Hallucinations are the consequences of disturbances in a person’s mental activity, in which the individual hears, sees or feels what is not in reality, that is, a perceptual disorder occurs. The human brain, which has not yet been studied very well, is fraught with many secrets. It is he who “gives birth” to sounds that seem to be a voice from above, shows non-existent images, etc.
Causes of Hallucinations
These phenomena may occur in such diseases and cases: • schizophrenia and psychosis, • brain tumor or syphilis, • herpetic encephalitis, • alcoholic psychosis, • hypothermia, • cerebral atherosclerosis, • epilepsy, • some infectious diseases, for example, malaria, pneumonia, typhoid, • tetraethyl lead poisoning, etc., • due to the use of narcotic drugs and hallucinogenic mushrooms and plants containing neurotoxic poison.
People have known about hallucinations for a long time, but in ancient times their significance was special. Shamans specially used the so-called "sacred" mushrooms or plants, which were considered divine, thanks to which they fell into a trance and saw "predictive visions."
Many geniuses of the past, suffering from mental illness, alcoholism, "dabbling" in opium or morphine, experienced hallucinations. In their inflamed brain, reality was intertwined with perception and the spiritual world, which allowed the birth of masterpieces of literature, music, painting, science. It is enough to recall such names as Vrubel, Chopin, Edgar Allan Poe, Maupassant, John Forbes Nash, Gogol, Goya, Yesenin, Vincent van Gogh.
Sensory errors, deception - these are hallucinations. They are completely unpredictable and even sometimes help to create geniuses, but such a psychopathic process, in the end, leads to the complete devastation of the person, aggression, dangerous for others. That is why hallucinations should be treated. Our Psychoendocrinology Center employs specialists who can help cope with this mental problem.
Types of Hallucinations
Hallucinations are different:
1. Visual - a person sees images, pictures, bright or faded, static or whole scenes in which he participates.
2. Auditory - the patient hears nonexistent sounds: voices hailing him, talking to him, whole phrases or single words encouraging or scolding.
3. Olfactory - sensation of different smells.
4. Taste - a taste in the mouth without irritant. It can be both pleasant and disgusting.
5. Bodily - the sensations on the body and in the body are rather unpleasant. It may seem to the patient that someone is crawling on him, grabs him by the limbs, bubbles burst in the intestines, etc.
There are false hallucinations - in the outer space they are not projected, but are only in the head. True hallucinations are very real, the patient sees them very accurately as if from the outside, perceives them by the senses.
In addition, simple and complex hallucinations are distinguished (reflection of a hallucination of one or a combination of several senses). An example of the second can be given as follows: you see a monster, hear a whisper, footsteps and even feel the cold from its touch. Such a hallucination develops depending on the personality of the patient, the characteristics of his psyche, complexes and self-hypnosis.
It is worth noting that the content of the hallucination itself depends on the patient’s unconscious sphere and psyche, so that it has a peculiar character, that is, it can be different and completely unexpected.
How to get rid of hallucinations
People who do not experience this mental problem often make fun of hallucinations, as they are not given to understand what they are and what the patients are experiencing. Sometimes it is very scary, frightening and makes you doubt your mental health. At the same time, there are a lot of reasons for the origin of visions and sounds, so you shouldn’t delay it, but you should contact the professionals of our Center in the near future. As a rule, the patient may not be aware that they have hallucinations, experience intense fear, anxiety, anger. This condition is often noticed by relatives, and they should insist on a visit to the doctor.
First of all, the specialist will identify the "culprit" of hallucinations. This can be poisoning, various disorders or more serious problems requiring a thorough examination. After this, treatment is prescribed - medication and psychotherapeutic.
You need to understand that you can’t delay in the presence of hallucinations, because in a neglected form it is much harder to cure such a disorder.
Causes of occurrence
Who is subject to hallucinations?
Hallucinations directly related to the state of the brain, in which images, voices, smells and images that do not correspond to reality arise.
