Do you see or hear things that do not exist?

English: Neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks a...

English: Neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks at the 2009 Brooklyn Book Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What does it mean if you hear things that no one else hears? Sees things that no one else sees? Does it mean you are having a spiritual experience? Or, do you have some form of psychotic disorder?Thanks to a student (HT Heather), I submit for your reading pleasure a NY Times essay by Oliver Sacks. Dr. Sacks suggests there may be some other possible reasons why you might hear or see or feel something that isn’t heard, seen, or felt by others. In fact, he points to research that a large portion of those who do have these experiences never tell others or doctors about them for fear of being labeled falsely with schizophrenia.

Ever had either hypnogogic or hypnopompic hallucinations (ones that happen just as you fall asleep or awaken)? Did is scare you? Can you imagine telling others about it? If you find these kinds of unusual experiences interesting, I encourage you to read any of Dr. Sacks’ books.


Filed under news, Psychiatric Medications, Psychology

3 responses to “Do you see or hear things that do not exist?

  1. I only began hearing voices and seeing things (this happened twice) until AFTER I became a Christian. Mostly I’ve heard the voice of God through the Holy Spirit and one time I heard the voice of a demon (I don’t think I actually rate Satan since he’s not omnipresent). The times I heard the Spirit’s voice, and saw the things I did, has only served to propel me to newer and greater heights of inner healing. If you would care to, read my blog. I’m writing about them there. My first audio/visual “hallucination” occurred during my conversion. You can read about it in “My Testimony”. Also read “Feeding the Finches” and “The Way I Was Saved” – if you have the time.

  2. My copy is arriving today! 🙂

  3. Normalizing the relative common occurrence of voices can take the fear/anxiety away from even the more powerful/negative voices. People can learn to deal with the voices if they understand them differently and ascribe different meaning which can enable them to effectively deal with them- this is helpful for folks who continue to hear troubling voices despite having tried various antipsychotics and to ease the anxiety which can increase distress.

    Look up:

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