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What causes hallucinations?

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Posted on Sat, 1 Mar 2014
Question: Im seeing things a lot and I swear i can see peoples faces in the dark and even sometimes in the light, but when i look nobody is there and I hear talking and sometimes a gentle touch on my back or shoulder, its freaking me out because Its so vivid, I dont know whats going on
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Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain (1 hour later)
Brief Answer: Psychiatrists opinion, exclude schizophrenia Detailed Answer: Hi and thanks for the query, I really do understand how disturbing this could be. Seeing people or objects, which really of course are not physically existent are called visual hallucinations, and hearing sounds are called auditory hallucinations. This is a condition mostly observed in clinical psychiatric care. It is however important to get a few questions about your medical and personal history first. A past history of depression, anxiety disorders or a recent striking psychological event is important to note. Your personal relationships, social health with your immediate family and friends is important. Under circumstances of severe psychological stress or fear with respect to a given condition, it is possible to experience these hallucinations. A past history of psychological or mental illness is important. In case you have had any psychiatric disorder, or have been taking psychiatric drugs, this is a possibility. It is possible to exclude schizophrenia. This is one of the conditions that generally presents as such. I would suggest you book an appointment with a psychiatrist. Thanks and wishing you the best of health. Be rest assured this is not a very rare condition in day to day practice, and treatment, when timely and appropriate is generally associated with very favorable outcomes. Dr Bain
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
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Follow up: Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain (8 hours later)
Ive also been getting quite a bit of blood coming up in my throat lately and its making me tired
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Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain (1 hour later)
Brief Answer: Not for sure related to initial concern. Detailed Answer: Hi and thanks for the update, I do think this extra information deserves a proper clinical review. I am very much afraid it might probably not be related to the issues you just presented (seeing or hearing things that really do not exist). Blood coming up from the throat would require a proper throat exam be carried out. causes could range from simple infections, to complex conditions like tumors (cancers). History of sore throat, upper respiratory tract infections, smoking, family history of cancer or pain on swallowing shall guide your doctor in the physical examination and diagnosis procedure. You should precise these extra information to your doctor, and after his examination and clinical appreciation, he shall decide on precise management or sending to an ENT specialist if need be. Kind regards. DR Bain
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Follow up: Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain (27 minutes later)
Ive had acid reflux in the past and really bad depression and anxiety
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Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain (16 minutes later)
Brief Answer: The opinion of a psychiatrist stills stands out. Detailed Answer: Hi and thanks for the query, Acid reflux deserves to be treated carefully. Left untreated, complications like bleeding, blockages of the throat and at times perforations can arise. Elevating the head of the bed before sleeping, proton pump inhibitors (omeprazole), Azantac and antacids would be very helpful. Depression and stress would aggravate acid reflux and at times, excite acid secretion. the opinion of the psychiatrist to manage these conditions would be most helpful. Kind regards. DR Bain
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 3092 Questions

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What causes hallucinations?

Brief Answer: Psychiatrists opinion, exclude schizophrenia Detailed Answer: Hi and thanks for the query, I really do understand how disturbing this could be. Seeing people or objects, which really of course are not physically existent are called visual hallucinations, and hearing sounds are called auditory hallucinations. This is a condition mostly observed in clinical psychiatric care. It is however important to get a few questions about your medical and personal history first. A past history of depression, anxiety disorders or a recent striking psychological event is important to note. Your personal relationships, social health with your immediate family and friends is important. Under circumstances of severe psychological stress or fear with respect to a given condition, it is possible to experience these hallucinations. A past history of psychological or mental illness is important. In case you have had any psychiatric disorder, or have been taking psychiatric drugs, this is a possibility. It is possible to exclude schizophrenia. This is one of the conditions that generally presents as such. I would suggest you book an appointment with a psychiatrist. Thanks and wishing you the best of health. Be rest assured this is not a very rare condition in day to day practice, and treatment, when timely and appropriate is generally associated with very favorable outcomes. Dr Bain