Short answer, no.
Long answer? Hold on to your seats!
Synesthesia ("syn"=together; "esthesia"=sensation) occurs with the one sensory or mental experience triggers another mental or sensory experience. It happens involuntarily and is immediate. These things aren't purposefully imagined.
Examples: A person may
- Think of the letter R and see the color green.
- Think of the number 10 and sense a personality
- See a certain object and hear a sound in response
- See the days of the week and feel it in 3-D
I do the same thing with the calendar months. December and January are in the back of the loop. The spring and fall months are very shortened and compressed compared to summer and winter months.
Apparently, about 1 in 23 people have some type of naturally occurring synesthesia.
Synesthesia can also happen after a stroke, during a temporal lobe seizure, or using psychedelic drugs.
Synthesesia in art and literature include:
- Kandinsky (he was a true "synthesete")
- Georgia O'Keefe, who occasionally used synthesthia as a subject of her paintings, though not a synthesete herself.
- Nabokov's The Gift
- Julia Glass's The Whole World Over
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!