What are Hallucinations?
Hallucinations are a sensation of feeling created by the mind that appears to be real when they are not present. It could be a voice, touch, or smell that doesn’t exist, and no one else around you experiences. There are 5 types of hallucinations, as listed below:
- Visual Hallucination – It is a sensation of seeing something that doesn’t exist. It may be an object, light, visual pattern, or people.
- Auditory hallucination – It is the most common type and you feel that someone is speaking to you and asking you to do certain things. The voice you hear may be warm, neutral, or angry.
- Tactile Hallucination – It gives a feeling of touch or movement in your body. It could be something like a touch from a person on your body, or bugs crawling on your skin.
- Olfactory Hallucination – It is a feeling of unpleasant smell while waking up at midnight, or your own body’s a bad smell. It could also be scents that you may enjoy from flowers.
- Gustatory Hallucination – It is similar to olfactory and involves a sense of taste that is unpleasant or strange like the metallic taste. It is a common symptom of people with epilepsy.
Hallucination symptoms may vary depending on the type of hallucination you sense. The common symptoms are:
- Memory loss
- Numbness and tingling
- Discomfort and pain
- Tremor or shaking hands
- Hearing voices and loss of consciousness
Who is at Risk?
Sleep-related hallucinations are common among people who suffer from sleep apnea, insomnia, jet lag, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, snoring, and so on. This condition is also seen associated with anxiety, mood swings, alcohol use, drug use, and people work in different shift timings. Women are more vulnerable than men for hallucinations. Also, people with any kind of mental disorders develop hallucinations. This condition is commonly seen among teenagers and young adults and the episodes of hallucinations reduce with age. Epileptic seizures can also be the reason for hallucinations in many cases.
Hallucination causes may vary depending on the types of hallucinations that you sense. visual hallucinations are the common one and causes may include:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Brain tumour
- Charles Bonnet Syndrome
- Metabolic disorders
In the case of auditory hallucinations, the following can be the causes:
- Bipolar disorder
- Hearing loss
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Brain lesions
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
- Sleep disorders
- Drug abuse
The common causes of olfactory hallucinations are:
- Inflamed sinuses
- Head injury
- Temporal lobe seizures
- Brain tumours
- Parkinson’s disease
Gustatory hallucination causes involve:
- Brain lesions
- Temporal lobe diseases
The common cause of tactile hallucinations can be
- Alcohol abuse
- Delirium tremens
- Lewy body dementia
- Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
How are Hallucinations Diagnosed?
As usual, hallucinations diagnosis involves a physical examination, medical history review, and checking for signs and symptoms by a psychiatrist. He/she may also suggest certain tests as follows.
- EEG – To analyze unusual patterns of electrical activity in the brain. This will confirm the chances of seizures.
- MRI – Helps to detect the presence of stroke, or brain tumours.
These two are considered as efficient hallucinations tests performed by doctors to detect the cause of hallucinations. The treatment will completely depend on these test results and underlying causes.
How is Hallucination Treated?
As the first step of hallucination treatment, you shall find the best psychiatrist in your locality. Approaching Cure.fit is the best way to find an efficient doctor to treat you. They are the leading healthcare service providers in India and have a multi-city presence. So you can easily find one of their branches in your locality if you don’t live in a very remote place. Book an appointment by sending a Whatsapp message according to your feasibility and wait for their confirmation after checking the doctor’s availability. Now, be ready with your entire medical and test reports. Because your hallucination cure will start from finding the route cause and treating it.
The doctor will figure out the exact cause of your hallucination symptoms and start the treatment process. If your mental health is leading to hallucinations, your doctor will recommend a few sessions of counselling to better understand and develop strategies that can cope when you are feeling paranoid or scared. If hallucination is created by underlying disease conditions, your doctor will prescribe medicines for hallucinations that will eliminate the root cause. For example, medicine for schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, anti-seizure drugs to treat epilepsy, etc. In the case of tumours, the doctor may recommend radiation or surgery.
How can Hallucinations be Prevented?
Since it is a sensation created by your mind, counselling, and cognitive behavioural therapy can help you focus on improving thinking and behaviour. This way the symptoms of hallucination can be managed better. However, following the treatment plan religiously will help in long term positive results.