Tactile Hallucinations and False Assumptions

I was just laying in bed, itching a bit. I don’t really know why – I’ve had flu, had been in a hot shower and it’s a cold night; whatever, it’s not important.

It started to feel like there were insects on me, but there seemed to be nothing there, so it kind of felt like there were insects under my skin.

OK, hold it there…

I know there were not insects under my skin, but that’s just about the closest description I could give based on my past ¬†experience and imagination.

Why is it then, that when people describe things which are alien to them to the best of their ability, they are usually immediately dismissed, or at least regarded as, tactile hallucinations? This was not an hallucination, nothing of the sort; it was merely a sensation that I could only describe in those terms, because, as a sensation which was new or alien to me, it was the thing which I imagined was closest to it.

Even if I were delusional, and actually believed there were insects under my skin, it is still not an hallucination, is it? It’s just a misinterpretation of an unfamiliar sensation, described in the terms which seem to fit. The sensation is still real. It’s kind of sad that the causes of many of these unfamiliar sensations are never investigated because they are dismissed as hallucinatory.

I don’t suffer from hallucinations, but early in my illness I was labeled hypochodriacal and suffering from somatic delusions. Looking back, I think I’m just quite sensitive to changes in my physical self and attuned to my body, and most, if not all, of the strange sensations I complained of were simply my misinterpreting sometimes subtle physical changes which were just side effects of the risperidone that I had been prescribed.

Ironic, huh?



~ by funnyinthehead on November 6, 2011.

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