The brain is a very complex organ that is responsible, among other things, for processing all sensory information, that is, for controlling everything we perceive around us. But there are certain situations in which our brain plays with these perceptions, giving rise to little-known hallucinosis.
People who suffer or have suffered from these hallucinations at any given time report having experienced a series of visual and / or auditory illusions.
What is a hallucinosis?
In this hallucinatory picture, hallucinosis is typical of non-psychiatric illnesses and refers to the condition in which a person can experience hallucinations but is fully aware that what they are perceiving is not real.
The difference with the rest of hallucinations is that in these cases, the person is able to discern perfectly that he is not real; be quite able to perceive that something is not working properly and therefore to ask for help.
During an episode of hallucinosis, the patient is attentive and well oriented, and can even enter and exit this state with complete lucidity, being able to relate in detail what he perceives in the hallucinosis at that precise moment. .
Differences between hallucination, pseudoallucination and hallucinosis
In addition to being able to be both auditory and visual, these three paintings have in common the fact of appearing in an outdoor space and possess the properties of corporeality and objectivity specific to normal perceptions.
However, unlike hallucinations and pseudo-hallucinations, anyone who experiences them is aware that it is a hallucination and therefore it doesn’t take long to ask for help.
As for hallucinations and pseudo-hallucinations, they generally appear in psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia or the manic phase of bipolar disorder.
However, hallucinosis is more typical of various diseases such as intoxication, use or deprivation of drugs and abusive substances or the well-known alcoholic hallucinosis. All are explained below.
As detailed above, hallucinosis is not typical of psychiatric disorders, but rather occurs as a result of situations of alcohol, psychoactive substance or drug abuse; although this can also happen, exceptionally, in certain brain disorders.
This type of hallucinosis is the perception of an object or phenomenon that is not present at this time due to excessive alcohol consumption.
When this happens, the person becomes aware of the deception their mind is instilling in them and may associate it with something caused by their condition.
The most typical cause of this symptom it is linked to the sudden elimination of excessive drinking habitsIt is therefore common for these hallucinoses to occur during withdrawal syndrome.
Patients with this type of alcohol-induced hallucinosis should be treated urgently to try to control the onset of symptoms, as lack of proper treatment can worsen immediately; thus becoming a delirium tremens.
This syndrome is characterized by being a serious illness that includes dehydration, fever, visual and auditory hallucinations, And it can even lead to death from acute poisoning.
2. Abusive or psychotropic substances
Of all the harmful effects of drug and psychotropic use and abuse on the body and brain, hallucinosis is one of the most common.
The most common hallucinogenic drugs son:
- Ecstasy (MDMA)
- Psilocybin (DMT)
- Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
Ecstasy, psilocybin and mescaline are made from certain species of hallucinogenic mushrooms and cacti, while LSD is obtained by synthesizing ergoline and tryptamines in a laboratory setting; being this one much more powerful than any of the previous ones.
3. Brain disorders
There are certain manifestations of brain disease, including episodes of hallucinosis. These disorders can be neurological, genetic, or caused by brain damage or tumors. These symptoms vary widely depending on the patient and the severity of the disease.
Charles Bonnet syndrome or organic hallucinosis
One of the cases in which hallucinosis has an organic cause is Charles Bonnet syndrome, for this reason it is also known as organic hallucinosis. This name comes from the fact that there is something measurable, heavy or quantifiable that causes this disease.
Charles Bonnet syndrome is a disease associated with people with visual loss. In these specific cases, patients also present with complex visual hallucinations.
This disorder affects people who are mentally healthy but suffer from significant visual loss. These patients recurrently suffer from visual hallucinations, vivid and complex, with the particularity the characters or objects perceived are smaller than usual.
As these are hallucinoses and not hallucinations, those who suffer from them know perfectly well that they are not real, and being purely visual, they do not affect any other senses.
People with Charles Bonnet syndrome can perceive a wide variety of hallucinations. Among the most common, such as intricate colorful people and patterns, Up to animals, plants and animated objects.
Charles Bonnet syndrome is associated with damage to any segment of the visual tract and is usually caused by age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and major visual field abnormalities. These hallucinations usually cease when the patient performs certain eye movements.