Okay, all this being said, let's talk about what it means to be in an altered level of consciousness—the medical vis-à-vis to having your mind blown. Typically, this altered level is achieved through your hodgepodge of vices, bad ideas, and revenge plots. Too many inhalants, poisoning, shock, hypothermia, and excessive pressure within the skull.
There are eight confirmed levels of altered consciousness: metaconscious, conscious, confused, delirious, somnolent, obtunded, stuporous, and comatose. Dr. T's analysis of "mind blown" relates closely to comatose—when a person is in a vegetative, non-responsive state.
However, it seems most websites promise something closer to a stuporous level of consciousness, in which the change in one's surrounding could cause a negative physical reaction to painful stimuli.
Still, I wanted to get deeper and find out exactly what happens during an episode in which the mind gets blown. I asked another psychiatrist, Denise Kwasnik, to expand on some of Dr. T's questions with more specificity.
So what kind of people, specifically, can have their "mind blown?"
How one responds to trauma is uniquely individual. There are many variants, which contribute to one’s psychological resilience in the face of traumatic events. Some studies have shown that those individuals exposed to childhood abuse have a greater likelihood of developing stress and psychological problems related to trauma. Conversely, those who have experienced positive developmental experiences may have greater resilience in the face of traumatic events.
Theoretically, this can happen through only visual stimulation?
It absolutely can happen through auditory or visual stimulus that are disturbing or horrific in some way. Shell shocked victims of WWI often witnessed horrendous killings of close friends, and other terrors completely out of the realm of previous experience. This reaction to the stress of combat had life long effects on many of these young men. Those suffering from the effects of PTSD after being exposed to visual or auditory traumatic stimulus may experience the same resulting changes in the brain as those suffering from physical trauma. Vicarious traumatization speaks to the stress one can experience as a secondary witness to another’s trauma as in the case of counselors who are empathically engaged in hearing another’s story.
And the results are a vegetative or non-responsive state?
I suppose the insane fact or effects of combat, where one’s safety is threatened and one is witness and/or victim to unspeakable acts of atrocity can shock someone into a vegetative or catatonic state. Mutism, and dissociative states might best describe a“vegetative state” in this case. However, a vegetative state as is commonly understood, more often involves traumatic brain injury or some other biological or medical causality completely compromising cognition and other brain functions necessary for a meaningful existence.