Very often hallucinations are a symptom of schizophrenia or the result of taking hallucinogenic drugs.
The brain is still not fully understood by science and is a mystery to scientists. Therefore, all the processes taking place in it cannot be explained accurately and unambiguously, nor can we study in detail the causes of the occurring disorders.
But all the reasons can be conditionally divided into three categories:
- domestic (hereditary diseases affecting the human brain and nervous system),
- external (acquired diseases and pathologies, such as severe concussions, poisoning and infectious lesions of the body, etc.),
- temporary (metabolic disorders, not pathological in nature, such as lack of sleep or stress).
Visual hallucinations develop against the backdrop of alcoholism, drug and psychotropic substance abuse, taking certain medications and even food poisoning.
Visual and auditory hallucinations complexly manifest against the backdrop of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, hallucinosis, psychosis and some types of seizures.
Olfactory hallucinations occur with lesions / injuries of the brain.
The cause of violations may be infection (encephalitis, malaria, typhoid, etc.) or stroke / bruise of the temporal region, as well as schizophrenia and other diseases.
Tactile hallucinations appear as a result of withdrawal symptoms against the background of alcohol abuse. False sensations on the body and inside it can also be triggered by encephalitis, schizophrenia.
There are groups of people who, as a result of their lifestyle or current state of the body, are prone to hallucinations.
- Elderly people. The aging process is inevitably associated with changes in the body and irreversible processes in the brain.
After 60 years, the patient can be diagnosed with paranoia or dementia, which is the cause of hallucinations.
Rheumatic diseases and cardiovascular pathologies in the stage of decompensation also provoke false images. People suffering from alcoholism. Severe alcohol poisoning leads to delirium tremens and hallucinations. Alcoholic psychosis, delirium are acute psychotic conditions associated with impaired functioning of the brain and sensory organs.
What to do: which doctor to contact?
Hallucinations are an unhealthy condition of the body that signals violationsrequiring correction.
Moreover, disturbances in perception are not an independent ailment, but a symptom of various pathologies (physical or mental).
To treat a symptom, you must find out the reasonprovoking hallucinations. You can not ignore medical care and self-medicate, even if hallucinations manifest themselves in a mild form.
First of all, a person with a perceptual disorder should contact general practitioner, psychiatrist and neurologist.
As an accompanying examination, the physician may refer the patient to an oncologist, narcologist, and others. narrow specialistswho will analyze the patient’s condition and confirm / deny the presence of diseases that caused hallucinations.
Grandmother's hallucinations after a stroke
Stroke - This is a serious condition that requires long-term treatment and recovery.
But even in the case of proper treatment, complications can be detected (circulatory disorders in the brain, irreversible processes and delirium). Against the background of these pathologies, a violation of perception occurs.
Post stroke hallucinations look like incoherent speech, illusions and delusions. The patient may complain of strange visions and images, realizing his condition, or he may believe in hallucinations, considering them real.
Relatives of the patient in the event of post-stroke hallucinations should provide security as a person with a perceptual disorder, and people around him.
Call an ambulance imperceptibly for the patient, so as not to provoke an attack of aggression or an increased level of anxiety.
Strictly forbidden any manifestations of unhealthy interest, contesting the patient’s words and panic, as all this can aggravate the situation.
In a state of psychosis, sick people are in a state of excitement and experience surge of physical strength.
Therefore, it is necessary that at least 3 people are present in the room, able to pacify the patient. In some cases, even weak elderly people and patients in the postoperative period can reach a window or door, causing physical damage relatives (on the background of psychosis).
Do not leave sharp or heavy objects in the patient’s room. Also, you can not leave a person with hallucinations unattended.
It is strictly forbidden to use drugs for the relief of hallucinations without medical advice. All actions must be coordinated with a specialist.
How to help yourself if visions arise?
How to get rid of hallucinations?
If you suspect yourself hallucinating or are confident in a disturbed perception, try do not panic.
Firstly contact a loved onewho can refute frightening visions / voices, etc. With support, you can reduce anxiety.
