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View Full Version : Alice in Wonderland Syndrome - Anyone else experience this?!



JoNightshade
01-31-2008, 02:57 AM
I just stumbled upon this article (http://a.abcnews.com/Primetime/story?id=3581479&page=1)about "Alice in Wonderland Syndrome." Basically this is when your view of something's size gets really distorted - things feel really big or small. The article talks about how they have linked it to migraines and epilepsy, as a kind of "aura." For most people it disappears as you get older.

I never heard of this, but I recognized it as soon as I read the article! I experienced this fairly frequently when I was little. Sometimes I would be lying awake, not doing anything, and I would feel something like... it's hard to describe. Like the space between my finger and thumb would become infinitely big, and then it would shrink and shrink. Or sometimes when I was reading, the words would look really big and close or really small and far away, almost like tunnel-vision.

Now I only get it every once in a great while. I just thought it was some weird thing that happened when I got kinda sleepy. I never mentioned it because I had no idea how to describe it.

Anyone else???

writerterri
01-31-2008, 03:01 AM
It only happens when I'm in bed with my love bug. :D


What? What did you think I was going to say?

writerterri
01-31-2008, 03:13 AM
Why is it I see this thread and think of Ray?



hmm

shakeysix
01-31-2008, 03:17 AM
what if you are the one who shrinks down? everyone eles seems bigger? or visible and you're not? --s6

JoNightshade
01-31-2008, 03:36 AM
I was reading the comments on the article and it seems like a lot of people have different experiences. Some feel like time is slowing or speeding up, some people feel that they themselves are big or small, and some feel like other objects are large or small.

One thing people say that I also experienced was that the sensation does not go away if you close your eyes. It still feels like an endless pit. Some people could also break out of it by doing something physical, like rubbing hands together to "prove" their size to the brain.

Vincent
01-31-2008, 03:42 AM
Is this anything like when I watch TV, and suddenly I lose the illusion that I'm watching life-sized people on the screen, and instead they look like tiny little things with heads the size of peas? Very disorientating.

Kerr
01-31-2008, 03:58 AM
It only happens when I'm in bed with my love bug. :D


I don't know if you were being serious, but I used to get this, too, when I was young and first married. It was the strangest sensation, kind of like large and small amoebas moving in my head, one swallowing up the other. There were times it really recked the moment for me.

HeronW
01-31-2008, 04:10 AM
I think it's an illusion based on being overtired, the brain starts dreaming when we're still awake.

JoNightshade
01-31-2008, 04:11 AM
I think it's an illusion based on being overtired, the brain starts dreaming when we're still awake.

Yeah, it's LIKE the falling asleep sensation, but not quite the same. And it happens even when you're not sleepy.

brokenfingers
01-31-2008, 04:16 AM
That's so odd. I've experienced this also, though the last time I did I was about eight or so.

I had just awoken from a deep sleep and my hands felt too big for my body. I always remember that moment whenever I hear Pink Floyd's 'Comfortably Numb' - the line where he says:

When I was a child I had a fever.
My hands felt just like two balloons.

writerterri
01-31-2008, 04:21 AM
I don't know if you were being serious, but I used to get this, too, when I was young and first married. It was the strangest sensation, kind of like large and small amoebas moving in my head, one swallowing up the other. There were times it really recked the moment for me.

Well, I was talking about things growing... bigger<cough> when I enter a room.

*sigh*

But I know what you mean.

Kerr
01-31-2008, 07:08 AM
Well, I was talking about things growing... bigger<cough> when I enter a room.

*sigh*

But I know what you mean.

Kinda thought so. Yep, I remember those moments, too.

LIVIN
01-31-2008, 08:47 AM
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome - Anyone else experience this?!

No, can't say that I have. But, it's one of the many eccentricities of life that piques my curiousity.

Jo, I hope to one day watch you talk about your experiences with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome on an episode of Charlie Rose. :)

kellytijer
01-31-2008, 08:54 AM
i always thought it was astral projection that made me feel that way.

JoNightshade
01-31-2008, 10:41 AM
No, can't say that I have. But, it's one of the many eccentricities of life that piques my curiousity.

