The word “hallucination” comes from Latin word hallucinatus and means, “to wander in mind or to wander mentally.”
Hallucinations occurs when a person sees, perceives, hears, smells, tastes or feels things that don’t exist, it is usually in the mind alone. It occurs mostly in people with psychiatric conditions like Alzheimer’s and bipolar disorder but hallucinations are not limited to people with mental illnesses, the use of substance can also lead to hallucinations. Hallucinations can be so real and vivid to the person experiencing it, they cannot separate the hallucinations from reality, they may also be able to touch and feel it.
Types of hallucination
Since we have five sense organs hallucinations have the tendency to affect all five of them; there are five (5) types of hallucinations, they include;
Auditory hallucination: this occurs when a person hears sounds and voices that are not there or that cannot be heard by someone else in the same room as the person. Sounds they hear may include a scratch on the wall, voices of their lost loved ones, voices that could be telling them to hurt themselves.
Visual hallucinations: this involves seeing things that aren’t there, it involves seeing things that aren’t there, it includes people, animals and even shadows
Tactile hallucination: this affects a person’s sense of touch. In this situation, a person may feels that insects are crawling over their skin on his/ her skin that something is crawling on it or he is being tapped or kicked.
Olfactory hallucination: this involves perceiving something that’s not there or that does not exist, most at at times, the smell is unpleasant. It may include the smell of smoke from a fire etc.
Gustatory hallucination: this involves tasting something that you have not put in your mouth or tasted.
Causes of hallucination
- Dehydration or electrolyte imbalance: when the body’s water has decreased over 4%, it might lead to severe confusion and hallucination.
- Underlying diseases: if a person is suffering from some health challenges or specific kind of diseases, they may suffer from hallucination as a result of this disease, and example of this underlying disease includes brain tumour, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, migraines, kidney failure, Charles bonnet syndrome etc.
- Eating disorder: lack of food, may lead to low blood sugar and in turn hallucination.
- Narcolepsy: this is a sleep disorder, characterised by sudden attacks of sleep. It leads to hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucination, an example includes feeling as though there is a stranger in your room, these hallucinations are frightening and clear because you might not be fully asleep when it is happening.
- High fever: hallucinations sometimes occur in children who are ill with fever.
- Mental illnesses
- Acute stress and exhaustion
- Grief or emotional trauma
- Blindness and deafness
- Medication and use of substance
Psychological symptoms of hallucination
They may include:
- Poor judgment
- Change in personality
- Unstable moods
General Treatment and care for hallucination patients
- Diagnose and treat underlying cause
- Take anti psychotic medication
- Adjust dosages of current prescription
- Check yourself into rehabilitation
- Attend regular therapy
- Join a support group
- Sleep better
- Manage stress effectively
- Know when to call for help
- Know the signs and understand the nature of hallucinations