Seeing or hearing things can be quite distressing. If you’ve recently been told that some of the things you are claiming to hear or see aren’t really there, it’s natural to feel confused and even panicked. You may be thinking to yourself, “What’s real and what isn’t?” The good news is that you aren’t alone – there are a few different mental illnesses and conditions that involve hallucinations and delusions, both of which can be treated. In order to get a better understanding of what you’re experiencing, let’s identify the differences between delusions and hallucinations:
Examples of delusions are beliefs that…
- Others are “out to get” you
- Another person, group of people, or force is controlling your thoughts, feelings, impulses, or behavior
- The world is ending
- Your partner is having an affair, even if there is no evidence or reason to believe so
- You have committed some sort of crime and should be severely punished, even if you haven’t committed any crime
- Others can read your thoughts
- Insignificant objects or occurrences have significant meaning
Examples of hallucinations are…
- Hearing voices, sound, music, or other noises that aren’t really there
- Experiencing a persistent taste of something (usually something unpleasant such as metal)
- Smelling unpleasant odors (such as decaying fish)
- Feelings of sensations happening in or on the body, such as though something is crawling under the skin
- Seeing shapes, colors, or flashes of light in the shape of people
- Hearing voices related or not related to one’s mood
Schizophrenia, delusional disorder, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, and substance-induced psychosis are a few disorders that often involve delusions and/or hallucinations. Some medications – even to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – may produce these types of symptoms, meaning that you need to speak with your doctor immediately to make any adjustments or changes to your medication.
Psychosis is a term that is often used to describe individuals who have lost touch with reality. Alcohol, stroke, dementia, specific types of epilepsy, disease of the brain, brain tumors, and HIV may also cause this type of behavior. If you have been diagnosed with a mental disorder, it’s important that you seek help from a reputable treatment center. Treatment often involves medication and therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.