Hallucinations are visions which appear real but are created by your mind like an illusion and can affect all five of your senses. For instance, you might hear a voice or see something that no one else in the room can. These symptoms may be caused by mental illness, the side effects of certain medications, or physical conditions and disorders for example, Epilepsy or Alcoholism.
If your symptoms worsen, you may need to consult a doctor immediately. Moreover, depending on the cause, you may need to visit a Psychiatrist, a Neurologist, or a General Practitioner. Treatment may include taking medication to cure a physical or mental illness that is causing such behavior. Certain lifestyle changes and adoption of healthier habits such as minimizing alcohol consumption can be quite helpful as well. Maintenance of a proper sleep routine is another healthy tip which can help.
What are the Causes of Hallucinations?
Hallucinations can be caused by a number of factors, the most common of which are as follows:
- Mental illnesses are among the most common causes of hallucinations. Schizophrenia, Dementia, and Delirium are a few examples of mental illnesses which can cause hallucinations.
- Drinking too much alcohol is another very common cause. Some people see or hear things that are not there after consuming too much alcohol or taking drugs like cocaine or PCP.
- Sleep Deprivation has been widely known to cause hallucinations. If you have not slept in days or do not get enough sleep over long periods of time, you may become more prone to hallucinations.
- Medications taken for certain mental and physical conditions can also cause hallucinations. Parkinson’s Disease, Depression, Psychosis, and Epilepsy medications may trigger hallucination symptoms.
Medical Conditions which can Cause Hallucinations
Typical conditions like the ones mentioned below can also cause hallucinations:
- Terminal Illnesses such As AIDS, Brain Cancer or Kidney and Liver Failure
- High Fevers, especially in children and the elderly
- Social Isolation, particularly in older adults
- Deafness, Blindness or Vision Problems
- Epilepsy (In some cases, Epileptic Seizures can cause you to see flashing shapes or bright spots)
- Treatments for Hallucinations
- Following are the two major options which can be helpful in treating hallucinations:
- Medication Based Treatment
Medications can be initiated once a cause is diagnosed. Treatment for your hallucinations will depend entirely on their underlying cause. For example, if you are hallucinating because of Delirium due to Severe Alcohol Withdrawal, your doctor might prescribe medication that slow down your nervous system. For Psychosis, the treatment may be a different kind of medication like Dopamine Antagonists. However, if hallucinations are caused by Parkinson’s Disease in a patient with Dementia, this same type of medication would be detrimental. An accurate diagnosis is, therefore very important for treating the condition effectively.
Counseling might also or will entirely be your treatment plan, particularly if the underlying cause of your hallucinations is a mental health condition. Speaking with a counselor or psychiatrist can help you get a better understanding of what is happening to you. A counselor can also help you develop coping strategies, particularly for when you are feeling scared or paranoid.