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10 Types of Hallucinations

Jenna is an online writer who is interested in mental health, particularly in abnormal experiences such as hallucinations.

Read on to learn about 10 different types of hallucinations.

Read on to learn about 10 different types of hallucinations.

Hallucinations can range from mild to severe. A hallucination is any perception in the absence of a stimulus. While most people think of visual hallucinations, they can also be auditory. You can even hallucinate smells or tastes!

Psychoactive drugs, schizophrenia, and nerve damage are common causes of hallucinations. While some hallucinations may be pleasant, like the scent of perfume that isn't there, others can be overwhelming. For instance, the sensation of insects crawling all over you.

In this article, we'll be covering the following types of hallucinations:

10 Types of Hallucinations

  1. Panoramic Hallucinations
  2. Musical Ear Syndrome
  3. Phantosmia
  4. Gustatory Hallucinations
  5. Formication
  6. Labyrinthitis
  7. Pinocchio Illusion
  8. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome
  9. Somatization Disorder or Hysteria
  10. Temporal Illusions
John Tenniel

John Tenniel

1. Panoramic Hallucinations

Panoramic hallucinations are one of many types of visual hallucinations. When experiencing a panoramic hallucination, one's entire field of vision consists of content that isn't there, as if one was dreaming. The sensation used to be referred to as oneirophrenia which comes from the Greek words for "mind" and "dream."

It can be induced by sleep deprivation or psychoactive substances and is also associated with schizophrenia. In the 1960s, it was purposely induced during psychoanalytic therapy using the psychoactive drug ibogaine, most famously by the Chilean psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo.

2. Musical Ear Syndrome

Auditory hallucinations are also known as paracusia. One such paracusia is Musical Ear Syndrome, the hallucination of music. It has been speculated that Robert Schumann, a major German 19th-century Romantic composer, had auditory hallucinations that directly inspired some of his late music. It's not clear whether this is true, but it is certain that he suffered from severe auditory hallucinations that affected his mental health greatly.

3. Phantosmia

Phantosmia is the word for olfactory hallucinations, those that affect the sense of smell. The word is derived from the Greek "phanto," which means phantom, and "osmia," which means smell.

Caused by either nasals issues like sinusitis or nerve damage, the condition most commonly makes one perceive the smell of rotting flesh, vomit, urine, smoke, and mold, although pleasant smells such as perfume are experienced in rare cases.

Phantosmia can also be an aspect of schizophrenia. One of its most distressing aspects is that it also affects meals whenever the afflicted tries to eat.

4. Gustatory Hallucinations

Like phantosmia, gustatory hallucinations are also usually unpleasant, sometimes tasting like something rotten. In this case, they are associated with epilepsy or schizophrenia. Paranoid schizophrenics frequently perceive the taste of poison in their food or drink.

In other instances, the schizophrenic believes that they themselves are the source of the smell. Since it is still uncertain how the mind actually imagines sounds, what causes schizophrenic hallucinations remains a mystery.

5. Formication

Formication is the sense that insects are crawling all over you. It's primarily associated with withdrawal from drug addiction. If you've read the cult classic Go Ask Alice, you may remember a scene where the main character experiences this sensation while in rehab.

Formication is a type of paresthesia, which refers to hallucinations of tingling, burning, and numbness, and is commonly experienced when a limb "falls asleep." The word itself is Latin for "ant."

6. Labyrinthitis

Labyrinthitis is an infection that causes dysfunction in equilibrioception, the perception of balance. Sight, hearing, and proprioception—the sense of the position of your body parts—work together to create balance, so you don’t fall over.

Labyrinthitis infects the inner ear causing swelling and subsequently loss of balance, Vertigo, tinnitus, dizziness, and hearing loss. Disturbances in balance also lead to nausea and vomiting.

Enrico Mazzanti

Enrico Mazzanti

7. Pinocchio Illusion

The Pinocchio Illusion causes a disturbance in proprioception (defined above). If your proprioception is impaired, you might feel like your legs, for example, are no longer part of your mental self-image. It can also cause you to feel like the size of body parts is distorted when looking at them.

The Pinocchio Illusion can be artificially created by applying a vibrato movement to the biceps tendon while holding your nose with the same arm. This creates the mental illusion that your hand is pulling your nose away from your face when in fact, it is stationary.

John Tenniel

John Tenniel

8. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Named after the novel by Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland syndrome has two aspects: micropsia and macropsia. Micropsia is the perception that objects are smaller than they actually are, and macropsia is the perception that objects are larger than they actually are.

Remember the scenes from Alice in Wonderland with the giant flowers? In actuality, it is caused by brain tumors or by psychoactive drugs like dextromethorphan, which is found in cough syrups.

9. Somatization Disorder or Hysteria

Somatization Disorder is the perception of pain in the absence of stimuli. One theory of Somatization Disorder is that the overwhelmed mind is turning emotional stress caused by social situations into physical symptoms.

During the Victorian era, the condition was known as hysteria, and it was common for houses to have a "fainting room" for when women had such spells. The Victorians attributed hysteria to a "wandering womb," which makes absolutely no sense in modern terms.

10. Temporal Illusions

Temporal illusions can make one perceive that time has sped up, slowed down, gone backward, fallen out of sequence, or even stopped. Psychoactive substances are often the culprits of these effects.

Mescaline is found in peyote, which is derived from a cactus. Peyote was the subject of Aldous Huxley’s book The Doors of Perception. Huxley became aware of the substance through Native Americans living in New Mexico.

The use of peyote among Native Americans is known as Peyotism and is a key part of their religion. One of the spiritual aspects of mescaline is its ability to make the user feel like there is no duration but only a constant present.

Hallucinations With Oliver Sacks

Further Explanation of "Musical Ear Syndrome"

  • "Musical Ear" Explained | PRE
    Do you sometimes hear music or ringing? Sounds when it's dead quiet? Well, you're not alone. In this radio recording, we learn about the auditory phenomenon called “musical ear syndrome.”

Comments

Samy on February 03, 2014:

Thank you so much. I needed this for my English homework, and you just made it way easier for me.

Samy on February 03, 2014:

Thank you so much. I needed this for my English homework, aand you just made it way easier for me.

Ausseye on June 01, 2013:

Hi Gen-erationinformed :

Whoow what a great descriptive and informative hub on a subject just below our senses. Love the labyrinth you weave after tell us that if we hallucinate there’s something wrong with us. Now you take me to the desert where I am out of water and hallucinating a great big lake, ahhh damn it’s not really there. You give the subject intrigue and created a passion for me, hallucinating on the possibilities for our universe……since time doesn’t matter there are endless possibilities. Great hub and filled with mindful intrigues. The best message comes when no drug are involved!!!