Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Medical Rembering childhood

  1. Aug 23, 2006 #1
    Hi all,
    I'm new to this forum, and I am very happy I found it. I've been reading some threads and gained more knowledge in the short time I've been here. Great thing you guys got goin here!

    Anyway, back on topic.
    A long time ago when I was about 6 or 7, every morning I would wake up to go to school, I had the same routine every day. Wake up, get dressed, eat a bowl or two of cereal, brush my teeth, and go to school. However, there was an extra step for a couple of months in between eating cereal and brushing my teeth. Well more like as I was eating. I would suddenly get this very odd feeling that time was passing by extremely fast. I remember watching and listening to my dad, his words were just zooming out of his mouth, and he was moving around like a cheetah. I got this feeling the same time every morning, and it always slowly crept up on me. I also remember not remembering eating my cereal. I would sit down, look at things zoom by, and then look at an empty bowl; come to think of it, the experience was very much like a section of the movie, "Requiem for a Dream" if anyone has seen it.

    I have been trying to figure out what this feeling was my whole life, and have told no one, simply because I was young, and didn't know how to explain it. If anyone could enlighten me as to what the hell was going on in my head, it would be very very very greatly appreciated.
    Thank you in advance.

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 25, 2006 #2


    User Avatar

    It happened to me before. I attribute my case to have been very sick and very dehydrated. Time perception went wacko one night. It was kind of scary.
  4. Aug 26, 2006 #3
    This has never happened to me, but experiencing time whizzing by means that your brain is not receiving as much information. It's like the opposite, when time slows down in moments when we are hypersensitive, like in moments of danger. It's a survival mechanism that allows us to act faster and with more information.

    Your experience may have been a health problem, like what Mk said, but you said that you had a very regular routine. It sounds reasonable to me that your brain was accustomed enough to this routine that it decided that it did not need to take in as much information. Since it was always the same, you had less reason to keep the normal pace of experience.

    This is just my layman's view. :)
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2006
  5. Aug 27, 2006 #4
    That's an interesting way to look at it. Well it makes sence that way. Thanx for the feedback.
  6. Aug 29, 2006 #5
    Your time distortion was probably a simple partial seizure. Strangely enough, I was just talking to a woman last night who is currently being checked for seizures, and she mentioned time distortion being one of the things that has freaked her out in the past.

    This site explains what simple partial seizures are,


    and the four main categories of symptoms they might cause. Notice that time distortion is listed under "psychic" symptoms. (The word "psychic" is used in the sence of "having to do with the psyche" here, and shouldn't be taken to imply anything paranormal):

    In general, a simple partial seizure is one that is confined to one small part of the brain, and causes no loss of consciousness.

    Seizures are always a symptom that something else is out of whack and are not a disease or condition in and of themselves. There is no telling what was causing your episodes, but since they stopped whatever was causing them was eliminated. The most likely cause I can think of would be some temporary illness that was affecting your endocrine system somehow and throwing your hormones off balance. That's one well known cause of a lowered seizure thresh hold.

    (There is an Epilepsy forum where I used to post and I recall a mother writing in and mentioning her son's seizures had exactly the same speeded-up experience of time that you described. If I recall correctly another couple people chimmed in and mentioned they's had the same. Unfortunately that forum is down right now and I can't do a search on the subject for you. Knowing that other people have had the same, weird experience as you, and that there is an explanation, can be a relief sometimes.)
  7. Aug 29, 2006 #6
    yes it is a relief to know that something was actually happening to me. i was afraid to tell people because i thought they would think i was insane or something. Thank you very very much zoobyshoe for the well-detailed info.
  8. Aug 30, 2006 #7
    Most people would have no idea what to make of your story, it's true, and would suspect something psychiatric instead of neurological. Most people have never even heard of the phenomenon of simple partial seizures and don't know such a thing exists.

    In brief: the word seizure applies whenever a group of neurons in the brain starts to fire by itself without any appropriate outside stimulus. This unprovoked avalanche of neuronal firing is hypersynchronous, that is: all the neurons involved are firing altogether at the same time. That's not normal and the result is that the person experiences some exaggerated and intense experience of the particular brain function that is being affected.

    If you're interested in a more detailed and technical explanation, this paper parses the whole phenomenon of seizures better than any other I've found online:



    Any part of the brain can experience seizure activity by itself. This is not well known and most people assume that to be a seizure it has to involve muscle convulsions. Some people are also aware that a seizure can be confined to a disturbance of consciousness. But almost no one realizes that seizures can cause a huge variety of sensory and emotional disturbances, leaving consciousness and muscle function intact. That's unfortunate because it leave alot of people who have this kind of seizure intermittantly wondering if they are crazy and afraid to tell anyone.
  9. Aug 30, 2006 #8


    User Avatar

    It seems like near anything that is very strange and rather simple could be attributed to these seizures. How about those migraines that Evo and larkspur say they have in which they see colored dots flashing along with it?
  10. Aug 30, 2006 #9
    Simple partials can have a huge variety of manifestations, yes. That's because they are a brain malfunction and the brain controls all of our experience.

    To quote again from the paper I linked to:


    And from the first site I linked to:

    I have read even more detailed and extensive lists.

    The neurologist has to perform a differential diagnosis based on patient report of symptoms, various kinds of brain scans, EEG's, and neurological functioning tests to determine if, say, someone's flashing lights are simple partials or migraine. Some simple partial sounding symptoms might also require that, say, multiple sclerosis be ruled out, and so on.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook