The Different Types of Hallucinations and Schizophrenia
While doing a few mental health presentations recently, I was surprised that not everyone knew that hallucinations could originate from any of the five senses (taste, touch, sight, sound, smell). There are many different types of hallucinations. I have experienced hallucinations from every one of my senses except maybe taste (gustatory). My most common hallucinations are olfactory (smell). I frequently smell chemicals or something burning when there is no source for either one of those things.
Different Types of Hallucinations: Auditory Hallucinations
When I am experiencing psychosis (the presence of hallucinations and/or delusions), I mostly struggle with auditory (hearing voices/sound) hallucinations. I have had up to three distinct voices talking to me at one time, and I know people with schizophrenia who have had even more voices than that. Some people might wonder how I keep track of three voices simultaneously. For me, it is no different than following a conversation with three real people (although there are times when the voices I hear are more chaotic or they whisper or mumble, and then it is more challenging). My hallucinations have different tones (sound of voice) and different characters or personalities. I know how strange that may sound, but for me and others, that is how "hearing voices" presents to us. That's one of the different types of hallucinations.
Different Types of Hallucination: Visual Hallucinations
I've only seen things (visual hallucinations) a few times since I had my first psychotic episode in my late 20s. At first, when I thought about this type of hallucination, I thought, "Well, I'm thankful I have never had more than the occasional shadow out of the corner of my eye."
Then, I remembered my last episode. I was in a church, and I looked into the eyes of any of the people present, and they looked like pools of liquid that were leaking. This different type of hallucination was a terrifying experience.
Different Types of Hallucinations: Hallucinating the Sensation of Touch and Taste
I've sometimes felt spiderwebs were on me or something was crawling on or below my skin when nothing was there. Hallucinations involving this type of touch are called tactile hallucinations. I'm not positive if I have had gustatory (taste) hallucinations. I have so many paranoid thoughts around new foods and foods that taste unusual to me that I'm unclear if it is a hallucination, part of paranoia, or a combination of both. I'm guessing a bit of both. It's common for my symptoms to collide, making it difficult to tell which symptom I'm experiencing.
In the video below, I address the topic of different types of hallucinations and how hard it can be for those who experience them to recover a sense of stability (trust) after an episode.
Chamaa, R. (2023, May 17). The Different Types of Hallucinations and Schizophrenia, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 10 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2023/5/the-different-types-of-hallucinations-and-schizophrenia