the beauty in the bones

one girl's musing on the miracle of the human form and the liberating potential of yoga

Hallucinating fairy tales



Two cases of hallucinated fairy tales from the medical literature.

In thiscase[pdf] fromThe Bulletin of the Yamaguchi Medical School, a ballerina presents with magical hallucinations during an episode of psychosis:

…she felt as if she had become the heroine of “The Sleeping Beauty” and this feeling started manifesting itself in her daily behaviour.

She began to hear a voice coming from nowhere telling her that she was Cinderella. She had an experience in which upon seeing a pumpkin she ordered it to become a carriage and then saw a vivid image of a carriage like the one pictured in an illustration in the book.

She claimed that while practicing ballet, she did not feel that she was dancing by her own will, but instead felt as if she was a puppet controlled and manipulated by an unknown force.

In thiscasefromEpilepsy and Behaviora 33-year-old woman experiences a magical cat when her visual cortex is stimulated during brain surgery:

At one parieto-occipital electrode, stimulation with a current of 15 mA elicited the hallucination of a colored creature, spontaneously identified as the leading character of the fairy tale the patient was reading aloud at that moment—a cat (Puss in Boots, by Charles Perrault; the text did not include pictures)…

According to her description, the cat emerged from the script she was holding in front of her, and then moved to the right side of her bed, that is, to her lower right visual hemifield. The cat was 10–20 cm high and flat, two-dimensional like a sheet of paper. It then rotated itself 90° so that its feet pointed toward her and its head was toward the right. When she tried to look at it more closely, it quickly moved to the right and behind her back—the faster she turned her head, the quicker…

Reading picture books depicting different characters while being stimulated (e.g., a penguin, a miller), she again hallucinated a cat at her right forearm, similar to the one she had seen before. “It is only a feeling of what I see. For me it looks like Puss in Boots because of the large hat…, for me it is just a…. It is difficult to explain.”

pdf of Cinderella case.
Link to locked article of Puss in Boots case.

  1. heavyhead-hollowchest reblogged this from neuroticthought
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  5. miyakdunets reblogged this from neuroticthought and added:
    This sounds like my kind of psychotic break.
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