For the past 4 or so years, I have been having strange forms of hallucinations, of which I can find no information on, on the internet. When I look at an object such as a sewer lid (general object on the road) I do not see physical lines, but I imagine that there are lines protruding from the corners of it. Once the lines have meet from the corners to form a triangle, I can no longer step on those lines (yet I can in between, i.e the center of the triangle). It is not impossible for me to step on these lines, yet highly uncomfortable to do so. I see these lines on many objects; cupboards, carpets and so on… Sometimes the lines bend, following a similar shape to that of the end of a ski. Why do I see these lines? Why can I find no other evidence of people having similar problems? And how can I stop them? Thank you.

A. You seem to be having visual hallucinations in the absence of any other mental health symptoms. Individuals with serious mental health conditions, in which hallucinations are present, also tend to experience additional symptoms that affect their occupational, social or cognitive functioning. You haven’t mentioned those things in your correspondence to me.

If the hallucinations are not due to a primary psychiatric illness, then they may signify a neurological condition. Visual hallucinations are associated with psychiatric conditions, organic brain disorders and eye conditions. They are specifically associated with delirium, dementia, Charles Bonnett syndrome, Anton’s syndrome, seizures, migraines, sleep disturbances, tumors, drug use, metabolic problems, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

You are experiencing an unusual symptom and should be examined by a psychiatrist or a neurologist. You can start the process of finding a specialist by first visiting your primary care physician, who can provide you with the proper referral. The Internet can be quite helpful for the acquisition of educational information but you should always consult a professional in matters of this nature. Self-diagnosis can be quite dangerous. I wouldn’t recommend it. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle