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How Do I Find Out What Hallucinations Mean?

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From a young teen in Morocco: I have experienced hallucinations for about 9 years now. Mom refuses to take me to a doctor for it and makes me feel guilty for it, along with other issues. They’re just getting worse as time goes on, more intense, and they’re making me more dysfunctional. I am undiagnosed, and therefore do not know the cause of my hallucinations. Some people say it’s normal, but they interrupt my functionality in the world. Sometimes, my auditory hallucinations won’t shut up, which mostly occurs when I want to sleep, as a result, I can’t sleep in those cases. My visual hallucinations are a pain to deal with, and are the ones which occur most. I don’t get olfactory or gustatory hallucinations much, but if I do, they’re usually pleasant. Tactile hallucinations have decreased, but when my hallucinations are at a peak, they intensify as well. By “peak” I mean when my visual and auditory hallucinations merge and become excessive that I lost all ability to differ between reality and hallucinations, videos of simulations of psychotic episodes describe this pretty well. Could this be a disorder, or is it really something that’ll pass, and which I could potentially be causing myself(As my mom says.)?

How Do I Find Out What Hallucinations Mean?

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A.

Nine years? That means you’ve been having these experiences since you were only 5 years old. It is not uncommon for non-psychotic children to have hallucinations. However, the fact that they have continued for so many years and that¬†these hallucinations interfere with normal functioning suggests that they are not the product of an active imagination. I do understand why you are upset and why you want answers.

Parents generally don’t want to believe that a child might have a mental illness. Sometimes pediatricians don’t recognize it either. I can’t make a diagnosis on the basis of a letter, but I can tell you that the experiences you describe should be evaluated by a mental health professional to determine whether or not you need treatment. Talk to your mother about seeing a professional — if only for your (and her) peace of mind.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie

How Do I Find Out What Hallucinations Mean?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). How Do I Find Out What Hallucinations Mean?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 26, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/03/01/how-do-i-find-out-what-hallucinations-mean/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 28 Feb 2019
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 28 Feb 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.