What Are The Different Types Of Schizophrenia Hallucinations

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What are the different types of schizophrenia hallucinations?

Hallucinations can be described as profound distortions of reality where sensory perceptions are believed to be real even though there is an absence of external stimuli.
They are a common feature of Schizophrenia but are also sometimes experienced by people with Bi-polar disorder (manic depression) as well as other mental or psychotic or medical disorders and also with the use of certain drugs.

By far the most common type of hallucination in people suffering from Schizophrenia is what is known as auditory hallucinations. This is where an individual hears something and believes it to exist outside of himself but which is inaudible to anyone else.

Auditory hallucinations will often take the form of voices which may be critical, aggressive or compelling the individual to carry out certain tasks or in some cases they may be supportive and offering advice and guidance. Usually though they are not pleasant.

Although it is less common, others may experience musical hallucinations where they hear a piece of music, quite often the same piece, over and over again.

Another type of hallucination that can be experienced by people with schizophrenia involves seeing things that aren’t there. These visual distortions can include seeing people, pets, demons, ghostly apparitions, religious figures, colours, objects or anything for that matter, which is not actually there but again, is perceived to be very real by the person who ‘sees’ them.

Hallucinations can affect any one of the other senses too such as taste, touch and smell.
For example, a person with schizophrenia experiencing gustatory hallucinations might find their food tastes strange. As people with schizophrenia often suffer from delusions and paranoia they may believe their food has been tampered with or that they are being poisoned.

Tactile hallucinations involve sensations of touch which may take the form of feeling something crawling under the skin or surges of electricity through the body. Sometimes the hallucinations can be of a sexual nature too.

If the hallucination involves something happening inside the body it is known as somatic hallucinations. Some people with somatic hallucinations might believe they have things living inside them, for example snakes or worms.

Hallucinations involving the sense of smell are called olfactory hallucinations and include examples such as smelling gas or smoke. A person suffering from schizophrenia may believe another individual is trying to kill them.

The important point is that these hallucinatory experiences are very real to the person who experiences them and naturally, can be extremely distressing, particularly when two or more different types of hallucinations are experienced at the same time.

Treatment for people with schizophrenia who experience hallucinations or other forms of psychosis consists of anti-psychotic medication which is generally quite effective at keeping the symptoms under control.

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1 Comment

  1. Caroline Lovett
    Posted May 1, 2009 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Some time ago, I was taking 150mg of Amtriptyline for depression and sleep disorder. I saw a vision of my sister who died the previous year aged 30 but in this vision she was 17. I also heard annoying music to a song I knew, reapting, over and over again. I’ve never had this experience before whilst taking the medication. I went back to my GP and stopped the tablets.

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