An Arizona woman who has never left the U.S. went to bed one night and woke up speaking as though she’s from the U.K.
Michelle Myers, of the Grand Canyon State, was diagnosed with foreign accent syndrome (FAS).
Yes, it’s a thing.
“Everybody only sees or hears Mary Poppins,” Myers, a former Texas beauty queen with seven kids, told KNXV-TV.
Over the past seven years, Myers has spoken in various accents. First Irish, then Australian. Each time, the accent lasted about a week.
But her British accent is still going strong since 2015, when she went to sleep with a blinding and immobilizing headache and awakened a changed woman.
“They send in the psychiatrist at the hospital and make sure you’re not a loon,” Myers said.
FAS is a rare condition — one that’s affected fewer than 100 people in the last century. It is usually linked to a stroke or neurological trauma or impairment. Other causes have also been reported including multiple sclerosis.
In some cases, such as a born-and-bred Texas woman who woke up talking like a Brit after jaw surgery, no clear cause has been identified.
Myers also suffers from a condition known as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which could be linked with her transient accents. The syndrome is a group of disorders that affect connective tissues supporting the skin, bones, blood vessels and many other organs and tissues.
“Some people think it’s physiological; others think it’s psychological,” said Myers. “People like me — we don’t care which one it is. We just really want to be taken seriously and if it is something that’s going to hurt me, help me.”