Saturday, August 20, 2011

You know it's a hallucination when.....

I don't hallucinate, as a general rule, at least not very strongly.

However, when things get weird for me, I start seeing shadows and have minor hallucinations.

A few days ago, I thought I saw a spider crossing the floor. And it stopped when I looked at it. I was so convinced that there was something there, that I kneeled down on the carpet and inspected the spot. No spider.

I told my husband about this, and he said, the clue is that spiders don't stop when you look at them.

How true.

I used to hullucinate that my phone was blinking green (which would indicate a message), or that I heard my phone beep.  The clue I found was that the beeping or blinking would happen after I thought about whether I had any messages on my phone.

In the movie A Beautiful Mind, the main character with schizophrenia realized that his friend wasn't real because her age never changed.

It seems that to hang onto reality, sometimes we have to see if our sensory perceptions agree with logic. If not, we might be hallucinating.

If we know it's a hallucination, then we can deal with it.  It's when we're convinced that the hallucination is real, that it becomes a problem.


  1. my daughter used to hallucinate a lot. Now it's just a little. She'll see things like frogs and bugs and when she goes to kill then they disappear. I have never had any hallucinations, that I know of anyway?

  2. I've had minor "hallucinations" like this for most of my life. I'd hear snatches of music, and tell my mom the radio was on. Or I'd see insects, or even small animals. She told me I had an active imagination.

    And she's right. Seeing something that doesn't exist (yet) is the first step in my artistic process. I still hear and see things that aren't there, but like you, I learned a long time ago how to check them against reality.

    I'm in a position where I can generally let these experiences flow around me without them being bothersome -- but you raise a really interesting point. If someone is too ill to do this, they'd be terrified by the spiders crawling all over the place.

  3. I suffer from hallucinations, both visual and audio, quite frequently, and they're always distressing.

    I've always used the whole logic and rationalisation technique, and it either works completely in ending the hallucination or at least helps you to calm down until it's over.

    Another technique is to make the hallucination seem ridiculous. It's quite difficult to implement, but turning a usually terrifying experience into something humorous seems to be a good coping mechanism, for me at least.

  4. I see a man everyday. He is about 24 or so and I can feel it when he touches me. I've always been like this and I'm afraid he'll never leave.