You asked about whether it is rare to have only hallucinations and voices in the absence of other symptoms. Remember that he is also having sleep difficulties which I would characterize as a symptom, in the context of his hallucinations and voices. His symptoms may be indicative of a psychotic disorder but only a psychiatric evaluation could make that determination.
It’s possible that he is experiencing other symptoms and doesn’t yet recognize them as being symptoms. For instance, perhaps he is experiencing a lack of motivation or increased agitation but does not perceive these as being symptoms. If that were true, a mental health professional would consider them symptoms, especially in light of his other symptoms. It is very good that he’s being seen by a mental health professional in the near future. The psychologist can identify all of his symptoms and provide more information about what might be happening.
The psychologist might also recommend that your son undergo a medical evaluation to rule out a physical cause. Oliver Sacks, a famous professor of neurology who has studied hallucinations extensively, says that they can be caused by a number of physiological conditions including illnesses, fever, sleep deprivation, drug use, extended grief, trauma and severe exhaustion. He explored the nature of hallucinations in his new book appropriately entitled “Hallucinations.”
Thankfully, your son has finally asked for help. The sooner he receives treatment, the better the prognosis. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice