Hallucination – A Problem Of Senses

Hallucination is defined as a false perception of objects or events and is sensory in nature. Patients who experience hallucinations may see the things or hear things that are actually not present. They face problems with their senses. These patients talk about strange and unusual ideas and they find it difficult to talk carry a conversation with people. Hallucination involves all the senses in the body – hear, see, smell, taste, and touch.

A hallucination occurs in the awake state along with a sense of reality in order to resemble a veridical perception over which the subject does not feel direct and voluntary control. Hallucinations tend to link with several disorders and the proper management of an underlying condition can resolve these hallucinations. The hallucinations are defined as a psychotic feature of the disease.  

Hallucination is considered to be a hallmark symptom of schizophrenia and various other disorders. Schizophrenia is a disease that is characterized by hallucinations and delusion. Hallucination means false perception and delusion is defined as a false belief. It is a serious mental disorder that affects the way a person think, feel and behaves. It is characterized by a wide variety of symptoms that impairs the quality of life of the patient as well as of their caregivers.  

Hallucination of several types and some of the common types of hallucinations are as follows:

1. Visual hallucination

Visual hallucination is defined as a condition in which an individual experience seeing something that is actually not present. Most often, visual hallucinations are linked to biological causes such as an organic disease or drug-induced psychosis. Visual hallucinations can be classified into simplex visual hallucinations and complex difference hallucinations and this categorization depend on visual perception.

  • Simplex visual hallucination – A visual perception of colored or colorless shapes, lines, or elements are considered to be a simplex visual hallucination.
  • Complex visual hallucination – A visual hallucination in the form of people, objects or scenes are considered to be a complex visual hallucination.

2. Auditory hallucination

Auditory hallucination is defined as a condition in which an individual experiences the voice or people or things that are actually not present. Auditory hallucinations are of voices and it is characterized by the voices that are heard inside and outside the head. More than one voice can also be heard, in fact, two or more voices may have a conversation in themselves. Sometimes auditory hallucinations can be accompanied by other symptoms. This type of hallucination is most common in a disease known as schizophrenia, but it can occur in other diseases as well such as mood disorder and organic mental disorder.  

3. Olfactory hallucinations

Olfactory hallucination is defined as a condition in which an individual experience smelling odors that are not present. It involves smelling odors. It usually occurs in diseases like schizophrenia, temporal lobe epilepsy, depression, eating disorders, and migraine. The types of odor that are hallucinated by the patients can range from foul and unpleasant smell to pleasant and enjoyable smell. When olfactory hallucination occurs in patients having schizophrenia, the smell is often unpleasant and patients describe the situation as distressing and change the place in order to avoid that unpleasant smell.  

4. Tactile hallucination

Tactile hallucination is defined as a condition in which an individual has a false perception of tactile sensory that they feel some physical contact with an imaginary object. In general terms, it is defined as a false perception of touch on the skin or another part of the body. Tactile hallucination is considered to be a recurrent symptom of various diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and delirium tremens. The condition of a patient suffering from tactile hallucination is very distressing and uncomfortable. They often feel that something or someone if touching them. It is not a very common type of hallucination.

5. Gustatory hallucination

Gustatory hallucination is defined as a condition in which an individual experience the false sensation of tasting something that is actually not present. Most often, this false sensation of tasting is unpleasant. It involves a sense of taste. Gustatory hallucination is an uncommon type of hallucination as compared to other types of hallucination and it involves a wide range of tastes. It occurs due to alteration in the ability to taste. It usually occurs due to psychiatric disorders, head trauma, and radiation therapy.


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Jim Carson

Jim Carson is the writer for the mental health section of CheapMedicineShop.com. He is certified in clinical mental health counselling and has conducted cognitive behaviour therapy for war veterans struggling with PTSD. Professionally and personally, Jim is an astute observer of human behaviour that reflects well in his work.