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Living in a Long Nightmare: Understanding Prosopometamorphopsia

Victor Sharrah woke up one morning with a sense of horror as he saw his roommate’s face distorted in a frightening way. His ears were pointed, his eyes gigantic, and his mouth was slanted to the edges of his face. Despite trying to stay calm, Sharrah took his dog for a walk and encountered more people on the street with equally strange faces. This experience made him believe that he had entered a demonic world.

Despite his fears, Sharrah eventually discovered that he suffered from a rare vision condition known as prosopometamorphopsia, or PMO. This condition causes faces to appear distorted in various ways, such as demons in Sharrah’s case or elves in others. He saw these distortions for over three years before researchers at Dartmouth College managed to create images that depicted how people with PMO perceive faces in real life.

The cause of PMO remains unknown, but it is believed to be a symptom rather than a disorder. Brain injuries may not always be related to PMO, as in Sharrah’s case. Only about 75 cases of PMO have been reported in scientific literature, but more individuals have sought help from experts due to the frightening nature of the condition. Some patients with PMO are even misdiagnosed as schizophrenia or psychosis.

Sharrah has learned to adapt to his condition by using tinted glasses to lessen the severity of facial distortions. Although he no longer wears the glasses, the overwhelming presence of distorted faces in crowded places can still be challenging for him and other patients like him. Many patients with PMO struggle with sharing their experiences with others and risk being perceived as crazy, which can lead to unnecessary hospitalization for psychosis.

Sharrah hopes that by sharing his story, he can help others with PMO avoid unnecessary hospitalization and raise awareness about this rare yet debilitating condition.

In conclusion, prosopometamorphopsia or PMO is a rare vision condition that causes faces to appear distorted in various ways such as demons or elves. It affects only around 75 people worldwide and is often misdiagnosed as schizophrenia or psychosis due to its frightening nature. However, there are some treatments available such as tinted glasses that can help reduce the severity of facial distortions.

As someone who has experienced this condition firsthand, Victor Sharrah encourages anyone suffering from similar symptoms not to feel alone or afraid but instead reach out for help and support from healthcare professionals who specialize in conditions like PMO.

By Samantha Jones

As a dedicated content writer at, I bring a unique blend of creativity and precision to my work. With a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail, I strive to craft engaging and informative articles that captivate our readers. From breaking news to thought-provoking features, I am committed to delivering content that resonates with our audience and keeps them coming back for more. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore the ever-evolving world of news and information together.

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