H is for Hallucinations

sights sounds unreal
seem real — a sensory
confusion beheld


Although there is no external source, hallucinations are very much real to the person experiencing them. The source is usually an imbalance or damage in the person’s own brain chemistry and/or brain structure. There are various causes of hallucinations. These include mental illness, sleep deprivation, ingested substances, and other conditions. By the way, if you or someone you know do have hallucinations consult with a doctor to find out what’s going on. No need to be ashamed, like other symptoms of illness and disorder in our bodies (diabetes, colds, flu, etc.) they can either be treated or managed. Often proper management and treatment takes time to discover. And the sooner you get help the better. I should know, my husband has received the help he needs (see my other post — B is for Bipolar).

Below is a very facinating video on a particular kind of hallucination that can occur in persons that are blind or partially blind. It’s about 18 minutes long. The speaker is Dr. Oliver Saks, the writer of Awakenings. Awakenings is his memoir relating his experience with catatonic Parkinson’s patients at a New York hospital. The book was turned into a movie starring Robin Williams as Dr. Saks. He is a neurologist and has written books on unusual and fascinating cases he has encountered. If you have the time and are curious about hallucinations check it out or save it to watch later.

“A hallucination is a perception in the absence of a stimulus which has qualities of real perception.”


“A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it.”
-Bertrand Russell


Inspired by

20130424-103449.jpgSource:Mental Health America


About Claudia

Hi!! My name is Claudia. Blogging is sort of a creative/therapeutic activity for me. I blog about being a wife, mother, student, caseworker, and simply being human through photography, words, music, and blog challenges. Mental illness has also been part of my life, so you'll sometimes find mental health and psychology in my posts. I've dealt with anxiety and depression most of my life. And my husband has bipolar disorder. My hope is that I may show readers that it is possible for people to live positive, productive lives despite mental illness, challenges, or frustrations. View all posts by Claudia

2 responses to “H is for Hallucinations

  • The Real Cie

    I end up hallucinating due to sleep deprivation. I work the graveyard shift, and sometimes it gets to me. However, I know I’m hallucinating. I sometimes think about what it would be like to not know you’re hallucinating. I can only imagine it would be terrible.
    I have bipolar disorder, but it’s type II, so there’s no psychosis involved. I sometimes regret not going into psychology as a profession. My belief was that since I was “crazy” I couldn’t help people. But who better to understand mental illness than someone who has it themselves?


  • Ruth Nina Welsh

    Thank you for this extra info Claudia. I am a fan of Oliver Sacks and have bookmarked the video to watch later. 🙂


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