Hallucinations involve hearing voices, seeing images, as well as tasting, smelling and feeling things that do not actually exist. Hallucinations can be induced by overdosing on drugs, ingesting various substances or withdrawing from a particular drug. This can be a very frightening and distressing experience. When you hallucinate, you become paranoid, nervous and frightened. The way you perceive your surrounding environment becomes distorted. A continuous abuse of certain drugs can see you graduate from hallucinations to schizophrenia.
People often use cannabis because of the calming effects it provides, without realising it can worsen any psychotic symptoms in the long run. A drug addict who is already prone to developing psychosis makes matters worse by becoming overly intoxicated. Abusing or withdrawing from certain substances like hallucinogens, antihistamines, alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, LSD or ecstasy can lead you to experience hallucinations.
You could also hallucinate when you abuse prescription drugs like muscle relaxants, antidepressants, antihypertensive medications, cardiovascular medications, chemotherapy agents, Antiparkinson medications, analgesics, corticosteroids and anticonvulsants. It’s advisable to contact a doctor immediately if you exhibit any hallucination symptoms after taking prescription medication.
Accompanying Symptoms of Hallucinations
When hallucinations occur, the affected person might start talking aloud to no one in particular or responding to voices they hear in their mind. They could also see unreal images of an animal or person that could make them start screaming aloud, moaning or making some other unusual sounds. When you abuse drugs or withdraw from them, you could experience the following accompanying symptoms:
- Memory problems and delirium; you might find it difficult to remember things and become restless
- Paranoia and nervousness
- Feelings of invincibility
- Disorientation and mental confusion
- Ringing in the ears
- Anxiety and depression
- Feelings of burning or prickling
- Increased hostility, violence or aggression
- Alteration of reality
- Distorted sense of time and space
- Panic attacks
- Sleep disorder
A drug addict is more likely to experience visual hallucinations than any other kind of hallucination that affects the senses. This includes abstract shapes or flashes of light. It could also take the form of another person or an animal. Hallucination symptoms can make it difficult for you to complete your daily tasks and could even interfere with your life as a whole.
When Should You See a Professional?
Most people who experience hallucinations sometimes become used to them and are able to live with them. However, after a while, drug-induced hallucinations can lead to schizophrenia, which in turn can cause extremely serious problems for your behavioural, emotional and physical being, making it hard for you to live a normal lifestyle.
If you have a loved one or know anyone else exhibiting any signs of hallucinations, you should seek the help of a medical practitioner as soon as possible. The symptoms of hallucinations can be reduced or cease indefinitely when treated. Treating hallucination usually takes four steps, which include: assessment, detox, medication and psychotherapy. Before initiating treatment, a doctor might be required to enrol the individual in a rehabilitation programme.
It’s always easier to treat any medical condition that’s still at an early stage, so promptly seeing a professional when these symptoms occur is highly beneficial for all concerned.
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