How Do I Know if I’m Having Hallucinations?

How Do I Know if I’m Having Hallucinations?

Hallucinations are no laughing matter. They are a challenge for people who struggle with them. They involve seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, or experiencing something sensory that is not there. There is no physical reason why people experience them. Most of them have to do with the brain and how it is processing the environment. Learn more about hallucinations, how they happen, and what to do when they occur.

Bipolar Disorder and Hallucinations

Schizophrenia is the disorder most commonly associated with hallucinations. They also occur when a person has bipolar disorder. Regardless of depression or mania, there can be psychotic features or symptoms, which include hallucinations and delusions. A misdiagnosis can often lead to issues for someone with hallucinations because they may not get the right treatment. People who have bipolar II disorder may experience hallucinations only during depression. Cyclothymia excludes hallucinations typically, but not necessarily in all cases.

How People Experience Hallucinations

Five types of hallucinations can impact a person’s life. They include:

  • Taste: no source for a taste in the mouth but is very rare
  • Smell: a person smells something nobody else does and has no physical source
  • Visual: some people see colors, shapes, or other things that are not real. This is the second most common type of hallucination for people to have
  • Tactile: feeling sensations without physical reasons. This can include bugs crawling on or under the skin or like people are touching you. May be associated with drug use but can also occur not when a person is using drugs
  • Hearing: the most common type of hallucination. A person may hear sounds or voices that are not there or have no physical reason and nobody else seems to hear them

How to Seek Help

People who experience hallucinations need to seek professional help. They likely will not go away on their own. If a person has a mental health professional, they should tell them about the issues they are having and be honest. It may be necessary to seek treatment for mental health and addictive disorders for some people who have co-occurring disorders. The reality is that hallucinations are difficult to kick on your own but if you seek help from professionals, they can provide support and help for your journey of recovery and healing.

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