You’re Like, So Sick…
By Doc. Stac,
The Hypochondriac’s Best Friend
Does this font size look normal to you? Does your backpack seem unusually large today? Do you seem particularly bigger or smaller? Feel like playing croquet with a flamingo? If yes to any of the first three questions, it’s not the effects of Daylight Savings Time. It’s most likely Alice in Wonderland Syndrome.
British author Lewis Carroll once wrote, “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?” With his love of nonsense, Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland: a delightful children’s book and film about a girl who falls down a rabbit hole, where the sizes, shapes, and colors are, in reality, all optical illusions. While the story of Alice is delightfully entertaining, the “contrary wise” symptoms of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome are “curiouser and curiouser.” Alice in Wonderland Syndrome–AIWS–causes you to believe your body parts, and the things around you, are either significantly bigger or smaller than they are in reality. Other symptoms include seeing 3D objects as flat, straight lines as wavy, still objects as moving, and stretched out people! Wild. AIWS is considered to be an optical neurological condition of which children are the primary target. While the cause is still unknown, triggers of AIWS do include Epstein-Barr virus, aka mono, seizures, seizure medication, and migraines. A fascinating case of AIWS was found in Helene Stapinski, as well as her daughter, son, mother, brother, and sister! In a post written by the NY Times, Stapinski recalls her daughter coming down with a headache, and telling her mother that everything in her bedroom was “small” again. Read the full story here!
While AIWS is mostly seen in children, don’t be too sure you’re in the clear just yet! There is a story of a man who did not begin to experience symptoms until he was 21, and when he did? The disproportionality of reality was never ending! He described laying in bed and seeing his fingers stretched out for at least a half mile–I guess we know who didn’t steal the queen’s tarts– walking across the street with no idea of how far the car was from him or how fast they were truly going. He had to quit his job and move back in with his parents, poor guy! Thankfully, ten years later, he promises his symptoms only occur once a month, tops. If you begin to experience this distortion of physical life, you’re like, so sick. But, there is hope… While you won’t find a cure at Walgreens anytime soon, you can be confident that your symptoms will eventually go away! Woohoo!