Hey guys, this is a bit hard to explain so bear with me.
I’ve been getting this sensation lately that I used to get quite often as a child. It’s very unnerving and I guess it scares me in a way.
While lying in bed with my eyes closed, it’s as if the darkness behind my eyelids is ‘expanding’ very quickly, and I am suddenly a very small being within a very large, dark space. I also get somewhat of a ‘zooming’ sensation and a feeling of weightlessness in my head. During this experience, I feel very worried/unnerved, probably because I have no explanation for what is going on or the fact that no one else knows what the hell I’m talking about when I try and explain it to them.
When I got it as a child it was much worse, it was usually accompanied by sound, e.g I could hear a large group of people talking as if they were in my room. I remember I used to explain it to my parents just as ‘that feeling’ but I don’t think they ever really understood what I was on about.
I’ve done a little bit of research, and uncovered something called Alice in Wonderland Syndrome or ‘AIWS‘. It relates to the conditions of micropsia and macropsia. A description of Macropsia:
“Macropsia (also known as megalopia) is a neurological condition affecting human visual perception, in which objects within an affected section of the visual field appear larger than normal, causing the subject to feel smaller.
Macropsia, along with its opposite condition, micropsia, can be categorized under dysmetropsia. Macropsia is related to other conditions dealing with visual perception, such as aniseikonia and Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (AIWS, also known as Todd’s syndrome).
Macropsia has a wide range of causes, from prescription and illicit drugs, to migraines and (rarely) complex partial epilepsy, and to different retinal conditions, such as epiretinal membrane. Physiologically, retinal macropsia results from the compression of cones in the eye. It is the compression of receptor distribution that results in greater stimulation and thus a larger perceived image of an object.”
The only thing is this only seems to happen when my eyes are closed, I don’t see over-enlarged objects or feel really small at any other times, otherwise, it’s the closest thing I can find to explain this sensation.
I should note that I have never taken drugs, so we can rule that out. Has anyone else experienced this?
Yup. The reason I suggested it is because it’s what I get on odd occasions. Though mine is usually not being able to move accompanied by extremely loud whooshing noises and feeling like some kind of threat is in the room with me or that I’m going to be harmed somehow by the experience. Everything is all distorted and weird.
It’s basically a transition state between being awake and falling to sleep which people get stuck in temporarily sometimes. If that is indeed what you’re having then it’s completely nothing to worry about in itself. It can just be a bit unpleasant.
I’ve had this, or similar. I think there’s even a thread buried somewhere on these boards where a couple of us confirmed it as a shared experience. For me, it was usually the sensation that something colossally large was obliterating something tiny and helpless, accompanied by a sense of overwhelming, increasing ominousness.
Used to get it fairly commonly as a child, particularly when feverish, when it would get so strong and terrifying even in a semi-waking state that I could be reduced to tears. In adulthood, I’d say the sensation probably hasn’t occurred more than once in the last decade.
I’ve gotten it. I don’t have the sensation of feeling small, but definitely a feeling I might associate with a headrush. It’s almost like the feeling you get when you hit your forehead on something, and opening my eyes usually makes it go away (unless I’ve got a bad case of the flu or am really tired).
I never thought anything of it, and though it’s not pleasurable I usually dwell in it for a while due to how rare it is (maybe only once in two years now that I’m an adult, but I know I experienced it more often as a kid). It usually comes along with ringing in my ears, but not like the ring of hearing damage.
Another part of the sensation is often a back-and-forth alternating feeling like I’m somehow switching between two different static states. It’s relatively fast, like 6 cycles per second. Does that sound familiar to anyone else?
‘ve never been satisfied with the definitions of macropsia and micropsia.
I would describe it as objects appearing far away. Whether that gives the impression that they’re huge and I’m tiny, or the objects looking small because everything is far away (like a fisheye lens), it’s all kind of the same thing.
I used to have terrifying experiences with this as a child. Horrifying sounds and other visual things in my imagination would have me screaming at night, and my mom would have to calm me down.
I still experience it on occasion when I’m deprived of sleep, but it’s usually just the visual sensation. I almost try to immerse myself into it so I can get the audio and tactile experiences that go along with it, just because I find it so interesting. (like taking drugs without the drugs) Sometimes I’ll hear audio noise as if my ears are turned up really high but there aren’t any loud sounds.
Or I’ll hear sounds in my imagination and they’re distorted as if overdriven. The tactile sensations are far more difficult to describe. The last time I remember experiencing it, it was in a half-dream state and there was a terrifying feeling accompanied by it.
I was grasping some unknown object (or maybe nothing at all) with my hand, and it seemed to be changing in size. I was comfortable when it was small. But when it was large I would be terrified for some reason. Yeah, in before penis jokes.
Okay, I read a few pages and now will share my story. When I was a kid, I slept out in the living room. On the other side of the room were two large sliding glass doors and windows. I would stare outside and I would start to see things.
The giant tree in the neighbor’s yard would be a sort of dark shadowy gear that slowly turned. A dark substance, perhaps tar, would slowly spill out over the cement wall (that we used as a fence). At the same time, the house would slowly lift up into the air. All of these things seemed to be connected somehow.
The more I stared, the more it progressed, etc. Blinking would reset it. I also remember seeing the ceiling fans like a hand crushing sticks or a monster ghost face on the top of the wall where an outlet faceplate was.
I don’t remember if I dreamed of these things or hallucinated them. I also remember experiencing the darkness spreading Raziaar’s story too.
Could still be a form of Hypnagogia. When you’re laying in bed with your eyes closed in the dark your brain will know that you’re trying to go to sleep and it might activate it. It’s also common to have more than one in a night, you can get out of it, make yourself aware again and then slip back into it.
Some of what other people have been saying is right though, it can be brought on by sleep deprivation or anxieties. They’re not always the root cause but can make it more likely that you’ll have the experience.
I’m still fairly sure it’s nothing to worry about but obviously, if it starts to have a major effect on you, you could always seek a professional opinion.