Understanding Some Of The Causes Of Hallucinations
Hallucination is defined as a condition which is associated with all the senses in the body - hear, see, smell, taste, and touch. Hallucination is basically a false perception regarding the event or object which occur sensory in nature and in the awake state. It is a psychological phenomenon and is considered to be among the most severe and puzzling forms of psychopathology.
According to research, hallucination indicates a breakthrough of preconscious and unconscious material in response to certain psychological situations. Hallucinations are categorized into various types:
- Visual hallucination - It is characterized by a situation in which a person visualizes something that is actually not present. It can occur due to some biological causes.
- Auditory hallucination - It is characterized by a situation in which a person hears the voice of a person or a thing that is actually not present. A voice can occur inside or outside the head.
- Olfactory hallucination - It is characterized by a situation in which a person smells an odor that is not present. The odor can range from foul and unpleasant smell to pleasant and enjoyable smell.
- Tactile hallucination - It is characterized by a situation in which a person feels a physical contact with some imaginary object. It is a feeling that something is touching them.
- Gustatory hallucination - It is characterized by a situation in which a person feels the sensation of taste. This is a quite uncommon type of hallucination.
There are several causes of hallucinations such as imbalance in the chemistry of the brain, biological causes and certain health problems. Some of the health problems that have hallucinations as their hallmark symptoms include:
Schizophrenia is a serious and chronic mental health condition that significantly affects the ability of a person to think, feel, and behave. It is a condition which takes a person away from reality. It is estimated that almost 70% of patients having schizophrenia suffer from hallucinations. It is one of the most common symptoms associated with this mental disorder.
There are several causes of schizophrenia such as changes in brain chemistry (changes in the level of some important chemicals in the brain such as dopamine), genetics (having a family history of this disease), environmental factors (research suggests that there are some factors that could affect brain development).
In schizophrenia, the most common hallucinations are auditory followed by visual. This disorder affects a person in such a way that it snatches the sense of reality from them. It can occur in people of all ages, but most often in late teens and twenties.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder which has an impact on the part of the brain which is primarily responsible for movement along with other functions. It is a disorder which begins with symptoms like problems with memory, thinking, behavioral changes, and hallucination, but as it progresses, it is accompanied by various motor and non-motor symptoms.
There are multiple causes of parkinson’s disease. It is most commonly believed to be a result of lack of dopamine in the brain. Many times, damage to dopaminergic neurons in the brain leads to the lack of production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter which is responsible for regulating movement in the body. Environmental factors such as repeated head injuries and exposure to pesticides can also increases the risk of the development of this disease.
Many patients who suffer from parkinson disease complaints of hallucinations and one of the possible mechanisms for this correlation is that changes in the brain that are related to parkinson’s progression trigger psychosis, one of the most common causes of hallucinations. It can also occur in patients who go through dopaminergic therapy in order to treat motor symptoms.
Migraine is a term which is not new for many of us. It is one of the most common health problems in the general population. It is defined as a problem which is characterized by severe headache which is accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, sensitivity to light, problems that are associated with head movement.
Research suggests that migraine is an inherited disorder of the ion channels in the brain. The migraine attack is a serious problem that can be triggered by various things such as loud music, bright light, and excessive motions. Migraine is considered to be one of the most common types of headache which is associated with some health problems, and its impact on the quality of life is significant.
Although it's not common, many causes of recurrent migraine and hallucinations have been reported, especially auditory hallucinations. One of the mechanisms that could cause hallucinations in patients having migraine is when the negative effects of the migraine leads to an impairment in the brain.
Hallucinations generally occur in people who have migraine with aura as it consists of focal neurological symptoms which occur as a sensory and language disturbances.
Dementia is basically a medical term which is used to describe various health conditions that affect the cells in the brain. It is a disorder which significantly affect the functioning of the brain and affects the thinking ability, behavior, and the overall ability to perform everyday tasks. There are various different types of dementia such as Alzheimer’s, frontotemporal, vascular, lewy body dementia, and mixed dementia.
Studies have shown that many patients having dementia experience problems with their sight and this includes hallucinations. The problems that involve both vision and perception can be referred to as visuoperceptual difficulties. It occurs in two types:
- Misperceptions - When a person thinks one thing to be something else.
- Misidentifications - When a person find problems in identifying any object or a person. It can occur due to damage to the specific parts of the brain.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and studies showed that there is a relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and hallucinations. It has been observed that many people with Alzheimer’s experience visual hallucinations, most frequently as this disease progresses.
Syncope is a medical term used for the common problem known as fainting. It occurs due to the loss of consciousness which can occur due to insufficient flow of blood in the brain. The primary cause for the occurrence of syncope is low blood pressure. Blood pressure is the pressure on the walls of the arteries and when this pressure becomes lower than normal, it is known as low blood pressure.
In the human body, it is the duty of the heart to pump blood and supply rich blood to the brain and other parts of the body. But when the pressure of blood on the walls of the arteries becomes too low, the flow of blood to different parts of the body becomes insufficient.
It is believed that problems in the brain as a result of syncope could lead to the occurence of hallucinations. Syncope can be associated with both visual and auditory hallucinations, but auditory is the most common type of hallucination experienced by patients with syncope.
Tags: causes of hallucinations, hallucination treatment, parkinsons disease symptoms, migraine vs headache, schizophrenia treatment