Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Case Report

Alice in Wonderland syndrome: a strange visual perceptual disturbance

1.

Department of Psychiatry, Kafkas University Faculty of Medicine, Kars, Turkey

2.

Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Kafkas University Faculty of Medicine, Kars, Turkey

Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2017; 27: 412-415
DOI: 10.1080/24750573.2017.1354655
Read: 1021 Downloads: 473 Published: 11 February 2021

- “Who are you?” said the Caterpillar. - Alice replied, rather shyly, “I – I hardly know, sir, just at present- at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.” - “What do you mean by that?” said the Caterpillar sternly. “Explain yourself!”, - “I can’t explain myself, I’m afraid, sir,” said Alice, “because I’m not myself, you see.” - “I don’t see,” said the Caterpillar. - “I’m afraid I can’t put it more clearly,” Alice replied very politely, “for I can’t understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.” (Lewis Carroll L., Alice’s adventures in Wonderland. London: Macmillan & Co; 1865) The term Alice in Wonderland syndrome (AIWS) was initially coined by John Todd in 1955 to describe some weird somesthetic aura involving the shape or size of the objects and body parts. The name of this disorder was inspired by the novel of Lewis Carroll and his novel hero Alice. Alice appeared to experience many body size changes throughout the course of the story. Alice even feels her body shrink (microsomatognosia) or growing unexplainably taller (macrosomatognosia) than she actually is. Such visual perceptual distortions may occur in epileptic seizures, encephalitis, drug intoxication, and may be described in patients with schizophrenia or brain lesions. However, migraine and epilepsy are highly involved diseases that cause this type of aural symptoms. In this paper, a unique presentation of a young AIWS patient who has been depressed by experiencing an intermittent perceptual disturbance of seeing her cat as a huge tiger was reported.

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