Eerie Vision: A Woman’s Journey with Prosopometamorphopsia and the Strange New World She Discovered

The Bizarre Visual Disorder of Prosopometamorphopsia: Living in a Prolonged Nightmare

58-year-old chef Victor Sharrah woke up one morning to a terrifying sight. His roommate had pointy ears, giant eyes, and a slanted mouth that extended to the edges of his face. Trying to remain calm, Sharrah took her dog for a walk, but the people he passed on the street had equally strange and twisted faces. Feeling like she had entered a demonic world, Sharrah began to panic and even considered being admitted to a psychiatric unit.

The exact cause of prosopometamorphopsia remains unknown, but it is believed to be a symptom rather than a disorder with multiple potential causes. Despite experiencing PMO for over three years, Sharrah’s condition is unique in that faces on flat screens appear normal to her. Researchers at Dartmouth College have created photorealistic images to depict how individuals with PMO perceive distorted faces. With the help of experts, Sharrah learned that she suffers from this rare vision condition and found relief in learning about it through an online support group. She now wears glasses with a green tint to alleviate the severity of the distortions. While she has largely adapted to her strange new world, crowded places can still be overwhelming with “demons” surrounding her. Many individuals with PMO face a difficult decision on whether to tell others about their distorted perceptions. Some choose to remain silent to avoid being perceived as crazy. Sharrah shared her experience to help others with PMO avoid unnecessary hospitalizations for psychosis and raise awareness about this condition in hopes of preventing others from experiencing the trauma she went through

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