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Everything You Need To Know About Tactile Hallucinations

Tactile hallucinations are caused by neurological conditions or by the use of certain drugs as well as medications. They involve a situation where you tend to have a fake sensation of movement on your skin or inside your body. Tactile hallucinations are also caused by medication that can adversely affect neurotransmitters. Many a time, different varieties of hallucinations can crop up simultaneously. They are not related to a single disorder or disease. As a matter of fact, they are supposed to be the symptoms of several conditions. Have a look into the symptoms of tactile hallucinations, their causes, the substances and medications, and their diagnosis and treatment.

Symptoms

Tactile hallucinations cause unpleasant and disturbing situations like bugs crawling all over your body or there is something inside you that’s trying to get out. People affected by this condition have a feeling that some of their organs are shifting from one side to the other or something is moving in their skull or stomach. There are cases when these hallucinations bring about a harmless and pleasant sensation as well. Hence, the sensation isn’t necessarily uncomfortable all the time. However, you are unable to find out the cause of such movements or sensations. In fact, individuals who are affected by Parkinson’s disease experience the sensation of floating or flying.

Causes

There are several medical conditions that can cause tactile hallucinations and the list includes schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, phantom limb syndrome, narcolepsy, delirium tremens, and Alzheimer’s disease. A survey conducted in 2010, which involved around 480 Americans suffering from schizophrenia and other schizoaffective disorders, declared that almost 88.5 percent of these individuals had to contend with tactile hallucinations. Even though visual and auditory hallucinations had been the most common symptoms, nearly 27 percent of these 480 individuals faced tactile hallucinations. That’s quite a significant figure. In another study conducted in 2016, 50 percent of the 200 people surveyed were suffering from either visual or tactile hallucinations. Other data suggests that around 39.8 percent of people suffering from Parkinson’s disease, 53 percent of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and 35 percent of those enduring Lewy body dementia experience one or the other forms of hallucination and that include tactile hallucinations, too.

Substances And Medications

Tactile hallucinations can be caused by substances and medications such as anti-epileptics, anti-depressants, prescription stimulants, anti-hypertensive, and anti-Parkinsonian agents. Individuals who are addicted to narcotics, cocaine, and amphetamines fall prey to tactile hallucinations that are said to involve insects biting, stinging, or crawling on the skin. Aside from that, alcohol intoxication can also lead to a number of hallucinations that might include tactile hallucinations.

Diagnosis

Often, it becomes really difficult to diagnose tactile hallucinations. The diagnosis of schizophrenia and other mental illnesses is, on the whole, subjective and not carried out on the basis of substantial scientific evidence. However, in the case of a hallucination, an extensive psychiatric, medical, and neurological analysis become necessary. Suffering individuals might have to go through blood tests, urine tests, and an MRI of their brain. When the condition is connected to substance abuse or some neurological condition, the neurologist might take tactile hallucinations into account as a diagnosis. Tactile hallucinations are somewhat different from other types of hallucinations as a person perceives a touch or movement without being aware of the cause.

Treatment

With regular usage of anti-psychotic or neurological medicines, hallucinations tend to stop. Aside from that, hallucinations cease to bother people when they go through detox sessions after reducing or getting rid of anti-depressant drugs or stimulants in their system for good. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, popularly known as CBT, might also play a key role in diminishing the impact of hallucination symptoms. Atypical antipsychotics such as risperidone, olanzapine, aripiprazole, quetiapine, ziprasidone, clozapine, and pimavanserin are indispensable while treating hallucinations as well as other psychotic symptoms.

There are some common tricks that can help individuals get rid of hallucinations. Whenever you recognize your triggers, try your level best to avoid them. Be physically active as much as you can and indulge yourself in your favorite activities such as reading books, listening to music, or watching TV. Hang out with your friends and spend some quality time with them. In addition to that, you can visit a place that’s peaceful in nature and offers tranquillity. All you need is some peace of mind.

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