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Not sure if this is psychosis or not.  I've seen people turn into demons before, but as a rule, my psychosis tends to paranoid delusions and thought broadcasting.  So I'm not sure what to think.

For awhile now, I've seen bits of dirt or whatever on the floor move, when they are demonstrably stationary.  Today outside I thought a stick was a mouse.  I had to really stop and stare at it.  

Are these visual illusions or hallucinations?  Is this psychosis-adjacent, psychosis, or nothing at all?

I saw pdoc yesterday and told him that I thought the dirt stuff was me being tired?  And of course today I get something bigger.

I do have floaters now, but I can see the majority of things perfectly normally, the majority of the time, so I don't think that's related.

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sorry I can't help with this one...the only visual hallucinations I've had have been extremely clearly hallucinations (e.g., cookie monster in my bathtub) that the neuro in the hospital thought was due to amantadine. 

Edited by dancesintherain
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I know I already said this on the other thread, but I've had similar experiences and it was during a time I was having a lot of delusions, before I got on a therapeutic dose of AAP. I think they are visual illusions. I had one where I thought a person I passed in a building was a gorilla. It would have made no sense for there to be a gorilla there, but I had to really stop and look at them to make sure they were a person. ETA I've never had a full-on visual hallucination, just little stuff like this.

Edited by Juniper29
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Thanks @DogMan - that makes sense.  

And it may be broader sleep dysfunction?  I slept walked last night.  It's uncommon for me (twice now that I know of) and as far as we're aware, confined to the last 6 months - NYE and last night.  I had a sleep study and everything was normal - went home and went back to bed and slept, then sat up in my sleep and started talking (sleep talking isn't new).  Typical!  Heh.

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My visual hallucinations have nearly all been completely true to life. The only exception that I can think of was this one time when I got these sort of computer-generated wavy shapes. But they were still very distinct, seemed real enough (even though they clearly didn’t resemble anything in reality), were very clearly red or blue, had a fairly straightforward path of motion, and so forth. They also seemed angry/aggressive, and that they could maybe hurt me. (I know, go figure!)

That said, I know that there are many people who get very different types than I do. Things coming in and out of the shadows, lurking in the corner of your eye, and whatnot … these all seem to be fairly common. Anyway, just because your hallucinations don’t look look like a real wolf, the police, a relative, or whatever, doesn’t mean that you haven’t suffered a legitimate hallucination just the same.

For whatever it’s worth, most people who I have talked to about their visual hallucinations do not typically get the type that I do. The same also goes for auditory hallucinations, but not quite to the same degree, perhaps. And when I have visuals, I virtually always have auditory ones simultaneously, so I guess that makes sense. 

I hope this stuff dies down for you. I have been lucky not to have much in the way of this stuff for a number of years now. I just seem to get the occasional olfactory or auditory hallucinations these days. Half of the time, I don’t even try to check them. If they keep recurring, I start gobbling zyprexa, but that’s pretty much that.

Edited by Goofball
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I really don't know what to make of them @Goofball - they seem to have gone away.  

Now I'm all worried about the stupid sleep walking - I'm stuck with these weird, maybe psych, maybe not symptoms.  It's really frustrating.  Maybe I have slept walk for years but done normal things and we never noticed?  Toby is a light sleeper.  But maybe I do stuff like get up, go to the bathroom, and then back to bed?  I wonder if you can have a mix of mundane sleep walking combined with more bizarre behaviour at other times.

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  • 1 month later...

Perhaps they make a watch/monitoring device that you can wear while you sleep, @jarn? You could maybe set it to sound an alarm when you get up? Or maybe you’d just turn it off and continue to sleepwalk? IDK. But if they do make such a thing, it could at least keep a record of when you do get up, so you’d know when you were sleep walking.

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My watch tracks total/deep/light/awake at nighttime - I can see some nights I'm awake for 30-40 minutes and I have no memory of that.  So either I'm not falling asleep as quickly as I think I am, or, I am sleep walking more than I realize.  Poop.

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  • 6 months later...

Hi jarn. 

I'm not an expert at this stuff, but I think you can have "formed" and "unformed" hallucinations. An unformed hallucination might be if you see a shadow, think it's a spider, and when you check again, realize there is no spider, and maybe not even a shadow. If the hallucination is "formed", you would actually hallucinate a spider, legs moving, 3 dimensional, and believe it's really there.

