Monday, December 6, 2010

Medical Mondays: Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

I swear I am not making this up.

The Alice in Wonderland Syndrome can cause a person to perceive that objects or their own body parts are strangely too small, or too large. Sufferers can also have distorted time perception (going too fast or too slow) or sound can be warped.

Causes include migraines (which can be associated with all kinds of neurologic symptoms), temporal-lobe epilepsy, or even Epstein Barr infections (the virus that causes "Mono", or mononucleosis).

The treatment involved treating the underlying illness that causes the symptom.

No, the treatment is not a bottle that says "Drink me."

Sorry folks!

Please keep in mind this post is for writing purposes only and is not to be construed as medical advice (see sidebar disclaimer).

If you've got a fictional medical question, let me know! Post below or email me at
All I ask is that you become a follower and post a link on your blog when I post your answer.
Also, don't forget to check out Mental Health Mondays at Laura's Blog!

65 comments:

B.E. Sanderson said...

Weird. So it's a brain thing that causes mistaken perceptions. That would totally freak me out.

salarsenッ said...

Hm-hum? I have to say that is strange, but quite interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Saumya said...

AH! We just learned about this. So freaking cool!

Angela Felsted said...

This is so funny. I can't believe it's real! Not that I'd think it was funny if I actually had it or anything.

Erinn said...

Wow humans are so freaking cool. How our brains react to things, how we think.

I heard of this one thing where people believe their body parts don't belong to them and their only happy until they get it removed. Most doctors won't do it, so they resort to doing it themselves.

Bee said...

Alice In Wonderland Syndrome. Do I just see huge fingers poised over the keyboard?

The Blogger Formerly Known As said...

Mercifully I’m free of such things. I know my brain is the size of a pea :)
The enigmatic, masked blogger

storyqueen said...

I laughed out loud about the "Drink Me" bottle!

Ha!

Shelley

Alicia Gregoire said...

This totally explains why my rear end has it's own zip code.

Giles Hash said...

Okay, out of everything you've posted since I started reading your blog, that is by far the most terrifying. If there's one thing that wigs me out, it's the idea of something messing with my brain. I just don't like that...hence why I've never done drugs.

Even when I had my wisdom teeth out, I only used the prescription to make the pain go away at night so I could sleep. The rest of the time I used over-the-counter stuff. I just like being in control!

The Red Angel said...

Whoa, this is beyond creepy and weird. O_O I think that's definitely one of the worst types of syndromes I've ever heard of...it must be really horrifying to have to live with it.

Well, thanks for sharing. I wish I could know more about it now! xD

~TRA

http://xtheredangelx.blogspot.com

Liza said...

So Alice in Wonderland may have been based in truth???

Melissa Gill said...

So you're telling me if I think certain things below my waist are too big, and other things above my waist are too small, that's "Alice in Wonderland Syndrom?" Very interesting.

Jen Chandler said...

I read about this a few months ago. It's intriguing. A little frightening, when you think about it, but interesting.

~Jen :)

Lynn said...

Interesting! I wonder if Lewis Carrol would have guessed a syndrome would be named after his book. Or if he had experienced the syndrome is some way forming the idea of the story?? Far-fetched but now you got me thinking!

Em said...

This is fascinating. And Giles, I don't think that's an unusual fear for someone who writes. I'm the same way regarding medication.

Lydia, your RX cracked me up.

Bossy Betty said...

Ohhhhhh......Now I know why I have an unusually large left elbow!

Faith said...

...!!! Fascinating!!! Who would have thought...

Hope you're having a good start to December :)

Magan said...

Have you ever seen anyone with this disease? I think we used to just call it tripping, but I didn't know it could actually happen!

Matthew Rush said...

Never heard of it, but this is FASCINATING!

Meredith said...

That would be such a horrible disease to have, but it sure does have a fun name :)

Carol Kilgore said...

OMG! I would never have even imagined this one. I love coming here :)

LTM said...

omg, that is SO funny! You know, lately I've been thinking my butt looked bigger than the rest of my body... :D <3

Jackee said...

Fascinating! This opens up a million other questions for me, but I'll go look up some things and not bore you with my ignorance. :o)

Thanks for sharing, Lydia!

Emily said...

That's pretty cool. except not for the person who has it!

Munk Davis said...

Does this syndrome extend to one's ego?

Samantha Vérant said...

Ah! My nose is too big and my eyes are too small. Wait. I think I'm just picking on myself...

Carol Riggs said...

SOUNDS can be warped and time distorted. Love it! Sounds paranormal-type fiction to me. ;o)

notesfromnadir said...

Too bad all remedies can't be found in a bottle that says Drink Me. Oops, no, wait a minutes, sometimes they can....

Old Kitty said...

Oh these poor people with such an illness! I hope there are cures for this? Oh dear!!! Thanks for the info- it sounds like a good basis for some totally warped plotline!!! Take care
x

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Wow, does that ever have story potential. I love your posts!

The Words Crafter said...

*letting out a long, low whistle* Wow...I've never heard of this.

