It's a really difficult thing to explain but I will try my best because I really want to know what causes it.
When I was younger I used to call it the 'fast feeling' - its a sensation that everything around me is moving at an incredible speed - however I can see that things aren't moving fast - I can process that thought - but what I get is a sense/feeling of a huge adrenalin rush. If people talk to me I can see and process they are talking normally but my head sends out signals to my brain that makes it 'feel' like they are talking with a sense of urgency.
I guess it feels like a shot of adrenalin in my head - but I don't physically feel energised - my heart doesn't beat faster, I don't move or act with any more urgency - it's like a battle between conscious and subconscious.
I'm not worried about it - like I said it doesn't happen very often and, if I try and get rid of it, lasts no more than 5 mins - I'm just curious to know if anyone else has come across such a thing.
The problem discussed in this topic is quite unusual. The discussion starter described it as a sensation that everything around him/her is moving at an incredible speed, however, not the objects or people, only his/her thoughts. It was also described as a sense/feeling of a huge adrenalin rush. Other participants joined many of them claiming they had the same or similar experience, describing it as a feeling that their hands, eyes, thoughts and everything else were moving quickly - like set on fast forward.
I also experienced what I can only describe as a fast, loud noise in my head, like my thoughts were racing through my mind - did anyone else experience this?
Most answers that followed weren't exactly the answers but rather further questions and theories on the possible causes. Many tried to identify a common factor or event that precedes the events. Anxiety disorders have been mentioned as a possible culprit in a couple of posts. Several participants mentioned ADD/ADHD in a similar context. One participant wondered if this fast feeling is just an overload of our sensory systems. None of these was confirmed in further discussion.
Have any of you experienced traumatizing things or anything like that whenever you were younger?
Several participants asked if any of the members who reported the problem had some sort of traumatic experience in early childhood, but this question was also left without a conclusion.
Of those who provided the answers, Alice in Wonderland syndrome was named as the most likely cause for the "fast" feeling in the head. Several participants pointed their fingers at this rare condition which affects the parts of the brain that deal with sensory information responsible for what we see and hear. This condition can indeed affect our perception of time which may seem to pass faster or slower than we think.
Several participants blamed the low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). One member who reported the "fast" feeling was diagnosed with this condition.
The thing that was common to almost every participant is their age. The condition apparently affects younger individuals more, usually teens.
Some participants received a diagnosis which could explain the "fast feeling" phenomenon. Besides Alice in Wonderland syndrome, other diagnoses included:
- occipital lobe epilepsy
- conversion disorder - a mental condition in which a person has blindness, paralysis, or other nervous system (neurologic) symptoms that cannot be explained by medical evaluation
- convergence insufficiency - a condition in which the eyes are unable to work together when looking at nearby objects, creating double or blurred vision
- bilateral caudate heterotopia - a condition in which nerve cells (neurons) do not migrate properly during the early development of the fetal brain, causing seizures, often during the teenage years
Several participants noted that certain medications made their condition worse, particularly Topamax.
Ever since I’ve been on the Topamax I’ve experienced these “episodes” in more frequent spells and in longer duration.
Topiramate (brand name Topamax) is a broad-spectrum anticonvulsant (antiepilepsy) drug used to treat epilepsy in children and adults. It is most frequently prescribed for the prevention of migraines and to decrease the frequency of migraine attacks. Many participants who were taking Topamax for heir migraine reported that the episodes of the "fast" feeling in the head started, continued and even worsened after taking the drug. Antianxiety medications were also mentioned as a possible cause.
What do experts say?
It is hard to tell what may be causing the phenomenon described as "fast feeling in the head" without a detailed medical evaluation. Here, we'll focus on the condition that was mentioned by the majority of participants in this discussion - Alice in Wonderland syndrome (AIWS).
What is Alice in Wonderland syndrome (AIWS)?
Alice in Wonderland syndrome (AWS), also known as Todd’s syndrome, Lilliputian hallucinations or dysmetropsia is a rare neuropsychological condition in which visual perception is altered, meaning that objects may appear small, large, closer than they are, or further away than they are. In 1955, British psychiatrist John Todd named this strange condition after the character from From Lewis Carroll's 1865 novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, in which Alice shrinks small and grows large.
Besides vision, AiWS also affects the sense of sensation, touch, and hearing, as well as one's own body image. The condition may also affect a sense of time, which may seem to pass faster or slower than one thinks.
Symptoms of Alice in Wonderland syndrome (AWS)
Symptoms of AWS don't occur simultaneously, but rather separately. Each symptom will only occur for a five-to-20-minute period of time. The symptoms may include:
- Micropsia (objects appear smaller than normal)
- Macropsia (objects appear larger than normal)
- Teleopsia (objects appear further away than they actually are)
- Pelopsia (objects appear nearer than they actually are)
- Metamorphopsia (straight lines appear wavy, warped, or blank)
- Microsomatognosia (feeling that their own body or body parts are shrinking)
- Macrosomatognosia (feeling that their body or body parts are growing taller or larger)
Migraine, hallucinations, nausea, dizziness, and agitation are also commonly associated symptoms with Alice in Wonderland syndrome. The persons affected by Alice in Wonderland syndrome may also lose a sense of time. They may feel the time is moving faster or slower than it really is.
What causes Alice in Wonderland syndrome?
It’s not clear what causes AWS and these unusual changes in perception, which often start when children are very young. Some researchers believe unusual electrical activity in the brain causes abnormal blood flow to the parts of the brain responsible for processing the environment and experiencing visual perception.
Although more research is needed, migraine is considered the leading cause for AWS in adults. Some doctors believe AWS might be a type of migraine aura. Infection is considered the primary cause for this syndrome in children.
Other possible causes include:
- Infections such as with the Epstein-Barr virus
- Depression or schizophrenia
- Cough medicine
- Use of hallucinogenic drugs
- The anti-seizure drug topiramate (Topamax)
- Brain tumor
Treatment for Alice in Wonderland syndrome
There's no treatment for AWS, but you may be able to avoid the strange sensations by resting and waiting for symptoms to pass and staying away from things that may trigger them, migraines for example.
Treating an underlying cause, for example, migraine or infection may prevent future episodes. Doctor may also recommend medications such as antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs or blood pressure medicines, as well as diet changes, particularly avoiding foods and drinks that trigger a migraine.
What symptoms have been reported?
What made the symptoms worse?
- And I've had this feeling whilst on Ecstasy, but not normally.
- Excedrin Migraine makes me wired).
- i started taking topamaz for migraines about 4 months ago and was thinking that maybe that was the cause.
- I developed sudden onset chronic, debilitating migraines when I was 21 (which I think is a result of taking Accutane since I’d never had one before taking the drug and all of a sudden I was getting them every time I took it towards the end of my treatment…
- Ever since I’ve been on the Topamax I’ve experienced these “episodes” in more frequent spells and in longer duration.
What diagnostic tests have been ordered?
- Had a normal EEG yesterday.
- A similar sensation I get is that my tongue is really big in my mouth and my vision goes strange.I have had scans done on my brain, EEG and MRI.
- I explained the phenomena to my doctor, and he deemed it necessary to perform a blood test, MRI and EEG.
- I've seen a doctor about my fast feeling actually lots of them, but non of them could find what it was, they did epilepsia tests, the head scan, blood tests but they didnt find anything
- I'm ok they did a CT scan & I saw my reg dr.