Visual hallucinations


Visual hallucinations may be elementary (simple) or complex.

They are relatively unusual in psychiatric illness though they may occur in hysteria, schizophrenia and severe affective disorders.

Importantly, they suggest an organic disorder.

lilliputian visual hallucinations

Hallucinations of dwarf figures are referred to as "Lilliputian".

Extracampine visual hallucinations

Hallucinations beyond the visual field are described as "extracampine".

Psychiatric illnesses causing visual hallucinations

  • Hysteria
  • Schizophrenia
  • Severe mood disorders

Organic disorders causing visual hallucinations

These include:

  • drug induced especially alcohol
  • acute confusional states
  • Charles Bonnet syndrome
  • dementia with Lewy bodies