You know, medicine is very contradictory. It's neat and fascinating and even cool, but so tragic at the same time.

I admire you for walking that particular walk.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

So it was all in Alice's head, huh?

Colene Murphy said...

That is nuts!! Interesting kind of nuts!

The Golden Eagle said...

Is Alice in Wonderland Syndrome related in any way to Synesthesia? It sounds kind of the same . . .

Raquel Byrnes said...

That was truly creepy. I had no idea this malady actually existed outside of fiction and LSD use. 0_0
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Paul S said...

Mmmm..very interesting and a little bit scary.
Thanks again Lydia,your medical posts are fast becoming the highlight of my Monday's!

Krispy said...

If only treatments were as simple as bottles that say "Drink me."

Jai Joshi said...

I didn't know that the Alice in Wonderland syndrome was real. That's amazing.

I watched a documentary years ago about amputees who suffered from 'phamtom limb syndrome' (I think it was called that). Basically they were experiencing excruciating pain from a limb they'd already had removed. It was to do with the brain not being able to process that the limb was gone. I thought that was so amazing and also disturbing.

Jai

ciaraknight said...

That is fascinating. Wow,wish every treatment came in a little bottle.

Terri Tiffany said...

Well in all my years of MH, (counselor not patient) LOL I have never heard of this!! Interesting.

KarenG said...

So interesting! I think I have it when faced with a plate of fudge. I think my body is smaller than it is and that this won't hurt me at all.

Janet Johnson said...

Wow, I love this one! Very very cool name for a not-so-fun illness. :)

Olga said...

The Alice in Wonderland Syndrome could be a subject for fascinating book, no?

Holly Ruggiero said...

Interesting. I wonder if doctors or pharmacist have ever considered writing "eat me" on the medicine bottle for migraines? I suppose the humor would be lost. Oh well. I have had a migraine before and I’m glad I didn’t get that syndrome.

Valerie Geary said...

Fascinating... *inspects hands*...Phew! I think I'm normal.

Walt M said...

This has a lot of comments that could be made and I'm not sure where to take it. Of course, this syndrome did lead to the Jefferson Airplane song, "White Rabbit."

Emy Shin said...

That's so interesting! Thanks for sharing, Lydia!

Heather said...

The brain is a strange thing indeed. The things that assault it, even stranger!

Slamdunk said...

That is a new one on me as well...

Melissa said...

Seriously? That's crazy!!

Dasuntoucha said...

No, the treatment is not a bottle that says "Drink me."...

...that's exactly what popped in my head before I got to this part (^_^) Interesting post.

Janna Qualman said...

That's really interesting. Love learning about stuff like this.

But something that's concerning is that mention of migraines in there. So many people struggle, for so many reasons.

Hope all is well for you, Lydia! :)

lbdiamond said...

How timely! I just watched Alice In Wonderland (the one with Jonny Depp) a couple days ago. The poor girl couldn't get to the right size no matter what she did. Oy.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Never heard of it, Lydia. Timely post, as I was just going to recommend this book to my niece.

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Wow! I didn't know.
That's one of my favorite books. I was so pleased when I did a "You write like..." test and it came out Lewis Carol. Hmm, I do have migraines.
Great, now I have that Jefferson Airplane "White Rabbit" song in my head. LOL

Jennifer Fabulous said...

Yay! A Moz fan?! We're already friends in my book. ;)

And we have something else in common: I used to live in Omaha for several years. :P (Now I live in KC).

And this syndrome sounds so crazy! It has a fabulous name, but that would just...suck. Lol. I had no idea it existed!

Love your blog. :)

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

there's another one where people become convinced that either a) something is wrong with a limb or b) the limb is not theirs despite its attachment.

It's amazing what the brain will do

Paul C said...

What a delightful allusion filled with literary possibilities.

Susan Fields said...

Wow - I never heard of that. Sounds like it would make for a good story, though!

Julie Musil said...

Seriously? I have never heard of this! That must feel so strange.

Nick said...

Speaking of Alice, there's also the connection between the "mad" hatter and Hg.

Jonene Ficklin said...

Isn't it amazing how many things have to go right for us to see clearly? All it takes is a litle glitch and you have, not only a malady, but the makings of a great story. Great post! Thanks!

SugarScribes said...

I have been reading through your medical post and this one really jumped out. You learn something new everyday.

I suffer from migraines and often think my stomach is too large; do I qualify? LOL

Seriously, this is a an odd one. Thanks for the information. I am looking for a medical condition for one of characters so I will read more of your post. They are helpful

bethchristopher.com said...

I just discovered your blog. It's FANTASTIC! I actually had this syndrome as a child, but it only afflicted me when I closed my eyes to go to sleep. No body parts felt too large or too small, but the darkness would change shape and ALL of me would feel tiny in comparison, or too large. I outgrew it, thankfully.

My dad had it as a child, too, only when he closed his eyes, objects, like a telephone pole would turn into toothpicks.

At least I have something to blame my weirdness on...

 
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