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Does anyone here experience hallucinations that are not a part of psychosis, or know anything about them?

Mine are almost always visual. In the first moment that I see them they are very real to me, but they tend to be very brief. Most last only moments, but can happen many times a day, sometimes in quick succession of one another. I am used enough to them that I can almost always identify them as something others probably wouldn't be able to see.

There is an incredible range of them, but the most common are colours, people/faces and animals.

They are generally neutral and benign. Usually most of the stress they cause just comes from having to be alert and check them (especially if they are happening rapidly) and wondering what it might mean that I see these things. It didn't always happen, but it has on and off for years and lately seems to have become the norm.

Could it be just the result of being stressed out by everything all the time? I am always on edge.

I was ready to really ask my doctor (gp -- I don't have a psychiatrist anymore) but she is on leave for an extended while and I don't know when she'll be back. So I saw another doctor, and managed to vaguely mention it. He prescribed sleep meds, but I don't think I explained myself very well (it makes things worse when I can't sleep, but this happens even when I do sleep better.) But I don't think I can bring myself to go back and mention it again. I guess it's nothing to worry about. I just wish that I knew others who experience the same.

 

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Hmm, I'm sorry if I didn't explain myself very well.

I don't mean hypnagogic hallucinations (although I know what those are, and have them too) -- rather I mean hallucinations you have while you are wide awake, but while you are not experiencing full-on psychosis ...

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13 hours ago, amianthus said:

Does anyone here experience hallucinations that are not a part of psychosis, or know anything about them?

Mine are almost always visual. In the first moment that I see them they are very real to me, but they tend to be very brief. Most last only moments, but can happen many times a day, sometimes in quick succession of one another. I am used enough to them that I can almost always identify them as something others probably wouldn't be able to see.

There is an incredible range of them, but the most common are colours, people/faces and animals.

They are generally neutral and benign. Usually most of the stress they cause just comes from having to be alert and check them (especially if they are happening rapidly) and wondering what it might mean that I see these things. It didn't always happen, but it has on and off for years and lately seems to have become the norm.

Could it be just the result of being stressed out by everything all the time? I am always on edge.

I was ready to really ask my doctor (gp -- I don't have a psychiatrist anymore) but she is on leave for an extended while and I don't know when she'll be back. So I saw another doctor, and managed to vaguely mention it. He prescribed sleep meds, but I don't think I explained myself very well (it makes things worse when I can't sleep, but this happens even when I do sleep better.) But I don't think I can bring myself to go back and mention it again. I guess it's nothing to worry about. I just wish that I knew others who experience the same.

 

(in bold) ... yes, stress can cause hallucinations, as well as a lack of sleep (in 2nd bold: as you already know).

1 hour ago, amianthus said:

Hmm, I'm sorry if I didn't explain myself very well.

I don't mean hypnagogic hallucinations (although I know what those are, and have them too) -- rather I mean hallucinations you have while you are wide awake, but while you are not experiencing full-on psychosis ...

Actually yes, I had this happen to me a couple of days ago.  I wrote a post about it in another thread, so I will just copy and paste it here:

Quote

Ok, so I was walking down the hall through a door.  Then as I started walking across the main hall to another door.  I stopped for a couple seconds.  Because as I was going towards that second door (as I crossed the main hall) I saw myself walking toward me.  It was the entire full image of me (actually just the waist up because the bottom of the door was wood), in the exact same clothes I was wearing.  It was like I was walking toward myself.  I know something didn't look right, but it was me, coming right towards me.  My eyes got fixed on the image until I blinked me eyes about 10 times, as I slowly walked in a fixed daze across the main hallway (kind of confused) until I got to the door and figured out it must have been a kind of hallucination that I have never experienced before in my life.

It was not a glare.  It wasn't a shadow.  No one else was in the hallways.  I thought of everything that could explain it (or tried to at least).  It was just so weird.  I've never seen hallucinations before of myself walking toward me.  And the color of the tank top I was wearing was a bright green, just like the person through the door.

I have experienced a lot on my life with MI, but never something like this.

Is this similar to what you are talking about?

