Do You See Things?


Abbey McGee

Some people experience hallucinations

By Abbey McGee, Staff Writer

Some people have reasons for believing that they see things that, to most people, aren’t actually there. In the past, seeing things was often attributed to curses, visions of glorified religions, witchcraft… anything else ranging in divine inheritance. Nowadays, the human race has advanced enough to know that seeing things aren’t actually visions, or curses. We simply call them “hallucinations”, and they can happen to anybody.

A few of the larger causes of hallucinations are mental disorders. Schizophrenia is the big one, with over 70% of people identified with it having said they’ve experienced visual hallucinations. Illnesses like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s can also lead one to visually hallucinate. In a less noticeable example, people who have extreme migraines will occasionally see flashes of light that aren’t there; these too are grouped with the visual hallucination group. Other causes include epilepsy and possible brain tumors.

However, mentally ill people aren’t the only ones who experience hallucinations. Again, they can happen to anybody; however, it depends on the circumstance. In times where stress is high in a person, the overwhelming amount of stress can trigger the person to see things that aren’t there. People who experience sleep paralysis will also hallucinate often. This is described as their mind being “awake” and “dreaming” at the same time, causing their body to freeze and their mind to project images in their surroundings that don’t actually exist. Another common cause is abusive drug and alcohol use, which can cause the mind to become discombobulated, and thus, cause the user to hallucinate.

Treatments for these symptoms have come a long way. When asylums were first established, people who hallucinated were often beaten and killed, or poorly mistreated. Now, there have been multiple medicines created to help specifically combat hallucinations, and people have found their own ways of showing themselves what’s real and what’s not. This can be done by using today’s technology, such as using a camera phone to see if something is actually there, or simply just a hallucination.