Hallucinations, maybe?

May 23, 2007 at 12:53 am 3 comments

I’m trying to decide if these count as hallucinations:

1. Sitting in my room. A bat flies into my wardrobe. I pause for a second before realising it’s not real.

2. While listening to music. I see a large black moth out of the corner of my right eye, flying straight towards me. I jerk away from it, but it’s disappeared. I look around the room, checking the curtains and walls for it, before realising I’ve imagined the whole thing.

3. Walking down the road, I step in front of a parked car in a driveway and have a horrible moment of doubt where I’m certain it’s moving forward and I’m going to be run over. This happens again the next car along and again.

4. A stream of black smoke curling up from an empty ashtray, persisting for several seconds.

And if so, what does that mean? None of these things are particularly disturbing (although they can be annoying).


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Seeing the Elusive Psychologist Self Pity: Ignore.

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. puddlejumper  |  May 23, 2007 at 8:08 am

    I once was convinced the TV was sending me secret messages in morse code after watching two shows in a row which had all the swear words bleeped out.

    I mentioned this to my doctor and he asked if I knew it wasn’t real.

    I told him the truth. At the time I thought it was real but I also knew it was pretty crazy and that I had better not mention it to my husband because then he would KNOW I was crazy.

    My doctor told me the fact that I had enough insight to know that I had imagined it (even though it felt so real) was enough to reassure him I didn’t need to be sectioned or anything.

    I think the only real worry would be if you start wondering why other people don’t see the same things. So long as you know its just your own imagination I wouldn’t worry.

  • 2. experimental chimp  |  May 23, 2007 at 8:51 am

    Yeah, they’re not particularly worrying. My descents into madness tend to be more subtle and involve hideously elaborate webs of delusions that somehow fit together just enough to preserve the illusion of sanity. These things are just… annoying.

    Though I’ve been wondering recently if there’s some kind of simple partial seizure thing going on. Especially since the weirder stuff only seems to have been happening since I got kicked in the head. There’s other stuff that makes me wonder about this, which I may go into in a later post, once I convince myself I’m not turning into a hypochondriac.

  • 3. Polly  |  May 25, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    There are hallucinations, perceiving objects or events that don’t have an external source, and then there are illusions, which are misinterpretations of actual stimuli. The car thing and seeing a moth out of the corner of your eye seem more like illusions, although I wouldn’t know for sure. Although everybody sees things out of the corner of their eye that aren’t actually there from time to time, I find that it happens more often to me when I’m having a mood episode and/or delusional thinking. I’ve had full-fledged hallucinations, too, but illusions have seemed more like early warning signs for me.

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Hi, I'm James. I'm a 26 year old guy from England with bipolar disorder (currently well controlled). I also have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder (not so well controlled). This blog has charted my journey from mental illness, through diagnosis and, recently, into recovery. It's not always easy, but then, what is?


Self-righteous note about smoking

As of 12th September 2008 it has been forty five weeks since I quit smoking. So in another seven weeks it'll have been a whole year.

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