Jo, I hope to one day watch you talk about your experiences with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome on an episode of Charlie Rose. :)

Uh oh, someone read my profile. Haha. Believe you me, if I am ever on Charlie Rose, I will not be talking about my weird childhood experiences.


i always thought it was astral projection that made me feel that way.

Is that what that's supposed to be? I thought astral projection was where you felt your body was floating or something... I thought it was that weird sleep-paralysis thing. I knew someone who had that - it really freaked him out.

Maryn
01-31-2008, 06:03 PM
I experienced this phenomenon relatively often, until puberty. The out-of-scale object was nearly always my lower arm or hand, or something held in my hand, like the text of a book I was reading. I remember the fingertips (wow, look how deep fingerprints are, and how intricate!) and the book (geez, up close the letters aren't crisp at all but have fuzzy edges and parts that aren't all the way black!) vividly.

Now that my eyes are old, I wish I could do it voluntarily instead of stashing reading glasses all over the house.

Maryn, thinking this is pretty interesting

rekirts
01-31-2008, 06:28 PM
I thought astral projection was where you felt your body was floating or something... I thought it was that weird sleep-paralysis thing. I knew someone who had that - it really freaked him out.I've had that sleep paralysis thing several times (without the astral projection), and yes, it freaked me out. I was alone and I heard people walking around and running water and stuff like that. Other times my body seemed to be buzzing and vibrating.

maestrowork
01-31-2008, 06:39 PM
Told you guys to lay off the drugs. M'kay?

nerds
01-31-2008, 07:42 PM
One of my sisters is epileptic and experienced the Alice syndrome routinely before the correct meds were worked out for her, and I've known several migraineurs who have it as well.

Calla Lily
01-31-2008, 07:46 PM
I had it a lot as a kid--never knew the name for it! I have migraines as an adult now. Hmmm.

My youngest mentions this happening. Hopefully he'll grow out of it like I did.

truelyana
01-31-2008, 08:15 PM
I experience this as a lifesize form, and I know why. Usually the body grows bigger than the actual size, and it starts pulsating as my true nature over drives the links between the mind and the body.

truelyana
01-31-2008, 08:19 PM
Other times my body seemed to be buzzing and vibrating.

That's how I have been the past week. :)

kellytijer
01-31-2008, 10:54 PM
Is that what that's supposed to be? I thought astral projection was where you felt your body was floating or something... I thought it was that weird sleep-paralysis thing. I knew someone who had that - it really freaked him out.


Maybe so...especially in my teenage years, if I was laying in bed and everything was super quiet, and I thought about where I'd come from and where I was going, (in a spiritual sense), I'd start to feel, I don't know, like, my own mortality. I had a sense of growing larger or something. During those years I read the Time Life "Mysteries of the Unknown" series, and the astral projection chapter seemed to fit what I was going through.

Now when I think back about it I just laugh. I think to myself, "I was so stupid back then."

Things seem to have solidified or grown more concrete for me as I've aged. Maybe my mind isn't as free as it used to be. Gawd, is my brain is calcifying?

kellytijer
01-31-2008, 10:59 PM
One of my sisters is epileptic and experienced the Alice syndrome routinely before the correct meds were worked out for her, and I've known several migraineurs who have it as well.

Now that's interesting. My mother's twin sister is epileptic. And I was diagnosed with "optical migraines" as a teen. The migraines stopped right after the birth of my first baby 10 years ago. Haven't had one since. Hmmm.

paprikapink
01-31-2008, 11:20 PM
No migraines, no epilepsy, but definitely the Alice thing! I remember vividly the first time it happened. I had the mumps and a fever and suddenly everything seemed so HUGE and my babysitter seemed to be shouting and moving really fast (but she wasn't). It happened frequently during my childhood after that and has happened rarely since then.

At first I would panic when it happened because my sensations were so clearly misaligned with what I could see was true. Everything's huge -- but if I hold my hand up next to anything, I can see that everything is "to scale." Gradually I just got used to it. Now I even wish it would last a little longer when it does happen because I'm so curious about it, I'd like to be able to observe it. But generally, as soon as I notice it, it passes.

This is the first time I've ever heard anyone else even refer to it, let alone have a name for it. Cool!

nerds
01-31-2008, 11:20 PM
Now that's interesting. My mother's twin sister is epileptic. And I was diagnosed with "optical migraines" as a teen. The migraines stopped right after the birth of my first baby 10 years ago. Haven't had one since. Hmmm.


