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Hallucinations are an often experienced bizarre phenomenon in which people witness something happening but others cannot see it or one sees an event happening one moment but at the very next, there is no trace of any such event. Hallucinations may also be acoustic: people often report hearing someone call their name, scream, cry or laugh, while there is no one around.

What are hallucinations?

A hallucination is an event that occurs when one of human senses reports a false input to the brain so that people experience an event that is not actually happening in reality.


At three to five years of age, hallucinations are common, because it is the developing stage. Other causes of hallucination experiences are exhaustion, sleep deprivation, social isolation and rejection, severe reactive depression, amputation of a limb (phantom limb syndrome), a response to pills, a response to hallucinogens such as LSD or other drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

There are also some physical causes of hallucinations including delirium, tumors, temporal lobe lesions, seizures, head injuries, and irritation of sensory pathways.

It is not uncommon for a child that is kept in isolation to develop hallucinations and imagine a friend. Sometimes people develop hallucinations to compensate for a great loss in their life. For example, if a loved person dies, people may develop hallucinations where this person accompanies them even after their death. There are many such examples.

Treatment and help

It is important to find the cause of hallucinations in order to avoid possible mental imbalance. The first step is to take a person that is hallucinating to a good physician and discover the underlying causes. Doctors will often prescribe certain medicines that may help in these conditions. Conditions like over sedation, mental tremors and confusions require additional care.

A member of a family, close friend or relative may help to determine if the hallucinations are causing the mental instability for the suffering individual. If the person experiences something frightening during the hallucination episode, a close person may significantly help with soothing words, calm reactions, comforting touches and by assuring the person that everything is going to be fine and that nothing bad will happen. It is important not to argue with person that is hallucinating. Instead, one should try to understand and help the person. It may be a good idea to try to distract the person from what he or she thinks most about because these thoughts actually provoke hallucinations. It may be helpful to ask him or her to walk along with supporter or go out with friends.

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