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melissaw72, that does sound confusing to have experienced. Was the top half of the door a window, and the self you saw on the other side, or was she on the same side of the door as you?

I haven't experienced the same in terms of seeing myself -- when I see people they are others, and usually strangers. It is similar though in that I try to come up with ways to explain it but none of them fit. And my gaze and attention is drawn to them all at once until some moments later they are just not there anymore. 

I know the rules: people generally cannot walk into nowhere, and objects cannot disappear without cause. And yet, that's what I see. I get fixed on trying to explain it. Sometimes I have even searched for them, looked around everywhere in case they somehow just darted out of sight, or left the room and re-entered as though that might make me able to see them again (which doesn't make much sense, I just needed to try everything) -- because something that is there one moment cannot just not be the next, and it was there, so it still should be, surely? But it's not. Sometimes there is a completely different one within the next few moments.

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2 hours ago, amianthus said:

melissaw72, that does sound confusing to have experienced. Was the top half of the door a window, and the self you saw on the other side, or was she on the same side of the door as you?

I haven't experienced the same in terms of seeing myself -- when I see people they are others, and usually strangers. It is similar though in that I try to come up with ways to explain it but none of them fit. And my gaze and attention is drawn to them all at once until some moments later they are just not there anymore. 

I know the rules: people generally cannot walk into nowhere, and objects cannot disappear without cause. And yet, that's what I see. I get fixed on trying to explain it. Sometimes I have even searched for them, looked around everywhere in case they somehow just darted out of sight, or left the room and re-entered as though that might make me able to see them again (which doesn't make much sense, I just needed to try everything) -- because something that is there one moment cannot just not be the next, and it was there, so it still should be, surely? But it's not. Sometimes there is a completely different one within the next few moments.

Yes, the top half of the doors are like a window.  The image of myself that I saw was on the other side of the main hallway, on the other side of that door, as she was walking toward me.

Same with me ... (in bold) I was in a gaze/stare, so that I was so focused on what was happening (the person who was walking towards me).  And then when I walked across the main hallway I stared even more at the image for who knows how long.  When I walked towards the door across the hall and opened that door, the image ran into me, and was gone.

I know this explanation sounds a tiny bit different than I originally wrote the post, but when I wrote th initial post it was the first stuff that came to me.  Now that I can look back on it though with some insight, I can remember it like it just happened.

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5 hours ago, amianthus said:

I don't mean hypnagogic hallucinations (although I know what those are, and have them too) -- rather I mean hallucinations you have while you are wide awake, but while you are not experiencing full-on psychosis ...

So, hallucinations you have when you're not otherwise delusional? I think I have those relatively frequently. I'll hear a random phrase that doesn't make sense or background chatter. I also get visual distortions related to disassociation.

What about hallucinations you have when delusional/psychotic that are detached from the primary delusion? For example, when I was delusional I thought angels were sending me messages and stalking me, and a few times I heard their whispers. But around the same time I also would hear chatter and a voice repeating whatever I was reading at a slight delay. I didn't believe those voices were real, but I did believe the angels' whispers. Were the latter psychotic and the former non-psychotic? I feel like maybe hallucinations are on a spectrum.

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If it starts causing distress, interfering with your activities or otherwise bothering you I would tell your doc.  I don't have any experience to venture a guess what is going on.I hope you get it figured out.

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13 hours ago, amianthus said:

Hmm, I'm sorry if I didn't explain myself very well.

I don't mean hypnagogic hallucinations (although I know what those are, and have them too) -- rather I mean hallucinations you have while you are wide awake, but while you are not experiencing full-on psychosis ...

I thought having hallucinations (the waking and sleeping ones excepted) meant you're having psychosis. That is how mine primarily manifests. I have only rarely had delusions.

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8 hours ago, aura said:

So, hallucinations you have when you're not otherwise delusional? I think I have those relatively frequently. I'll hear a random phrase that doesn't make sense or background chatter. I also get visual distortions related to disassociation.

