Hallucinations are sensory experiences that appear real but are created by your mind. They can affect all five of your senses. For example, you would possibly hear a voice that nobody else within the room can hear or see a picture that may not be real.
Hallucinations are often a symbol of a psychological state illness, but they don’t always mean an individual is unwell. Hallucinations are, in fact, relatively common.
To the person who’s experiencing a hallucination, it’s incredibly real — a bit like you and I see anything within the world. It’s very real to them, it’s just that another person in a similar situation wouldn’t have experienced the same
Symptoms of hallucinations
Common hallucinations can include:
- Sensations in the body, such as a crawling feeling on the skin or the internal organs moving.
- Hearing sounds, like music, footsteps, windows or doors banging.
- Hearing voices when nobody has spoken (the commonest sort of hallucination). These voices may be positive, negative, or neutral. They may command someone to try to do something which will cause harm to themselves or others.
- Seeing patterns, lights, beings, or objects that aren’t there.
- Smelling an odor.
Types of hallucinations
There are following types of hallucinations, categorized by which of the five senses they affect:
- Auditory hallucinations: These are when someone hears something that’s not there, like a voice or radio.
- Visual hallucinations: These cause someone to ascertain something that’s not real, like an individual or animal.
- Olfactory hallucinations: These can occur when an individual smells something that’s not there.
- Gustatory hallucinations: These cause someone to taste something they didn’t eat.
- Tactile hallucinations: These occur when an individual seems like something or someone touched them.
- Somatic hallucinations: These hallucinations can affect the whole body, causing unreal sensations like that of bugs crawling on the skin.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Hallucinations
The doctor will need to find out what is causing the hallucinations. Your medical history will be checked and a physical exam will be conducted where your symptoms are taken into consideration.
An electroencephalogram (EEG), checks for unusual patterns of electrical activity in the brain. It could show if your hallucinations are thanks to seizures.
You might get an MRI, or resonance imaging, which uses powerful magnets and radio waves to form pictures of the within your body. It can determine if a brain tumour or something else, like a little stroke, might be responsible .
The doctor will treat the condition that’s causing the hallucinations. This can include things like:
- Medication for schizophrenia or dementias like Alzheimer’s disease
- Antiseizure drugs to treat epilepsy
- Treatment for macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts
- Surgery or radiation to treat tumors
- Drugs called triptans, beta-blockers, or anticonvulsants for people with migraines
- You may be prescribed pimavanserin (Nuplazid). This medicine can treat hallucinations and delusions linked to psychosis that affect some people with Parkinson’s disease.
Hallucinations are often extremely distressing but they’re usually the results of an identifiable cause that a sufferer could also be ready to receive treatment for.
Certain measures are often taken to stop or reduce hallucination, although a online psychologist or psychiatrist may have to be consulted in cases of hallucination caused by mental disease . If hallucinations are causing significant distress, antipsychotic medication could also be prescribed.
Coping with hallucinations
Some of the methods used to relieve hallucination are described below:
- General measures which will be taken to scale back the frequency or severity of hallucinations include stress management, healthy living, regular exercise and sleeping well.
- The use of illicit drugs like cocaine, LSD, amphetamines or ecstasy can cause hallucinations. Excessive alcohol consumption is another cause. These hallucinations can occur during withdrawal from drugs or alcohol if the substances are ceased suddenly.
- People experiencing hallucinations thanks to drugs or alcohol withdrawal are often given medication to assist prevent the hallucinations occurring. Rehabilitation programs also are available to assist the patient get over their addiction.
- Psychosocial strategies that help manage hallucination include education and counselling to the patient and their family to deal with the hallucinations and understand the importance of medication.
- Examples of antipsychotic medications to treat hallucinations include haloperidol, olanzapine and risperidone.
- Hallucinations can occur as a result of the treatment for Parkinson’s disease. If this happens, the patient’s medication may require adjustment. Usually, amantadine and anticholinergics are stopped first. Thereafter, dopamine agonists may be withdrawn. Clozapine and quetiapine are samples of neuroleptic drugs which will help treat hallucinations in Parkinson’s disease.
- Other problems that occur as a result of hallucination like memory disturbance, disorder , depression, anxiety and associated panic attacks can also be managed with treatment.
Self Help Coping with Hallucinations:
Three methods can be taken into consideration when trying to cope with Hallucinations:
2.) Anxiety Reduction
3.) Distraction or Counter-Stimulation
1.) Focusing means giving into the hallucinations instead of avoiding them so in the long run, they are not maintained.
2.) Anxiety Reduction will include means of muscle relaxation. Focusing on deep breathing can work. Can also include a change in posture: Sit, Lie Down, Stand, Walk, Run.
3.) Finally, distraction works in the short term. Can include Increasing physical exercise, Interpersonal contact, Self-instruction to increase external stimuli (mainly playing music).
If you need help dealing with mental health-related issues then you should consider connecting with an online psychiatrist or online therapist. You can avail BetterLYF online counseling via Chat, Video or Phone Available Anytime, Anywhere.