Without having personally examined her, it’s impossible to determine what might be wrong. It is estimated that approximately 10% of the population experiences hallucinations. That would suggest that hallucinations are not rare. Hallucinations can be caused by sleep disorders, organic brain syndromes, drug use, trauma, and psychotic-based mental illnesses.
However, you are right to be concerned. Her hallucinations have increased as have her flashbacks. This might suggest that she is experiencing prodromal symptoms of psychosis. Prodromal refers to symptoms that precede the onset of psychosis. The prodromal phase can last for weeks or months. The symptoms are typically mild in intensity but slowly become worse over time. Without treatment prodromal symptoms can progress into full-blown psychotic episodes.
The solution is treatment. Specifically consult a psychiatrist and ask that they perform an evaluation. Medication can prevent the worsening of symptoms. Treatment will help her to stay grounded in reality. The sooner she begins treatment, the better the prognosis. Do your best to convince her to begin treatment as soon as possible. Waiting might only make things worse. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle