Hallucinations are perceptual disturbances that cause a person to see, hear, or smell something that is not really there. Hallucination can be caused by mental disorders, certain illnesses, or side effects of drugs.
Delusions, or the belief in something that does not exist or does not correspond to the actual situation, can accompany hallucination. For example, a person may believe that he has power and is close to celebrities when he is not. People with psychosis and schizophrenia frequently have hallucination that are accompanied by delusions.
It is important to remember, hallucination need to be distinguished from complaints on the sensory nerves or the five senses called synesthesia.
Symptoms of Hallucinations
Symptoms of hallucinations can be distinguished by type, namely:
- Visual hallucinations
People with visual hallucinations will see things that are not really there. Objects seen can be people, objects, or light.
- Auditory hallucinations
People with auditory hallucinations will hear voices, commands, or threats that aren’t really there.
- Olfactory hallucinations
Sufferers of olfactory hallucinations will smell a good smell or bad smell, even though the smell is not really there.
- Taste hallucination
Strange tastes, such as metallic tastes, will be perceived by sufferers of this type of hallucination in the food or drink they consume, despite the fact that the taste is not present.
- Touch hallucinations
The sufferer feels as if someone is touching or touching him, or feels like an animal is crawling on his skin, when in fact there is not.
When to go to the doctor
If you’re experiencing the above symptoms of hallucination, see your doctor, especially if they’re happening frequently and interfering with your daily activities. If your hallucination lead you to take actions that are dangerous to yourself or others, seek medical help right away.
Causes of Hallucinations
The causes of hallucinations vary widely, ranging from mental disorders to physical illnesses. In addition, hallucination can also occur as a side effect of drugs used to treat depression, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease.
Hallucination can be caused by a number of mental disorders below:
- Bipolar disorder
- Depression with psychotic disorders
- Delirium or dementia
- Borderline personality disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Physical illness
The following types of illnesses can cause hallucination:
- High fever (especially in children and the elderly)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Brain tumor
- Charles Bonnet syndrome
Hallucinations can also be caused by the following conditions:
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Sleep disturbance
- Head injury
Diagnosis of Hallucinations
The doctor will inquire about the patient’s complaints and medical history, as well as medication and family history, and perform a physical examination. The doctor will then conduct additional tests to determine the cause of the hallucination, including:
- Examination of blood and urine, to see the possibility of infection and alcohol and drug abuse.
- EEG (electroencephalogram), which checks the electrical activity of the brain to see if the hallucination are caused by epilepsy.
- CT scans and MRI scans, to detect strokes and possible injuries or tumors in the brain.
Treatment of hallucinations Depending on the situation. If the hallucination are caused by mental disorders, epilepsy, or migraines, doctors will prescribe medication. Doctors will perform surgical procedures or radiation in the case of hallucination caused by brain tumors.
Doctors will also suggest cognitive behavioral therapy, especially in patients with hallucination caused by mental disorders. This therapy can help patients to deal with fear or paranoia.
Hallucinations can be prevented by having regular check-ups when you have mental disorders or health problems that can cause hallucination.
In addition, to prevent hallucination, you are also advised to:
- Manage stress well, for example by doing relaxation techniques.
- Avoiding the use of drugs.
- Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages.
- Enough sleep.