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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Mind tricking me, hallucinations? - April 14th 2017, 04:04 PM

My family jokes that I hallucinate becsuse I hear things that no one else does but they're not voices. I persobally think I interpret noise differently...

One example was last night. I woke up in the middle of the night becsuse I felt too hot. So I got up to open the window more. I was trying to go back to sleep and while I was, I heard choking noises. Sounded like my cat choking. I tried to ignore it becsuse I'm like yeah my cat is probably not under my bed. But the thing is, sometimes he really does fit himself under my bed. But he is more likely to meow so I can play with him than choke in there. So I went to check his usual sitting spots and he wasn't there. And then I get visual images of him choking but nit just still images, it is like a whole scene happening of him like dying and the more I ignore it the more guilt I feel and I start panicking and move my whole mattress, suddenly I have all this arm strength to move it by myself. And he wasn't even there. And thrn I start saying his name and I see him pike shmoozing in the kitchen.

This isnt the first time things like this happen. I realize only after that I must've imagined it. is this an anxiety thing or actual hallucinations? My dreams are also nightmare-is a lot of the time but not exactly replaying things that have happened. Though plenty of times my cat would cough or make choking sounds right before vomiting (It is painful to watch and makes me so sad for him)Also I was awake when this happened but in a panic so that part felt like that unreal state when something terrifying happens in real life. There are other times that the way I wake up is painful, I feel like I'm being physically shaken and I like practically jump out of bed or something.
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Re: Mind tricking me, hallucinations? - April 15th 2017, 04:32 PM

Hmm, I can't say for certain but I'm wondering if it's more anxiety related as opposed to actual hallucinations?

I've had similar things happen to me, more so if I've not been sleeping well. I may be wrong but with hallucinations it can be difficult to tell what's real and what's not. While that may have felt true for you, when you checked under your bed, you realised that your cat wasn't there. So you know the reality.

It could also be sleep related type of hallucinations. I've panicked about people being in my room to the point where I've got up to check even though no-one was. Depending on our sleep, it can cause some confusion, disorientation and hallucinations. But is usually nothing to worry about. Same with waking up feeling like you were physically shaken- that can be from things like sleep paralysis or hypnagogic jerk. Again nothing to worry about.

If these things become problematic for you, then they are worth talking to your doctor about.

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Re: Mind tricking me, hallucinations? - April 16th 2017, 07:26 AM

Fascinating and well described. Sorry I haven't heard of anything matching this.

You heard a cat choking, and on investigation found nothing. An image, no, more than an image, a whole scene, of a cat choking came to mind, probably the mind making sense of the sound? ("It sounds like this, here, I'll create a video of what it sounds like.")

Your dreams are nightmares. There's a clue. Do you have night terrors?

Are you generally anxious? Stressed? Was there a trauma earlier in life?
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Re: Mind tricking me, hallucinations? - April 22nd 2017, 12:03 AM

I've been meaning to reply to this but kept deleting the whole thing. But wanted to say thank you both if you. Yeah j mostly thought it was anxiwty related bug my older sister said that's hallucinating. I am also pretty sure I have hypnagogic jerks as I've looked up my experience and came across that word a few months ago and last night I experienced it again.

I don't know if what I have us nightmares or night terrors. There are times I wake up with an anxiety attack or crying or feeling scared and/or angry or another intense emotion but I don't know. From what I'm told by others, I snore and I talk/mumble/make noises in my sleep. I get startled easily as well so I might scream while waking up if like I hear certain sounds or something like one time I heard movements in my room and yelled until I realized it was just my sister. I used to share a bed with my older sister for a few years and I would kick her in my sleep and only realize after j woke up but she would get very angry at me and then start kicking me while fully awake and I would start crying and sleep on the floor or the sofa.
When I was in elementary school I was seeing a school counselor and I told her I have nightmares. Again I'm not sure if that's what ig was bug j would run out of my room screaming and crying abd unable to go back to sleep. She told me to think about some thing happy but that never worked. Things are not like that, with me runnibg out of my room and screaming aanymore. And the dreams I have now are of different scenario but are terrifying for the age that j am now I guess. There's no evil witch character like there used to be in my dreams, for example.

But...to answer the question about early trauma in childhood. Professionals and others have downplayed my story so much and they're the ones who get to define trauma, they make the DSM and set the standards. So...I mean I just don't know. Sometimes I'm sure I have trauma, other times j think about how I am probably making things sound worse than they are.