If visions have arisen due to poisoning, taking psychotropic substances, or drinking alcohol, it is necessary go to the hospital immediately.
Even if hallucinations are not related to malaise / pain and ailment, seek medical help and find out the root cause.
In the later stages, it is very difficult to cure hallucinations or alleviate symptoms.
Heat may cause hallucinations. In this case, antipyretics (Ibufen, Paracetamol) will help to quickly cope with the unpleasant symptom.
Stress, lack of sleep and extreme fatigue lead to hallucinations. If you understand that the body is on the verge of exhaustion, you need to rest (go to bed, turn off instant messengers and distract from business).
It is important to admit to yourself on time and honestly that the help of a specialist is necessary. Man with hallucinations can't help myself, since the line between the real and the unreal is erased.
A substitution of perception takes place, and the patient is more and more immersed in his world of visions.
It’s almost impossible to get out of this vicious circle, because with progressive diseases a person begins get confused and believe in hallucinations.
Trigger-induced hallucinations (psychotropic substances, poisoning, hypnosis, drugs) are treated by eliminating the harmful effects (directly triggers).
The only exceptions are those situations in which external factors led to changes in the body or provoked withdrawal symptoms.
Hallucinations on the background of psychotic disorders are treated by correcting the underlying pathologythat triggered a disturbance in perception. For this, antipsychotics are used.
If the underlying pathology is not treatable (senile dementia), then therapy is aimed at acute phase relief hallucinations.
If hallucinations were caused by the use of drugs or alcohol, the patient must undergo rehabilitation course.
How to treat pathology? What medications will help?
The treatment of hallucinations is an individual therapy. The drugs are selected based on the clinical picture, such as hallucinations, pathology of the root cause and the emotional state of the patient.
The list of mandatory measures includes:
- taking medications according to an individual scheme,
- isolation of the patient during the acute period (directly hallucinations),
- individual psychotherapy for the rehabilitation of the patient and his return to normal life.
What pills to take to the patient? To combat hallucinations used antipsychotics (antipsychotics):
For the relief of acute excitement and delusions are used intramuscular injection:
If the patient is depressed, he is prescribed antidepressants. To combat anxiety use tranquilizers, and in case of weakness use stimulants.
It is very important not to panic when hallucinations occur and not to try to hide the fact that there is a violation of perception from others.
Often, the reluctance to seek help is caused by fear of an upcoming treatment, shame or the belief that the case is single and not dangerous.
However, in the long run, such a strategy will only lead to deterioration of the patient and complete loss of normal life, loss of control over reality and one’s own actions.
Type of hallucinations
- muscle and visceral (general sensation),
Depending on the content of hallucinations during therapy, they are divided into:
- true ones are connected with real-life reality (for example, voices of real-life people),
- false (pseudo-hallucinations) - in which fictional reality displaces the objective picture of the world, while the patient is sure that they are caused by the influence of third forces (aliens, ill-wishers, etc.) on him.
When hallucination treatment is required
Common causes of hallucinations requiring specific treatment:
- mental disorders - schizophrenia and schizotypic, bipolar or post-traumatic disorders, psychotic depression,
- physiological factors affecting the central nervous system - Parkinson's disease, stroke, epilepsy, dementia, brain tumors,
- some infectious diseases (e.g. syphilis and tuberculosis),
- failure of the lungs, liver or kidneys,
- systemic hormonal and metabolic disorders,
- alcoholism and drug addiction (in particular when taking large doses, during periods of delirium, "withdrawal" and withdrawal symptoms).
Diagnosis is based on the clinical picture and is aimed at differentiating this pathology from illusions that often arise in healthy people. The presence of hallucinations is determined by alertness and delirium, characteristic facial expressions, conversations with non-existent contractors, reactions to non-existent images and events (closing your eyes, plugging your ears, trying to hide, etc.). In practice, they practically do not occur in an isolated form and, as a rule, are part of the symptoms of certain psychopathic disorders.