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Alice in Wonderland

Аuthor: Аbikenova Аyazhan

Editor: Кigbaeva Kamila





      Everyone will surely remember the tale of Lewis Carroll "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". One of the main moments in the plot is when Alice has a dream: she found herself in a world where everything is presented in an unusual way, small things seem big and, on the contrary, big things seem small. Did you know that for some people the event that happened to Alice happens every day? And for them it is a mental disorder.


        In the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), this condition is not defined by a separate disease, but only by a symptom (sign) of a certain pathology. This symptom is called "micropsia" when the surrounding objects seem to be small, or "macropsia" - when objects seem too large. This condition has no relationship with visual impairment, but is really considered a nervous pathology and is associated precisely with the perception of the surrounding world. The proof of this is that even with closed eyes, a person does not represent everything in real terms.  British psychiatrist John Todd called such a disorder in the nervous system "Alice in Wonderland" syndrome, because what happened to Alice in the fairy tale fully describes the state of people with this disorder.


     The causes of "Alice's syndrome" are unclear, as well as other nervous pathologies. Scientists suggest that there are factors that directly affect the nervous system, which, perhaps, are the very reason why a person feels "out of place": head trauma, Epstein-Barr virus, infectious mononucleosis, schizophrenia, epilepsy, psychotropic drugs, strong emotional distress, psychological trauma, some cases of migraine. Psychiatrists say that this syndrome should not be confused with hallucinations caused by the use of alcohol or drugs; it manifests itself much more seriously and proceeds constantly, regardless of the patient's lifestyle.


      A high frequency of occurrence is observed in children and adolescents, perhaps this is due to the labile psyche and fantasy in children, as well as the restructuring of hormonal function in adolescents during puberty.


       The syndrome manifests itself either within minutes, like an attack, or over a long period of time, from hours to weeks or months. It is characterized by staging: it starts with a severe headache, anxiety, then objects in front of the eyes take on unnatural sizes, an ordinary pen seems huge or a domestic cat is the size of a mouse, later these visual distortions disappear, the person calms down, but feels severe fatigue and apathy. A small child during an attack can scream, cry with fear and speak if he knows how to talk, that he seems to himself too small, and the room with objects in which he is, is huge, or vice versa - that he does not fit into the room. Psychologists consider this a wake-up call and recommend contacting a specialist.


       In addition to the main symptoms, "Alice's syndrome" also has background manifestations, such as disorientation in space and time, panic attacks, migraine, apathy, increased heart rate, and gastrointestinal tract disorders. They are found in other diseases, but the feature is in the complexity of three or more background signs and the mandatory presence of the main symptom.


     Thus, it can be concluded that the attacks do not occur according to a certain pattern and pass without any medical intervention. This proves once again that the brain has its own plans: if it wants, it can present the world to its owner in a completely different form.