I catastrophe a lot with my anxiety but it is built off of past experiences. For instance, one time I was bike riding and was somehow remembering the fires I've been through. I've been through 4 fires, 2 at elementary school, 2 at high school. When I was in elementary school, I was chosen to be the "safety patrol" which meant that I had to check all the bathroom stalls and the roof to make sure no kids are there. This was an assigned role that also included me having to substitute classrooms of younger students until a staff came. But thst sometimes meant several hours. And all these tasks were given to me as an honor thing. The thing is, there were a few students from grades 6th, 7th abd 8th grades chosen for this but all of them backed out except for me. We also weren't told what to do in the case of a real fire so when the real fire happened, the other safety patrols just got out of the building while as for me, I felt obligated to go through the floors making sure the kids have left. And that memory, that feeling of being scared and trapped between what was expected of me and what my instincts were telling me to do were contradicting each other and I went with what was expected of me. And me ruminating on that also leads me to imagining the scenarios and often catastrophizing things.So one time I was bike riding with a group at a park that I was camping inside and while we were biking I was thinking about the fires and honestly my sisters also were there during 3 of the 4 fires and I don't think they even think much of it. But while I was bike riding it started with the memory but I'm still managing . But when the images got si strong, I lost sense of time and place and ended up injured as I was speeding and I crashed. But at some point I went from replaying memories to catastrophizing and imagining things but j departed from memory
So j think with my cat, I heard sounds and catastrphized and that made my anxiety amplify even more. It was like a snowball.
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Re: Mind tricking me, hallucinations? - April 22nd 2017, 09:49 AM

I asked someone I know who hears voices and runs a support group for people who hear voices, about what if it's not a voice, what if it's hearing a cat choking, but there is no cat, does that count? And she said yes, broadly speaking, it fits in that category. She mentioned some things other people have tried which have sometimes worked for them.

However I realize now, there actually is a cat, and you are the cat's owner, so this idea doesn't quite fit, as the idea was to write a letter to the imaginary owner of this fictitious cat that keeps bothering you, asking the owner to please do something about that cat. The idea is, this somehow gets the message to that other part of the brain which is creating this cat, that you would appreciate it if it would take care of that cat, and the other part of the brain actually does that.

There was someone who heard music all the time, even though there wasn't any actual music, the music was all in their head, but it was there, constantly, and annoying, because the person didn't like the music that was being played. So the person wrote a letter to the composer of this music, asking the composer to please play something more to their liking, and the music actually changed to something more pleasant.

And there are numerous accounts of people dealing with their voices by testing them. If the voice predicts something bad will happen if they do X, go ahead and do X and see if something bad actually does happen. The person discovers nothing bad happens, or the odds of something bad happening are no better than random chance, so the voice really doesn't have any predictive power. So they learn the voice doesn't really have any power. Then they bargain with the voice, saying they will listen to the voice at a certain time of the day, and please wait until that time, and the voice goes away and only comes at the assigned time, leaving the patient more free to do things without the voice distracting them.

But, sorry, despite my education in hearing voices from this lady who runs a few support groups on the subject, and she invited me to join, even though I don't hear voices, but I did find it all very fascinating, I still don't have any cure or explanation for hearing cats choking.

I like your idea that maybe it was catastrophising sounds, mixed with anxiety, snowballing.
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Re: Mind tricking me, hallucinations? - April 23rd 2017, 02:02 AM

A hallucination is defined as "an experience involving the apparent perception of something not present." Given that definition, a lot of common things that happen in people who don't have a psychotic disorder can be considered as a hallucination. Those videos with illusions that affect your vision when you look away can be considered a hallucination. I know what context you meant when you said hallucination, but thought this might be slightly reassuring.

You mentioned it happened when you were trying to fall back asleep, which you could have dreamt you were hearing it and then woke up to investigate it because it made you anxious that they were in distress. The anxiety of thinking they're in distress could have caused the intrusive thought of actually seeing it happening in your mind. A doctor would be needed in order to be certain on what you experienced, but that sounds similar to something I've experienced before. But obviously, a professional opinion would help you be more certain in determining what happened.

Hallucinating as a symptom of something can really happen on a broad spectrum of severity and frequency. Just as an example, I have schizoaffective disorder and there have been times where I was hallucinating pretty much constantly and believed they were completely real. That's usually when I'm not stable on medications. I'm currently stable and I still hallucinate but I know they're not real and they're not as frequent.

Something I do when I hear or see something that may/may not be real is reality check what's happening. My pets are super helpful, actually. If I hear/see something and my cat is just calm and asleep next to me then I'm pretty much 100% sure it's not there. If you have a smartphone/laptop/camera/anything with recording capabilities, then if you hear something you can record the sound as you hear it and then play it back. Pretty much every time, there's not going to be anything when you play it back. If it's something you see (I know you said this doesn't affect you, but might still be helpful) then try to photograph it. For sounds or visual things that are more likely to be real (like seeing a bug or hearing your cat in distress) I will usually ask someone I trust. If your family aren't people you can ask without them making fun of you, perhaps there's a trustworthy friend you could call on the phone to let them listen to your surroundings so they can confirm the sound or say they don't hear it.

I definitely understand how stressful it can be to hear things that may not be there and also to have people make fun of it as if it isn't distressing you, but if what's happening is bothering you considerably and affecting your daily functioning I would consider seeing a doctor as others have mentioned.

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