What about hallucinations you have when delusional/psychotic that are detached from the primary delusion? For example, when I was delusional I thought angels were sending me messages and stalking me, and a few times I heard their whispers. But around the same time I also would hear chatter and a voice repeating whatever I was reading at a slight delay. I didn't believe those voices were real, but I did believe the angels' whispers. Were the latter psychotic and the former non-psychotic? I feel like maybe hallucinations are on a spectrum.

aura, thank you for the reply. Yes, that is what I meant -- the first part, mostly, but the second part is a really good point. I admit I didn't name the thread very well; it should really be "hallucinations while not experiencing psychosis" or something else less vague. I agree that it seems they're on a spectrum of sorts. It's just confusing, because it's hard to know where to draw the line between one thing and another; "normal" hallucinations, if there is such a thing, and hallucinations due to MI, and where do they become a part of psychosis?

4 hours ago, confused said:

If it starts causing distress, interfering with your activities or otherwise bothering you I would tell your doc.  I don't have any experience to venture a guess what is going on.I hope you get it figured out.

Thank you, confused. Honestly, it has already been bothering me for some time but there are a lot of different reasons I haven't been able to tell my doctor properly, yet. But I really think I will when I can next talk to her.

7 minutes ago, Flash said:

I thought having hallucinations (the waking and sleeping ones excepted) meant you're having psychosis. That is how mine primarily manifests. I have only rarely had delusions.

Thanks for the reply, Flash. I had read and heard things about the "normal" (non-MI, healthy) population experiencing hallucinations too but overall I'm not really sure. Perhaps it's to do with things like duration, whether you can identify them as such, other symptoms (even if not delusions), how much it impacts your life, etc, but that's just a guess. There seem to be a lot of different views on it and I'm unsure of what to think.

 

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10 hours ago, melissaw72 said:

Are the hallucinations getting any better?  (from when originally posting this topic).

melissaw72, they are still happening but less frequently. And I feel less stressed out having posted this thread and knowing I am not alone. That does help. It's something that has been happening to some extent for a long while but sometimes it is so much more frequent and intense than others. I just wish I knew why.

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On 5/30/2016 at 5:22 PM, amianthus said:

melissaw72, they are still happening but less frequently. And I feel less stressed out having posted this thread and knowing I am not alone. That does help. It's something that has been happening to some extent for a long while but sometimes it is so much more frequent and intense than others. I just wish I knew why.

That is good to hear that they are less frequent, and that you are less stressed.  I think that the hallucinations have lessened because your stress level is down.

For me, hallucinations are more frequent and intense when my stress level is up and I am not sleeping enough.  Not sure how your sleeping is, but lack of sleep can cause Increased hallucinations too.  I know you have a different kind of hallucinations than I do, but I think the high stress and lack of sleep still apply.

ETA:  fixed a word that was opposite of what I meant.  I meant to say, "HIGH stress and lack of sleep still apply."  I originally wrote LOWERED, which I didn't mean to type there.

Edited by melissaw72
needed to change a word.
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19 hours ago, melissaw72 said:

That is good to hear that they are less frequent, and that you are less stressed.  I think that the hallucinations have lessened because your stress level is down.

For me, hallucinations are more frequent and intense when my stress level is up and I am not sleeping enough.  Not sure how your sleeping is, but lack of sleep can cause Increased hallucinations too.  I know you have a different kind of hallucinations than I do, but I think the lowered stress and lack of sleep still apply.

Thank you melissaw -- I think you are right about it still applying.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been having hallucinations which I don't think are part of psychosis. 

It started in the last month or so. I have very colorful strange and random images pop up in front of my eyes, at the rate of maybe one every 10 to 20 mins. I kept forgetting what each one was after it, so I began writing them down. This was an example:

 

A big fat kid striding towards me

Flashing bright lights

A woman with big teeth glaring at me

Spinning fans

Someone doing martial arts

A man sitting in the corner of the room

I'm hugging someone

My head is blue

Dark shadows moving across wall

Dog begging at the table

 

I guessing they are not psychosis because I am aware they aren't real, but I'm not sure sometimes whether I should mention them to my pdoc.

They should very much like the ones OP has been experiencing.

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4 hours ago, Hester said:

I guessing they are not psychosis because I am aware they aren't real, but I'm not sure sometimes whether I should mention them to my pdoc.

 

I think you should definitely mention what you are going through with your pdoc.

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