Yes, and many prescription meds for migraine are either based on or variations of seizure meds for epilepsy. But they certainly don't work for all migraineurs, only some. Epilepsy is far better understood than migraine is, and no concrete connection between the two has ever been made. The Alice syndrome is the shared symptom, and it doesn't happen to everyone with either condition.

I read a while ago of a woman who received a terrible head injury in a car crash. She'd been a migraineur since childhood, it had crippled her life. After recovery from the crash her sense of smell was gone but so were the headaches, and she was quoted as saying the trade was well worth it, she had her life back.

Pregnancy and childbirth can end migraines and in some begin them. It's a poorly-understood, difficult condition which can really hobble a life in some cases regardless of meds.

akiwiguy
01-31-2008, 11:35 PM
i always thought it was astral projection that made me feel that way.

That's odd. I was just thinking about astral projection. Off the Alice Syndrome topic, but I used to often get a sensation of shrinking to infinitely small in pitch blackness, a quite freaky feeling, and a distictive sensation that I was traveling somewhere. Haven't had it for ages, and it is hard to explain.

rhymegirl
02-01-2008, 01:35 AM
Basically this is when your view of something's size gets really distorted - things feel really big or small.

Wow. That's all I'm gonna say.

JoNightshade
02-01-2008, 01:42 AM
Okay guys, cut the sexual innuendo. :)

But I'm glad to have discovered some other people who experienced this! As a child I just assumed it was something normal, probably because it was so similar to that "floaty" feeling you get when you're about to fall asleep.

I am fairly prone to headaches (if I don't wear sunglasses outside, or get to hot, or whatever...) but not migraines, fortunately.

I was talking to my mom about this and wondering if maybe (aside from the migraine sufferers) it's like a form of mild childhood epilepsy. I know lots of kids get that and grow out of it.

Anyway, the brain is certainly a fascinating place.

Bartholomew
02-01-2008, 01:45 AM
I just stumbled upon this article (http://a.abcnews.com/Primetime/story?id=3581479&page=1)about "Alice in Wonderland Syndrome." Basically this is when your view of something's size gets really distorted - things feel really big or small. The article talks about how they have linked it to migraines and epilepsy, as a kind of "aura." For most people it disappears as you get older.

I never heard of this, but I recognized it as soon as I read the article! I experienced this fairly frequently when I was little. Sometimes I would be lying awake, not doing anything, and I would feel something like... it's hard to describe. Like the space between my finger and thumb would become infinitely big, and then it would shrink and shrink. Or sometimes when I was reading, the words would look really big and close or really small and far away, almost like tunnel-vision.

Now I only get it every once in a great while. I just thought it was some weird thing that happened when I got kinda sleepy. I never mentioned it because I had no idea how to describe it.

Anyone else???

Wow.

I remember going to school for the first day of 1st grade and thinking, "My god, everyone else is so big," and then the next day, they were all my size. My parents told me it was in my head and I believed them. It never happened since.

I wonder if it is the same phenomena.

Magdalen
02-01-2008, 09:04 AM
I've definitely experienced this in terms of size, time, and detail. Early on I had read Milos Kundera and thought it might just be the "unbearable lightness of being." And sometimes when I first wake up I still feel that way. I hardly ever get headaches. Even though I feel a tremendous sense of disparity when this happens, I do not feel powerless. I think listening to the bridge in "Freebird" sometimes brings it on.

Hillary
02-01-2008, 09:20 AM
I was reading the comments on the article and it seems like a lot of people have different experiences. Some feel like time is slowing or speeding up, some people feel that they themselves are big or small, and some feel like other objects are large or small.

One thing people say that I also experienced was that the sensation does not go away if you close your eyes. It still feels like an endless pit. Some people could also break out of it by doing something physical, like rubbing hands together to "prove" their size to the brain.

This happens to me sometimes, when I'm in bed. (Alone, so everyone can drag their minds out of the gutter.) I never had a name for it. Sometimes, I'll feel like the room is stretching and sprawling, then shrinking. I also hear voices that are impossible to understand, and it sounds like they are speaking very quickly, but it's in a slow-motion type setting. Uh, that made no sense, really. But hey.