Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Arizona woman suffering from rare disease, wakes with British accent

Michelle Myers Michelle Myers
Faye Gross | 15 February, 2018, 07:47

Michelle Myers, a former Texas beauty queen who's never left the United States of America, sounds like she's from jolly old England. After blinding headaches she has woken up with different accents three different times in the past seven years.

In this current episode, however, the British accent has persisted for about two years, she said.

"They send in the psychiatrist at hospital and make sure you're not a loon", says Myers.

But she's not insane and she's not faking it, according to her doctors.

Diagnosed with foreign accent syndrome in April 2016, apart from thinking there has to be a connection with her headaches, Michelle has no idea why this has happened. "I feel like a different person", Myers said while looking at videos of her speaking without the accent.

Myers also suffers from a condition known as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which could be linked with her transient accents.

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Doctors have diagnosed the woman, who has seven children, with Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS). "No one could understand me".

She says it is difficult to listen back to how she used to be is hard adding that she really misses the way she used to say her kids' names.

Making all these changes consistently - every time they utter a certain vowel, letter, or consonant - is what distinguishes people with the syndrome from someone attempting an accent.

Previously, Myers has woken up with Australian and Irish accents which lasted for weeks before fading. Affected people may also cut out articles such as "the" and drop letters, turning an American "yeah" into a Scandinavian "yah", for instance.

"People would think it was a joke, saying things like, 'You sound like a Spice Girl, ' " she told the Sun, a British tabloid. A headache left her speaking gibberish for a couple of days before her accent shifted. In 2010, a woman in Virginia reportedly spoke with a Russian accent after she fell down the stairs and hit her head, says The Washington Post. It usually accompanies a stroke, neurological damage or other underlying medical issues. "Rare diseases are very emotional".

She continued: "I have some fantastic family and friends, who've helped me to realise I'm still the same person - I just sound different. And if I say odd things like 'I'm just going to the loo, ' it's really weird, as I sound just like a Brit".

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