S&F, OP. I watched the TED talk (Jill Bolte Taylor) just the other day, my adult child brought it to my attention. I have had a similar sort of
"expanding head" sensation on and off throughout my life. A strange sort of "wow, what am I doing here? This is my body? But what am *I*?"
feeling, as if my consciousness is not contained completely in my physical self.
The above theories and suggestions on mini-strokes, seratonin depletion, substance-caused or diet-caused effect are all valid, as well a the
depersonalization feeling. The members who suggested those things sound educated and articulate. I myself hold a master's and have several years of
experience in behavioral counseling (so-called "mental health"), combined with a life-long interest in such topics.
I want to make the point that science really knows VERY little about psychology, the workings of the brain (I presented at a conference 5 years ago
about how baby's brains develop in tune with their experiences, depending on their learning style, the style of those from whom they are learning,
their circumstances, etc.), and have studied in professional and private settings the current research on brains, how they worok, how they are
trained. The information being compiled with new technology seems only to make the general mysteries around the subject even more pronounced.
Having said all that, I think it's important to remember how little we DO know, really, about brains and psychology and consciousness, and that
dismissing any such experiential "anomalies" as physiological "symptoms" of "disorder" is a "medical model" way of looking at things; where
approaching the phenom from a non-medical "metaphysical" model is just as important.
As much as science learns about the brain, it is still an infant specialization, and many, many things remain only speculative as explanations. Is it
biological? Spiritual? Pathological? Extra-sensory? We don't know. I hope personally to find out after this physical machine of mine expires -- and
in many ways am not afraid of death, though I hope it occurs later rather than sooner, for I have much I still want to do while I'm here....
But thanks to the OP for sharing. I agree, it's nearly impossible to describe: for me, it's like I'm still me, but I'm sort of above me. Not
watching myself, but sort of not bound by my skull. It's a very ethereal sort of feeling, and yes, I can now summon it at will. For example, right
now, as I'm writing it, I can recall and recreate the feeling...and I've had 1 cup of coffee, took my SSRI's last night, and eat a healthy diet.
Thanks for giving ATS an opportunity to discuss this! Hi, everyone! Me, too!!