ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Hallucination

Updated on March 23, 2012

The report of a sensory experience in the absence of an actual external stimulus appropriate to the reported experience is called a hallucination. A mental patient, for example, may report that he hears voices, but no voices or sounds that could be mistaken for voices can be heard by those who are with the patient.

Hallucinations should be distinguished from illusions and delusions. An illusion is a false interpretation of an actual external stimulus. A patient may hear the wind blowing and report that he hears a host of heavenly ghosts beckoning him to come to the top of the building. There actually is an external sound, but the patient has misinterpreted it. The term "illusion" is applied to many misinterpretations of observation, as in optical illusions. A delusion is a false idea, such as when a patient announces that he is Napoleon or that he holds the future of the world in his left hand. Otherwise normal people exhibit delusions and illusions, but hallucinations are rare in normal individuals.

Psychotic Versus Normal Experiences. Among mental patients, hallucinations, illusions, and delusions are very commonly reported. They are, most often, of a bizarre quality and are easily distinguished from misperceptions exhibited by normal individuals (except for the often logical delusions of the paranoiac). Hallucinations commonly occur among schizophrenics, manic-depressives, alcoholics, drug addicts, and in persons with certain types of brain damage.

Normal persons suffering from extreme fatigue may experience hallucinations. Sometimes delirium accompanying very high fevers produces hallucinations. In laboratory experiments with sensory deprivation, in which subjects are isolated from external stimuli, normal subjects will often report hallucinatory experiences.

Source

Types and Causes

Auditory hallucinations, hearing voices or other sounds in the absence of any external stimuli to account for these sounds, are the most commonly observed hallucinations among mental patients. Visual hallucinations are the second most often encountered among psychotic patients—the patients see images that they believe to be real. There are also olfactory hallucinations, as when a patient claims that he smells poison gas in his room, and tactual hallucinations, as when the patient reports the sensation of bugs crawling over his body.

There is evidence that hallucinations are influenced by cultural factors. For example, the voices heard typically speak in the patient's native tongue. Often hallucinations are autobiographical, as when a patient thinks he hears his mother scolding him for sinful behavior.

Among mental patients, hallucinations are related to restricted thinking and preoccupation with conflict, wishful thinking, and projection. The patient seems to become unable to distinguish between his own thoughts and preoccupations and the events in the outside world.

Both illusions and hallucinations can be induced by drugs such as the psychedelics.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)