In both instances, people who are not hallucinating would not see the shadow or a spider and wouldn't be fooled into thinking something was there.

In an illusion, anyone would be fooled by what they see or hear.

So...if you are with friends, and you see a mirage in the distance, and they also see the mirage, that's an illusion. If you see the mirage and your friends never see it, then it's probably an hallucination. 

Here's a link that defines all kinds of hallucinations: Hallucinations: Clinical aspects and management (nih.gov)

Hallucinations and sleepwalking are both increased in times of stress, if you're prone to them. So it's normal for them to come and go.

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That's really interesting @undone - I am currently going through the worst insomnia of my life withdrawing from zyprexa - I think I'm coming up on a month now.  Off work at the moment, I'm constantly dizzy but if I sleep a bit better the nausea is better so I'm assuming it's not rexulti.  I feel desperate for sleep.  I am prescribed .5mg ativan - did nothing - 100mg gravol - did nothing - I'm having better success taking 2mg ativan but don't want to do anything drastic until I see pdoc again next week.  

But I am seeing stuff on the floor move, again, and yesterday coming up from dropping off the recycling I got off the elevator and thought I saw men in black at my door.  They vanished, which was good, and didn't make me paranoid, which was also good.

I'm just so tired.

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A month is a really long time to struggle with sleep. It's no wonder you're having some visual hallucinations!

I just happened to notice that you have mentioned not just visual hallucinations, but nausea, insomnia and exhaustion, along with withdrawal. Have you read anything about HPA axis dysfunction? You might want to talk to your doctors about testing your vitamins and minerals, plus maybe get your endocrine system checked.

It's very good that you're not working. I know sleep hygiene advice always says limit naps...but if you are in sleep debt, and you're not working, I think it's okay to sleep whenever you can, until this is straightened out.

In the meantime...I do have a few tricks that help me get some sleep I can share with you. But you should ask the doctors if it's okay. I'm not on prescription medicines right now, so I'm okay with trying natural remedies. You might want to ask, first, in case they mess up your medication. That would be bad!

- The first thing is spending an hour or more in the cold, during the daytime - especially if I'm working, like shoveling snow. Makes me sleep pretty deeply on and off (naps and night time sleep) for up to two days. I see you're in Toronto. (I'm in NYS) It's still kind of cold out, so maybe it would be something to try.

- The second thing is organic vinegar, with the mother. Just 1 tsp to 4 tbs in water, before bed. You should start low, and find what works for you. Most people dilute the vinegar in water, and maybe add some honey. If you can't stand the taste, you can find vinegar in hot sauce, mustard, some salad dressings, and other flavored foods. You can try adding these to your dinner and see if there's any change. 

Vinegar is acetic acid. Your brain needs acetylcholine to sleep and create dreams. Research shows that people who have chronic depression and also very little dream recall have impaired acetylcholine function in the brain. Acetylcholine receptors can be diminished, or function poorly in some people. There's some evidence that low levels might contribute to cognitive dysfunction in people who have schizophrenia, and high levels might contribute to social dysfunction in people who have autism. It's made by the body using acetic acid, and choline. Choline is in a lot of foods. Eggs are very high in choline. Probably most people get plenty of choline, through food. But vinegar is the only source of acetic acid that I know of. 

I should say, I once had a bout of depression when I overdid vinegar, in my diet. It was very similar to the depression I have experienced that was caused by a prescription medicine - very deep despair. I saw an improvement in the depression when I added 5htp - which helps the body produce Tryptophan. However, if you try 5htp, you should take care to take it at the same time every single day, because it also affects your digestive system, and you can wind up with bowel incontinence. (This is true for any tryptophan effecting medicine.)

Vinegar is probably not something you want to take every day. It is very acidic and can bother your stomach. It can also wear the enamel of your teeth. So it's best probably to keep it as a "once in a while" remedy, if you want to try it. If you think it's really helping, you can ask your psychiatrist if this is a clue that you might do well if you added a prescription medicine that targets the acetylcholine pathways. I think there are several medicines that do.

