Alice In Wonderland Syndrome

In the book Alice in Wonderland, Alice has a unique vision to look at the world around her. The places and objects around her kept on shifting from color to appearances to distance. Things around her kept changing every time.

The reason why she experienced such visions was that of her fall in a rabbit hole. After that fall, the visions around her quite surprised her. She eats a cake marked as “eat me,” and then grows huge enough to get keys place over a large table. At one point, she sips water from a bottle which was marked “drink me” and all of a sudden she shrinks small enough to pass and fit through a tiny door.

An Unusual Illness:

Reading about Alice, even you might be thinking that she is facing terrible illness in her. But who knew this bizarre problem of Alice could get alive in real life as well, making an individual’s life confusing and problematic.

The world around these people at times becomes the same as Alice’s in her book. Objects moving, straight lines turning curved, and changes in colors are some of the strange things that happen to people who face this illness.

John Todd, a British psychiatrist in 1955, named this strange health condition as Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (AIWS) after Alice’s character in the book. He used this term to describe the strange symptoms he had heard about people facing epilepsy and migraine headaches.

Lewis Carroll

Interestingly, Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland suffered from severe Lilliputian hallucinations and migraines because of which the people and the objects appeared smaller than the usual to him.

The cases of such rare neurological detection have been associated with diagnoses of infectious mononucleosis. A single group of symptoms related to epilepsy and migraine. The patients who got affected with this did not show any sign of brain tumors or damaged eyesight, According to Todd.

He also believed that the majority of AIWS patients were reported with a family history of migraines or suffer from headaches themselves. Many times, AIWS patients feel their entire body or part of it have been altered in shape and size.

Symptoms Of AIWS:

This rare neurological discovery has strange effects on people. So if you feel the bizarre things happening in and around you, it can be events of AIWS. Some of the symptoms of Alice in Wonderland syndrome are as follows:

  • People and objects may be visible stretched out.
  • Objects that are still may seem to move.
  • Faces may be seen twisted or misshaped.
  • Three-dimensional objects may look flat.
  • Straight lines may look curvy
  • Colors may look brighter than the actuality.
  • Objects may tilt to the side or change its colors
  • Your body parts or the things around you might look closer or farther, small or huge.

Alice In Wonderland Syndrome

According to the health experts, these are some of the symptoms of AIWS that are found in patients. As we came across to the signs, let us find out the causes that lead to such unusual illness.

Causes Of AIW Syndrome:

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome involves two parts of your mind that deals with sensory information such as ‘what you hear and see.’ These visual changes can affect your perception of your body and its connection to the environment around you.

Health experts aren’t sure about this syndrome and why people have strange changes in perception but it can often found in children from very young age.

Doctors believe that AIWS can be a type of migraine aura. Aura can be the visuals or other sensory problems that some people get during or before a headache. Tingling in your hands, shimmering spots, ringing in your ears or flashing lights can be the causes behind AIWS.

As found, AIWS can happen during, before or after a migraine attack. But here are some of the conditions that can also cause this syndrome.

  • Epstein-Barr virus infections
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Stroke
  • Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia - A Condition That Can Cause AIWS

Treatments For AIWS:

Till now, there is no specific treatment for this syndrome, but you can avoid such strange conditions by staying away from things that can cause migraines in you. You can use various techniques such as:

  • Blood pressure medicines
  • Anti-seizure drugs
  • Antidepressants

Antidepressants Can be used to cure The Alice In Wonderland Syndrome

There might be the changes to your diet your doctor may advise you which can prove beneficial. Here are some of the diet tips you can use for yourself to combat migraines leading AIWS:

Avoid food and drink items that trigger headaches to you.

The most common migraine motivators found by the doctors are:

  • Bacon
  • Monosodium glutamate
  • Aspartame
  • Hot dogs
  • Soft cheese
  • Alcohol

Eat fresh and healthy food such as:

  • Poultry
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Meat
  • Fruits
  • Eggs
  • Fish

Change your intake pattern:

If you are having 3 meals a day, starting eating five to six smaller meals whole day. Hunger can be one of the reasons for an increase in a migraine through headaches.

Change In Meal Pattern


Reports have proved that most often people’s perception of becoming physically bigger or smaller compared to its surroundings is the central detail. However, there can be an impression that an individual’s surroundings are shrinking or growing compared to the person himself. The sense that fixed surroundings are moving also includes distortion in visual awareness by other narratives.

If you doubt that you or anyone around you are facing with such illness, you can get it checked by the neurologist or a specialist that treats our nerves, brain, and spinal cord problems. The doctor might ask you about the history of the migraines in you and the symptoms.

Following Tests Might Be Advised By The Doctor:

  • Electroencephalogram or EEG: This measures the electrical motions and activities happening inside your brain.
  • Blood test: To find out if you are affected with Epstein-Barr virus or any other virus that leads to AIWS. The medical team will take your blood sample from your arm’s veins and find out the actual reason behind the problem.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI: This scan uses powerful radio waves or magnets to make a detailed image of your brain.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging


This rare illness might affect you or your children from a young age, so it is better that you take health checkups frequently. This medical condition does not that have a cure but taking necessary and effective measurements can help combat the disease that leads to the Alice in Wonderland Syndrome.

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About Michelle 61 Articles
Michelle is the senior most expert who writes for this website. After completing her graduation and 10+ years of practice, Michelle has been involved and known for a lot of her philanthropy work. Michelle loves spending time researching and writing her papers. She occasionally writes for us and we are extremely proud to have her as one of our editors. Follow me on Linkedin

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