What Are Hallucinations?

The word "hallucination" is a word that is used often in daily talks and informal conversations. We use this word to pertain to someone who has delusions about things that are not really there. While this usage is generally correct, the term hallucination has a deeper implication in human psychology.

The word "hallucination" is derived from Latin hallucinari, which means "to dream, to wander mentally". On a more serious note, hallucinations are associated with the mental illness schizophrenia or those with Bipolar disorders.

Hallucinations happen by stages. Stage one is frequent a reality check, second is when the hallucination begins to become "real". Next comes the stage where fantasy and reality becomes interchangeable. Last but not the least is the absence of internal-external boundaries.

Efforts in trying to explain the reasons behind hallucinations were exerted by many experts, and so many theories arose. The Freudian theory explained hallucinations as a projection of unconscious wishes, thoughts, and wants.

Meanwhile, psychological research claims that hallucinations are the result of the brain’s inability to distinguish among our metacognitive skills, whereby intentions, memories, beliefs, and thoughts are a major part of it.

Of late, a new hypothesis has emerged and has been gaining acceptance from psychological analysts. It concerns the role of strong perceptual expectations which lead certain people to generate hallucinations.

Hallucination is a broad subject that covers many types. Among these are:

Auditory hallucinations – hearing voices or other sounds when there is none.

Olfactory hallucinations – smelling odors that aren’t really present.

Hypnagogic hallucinations – seeing and hearing hallucinations as one is falling asleep.

Peduncular hallucinosis – vivid visual perceptions which are associated with brainstem lesions.

Migraine coma – usually occurs during the recovery of a comatose state.

Tactile hallucinations – a simulation of pressure on the skin or on other parts of the body.

Hallucination is a very complex subject that is yet to be fully understood and researched on by experts. Hallucinations vary in depth and origin. In line with this, it is important to note that each case of hallucination should be properly diagnosed by psychology experts.

The facts about hallucinations that you read about should not be a basis for diagnosis. Hallucinations are to be taken seriously at all costs, despite the fact that you hear it often.