Send Your Replies About Synesthesia to Pegge

Hi Pegge--

Yes. Synesthesia runs in my family. Interesting, huh?

I was aware that I had a gifted sibling who was a synesthete (and that sibling has a child who is as well). My own was brought
to my attention by a teacher in college who noticed that I attached colors to words. Of course words have colors!

One difference between me and my sibling is that for my sibling, numbers or letters have colors (not words) and always
the same colors. For me, words have a range of colors. And that is perceived in sensory perception (i.e., "poetry
feels blue or brown). There is a fluid connection between color, emotion, music, and words. It's complex, as you know!
Music, for me, sometimes has color attached to the emotion it evokes.

I'm not sure whether this was a part of your question, but I don't think that dissociation is connected to synesthesia
particularly. However, I do think that both synesthesia and dissociation are connected to creativity. There seems to be a link between
creativity and different (or perceived to be "eccentric") ways of thinking or perceiving. And "different" ways of thinking or
perceiving that involve physiological changes as well.

For instance, the music example. When I hear music, it evokes strong emotion--and sometimes"feelings of color."

It is an interesting field of study, that's for sure! Great question!

A Survivor


Hi. I have a reply to Pegge about synesthesia:

I am the director of the St. Louis Synesthesia Research Team. In my experience, there is no significant relation between PTSD and synesthesia. The main reason for this is that synesthesia normally is a developmental disorder. There are indeed cases of acquired synesthesia, that is, synesthesia acquired later in life, usually as a result of an accident or a stroke. But there are very few data on the frequency of this phenomenon. Indeed, the cases are rarely reported because synesthesia often is a positive experience that doesn't need treatment. However, I know of two cases in which a lesion or stroke has lead to synesthesia in patients who didn't experience it prior to the incident. One is my patient. He developed PTSD, synestesia and savant syndrome following a brutal attack. I also work with some subjects who have developed anxiety disorders as a consequence of their synesthesia, including disorders that resemble PTSD. These subjects are sound-color synesthetes. Their synesthesia is so extreme that they are legally blind when they find themselves in noisy settings. The colors from the sounds are simply so overwhelming that they cannot see in these environments. In quiet settings, their eye vision is perfectly normal.

Very best,
Berit Brogaard


Dear Pegge,

Oh heaven’s YES!! This has been happening to me my entire life. Sounds are seen not really heard. Numbers show up as different colors which made math class very interesting, and Everything I experience with any of my five senses becomes a pattern of colors and lights...It is distracting and sometimes very unwelcome.

Colleen K.


Dear Pegge,

I am a painter too, and often see colors while hearing music. When I went to hear Yanni, I could see the music. The colors danced and floated and I got lost in the beauty. I had to come home and paint what I heard.

Jeana L.


I am responding to Pegge about synesthia.

I never knew there was a name for it until now. I see colors for people, also for numbers and music. Especially classical music, I see the colors as the blending together of the instruments, and can also visualize it as rain , wind, or thunder. Never thought much about it until I told my therapist I saw her as a dark green color .I also have DID . I suppose the different alters see things and feel things individually .




I have always associated each day of the week, and each month as being a specific consistant color. Somewhere I read a long time ago that a certain % of people do this- Don't know if it has anything to do with DID, I guess it could indicate imaginative ability within a person?



Dear Pegge,

I don't know much about synesthesia, but I do remember a friend who was dissociative who saw her alters in specific colors. There was a brown one, a red one, a yellow one, etc. I don't know if you'd consider that the same thing or not. I've also learned about people who see music as shapes and colors when they are meditating. It will be interesting to see if other MV readers have these unusual sensory experiences.

Thanks for writing.

Lynn W.