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hypnagogic hallucinations v. "real" hallucinations


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How can you tell the difference/when should I actually start worrying?

I have definitely had hypnagogic hallucinations before and am usually aware of them when they're happening. The feeling is kind of distinct you know? But, one night as I was lying in bed with racing thoughts etc. (in bed but definitely fully awake) I rolled over and I saw bright, vivid cartoonish characters fighting on my nightstand.

My psychiatrist and therapist seem to be fine with this and think it's not at all out of the norm. But it just seems so not normal to me. Thoughts on how to distinguish between these two types of hallucinations?

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Hypnogogic/pompic hallucinations are not something to be concerned about, even if they are vivid. I think your pdoc and tdoc believe you were in the process of falling asleep, even if you think you were awake, and that is why they aren't concerned

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My very first hallucinations were hypnagogic hallucinations. Now look at me: I'm diagnosed with Schizophrenia and I hallucinate on a regular basis. Hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations are usually nothing to worry about, but they can be the beginning of something bad. Be sure to tell your psychiatrist immediately if you start hearing or seeing things during the day.

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The way to tell the difference between the different kinds of hallucinations is when that you have them. It does seem like your treatment team thought that you were having hypnogogic hallucinations, which are nothing to worry about. It is if you get them during the day that they tend to be a problem.

It might well be that at the time you are describing you were about to fall asleep. I have never had hypnogogic hallucinations, but I do have a little difficulty in knowing whether I am about to fall asleep or not when I recall events the next day.

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I don't have hallucinations, but I have had one hypnopompic hallucination. Scared the shit out of me. I felt someone jump on my back as I was lying there asleep. I wanted to try to fight the person off, but I was paralyzed for a few seconds before I woke up completely and realized it hadn't really happened. I really don't think I've ever felt such pure terror before in my life.

However...this was quite a while ago, and it hasn't led to any waking hallucinations. I agree with everyone else. It's probably "normal" insofar as any sleep disturbance can be normal, since people who aren't crazy can have them as well.

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Yeah that's the thing though. There are times during the day when I'm nowhere near a bed that I hear people calling my name or saying incomprehensible things to me. Granted, I usually attribute these auditory "disturbances" to real people, not disembodied voices, but of course I find out later that either a) I am completely alone or b) the person to whom I attribute the voice hasn't said a word. And my doctors still don't seem to give a shit or connect the two but it's getting harder to distinguish between the real and the unreal. you know?

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Yeah that's the thing though. There are times during the day when I'm nowhere near a bed that I hear people calling my name or saying incomprehensible things to me. Granted, I usually attribute these auditory "disturbances" to real people, not disembodied voices, but of course I find out later that either a) I am completely alone or b) the person to whom I attribute the voice hasn't said a word. And my doctors still don't seem to give a shit or connect the two but it's getting harder to distinguish between the real and the unreal. you know?

In that case, even though you tried before, definitely mention it to your pdoc that this is happening when you are wide awake; ask for help for it

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Yeah that's the thing though. There are times during the day when I'm nowhere near a bed that I hear people calling my name or saying incomprehensible things to me. Granted, I usually attribute these auditory "disturbances" to real people, not disembodied voices, but of course I find out later that either a) I am completely alone or b) the person to whom I attribute the voice hasn't said a word. And my doctors still don't seem to give a shit or connect the two but it's getting harder to distinguish between the real and the unreal. you know?

Ah. I didn't realize that it happened while you were awake, too. Yes, I would definitely be hounding my pdoc about this. I hope a solution comes through quick for you.

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y58 atm, no. Long story short, I'm overseas right now and had to leave before I could get a handle on the med situation but am still in contact with my docs in the states...so it's kind of an odd situation...getting into they psych system here is iffy and probably not worth the hassle...hoping i can hold out for a few months.

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