Foreign Accent Syndrome: Woman With Headache Wakes Up With British Accent

Michelle has now come to terms with her new voice

But her British accent still lingers to this day, two years after her first symptoms appeared. She says that often people don't believe she isn't British nor do they realize there isn't actually that much amusing about the situation, at least not for Myers, who says she wants her condition to be taken very seriously.

With such a rare condition, many people are quick to judge and label her as "crazy" or "faking" the fact that her speaking mannerisms changed so drastically after she fell asleep with a headache.

Rather than picking up the accent while studying overseas, the mum of seven suffers from a rare medical condition diagnosed as Foreign Accent Syndrome - a condition usually associated with neurological damage.

"When I was a little girl I used to always go to my mom and say, 'my bones hurt", she said.

She told the ABC affiliate in Phoenix that she suffers from Ehlers-Danlos, a condition that makes skin elastic and joints flexible to the point of dislocation; it can also rupture blood vessels.

Her family, including her seven children, helped her.

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Two years ago she went down with a crippling headache and woke up with a Cockney accent she's had ever since. According to doctors, this condition, although extremely rare, is indeed real.

FAS was first documented in 1907, when French neurologist Pierre Marie surveyed a Parisian man who suffered a stroke and suddenly spoke with an Alsatian accent, although he was not from the French-German border region where the language is spoken. "I feel like a different person", she said, watching videos of herself speaking in her American accent. "Rare diseases are very emotional".

Michelle Myers' story follows a case in 2016 when a Californian woman developed a Scottish accent through foreign accent syndrome.

While having an accent change may not seem like a big deal, Myers is saddened by the way her condition has affected her life. "The person I am now has been through so much compared to this person". While accent changes may not be as severe as the underlying damage from other illness or medical emergencies, they do have a noted effect on Myers' sense of self. "People like me - we don't care which one it is", she explained. She said she stays positive, but she wants people to take her seriously.

Curiously, the woman, identified as Astrid L.in the journal, was able to hum well-known sounds in cadence, but it was her speech that showed discordant rhythm.

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