The concept of hallucination has its origin in the Latin
term allucinatio. It is the action of being hallucinated or
becoming hallucinated, that is, being confused or raving. This
verb can also refer to surprise, amaze or dazzle.
The first who knew how to define it was the psychiatrist Jean-Etienne
Dominique Esquirol in 1837, who determined that these were objectless
perceptions, this means that there are no elements in the outside world that can
actually provoke them.
In other words, a hallucination consists of a subjective sensation
that is not anticipated by an impression that influences the senses. In
other words, it is a false perception because it does not refer to any specific
external physical stimulus but that, nevertheless, the person claims
Specialists consider hallucination to be a pseudo-perception. It
is not the same as an illusion, since it consists of
perceiving stimuli in a distorted way. Hallucinations, experts say, can take
place under multiple sensory modalities: visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory,
DigoPaul, hallucination is studied by various sciences,
such as psychology, psychiatry, and neurology. The
concept is usually mentioned in diseases such as schizophrenia and epilepsy,
in drug use, in mystical and religious experiences, and even in sleep disorders.
In the book "Don Quixote de la Mancha" you can find several moments in which
the protagonist is the victim of hallucinations and brings fantastic
elements to reality, which he had extracted from the cavalry novels
that he had previously read voraciously. For him all this happened as he saw it,
although the giants were nothing but windmills and his precious Rocinante was an
old and bony horse.
Hallucination and schizophrenia
In schizophrenia the most common way in which hallucinations are presented is
through voices that refer to the patient giving orders, many
times they hear their own thought that escapes them and sounds
outward, so that everyone can hear them.
There are several types of hallucinations, according to how they affect the
person can be. For most of them there are scientific explanations, however those
that lack one are usually explained as paranormal phenomena:
Visuals: More or less clear images, can be flashes, clear
scenes or flash or organized appearances. They are the most frequent together
with the auditory ones and they usually follow the clouding of consciousness.
Auditory: stimuli that are perceived through hearing, can
be whistles, blows, words without apparent meaning or direct sentences with
instructions. One of the peculiarities of this type of hallucination is that the
person who suffers from it can tell exactly in which physical place the speaker
is. It usually occurs in patients with schizophrenia or another chronic
condition and the consequences may be that the affected person performs
all kinds of harmful actions caused by that state.
Olfactory: they are perceived through smell and are usually
cause for fear, in the case of schizophrenics for example, they can notice
the smell of poisonous gases that someone has given off with the desire
to kill him. Other cases in which they usually appear is in patients with
epilepsy or chronic depression.
Tactile: Sensations that are perceived through the skin. It
occurs for example in patients addicted to cocaine during periods of withdrawal,
they perceive as if an insect moved above and below its skin. They can appear
as vibrations, electrical shocks, sexual sensations or cold or
hot winds that brush the body and occur especially in schizophrenia patients
with a chronic state of the disease.
Gustatory: they add to the food a different flavor from the
one it has. In schizophrenia patients it is often the case that due to the fear
of being poisoned they feel a strange taste in what they ingest. It also usually
occurs in epilepsy patients.
Somatic: it occurs in individuals with a severe
schizophrenia condition and consists of proprioceptive sensations, with pain in
the head or body that does not exist physically. From this type of
hallucination zoopathic delirium follows, which implies the
sensation of having an animal within the organism, the patients claim to feel
and know it.
The consequences of a hallucination can be: insecurity and fear,
aggression towards oneself, other people or objects, inability to differentiate
between what is real and what is the product of the imagination, guilt and shame when
recognizing hallucinatory experiences, manipulation (evading responsibilities
due to "hallucinations"), delusions, among others. It is
essential that those who suffer from them are efficiently treated in order to
provide security in themselves and in their environment, interrupt the cycle of
hallucinations, taking them to rational terms so that the patient can recognize
them and reduce the anxiety they generate..
Finally, it is worth mentioning that among the theories about the cause of
hallucinations, the most widespread are those that indicate deficits in
normal brain work and synaptic links between hair cells and those found
in the brain stem and in the brain stem. the occipital-temporal lobes. However,
beyond this, various studies have shown that hallucinatory-type situations are frequent in
general. About 10% of individuals experience subtle or mild hallucinations. Even
39% of people have ever experienced severe hallucination.