Alice In Wonderland Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms And Therapy

A curious neurological alteration; produces visual hallucinations about the size of things.

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

The Alice in Wonderland syndrome is proof of what happens when these processes start to get out of coordination.

What is Alice in Wonderland syndrome?

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

Thus, it can 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 happens and notice how elements of the environment or of his 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.

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 macropsia.


On micropsy, everything appears to be significantly smaller than it actually is.


In this case, the opposite of what is defined by micropsy occurs: 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 mean that it is not very well known how far an object, animal or person is from oneself, which produces disorientation, anxiety and a feeling of vulnerability. 

These visual hallucinations do not usually last indefinitely, and disappear after a few minutes. On the other hand, it is more common for them to appear at night , when there is little light and when you are about to fall into a dream state (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 in sight, which aggravates the feeling disoriented All these visual delusions are sometimes accompanied by tactile or auditory hallucinations.

Where does the name of this disorder come from?

The Alice in Wonderland Syndrome gets its name from the famous novel by Lewis Carroll, whose protagonist experienced this phenomenon under the influence of 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 they produce considerable discomfort.


Like any neurological disorder, Lycia Syndrome in Wonderland does not have very well known causes, since many things influence it 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 various types of injuries or alterations in the functioning of the body, either chronic or specific. For example, problems with blood circulation through the brain could cause your symptoms.

On the other hand, certain injuries and diseases, such as the Epstein-Barr virus, can produce this symptomatic picture, since for this it is only necessary to make the functioning of certain groups of neurons begin to change in a way not foreseen by the evolution.

Who experiences it?

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


After the diagnosis of this syndrome has been made, a treatment is established that will depend on each case and the causes related to the appearance of symptoms. Sometimes, better rest and sleep will be enough for the symptoms to subside, while in others, chronic diseases and neurological disorders must be treated.

In any case, any form of intervention on Alice in Wonderland Syndrome must be proposed and supervised by a health specialist sufficiently accredited for it and trained in mental health and neurology.

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

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