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Beyond the Veil of Prosopometamorphopsia: One Man’s Journey to Raise Awareness about a Rare Vision Condition

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

Beyond the Veil of Prosopometamorphopsia: One Man’s Journey to Raise Awareness about a Rare Vision Condition

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 keep his cool, Sharrah decided to take his dog for a walk, but the people he passed on the street also had bizarre and distorted faces. Feeling like he had stepped into a demonic world, Sharrah began to panic and even considered checking himself into a psychiatric unit.

The 58-year-old chef from Clarksville, Tennessee soon learned that he was not losing his mind as he feared. With the help of experts, he discovered that he suffers from prosopometamorphopsia, or PMO – a rare vision condition where people see distorted faces in different ways. While Sharrah sees demons, others may perceive elves or faces that constantly move.

Despite experiencing PMO for over three years, Sharrah’s condition is unique in that faces on flat screens appear normal to him. Researchers at Dartmouth College have created photorealistic images to depict how individuals with PMO perceive distorted faces. The exact cause of prosopometamorphopsia remains unknown, but it is believed to be a symptom rather than a disorder with multiple potential causes.

Sharrah found relief in learning about PMO through an online support group. He now wears glasses with a green tint to alleviate the severity of the distortions. While he has largely adapted to his strange new world, crowded places can still be overwhelming with “demons” surrounding him.

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 in hopes of helping others with PMO avoid unnecessary hospitalizations for psychosis. By raising awareness about this condition, she hopes to prevent others from experiencing the trauma she went through.

In conclusion, prosopometamorphopsia is a rare vision condition where individuals see distorted faces in different ways

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