Sunday, June 10, 2012

Friendly Hallucinations

Today my son had another visual hallucination. It happened while he was playing with a homemade bow and arrow. He was having a great time shooting his wooden arrow across the court with his brothers when he turned to me and said, “I just saw a man walking across the court!”

My reaction was one of indifference since I thought he was talking about a real person. I calmly said, “Yeah, where?”

Then he said, “He was over there”, pointing to a short distance ahead.

“He was wearing a tan hat with black trim and a tan suit, kinda like one Daddy would where to work. In his hand he was carrying a black briefcase.”

After this detailed description it became apparent that this wasn’t a real man. To confirm I asked, “So was he real?”

My son responded in a matter-of-fact tone, “He looked real, like my brother standing over there, only his face was hidden by his hat and he was gone after about 8 seconds.”

Out of curiosity I asked, “Was he scary or friendly?”

“He was friendly, that’s why it didn’t bother me!”

Cool, good to know. If you’re going to have visual hallucinations, I’m all for the friendly type. Thankfully, my son didn’t seem upset and was quickly back to his bow and arrow game.

I don’t know about you, but I find this whole experience interesting. It amazes me how the brain works. I wish I knew what caused the hallucination, his moods were very stable and have been for a long time. In fact, he just finished school and has been better than ever. The last hallucinations were the shadow men he saw 3 months ago. Whatever the cause, I’m so relieved that he doesn’t seem upset about them. As a kid, I was scared of imaginary things, I can’t imagine being a kid who saw imaginary things as real.

My son demonstrates once again that he’s amazing, living life one day at a time.


  1. Oh can I relate to the "friendly hallucinations". Just a quick memory....I was living at home with parents but they were gone at work and I was alone with my best friend on the phone when I saw a boy sit on my parents sofa and he would not leave when I yelled at him. Turned out he wasn't real just like what your son saw.

    Enough about me....I am very proud of how he handled and you handled the hallucination. My goodness he has come up quite a ways now. Don't be shocked if he ever mentions music hallucinations. I would hear music more often than seeing things.

    In the Pink

    1. Thanks for sharing In The Pink, I am curious, do you know what causes these? Were you stable at the time like my son?

      Yes, my son has come a long way, thanks for being by my side!

    2. I was unstable at the time I saw the boy...super manic. I had cut my sheets to bed up thinking I could make them into clothes. lol...I can look back and laugh. SO I guess I have never had any visual hallucinations while medicated but I do hear things at times. That never seems to go away but it doesn't scare me just as your son displayed no fear.

    3. That would make sense, you being manic when you saw him. I spoke to our psychiatrist today and he wasn't fazed by it, he said, “Yeah, that happens sometimes.” As long as he isn't frighten or it isn’t constant, I guess it isn't much to work about.

  2. I am curious... What would happen if someone tried to touch the hallucination. Would it disappear? Does that signal the brain that it isn't real? Is your son having other hallucinations that you don't know about because he thinks certain "people" are just part of the crowd? Sorry to sound so nosy, but this is an area I dont know much about and I'm still learning.

    1. Great questions Cathy. I have asked my son if he wasn't scared of it to watch it to see what would happen when he was seeing shadow people. Because the people weren't human, he knew they were not real. I also got the sense that he knew the man in the hat was not real too. But I did ask him, “Does it look like a ghost or a person?” He said more like a person, but it disappears. I am very curious about this too, maybe In the Pink can give us some details on the actual vision she had. I don't think my son's visions have ever been close enough to touch, they’ve been at least several feet away.