- The third thing is melatonin, and magnesium, before bed. Magnesium has a relaxing effect, and lots of people are low. Magnesium can affect the digestive system similarly to 5htp. If you have trouble with digestive dysfunction, you can try epsom's salts soaks, instead of a supplement pill. It's more gentle to your stomach when magnesium's absorbed through the skin. And once you're used to that, you might be able to try a supplement again, and find that you're not sensitive to it anymore. Melatonin is made by your pineal gland. If your psychiatrist took a CT scan of your brain before prescribing meds, you can ask them to see if your pineal gland is calcified. Lots of people in North America have this calcium build up around the pineal gland, and don't notice any problems. But some people have insomnia, that could be worsened by a calcified pineal gland which is not producing enough melatonin. We get this here because of the fluoride in the treated water, and toothpaste. There's nothing you can do about it, except to supplement with melatonin nightly. (There are websites saying you can 'massage' the pineal gland to fix it, but take my word for it, you can't - it's in your brain!) You have to be careful to take melatonin in the evenings, when your body naturally produces the most. It's not good to take it before an afternoon nap, for example. I take it between 11 pm and midnight with magnesium, and I feel tired within an hour, usually. It's very consistent. 

- Another thing that can really help is wearing ear plugs, and/or and eye mask. I think when I'm more stressed, I'm also hypersensitive to my surroundings, and every bit of light and sound startles me out of sleep, even if I had drifted off. Ear plugs are usually consistently helpful, but a little uncomfortable. I like using an eye mask that is made of thin foam, has a dome shape, and doesn't touch my eyelids. Otherwise, I feel my eyes moving against the mask, and that's just more stimulation that keeps me awake. I've also noticed an improvement in sleep quality, if I wear a hat to bed. I can't explain why! But sleeping caps used to be all the rage...maybe there's a reason. Sometimes I get too hot with the eye mask or the hat, and I wake up to take it off, but I usually am able to fall back to sleep, after.

- The only thing I know of to reduce parasomnias like sleepwalking is stress reduction.

- No light in the bedroom, unless it's red light. Red light is the color of sunset. It naturally triggers the brain to wind down for rest. If you use a digital clock, or other electronics in the bedroom, pick ones with red displays.

- The last thing is resting. I've seen lots of advice telling people that if they can't sleep after lying in bed for 15 minutes, they should get up and do something that is low stimulation, like reading. The reason is that most people feel frustrated and anxious when they realize they can't sleep, and they have to get up in the morning. But once I read something that recommended instead of getting up out of bed, you can try staying in bed longer, and just remind yourself that you're "resting". Maybe you're not sleeping, but your eyes are closed, you're resting your muscles by lying down, you're not taking in new data from the world around you...and that is still helpful, even though it's not as good as "sleeping". It takes away the pressure to "sleep", knowing that your body will be able to recover and heal a little, just from getting some "rest". I prefer this to getting up after 15 minutes, since sometimes I do eventually fall asleep after 15 minutes. If I've been unable to sleep for an hour or two, then I get up and do something else.

 

I frequently see things move, too, especially when I'm overtired, overstimulated, or stressed. It can be embarrassing, but I'm very glad that most of the hallucinations I've had are unformed, and don't fool me for more than a second. In my thinking, it's not really a problem unless I'm so fooled by it that I'm bothering others about it. When I realize it's a hallucination, I try to be grateful that I have that much awareness, still. I've experienced well formed hallucinations that caused me to have everyone else looking for a spider, for example, and that's what I consider to be more of a problem, than the actual hallucination, itself. If I'm not bothering anyone, it's just a novelty, like a personal optical illusion.

Also, keep in mind there's a chance if you've never hallucinated before, your hallucinations are hypnopompic/hypnogogic, and will resolve entirely once you start sleeping normally. They wouldn't be a degenerative condition, but reversible.

I hope you find relief from the symptoms you're having! I am able to sleep most of the time, now. But it comes and goes. Hallucinations are a part of daily life, and I rarely worry about them, except to worry that I could someday decline, and slip into a full blown psychotic episode. But I have survived a couple of those, too. I think you're going to be okay!

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Thanks so much @undone!  A lot of stuff I do or do similar things.  I agree, no natural remedies without talking to pdoc first.  I talk to him on Wednesday.

2mg ativan was giving me a bit better sleep.  Last night I tried nothing (I don't want to become dependent on ativan to sleep and then have the same thing happen all over again stopping it) and I got lots of deep sleep per my watch.  Not great sleep overall, but I feel a bit more awake.  So that's good.

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