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Why hallucinations occur: 6 not so obvious reasons
Why hallucinations occur: 6 not so obvious reasons

In the ordinary view, the appearance of hallucinations is associated either with the use of psychotropic substances or with schizophrenia. But they can also arise for completely different reasons.

Why hallucinations occur: 6 not so obvious reasons
Why hallucinations occur: 6 not so obvious reasons

1. Folie à deux and mass psychosis

Typically, a hallucination is characterized by the fact that others do not experience it. But in this case, everything is a little different: falling into the state of folie à deux (from French - "madness of two"), two or more people become victims of a false reality.

Folie à deux is a collective psychosis that usually occurs in several people living together or closely related to each other.

A striking example of this disorder can be considered a situation that happened in 2016 in Australia. … Then the couple of farmers were imbued with a paranoid idea about the threat to their lives and went on the run with their children. As a result, it came to theft of a car and the involvement of the police in the search for individual family members.

Mass psychosis, unlike folie à deux, affects many more people. There is a known case. in a Malaysian school, when first a few, and then more and more people began to see the mysterious black figure and feel an otherworldly presence. As a result, the hallucination spread among hundreds of people.

2. Brain damage

Brain damage can occur due to trauma, aneurysm, multiple sclerosis, and for a number of other reasons. If the lesion affects the visual center, hallucinations may occur.

3. Visual impairment

Paradoxically, it is possible to start seeing vivid and complex hallucinations due to vision problems such as glaucoma or cataracts. This phenomenon is called Charles Bonnet syndrome and is due to the fact that the visual system, not receiving visual information from the eyes, begins to create its own images. This condition is more common in older people.

4. Seizure

A seizure in the occipital lobe (epilepsy) can cause simple hallucinations in the form of small bright spots and geometric shapes. The reason for this is that it is in this part of the brain that the visual center is located.

5. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

This disease is characterized by a rapidly progressive malfunction of the brain and arises from the fact that an altered form of the prion protein accumulates in the central nervous system. The disease, already terrible, can be accompanied by hallucinations if the occipital lobe of the brain is affected.

6. Herpes

We all know about two types of herpes: the first, almost harmless, due to which sores appear on the lips, and the second, genital, much less harmless.

However, in rare cases, both types can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

Herpes encephalitis is accompanied, among other things, by hallucinations and altered states of consciousness, and can also lead to brain damage.