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Question Hallucinations: more than normal??? - April 11th 2011, 04:10 AM

So, the other day my boyfriend came over at the end of the day to tuck me in like he normally does. Except that it had been an exceptionally nice day, so he stayed a little while longer than he normally does.

For a long while, we were just laying there, half asleep, until eventually he had to go home.

I went to sleep sooner than I usually do that night. I woke up half an hour later and the strangest thing happened:

I woke up suddenly because of a nightmare I had, and I could feel his hand on my side. I could hear him breathing. I looked back, and I could see his silhouette in the darkness against the window. I told him that it was late and that he had to go home, and I could hear him groan and I felt him roll over. Then, when I went to shake him, he vanished and I remembered that he had gone home.

I was so shaken after that that I couldn't sleep. I've had other hallucinations in the past, but none recently and none that vivid. So, am I schizo, or is this somehow normal?


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Re: Hallucinations: more than normal??? - April 11th 2011, 04:15 AM

Not schizophrenic. Since you fell asleep, I'm more inclined to believe it was a vivid nightmare you had and not a hallucination. As for others in the past, having hallucinations alone does not meet any of the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia (unless they are extreme). Due to your age, one has to consider exaggeration of behaviour. Having vivid dreams I'd say is normal. Having hallucinations is not normal but as mentioned, since you were asleep, it seems more like a dream.

Did your other hallucinations occur from sleep/dreaming?


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Re: Hallucinations: more than normal??? - April 11th 2011, 04:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Man And XX Master View Post
Did your other hallucinations occur from sleep/dreaming?
No, they did not. They were in broad daylight, but I didn't feel them.

I was also thinking that it may just be a dream, but it just doesn't seem like it. There was no awakening,
and it was just too specific. Wasn't there something in Inception about dreams not being able to perfectly mimick reality? (jk, I think that's all just shit.)


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Re: Hallucinations: more than normal??? - April 11th 2011, 07:20 AM

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Originally Posted by SoSick View Post
No, they did not. They were in broad daylight, but I didn't feel them.

I was also thinking that it may just be a dream, but it just doesn't seem like it. There was no awakening,
and it was just too specific. Wasn't there something in Inception about dreams not being able to perfectly mimick reality? (jk, I think that's all just shit.)
I haven't seen Inception yet lol.

If the ones that occurred in daylight were visual, then first thing is book an appointment at your eye doctor's to see if there is any pathology at the retinal level. If there is none, then it does suggest it likely was a visual hallucination.

Schizophrenia is defined not simply by having hallucinations, although that is the most common symptom along with delusions. For schizophrenia, it has to be occurring for several months and generally have symptoms other than only hallucinations, such as delusions, disorganized speech, catatonic motor behaviour (rarely seen nowadays), etc... . In addition, there are also diagnostic criteria regarding how impactful these symptoms are to your social, occupational and academic functioning. There are other diagnostic criteria as well that I haven't mentioned but a simple googling search will let you see them. Do not self-diagnose by using them because they're all very finicky.

If they occur more, then you could see a psychiatrist (usually need a referral from a GP or family doctor). There are various tests that can be done to confirm or reject such a diagnosis, anything from self-report questionnaires to brain-imaging and more. One of the difficulties is assuming you do have schizophrenia (I'm not saying you do), you'd fall into the prodromal phase, which is a time where the diagnosis is highly uncertain because it presents a bit differently and treatment has the best chance of "curing". There's no age-limit for this phase, although with schizophrenia, the younger you are with it, the more profound the symptoms are. From what you've mentioned, yours aren't that profound (I'm excluding the one with your boyfriend as it's neither here nor there), which suggests you may not have it. Even considering the possible dream-based one, it's only one so there's little to go on.

If you see a doctor, one of the first questions you'll be asked is this: is there any family history of schizophrenia? There are genetic predispositions but even if both your parents have schizophrenia, there is not a 100% chance you will. I don't remember the exact number but it's around mid-60 to mid 70%.


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