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 contorted with pointy ears, enormous eyes, and a slanted mouth that extended to the edges of his face. Despite trying to remain calm, Sharrah took his dog for a walk and encountered people on the street with equally strange and distorted features. This experience led him to believe that he had entered a demonic world. However, after some time, Sharrah discovered that he had a rare vision condition known as prosopometamorphopsia or PMO.

PMO causes faces to appear distorted in various ways. Some people may see demons while others experience faces melting or changing colors. In Sharrah’s case, the condition persisted for over three years. Researchers at Dartmouth College were able to create images depicting how people with PMO perceive faces in real life by studying the condition on flat screens.

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. PMO is sometimes 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. Many patients face the difficult decision of whether to share their experiences with others and risk being perceived as crazy. Sharrah hopes that by sharing his story, he can help others with PMO avoid unnecessary hospitalization for psychosis and raise awareness about this rare vision condition.

In conclusion, prosopometamorphopsia or PMO is a rare vision condition that causes faces to appear distorted in various ways

By Riley Johnson

As a content writer at, I dive into the depths of information to craft compelling stories that captivate and inform readers. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I strive to create engaging content that resonates with our audience. Whether it's breaking news, in-depth features, or thought-provoking opinion pieces, I am dedicated to delivering high-quality, informative content that keeps readers coming back for more. My goal is to bring a fresh perspective to every article I write and to make a meaningful impact through the power of words.

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