Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

how does a hypnagogic hallucination differ from a hallucination that comes from inside your head?


Recommended Posts

i told my doctor that i had "really intense" hypnagogic and hypnapompic hallucinations after i stopped taking klonopin months ago and experienced what seemed like a mixed state, either agitated depression or dysphoric mania. he reacted by saying "what were the hallucinations like?" and generally with a kind of cautious tone. i received the same cautious reaction from my therapist as well. so they probably thinks that i "actually" hallucinated auditorally..but since these hallucinations mostly occur when i'm drowsy (either in bed or not in bed) and in a quiet place, are they really "true" hallucinations? they sort of echo my thoughts or anticipate what i'm about to think or state what i'm actually thinking (there's actually psychiatric names for those two states). sometimes there are these brief moments where i'll hear a noise or something in my head that's so loud it will startle me (generally in a sleeping sort of state). the voices might comment on my actions, give advice, or speak with disdain..and all of this really disturbs my sleep. however, generally they're somewhat subtle and only easily heard (or thought?) when i'm in a quiet place. i read somewhere on minddisorders.com that hallucinations can come from inside or outside but are generally considered more severe when coming from outside.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Recluse

From what I understand of the matter, hypnogogic hallucinations are basically 'edge of sleep' images/sounds/smells that occur as you are dozing off and your mind is wandering naturally. They aren't really hallucinations so much as your mind just wandering in an altered state. I've never been told by any doctor that they are harmful or the mark of mental illness, although I've asked a few times over the years. Mine are usually auditory, I hear a doorbell or someone calling my name, or weirder still, things I've heard years before. Whereas a hallucination in more acute terms, (and I say again, I'm not a doctor so my description might fail miserably), is the insertion of head-imagery into the perceptions of an alert, waking mind.

There's a bizarre little condition out there called Exploding Head Syndrome, where you have a hypnogogic hallucination of a very loud noise, often so sharp that it knocks you out of a dead sleep and into a somewhat alert, waking one. No idea if that's relevant to your circumstance, but there it is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

so Recluse, would you say that what i'm describing would be considered "actual" hallucinations? you mentioned "head-imagery", i get that too sometimes as i'm tryying to sleep. like pseudo "images" of death or otherwise morbid things, or random faces, some ugly some pretty, almost like i'm conjuring people's faces in my mind. what's that all about? just racing thoughts?

edit: interesting, never heard of that syndrome before.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had hypnogogic hallucinations quite badly before. Like sleep paralysis ones, where I could feel someone touch my neck and be in the room with me, but there was no one there.

In my case they were stress induced.

Never having had a psychosis hallucination [only voices in my head of loud internal voice thoughts] I can't really compare to that kind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Recluse

so Recluse, would you say that what i'm describing would be considered "actual" hallucinations? you mentioned "head-imagery", i get that too sometimes as i'm tryying to sleep. like pseudo "images" of death or otherwise morbid things, or random faces, some ugly some pretty, almost like i'm conjuring people's faces in my mind. what's that all about? just racing thoughts?

No, I wouldn't call them 'actual' hallucinations really. According to what I've read and been told, it's just a basic function of your brain, the change being that whatever meds you were taking made that process more obvious or less forgettable, kind of like taking the panels off of a music box and revealing the gears underneath. I have this sort of thing happen too, but it never occurred to me as anything more than my mind unwinding and my subconscious seizing control as I dozed off. When I've inquired about it, I tend to be told the same basic thing.

My DX is ADHD (among other things), so it might be tied to racing thoughts somehow, but I do this even while medicated. I seriously don't think it's anything more than a vivid 'daydream' style episode, the human brain functions that way without needing to be broken, amirite? It just may be that the med you were taking made it more stark in comparison with your usual experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Null, if these occur when you are about to fall asleep or were sleeping, they are hypnogogic. Hypnogogic hallucinations occur in the middle state between sleeping and wakefulness. One way to consider them is dreaming while awake. I am not clear from what you said whether your experiences always occur around sleep. If some of yours occur when you are in a quiet room but not almost sleeping, they are hallucinations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get what I call hypnagogic "experiences" - wouldn't call them hallucinations - eg horrific images that flash into my head from nowhere, or thinking I hear something really weird when I'm trying to sleep. I consider these things relatively normal.

I get hypnopomic hallucinations as well, these ones are much more like "real" hallucinations. eg I've just woken up and opened my eyes and I see a massive spider on my pillow right in front of my face. These things often stick around for up to a couple of minutes after I'm awake. Usually it's something freaky, but sometimes something really cool. Sometimes I can even sit up and interact with them briefly. And when I wake up there are all kinds of weird stuff happening in my vision (spots or colours, etc), that last for much longer than the spiders and "things", and can also happen during the day (just not as badly).

I agree medications make it worse.

PS I've never been diagnosed with any mental illness.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...