Hallucinations - Symptoms, causes and treatment

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Hallucinations - Symptoms, causes and treatment
Hallucinations - Symptoms, causes and treatment

Hallucinations are perceptual disturbances that cause a person to see, hear, or smell something that is not really there. Hallucinations can be caused by mental disorders, certain illnesses, or side effects of drugs

Hallucinations can also be accompanied by delusions, namely the belief in something that does not exist or does not match the actual situation. For example, a person may feel that he has power and is very close to famous people, when in reality he is not.

Hallucinations - Alodokter

Hallucinations accompanied by delusions can be temporary or long-term. This condition is usually experienced by people with psychosis and schizophrenia.

The Cause of Hallucinations

The causes of hallucinations vary widely, ranging from mental disorders to physical illnesses. In addition, hallucinations can also occur as a side effect of drugs used to treat depression, epilepsy, and Parkinson's disease.

Mental disorder

Hallucinations can be caused by the following mental disorders:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Psychosis
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression with psychotic disorders
  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Delirium or dementia

Physical illness

Several types of diseases below can cause hallucinations:

  • High fever, especially in children and the elderly
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Brain tumor
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Injury to the eye
  • Inner ear disorders
  • Migraine
  • Epilepsy
  • Charles Bonnet Syndrome
  • Stroke

Other conditions

Hallucinations can also be caused by the following conditions:

  • Alcohol addiction
  • Sleep disorders
  • Drug Abuse
  • Head injury


Symptoms of hallucinations can be distinguished by type, namely:

  • Visual hallucinationsVisual hallucinations will see things that are not really there. Objects seen can be people, objects, or light. For example, the sufferer sees someone in a room, when in fact there is not.

  • Auditory hallucinations Auditory hallucinations are the most common type. Sufferers of these hallucinations can hear voices, commands, or threats that are not actually there.

  • olfactory hallucinations

    Sufferers of olfactory hallucinations will smell a sweet or unpleasant odor, even though the smell is not actually there.

  • Tasting hallucinationsSufferers of tasting hallucinations will taste strange tastes, such as a metallic taste in the food or drink they consume, even though the taste is not actually there.

  • Touch hallucinationsIn this type of hallucination, the sufferer feels as if someone is touching or touching him, or feels like an animal is crawling on his skin. actually does not exist.

When to see a doctor

Consult a doctor if you experience any of the hallucinations mentioned above, especially if they occur frequently and interfere with daily activities.

Seek immediate medical attention if you or someone around you experiences any of the following symptoms:

  • Has a desire to harm oneself or others
  • Hearing voices that contain the urge to harm yourself or others
  • Having a seizure
  • Going into a sudden daze
  • Speaking incoherently

Hallucinations Diagnosis

The doctor will ask the patient's complaints, medical history, lifestyle, and medications that have been taken by the patient, then proceed with a thorough physical examination.

To find out the cause of hallucinations, the doctor will carry out supporting examinations, such as:

  • Blood and urine tests, to detect infection or alcohol and drug abuse
  • EEG (electroencephalogram), to check the electrical activity of the brain so that it can be seen whether hallucinations are caused by epilepsy
  • CT scan and MRI scan, to detect stroke and possible injury or tumor in the brain

Hallucinations Treatment

Treatment of hallucinations depends on the cause. Doctors will prescribe medication if the hallucinations are caused by mental disorders, epilepsy, or migraines. However, in hallucinations caused by brain tumors, doctors will perform surgical procedures, radiation, or gamma knife surgery.

Doctors will also advise patients to undergo cognitive behavioral therapy, especially in hallucinations caused by mental disorders. This therapy aims to help patients deal with fear or paranoia.

Hallucinations Complications

If left untreated, hallucinations can lead to a number of complications. The type of complications that arise depends on the cause. However, the complications that often occur are:

  • Disorders in relationships and social interactions
  • The act of hurting oneself and others
  • Attempted suicide

Hallucinations Prevention

Hallucinations can be prevented by having regular check-ups if you suffer from mental disorders or he alth problems that can cause hallucinations.

In addition, to prevent hallucinations, you will also be advised to:

  • Manage stress well, for example by doing relaxation techniques
  • Avoiding drug use
  • Restricting consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Sleep enough

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