10 types of hallucinations: characteristics and possible causes

When talking about hallucinations, it is common for people to be shocked. The reason for concern about this term is because it is associated with insanity. First of all, It is important to clarify that there are several types of hallucinations, but in all of them people show a detachment from reality.

In general terms, hallucinations can be defined as sensitive responses to non-existent stimuli from the environment. Such is the case of auditory ones, in which voices or sounds are heard that have not been emitted by any person, animal or object. The reason is that it is a neurological disorder.

There may be various reasons that produce the alteration, as well as a wide variety of hallucinations. In this article we will review 10 of the most common types and see what their origin is.

Causes of hallucinations

As for the various causes that can cause hallucinations, we have two main ones: organicdue to a neurological disorder) and those induced by substance use.

For mental illness

exist various neurological disorders that give rise to some types of hallucinations. Below we review a list with the most characteristic, according to the Mannual DSM-V:

  • Schizophrenia: andhis psychopathology is the one most associated with the phenomenon of hallucinations. In this case, the person must have a psychiatric treatment, which includes the prescription of drugs.
  • Dementia: characteristic cognitive impairment during dementia can lead to visual and auditory hallucinations.
  • Alzheimer disease: In this disorder, memory loss produces information gaps that are filled by false memories. It can also happen that the patient perceive that you are living an earlier stage of your life.

Other mental illnesses can also cause hallucinations, such as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, Parkinson's disease, bipolar disorder, temporal lobe epilepsy, and even brain tumors.

Senile dementia in older adults favors the appearance of hallucinations.

For substance use

When it comes to substance-induced hallucinations, we have to the consumption of certain drugs and drugs can give rise to the phenomenon. Some of the substances that induce hallucinations are the following:

  • Alcoholic drinks: andThe consumption of alcohol alters the central nervous system, which can cause visual and auditory hallucinations. Excessive consumption is required for hallucinations to appear.
  • Cannabis: marijuana users also have alterations in the central nervous system. In the same vein, cognitive impairment resulting from continued use of this drug causes neurological disorders.
  • Amphetamines: andThese types of drugs can cause manic reactions and psychotic episodes. For this reason, it is important to see a doctor who can properly prescribe the doses.

Other drugs, such as LSD, also produce hallucinations of both visual and auditory types. Some even experience false sensations in their body.

Types of hallucinations

Now we are going to review a list with the 10 most common types of hallucinations. From there we can identify what its main characteristics are.

So, in this review we will look at some of the hallucinations mentioned above.

1. Visual hallucinations

This type of hallucination is one of the best known and most frequent. Now, it is about seeing things that are not in reality.

Such is the case of schizophrenia, in which the person could even establish an intimate link with his hallucinations. It could also happen that the patient sees himself, what is known as autoscopy.

Read: What is paranoid schizophrenia? Symptoms and causes

2. Auditory hallucinations

These are also the best known and go hand in hand with the visuals. Although sometimes they appear alone.

For example, hear voices as if it were a third person. In these cases, voices often give opinions or directions to those who listen to them.

3. hallucinatetaste buds

Taste hallucinations are one of the least talked about. The reason for this is that, compared to visual and auditory, they are not that common. Above all, these types of phenomena occur during depressive states.

4. Olfactory hallucinations

As in the previous case, this type of hallucinations is rare. The olfactory causes the person experiences the perception of odors that are not in the environment.

Likewise, they usually appear during drug use or due to strong migraines.

Discover: Fantosmia: How do olfactory hallucinations occur?

5. Somatic hallucinations

During these types of hallucinations people have unrealistic perceptions of their organs. For example, feeling that your lungs or heart are made of a metallic material. While some may perceive that parts of the body are missing.

6. Tactile hallucinations

When you have the sensation that something cold or hot is in contact with the skin, but it really is not like that, you are in the presence of a tactile hallucination.

In any case, there are two types: thermal (feeling cold or hot) and hydric (feeling of humidity). In this sense, there are also tingles called paresthesia.

7. Kinesic hallucinations

Also calls kinesthetic hallucinations, they are about sensations regarding the movement of the body. In these cases, those who present them have the realistic feeling that some part of their body is moving when it is not.

8. Pseudo-hallucinations

When we speak of a pseudo-hallucination we mean those of any kind that can be recognized as a distortion of reality. That is, when the person is aware that what they see, hear or feel is not real.

9. Hypnotic hallucinationsagogical

In this case, it is not necessary for the person to have any pathology or to be under the influence of any substance. Hypnagogic hallucinations occur during the process of falling asleep.

When a person is passing from waking to sleep, they may experience visual, auditory or tactile hallucinations.

During sleep, especially in the phase of transition from wakefulness to rest, hallucinations may appear.

10. Functional hallucinations

These occur when a stimulus perceived by any of the sensory pathways elicits a different response to which I should. If we appeal to a simile, it could be when a patient hears traffic noise (real stimulus) and at the same time voices that speak to him (hallucination).

Is it dangerous to have these types of hallucinations?

A large number of people understand hallucinations as dangerous. But in reality they are more common than we imagine.

In fact, at some point we will all have hallucinations of some kind. For example, when we are about to sleep we could suffer hypnagogic, without representing a danger.

Be vigilant when they occur for no apparent reason and frequently or intensely. Otherwise, we can understand them as natural responses to certain psychic processes in the body.