Michelle Myers, a mother of seven and American citizen who has never been out of the country, suffers from a rare disease that causes her to wake up with different accents, reported originally by ABC 15 Arizona. Michelle was diagnosed with foreign accent syndrome, which has caused her to cycle through different accents. More recently she’s stuck with possibly a British accent with no change in sight.
It all started with blistering headaches. Happening three times in the last seven years, she’s went to sleep and woke up to be speaking in another accent for about a week. It started with Irish, then Australian, and more recently it’s been British. Yet, after a week it usually subsided and she was back to normal, but the British accent hasn’t dissipated.
She has been evaluated by psychologists, who confirm: this isn’t fake, and she isn’t mentally ill. Foreign accent syndrome is a super rare condition that usually is a secondary condition to some type of neurological damage, stroke or other medical condition. She has a long medical history, and has had many visits to the hospital. She also was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), which is a connective tissue disorder that can cause bruising, damaged blood vessels, and joints prone to dislocation. It may have a connection to her new condition. To read more about EDS, click here.
One of the hardest parts for Michelle is being taken seriously. She doesn’t like speaking in the accent, yet she can’t do anything about it. Many people think she’s being crazy. While it bothered her for some time, she now has re-focused and has a positive mindset.
She continues to spend as much time as she can with her kids. She’s a creative mom who loves to sing with them, paint, write and more. While she’s learning to live with the accent change, she does miss how she use to say her children’s names. She hopes one day there will be a treatment to bring her back to normal. In the meantime, she remains a British speaking mother from Texas.