Seeing Things That Don’t Exist? Probably Hallucinating!

Just like any other normal person you might be thinking that hallucinations are nothing but seeing things that are not actually present. However, in the medical term hallucinations have a lot more to do then visualize unreal images. 

It could mean you touch or even smell something that does not exist. These are also referred to as abnormal sensations of the body that cause a touch of perception or movement on the skin, and sometimes also inside the body.

There are a lot of reasons that lead to hallucinations in a person like-

  • schizophrenia 
  • mental illness 
  • nervous disorder 
  • presence of epileptic diseases

It's not good to keep hallucinations untreated. You must visit a doctor to get the treatments that can help you control what you see, what you touch and what you smell. There are different types of hallucinations a person may experience.

It is also possible for a person to experience 3 to 4 different types of hallucinations all at once, and when not treated, may lead to  Alzheimer's and schizophrenia resulting in a total personality change and different cognitive ability. 

Common Factors And Causes Of Hallucinations

  • Medicines that are known to affect the neurotransmitters of the body causes tactile hallucinations.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps in reducing the emotional symptoms of a person and is closely attached to the tragedy. As such they help de-stress a person from hallucinations. If not treated early they may also start observing sensations that may actually cause a paranormal feeling around. 
  • Neurological conditions or drugs that are prescribed to target the central nervous system causes hallucinations.
  • If put together a lot of conditions and symptoms arise that are not specific to any one disease or anyone disorder
  • A substance used which is a fairly common reason for hallucination makes people here all perceive things that are not present. For example, too much drinking or taking drugs like cocaine trigger a person to hallucinate. Hallucinogenic drugs include PCP and LSD.
  • A person deprived of proper sleep also faces hallucinations and this may also happen overnight. Lack of sleep for multiple days causes hypnagogic hallucinations. 
  • Hypnagogic hallucinations are the ones that occur before falling asleep. Waking up from sleep suddenly can also result in hallucinations. 
  • Presence of an epileptic disease, such as migraine or a person socially isolated can also suffer from frequent episodes of hallucinations
  • Diseases such as Charles Bonnet syndrome causes macular degeneration cataract and glaucoma. It is a person who either visualizes a non-existent item or perceives something that does not exist. 
  • The presence of glioma or brain tumors in certain areas of the brain can also trigger double vision and cause hallucination. Brain tumors are also responsible for causing hallucinations of touch and smell.

Symptoms Of Hallucination

The hearing symptoms of hallucination include hearing sounds coming from inside or outside the mind. You hear the voices of people talking or telling you to do something that is actually not true. You may start leading your life based on these assumptions and also socially isolate yourself. 

These hallucinations are a cause and often lead to 

  • post-traumatic stress disorder, 
  • sleep disorders 
  • borderline personality disorder 
  • psychosis 

Apart from the hearing sensations, the site sensations are also known to cause unpleasant uncomfortable experiences. Some people may also feel bugs crawling under their garments and they try to get out of them. 

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If reports are to believe then cases of hallucinations have also reported people experiencing organ shift or changes in the skull or stomach. In some instances, pleasant sensations have also been reported where a person may hallucinate something good and positive and depend on the next steps for the result. 

The touch and smell sensation causes flashes of light to come across the eyes and disappear. A red type of seizure called occipital main cause to see brightly colored spots or shapes and lead to hallucination. They are responsible for: 

  • dementia 
  • delirium 
  • schizoaffective disorder 
  • damage to brain tissues and 
  • irritation in the visual cortex the part of the brain that is capable of making a person see. 

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Hallucinations

A doctor treating a person suffering from hallucination primarily tries to get to the root cause of it. The medical history is taken and physical examination is then performed. The symptoms of hallucinations determine the type of hallucination, be it an olfactory, touch or visual hallucinations. 

Tests such as an electroencephalogram are done to check for unusual patterns of electrical activity in the brain. This will prove the presence of seizures that are causing the hallucinations. 

A magnetic resonance imaging test may be done in which radio waves and powerful magnets take pictures of the body and inside the brain. The presence of a tumor or a past history of stroke is likely to be blamed if a person is experiencing hallucinations. 

Following are involved while treating hallucinations- 

  • surgery 
  • radiation to treat tumors 
  • anti-seizure drugs for patients who are suffering from epileptic diseases 
  • schizophrenia 
  • medications for dementia and 
  • Alzheimer's patient 
  • cataract 
  • macular degeneration treatment for a person who is suffering from visual hallucination 
  • drugs such as beta-blockers anticonvulsants and triptans for people with migraines

Other medications may include pimavanserin which is a nuplazid medication known for treating delusions linked with psychosis that lead a person to develop Parkinson's disease. Cognitive-behavioral therapy with the trained therapist focuses on changing the pattern of behavior and thinking and help people manage symptoms better.


Tags: Types of visual hallucinations, Visual hallucinations examples, Hallucination definition