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Alice in Wonderland Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms and Therapy

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms and Therapy

June 17, 2024

If our senses deceive us rarely, it is, among other things, because in our brain there are a lot of structures that work at the same time to have a realistic image of the world around us.

The Alice in Wonderland syndrome it is a test of what happens when these processes begin to uncoordinate.

What is the syndrome of Alice in Wonderland?

Is about a very rare neurological disorder in which visual perception is altered , seeing things of a size that does not correspond to reality.

Thus, it may happen that the person sees an object as if it were much smaller than it is, or that a giant is created among miniaturized elements, or that the opposite occurs and note how elements of the environment or of its own body are smaller than normal.

In particular, it is very common that the visual hallucinations that appear with this syndrome have to do with the way in which the parts of the body are perceived.

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Symptoms of this perception problem

In some cases, the Alice in Wonderland Syndrome can be expressed in micropsy, while in others it is expressed in the form of a macropsy .


In the micropsy, everything seems to be significantly smaller than it actually is.


In this case, the opposite happens to what the micropsy defines: elements of the body or the environment are visualized in a deformed way, as if they were much larger than expected.

Other symptoms

The two previous phenomena do not know how to determine very well how far from oneself is an object, animal or person, which produces disorientation, anxiety and a sense of vulnerability.

These visual hallucinations do not usually last indefinitely, and disappear after a few minutes. On the other hand, it is more frequent to appear during the night, when there is little light and when you are about to fall into a state of sleep (something that is also common in other forms of hallucinations).

In addition, in some cases the Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is accompanied by the loss of the notion of time and / or hallucinations about objects, animals, objects or people that are not really visible, which aggravates the sensation of disorientation. At times, all these visual deceptions are accompanied by tactile or auditory hallucinations.

  • Related article: "Hallucinations: definition, causes, and symptoms"

Where does the name of this disorder come from?

The Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is named after the famous novel by Lewis Carroll, whose protagonist experienced this phenomenon under the influence of the magic that surrounded the region he was exploring.

These parts of the narrative were inspired by the experiences of Lewis Carroll himself, who had this syndrome . However, the symptoms of this alteration are not as stimulating as they were in his literary work, and produce a notable discomfort.


Like any neurological disorder, the Lycian Syndrome in Wonderland does not have very well-known causes, since it influences many things and, in addition, the brain of each human being is something unique and very adapted to the life of each person .

That means that it can be caused by several types of injuries or alterations in the functioning of the body, whether chronic or punctual. For example, problems with circulation of blood through the brain could produce symptoms.

On the other hand, Certain injuries and diseases, such as the Epstein-Barr virus, can produce this symptomatic picture , because to do so we just have to make the functioning of certain groups of neurons begin to change in a way not foreseen by evolution.

Who experiences it?

The Alice in Wonderland Syndrome it is much more frequent during childhood and adolescence . After 30 years of age it is much rarer and, in any case, it could appear as a result of brain injuries.


After having made the diagnosis of this syndrome, a treatment is established that will depend on each case and the causes related to the onset of symptoms. Sometimes, a better rest and sleep will be enough for the symptoms to remit , while in others it is necessary to treat chronic diseases and neurological alterations.

In any case, any form of intervention on the Alice in Wonderland Syndrome should be proposed and supervised by a health specialist sufficiently accredited to do so and trained in mental health and neurology.

In the same way, the prognosis of this syndrome is very variable , and depends on what its causes are and how easy it is to intervene on them to solve the problem.

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome: 10 Interesting Facts (June 2024).

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