Hallucinations and causes
Hallucinations occur when a person believes that they experience something that does not physically exist. Hallucinations can be visual (seeing), auditory (hearing), or even affect the senses of touch or taste. Hallucinations are a serious symptom that needs prompt professional medical advice for diagnosis and treatment.
Some of the more common possible causes of hallucinations include:
- Drug intoxication
- LSD intoxication
- Marijuana intoxication
- Psychotic disorder - see below.
Psychotic disorders - these are typified by hallucinations and/or delusions.
- Schizotypal personality disorder
- Schizoid personality disorder
- Brief psychotic disorder
- Bipolar disorder - previously known as "manic-depressive disorder"
- Mania - if causing psychosis
- Drug-induced psychoses
Some of the less common possible causes of hallucinations include:
- Grief - will rarely cause hallucinations in very severe grief.
- Postpartum psychosis
- Korsakoff's psychosis
- Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder - causing flashbacks after use of hallucinogen drugs.
- Alcohol poisoning (type of Poisoning)
- Delirium tremens
- Alcoholic hallucinosis
Physical medical conditions that may lead to hallucinations include:
- Extreme physical stress
- High fever (see Fever)
- Extreme fatigue (see Fatigue)
- Kidney failure
- Dementia - see causes of dementia
- Delirium - see causes of delirium
- Alzheimer's disease
- Brain tumor
- Temporal lobe epilepsy (type of Epilepsy) - sometimes hallucations of smell or taste.
Eye disorders - may cause various visual effects which might be described as visual hallucinations.
- Retinal ischemia
- Optic nerve lesion
Sensory organ disorders - causing hallucinations of the various senses.