A hallucination is a false perception related to sight, sound, taste, touch or smell. Drugs, narcolepsy and illness can all trigger a hallucination, but the most common trigger is schizophrenia, a disorder associated with jumbled thinking and the inability to differentiate between real and unreal experiences. Those hallucinations born from schizophrenia are basically inaccurate perceptions related to the five common senses: touch, sight, taste, smell and hearing.
Manifestation of Schizophrenia Hallucinations
Schizophrenics sometimes insist that they are seeing someone or hearing something that nobody else can see or hear. These sights and sounds typically come off as conversations between non-existent people, though they sometimes take on the form or compliments or insults toward the schizophrenic. The hallucinations can seem so real that the schizophrenic sometimes comes to believe that his or her body has been implanted with some sort of broadcasting device. Some even attribute these hallucinations to the paranormal, i.e., ghosts, aliens, etc.
Recognition of Schizophrenic Hallucinations
One of the first steps toward treatment involves the acceptance that these hallucinations are a part of the illness of schizophrenia. Note however that this differs from merely accepting that the hallucinations derive from the schizophrenic’s imagination and thus hold no place in objective reality. Because these hallucinations seem so vivid and real to the schizophrenic, trying to deny their existence only exasperates the patient. It is okay, however, to explain to the schizophrenic individual that he or she is the only one who can hear, smell, see or feel whatever that he or she is experiencing — that it isn’t part of anybody else’s reality.
Treatment of Schizophrenia and Hallucinations
Schizophrenics are almost always prescribed with some type of antipsychotic medication, be it Aripiprazole, Clozapine, Olonzapine, Quetiapine or Risperidone, to name a few. It also helps if the schizophrenic maintain a rigid schedule chockablock with activities. Such stimulation effectively distracts the schizophrenic and thus ‘drown out’ the hallucinations. In essence, the patient learns to just ignore the hallucinations, even though they do often still remain perpetually there, much like with the case of American mathematician John Forbes Nash, Jr.
As of 2013, there is no definite cure for schizophrenia. However, with proper treatment and care, a schizophrenic can oftentimes lead a perfectly normal life, both at work and at home. Unfortunately, most schizophrenics must remain on medication and on a treatment plan for the remainder of their lives, lest their schizophrenia slowly but surely creeps back into existence.