Have you ever lived with someone who hallucinates? It is difficult to believe that what that person is telling us is really happening to him/her, because the rest of us do not hear a thing. What is an hallucination? It is a misperception or error made by one of our five senses that involves hearing things and these experiences seem very real, but, they occur without any outside stimulus being present – like a human voice for example.
Hallucinations can occur in neurological conditions like brain tumors or epilepsy, in degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or in conditions associated with sensory deficits like visual impairment or deafness. But, hallucinations can also be symptoms of a psychiatric disorder such as schizophrenia. Auditory hallucinations, the hearing of voices, are the most common types in serious psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia.
While my family lived with my son who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, I wish that someone had given me access to a clip like the one at the end of this blog then. Why? Because it was almost impossible for us to understand how terrible it must have been for David to hear voices all the time, not to ever have peace of mind, which stopped him from hearing everything people were saying. Because those voices interrupted real conversations that he was having, a lot of the time.
He often told us that he wished for a decent job, someone to love, and most of all, peace of mind.
Click on the link below to see a clip that gives an idea of what it’s like to experience auditory hallucinations.