DEFINITION: Hallucinations are the unusual ability of the brain to sense something which is not present to be present when one is awake, in contrary to the series of incidents that one sense during sleep, which we call as dreams. This is also called illusion.
In extreme cases and in spiritual sense these could sometimes also be referred as “visions” – Christianity and “apparitions” – Hinduism.
There are many types of hallucinations:
1. feelings on the body sensation with no real symptoms – crawling on the skin and movement of internal organs kinesthetic hallucination.
2. Hearing sounds like music, banging windows and doors and footsteps – auditory hallucination or paracusia or paracusis.
3. Hearing voices of people whom you are familiar and them not being around or voices that give instructions to cause harm to others or to themselves, critical and complement oneself.
4. Seeing objects, flashes of lights or living things like a mirage or a flash of light – visual hallucination.
5. Smelling foul or pleasant odour olfactory hallucination.
6. sensing unusual taste – gustatory hallucination
7. hypnagogic hallucination is a dream-like hallucination that occurs at the onset of sleep and hypnopompic hallucination that occurs on awakening.
Hallucination like hearing voices or seeing images of grieving hearts after death of near and dear ones is acceptable and normal.
The various reasons that could cause hallucinations will include:
1. Having been abused with substances like alcohol, marijuana, LSD, cocaine, PCP heroin, amphetamines and ketamines.
2. Delirium or dementia leading to visual hallucinations
3. epilepsy could lead to odor hallucination
4. Very high fever
5. mental disorders like schizoprenia.
6. Sensory disorders like blindness or deafness or even repeated infection of ears could lead to hallucinations.
7. Failure of organs like liver, kidney and brain cancer or infections could also lead to hallucination. `
8. Lack of sleep, disturbances during sleep cycles especially when entering the deep sleep cycle or waking up often over a continuous period of time besides continued stress are some of the other reasons that could lead to hallucinations.
9. Social isolation could lead to hallucination in elderly people.
In the hospital: Better not get astrayed! When you have a problem this is how the doc will usually undergo a medical examination…the doc will make queries on the number of incidents of occurrence, when this has been happening, when they occur and the kinds of drugs they have been taking at that instance.
Even otherwise healthier habits like good sleep, good and healthy food with healthier lifestyle habits like avoidance of substance abuse and good social and emotional support with happier environment are some of the best ways to treat this condition initially followed by use of medications if required in much more intense conditions.