comment as the wild speculation that it is -

It seems everyone agrees this behavior has to do with stress, and is a way to soothe oneself to relieve stress. It doesn't seem to be harmful, but it's not behavior you want to display in public.

I wonder if you could change the situation by practicing mindfulness meditation (MM)? My gut tells me you would not use MM as a direct substitute, as in meditating instead of head banging (bouncing, rocking, etc.), although that might actually work. It seems to me that you'd be better off practicing MM regularly to put yourself on a more even keel emotionally, to make it easier to bring yourself back to center when stress levels rise.

MM is not something you pick up instantly, you have to try it, stay with it and bring the practice and the needs of your head and your situation to a point where they all meet in the middle. But it does seem to me that it could be a way to transfer one behavior into another in a way that improves your life.

Or not. But I think it's worth a try.

ZD

SecretlyaFish
05-06-17, 11:16 AM
Possibly autism? I have a younger brother who has autism, and he rocks and does that stuff constantly due to stimming. Can be odd sometimes but, he's always done it and it makes him comfortable so its fine. Don't worry about it.

Little Missy
05-06-17, 12:15 PM
I'm a side rocker and always have been. :eek:

Only in bed. Always.

julialouise
05-16-17, 11:11 PM
apparently when i was really small, like too small to walk up the stairs, i would bang my head at the base. and i think i did it against the wall sometimes too. it didn't help that i had multiple head injuries either lol