This is a condition of neurons in which an individual's perception of colors, sizes, distances, images and textures of objects, people, animals like ducks (anatidaephobia), and other things are altered from reality. In other words, the individual sees things exactly their opposite. An example of this condition is shown in the fiction movie Alice in Wonderland, where Alice, a fictional and main character posses the symptoms of this syndrome that will be discussed later in this as you read along.
This syndrome is however sometimes confused with another condition known as Schizophrenia, which has almost the same symptoms as the former. Research shows that Alice in Wonderland is estimated to occur in about 10-20%of the population. This condition, however, not frequent and is believed to occur a few times throughout the lives of most affected individuals. It is for this reason why much is not known about the syndrome.
The idea of Alice in Wonderland syndrome dates back to 1955, when a British psychiatrist, Dr. John Todd described the syndrome. He gave it this name (Alice in Wonderland) from the famous novel by Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The fictional writer, Alice, experienced many of the events. It is reported that Lewis Carroll had suffered from severe migraine and Lilliputian hallucinations. This refers to a condition where objects, as well as people, appear smaller than they are.
What are some of the causes of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome?
This condition is usually experienced by young children; this is why it is unique as most young children can't explain exactly what they undergo. The causes include the following;
Some doctors believe that this syndrome may be a type of migraine aura. Auras are visual and other sensory issues that some people may experience before or during headache. This condition may also be as a result of schizophrenia, a stroke, epilepsy or by taking certain medications.
Causes of Migraine
- a) Stress
- b) Taking certain drugs
- c) Sleeping styles and patterns
- d) Genetic predisposition to experiencing migraine
- e) Brain tumors, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis an infection, or head trauma.
Stress often brings headaches to people who can't control themselves mentally and physically. It is true that everyone experience stress at some point in their lives. The severity of a migraine however far outweighs that of an ordinary headache and depending on the stress quantity you as an individual is going through or rather experiencing the ability to cope with such stress, and genetic makeup.
Under the prescription of drugs, it is always indicated, the side effects brought about by the drugs when taken. Hence it is always important to take into consideration such factors. Certain medications are believed to induce a migraine. Drugs took orally (through the mouth), and vasodilators are among those that may induce a migraine, and subsequently Alice in Wonderland syndrome.
Senses to touch, see, the smell may be affected by this condition. Extreme bright lights, very loud sounds or even powerful smells may bring migraine to a person already experiencing headache.
There are recommended sleep hours for both children and adults and in the case where one does not get enough sleep or gets too much may put one at risk of contracting migraine. This is because you will have the genetics to Allie it develops.
Signs and symptoms of Alice in Wonderland syndrome
The signs and symptoms of this condition often resemble those of schizophrenia. Just as in the movie previously talked about, Alice experience color enhancement in the environment, e.g. straight lines that appear curved, large objects that are small, small objects that are very large. Other symptoms include: things that appear far away but are very nearer, objects may look bigger or smaller than they really are, people's faces may appear disfigured, colors may appear much brighter than they really are, objects or people may appear to be stretched out, objects that are still may appear to be moving, straight lines appear wavy or wiped, things may appear closer or further away than they really are.
Diagnosis for Alice in Wonderland syndrome
Alice in Wonderland syndrome is a neurological issue hence the need to seek a neurologist as opposed to a psychiatrist for diagnosis. Once you seek a neurologist, he or she will take your blood samples to a laboratory for tests to ascertain the presence of Epstein Barr virus or another virus that causes Alice in Wonderland syndrome, an MRI scan of the brain or an EEG test.
Treatment for Alice in Wonderland syndrome
This condition, unfortunately, has no treatments so far, but it can be prevented or minimized through control of migraine. This is achieved through taking prescribed drugs, over the counter medication such as Excedrin or Tylenol, preventing headache through minimizing possible causes of stress. Other prevention measures include; rest in a very quiet place, dim area until the migraine subsides, reduce the amount of caffeine in your diet, get adequate sleep, eat or drink regularly, medication for blood pressure, anti-seizure and antidepressants can help with treating this syndrome, eat a healthy diet to reduce your risk of experiencing migraine
Prevention of Alice in Wonderland syndrome and migraine
There are several ways to prevent Alice in Wonderland syndrome and migraine. These include
A journal is a daily record of how you feel. This helps with references and help one learn the behaviors he or she should maintain and otherwise change. This also helps those who are always forgetful as they will easily be able to look into their journal for entry at a past date.
2)Avoid too much bright light
Too much bright lights are known to induce headaches and cause migraines to people who are sensitive to it. It is therefore required to avoid bright lights through using candles; dim lamps turned on in your home.
3) Good night sleep
Good sleep help reduce the risk of getting Migraine and Alice in Wonderland syndrome. Healthy sleeping habits include going to bed around the same time each night not eating large meals right before bed, not consuming caffeine right before bed, having a comfortable mattress, pillows.
4) Avoid stress
Prevention of adverse amount of stress significantly helps reduce migraine. Reduce stress by using deep breathing techniques. Pursed lips breathing is another highly recommended breathing techniques which can help to reduce your risk of getting a migraine or Alice in Wonderland syndrome.
5) Avoid loud noise
Try and reduce exposure to loud noises; however some loud noises are unavoidable, e.g., lightning, vehicles hooting. The only way to avoid such is by reducing the chances of getting exposed to loud noises.
6) Avoid excessive caffeineToo much Caffeine especially right before bed disturbs your sleep and night rest; it also means a severe headache and possibly AIWS in so far as you have proper genetics.
7) Eat wisely.
Eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables,
8) Exercise consistently
Mindful meditation help in mental calmness; this, therefore, reduces stress amount.