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What causes visual and auditory hallucinations?

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Posted on Thu, 28 May 2015
Question: My husband is 36 w no history of mental illness. Has job & family stress. He says he is hearing voices telling him hes worthless & sees scary images in mind ?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shubham Mehta (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
cause can be stress/anxiety, drug abuse, sleep deprivation.

Detailed Answer:
Hello
Welcome to HCM.
I understand your concerns for your husband.

Hallucinations can occur even without mental illness due to following cause:
Intense stress and anxiety,
sleep deprivation,
Drug abuse like cocaine, marijuana, LSD, amphetamines etc.
Starvation,
Recoverng from a physical illness.

The content of his hallucinations which you have mentioned is usually seen in depression.The person has fragmentary hallucinations in which there is self blame and guilt and may be fear of dying.
Has he had any quarrels or bullying from bosses at work place?

Hallucinations due to stress and anxiety are more like random noises, humming sounds, beeps etc. with no clear content.

Sometime, drug abuse can also cause such hallucinations.
Does he abuses any drugs?

A detailed evaluation by a psychiatrist is must to determine the exact cause of hallucination and rule to a developing mental illness.

Hope this helps.
Feel free to ask further.

Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Shubham Mehta (6 minutes later)
His father is his boss and very abusive to him. But he has been working with him 15 years and this just started. I do fear he is on cocaine. He said my grandmother comes to him in his head and tells him he is no good. Here is a photo I worry he is on cocaine in it in first picture. He acts very paranoid and his appearance has changed dramatically. The other pic is before all this. The other pic is of him and me before all this started u can see weightloss
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shubham Mehta (5 hours later)
Brief Answer:
probable cocaine abuse.

Detailed Answer:
Hello again.

Sorry for the late response.

I have seen both the pictures.
There is an obvious weight loss as apparent from the pictures.

The paranoid behaviour, hallucinations and dramatic change in appearence and behaviour may be due to cocaine induced psychosis.

Following signs can help you identify the cocaine abuse:
Physical signs:-
1. Look for the white powder residue on nose and other belongings.
2. Whether he has runny nose, sniffing all the time.
3. Whether he has blood shot eyes.
4. Needle marks anywhere on body.

Behavioral signs:-
1. Secretive behaviour.
2. Decreased need to sleep and eat.
3. Has become irritable, abusive.

If you find these signs and symptoms, then there are high chances that he might be using cocaine.

But I would suggest you to consult a psychiatrist for further examonation.

Never threaten him or argue with him for this.

Hope this helps.
Feel free to ask further.

And, you two look great together.
May god bless you both.

Take care.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Shubham Mehta (8 hours later)
Thank you. Can people with cocaine psychosis still function ie go to work, go to grocery store? He is very paranoid as well and crazy moodswings then no memory of behavior
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shubham Mehta (54 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
can behave normally in some spheres of life.

Detailed Answer:
You are welcome :)

Yes, the people with cocaine induced paranoid psychosis can function normally in some spheres of life. It depends on the severity of illness.

Even people with paranoid schizophrenia can work normally in many spheres of life till the illness is very severe.

The mood swings or the paranoid behavior may be under the influence of cocaine.
When the effect of cocaine weans off, he may behave normally or may forget his behavior.

The effects of drug abuse are mostly unpredictable.
Same drug of abuse may cause different behavioral changes in different individuals.

A timely intervention in needed for prevent long term consequences of drug abuse.

Hope this helps.

Take care.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Shubham Mehta (23 hours later)
Once a person recovers from cocaine psychosis will they remember things they did when in the psychosis? Thanks :)
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shubham Mehta (24 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
may or may not remember the things.

Detailed Answer:
Hi again :)

After recovery, the person may have memory for some events and may not remember some events.

I have seen some patients falling into depression while recovering from psychosis, because they could remember their awkward behavior during psychotic breakdown.

Hope this helps.

May god bless you both.
Take care.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Shubham Mehta

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 2136 Questions

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What causes visual and auditory hallucinations?

Brief Answer: cause can be stress/anxiety, drug abuse, sleep deprivation. Detailed Answer: Hello Welcome to HCM. I understand your concerns for your husband. Hallucinations can occur even without mental illness due to following cause: Intense stress and anxiety, sleep deprivation, Drug abuse like cocaine, marijuana, LSD, amphetamines etc. Starvation, Recoverng from a physical illness. The content of his hallucinations which you have mentioned is usually seen in depression.The person has fragmentary hallucinations in which there is self blame and guilt and may be fear of dying. Has he had any quarrels or bullying from bosses at work place? Hallucinations due to stress and anxiety are more like random noises, humming sounds, beeps etc. with no clear content. Sometime, drug abuse can also cause such hallucinations. Does he abuses any drugs? A detailed evaluation by a psychiatrist is must to determine the exact cause of hallucination and rule to a developing mental illness. Hope this helps. Feel free to ask further. Thanks.