Delusion vs Hallucination
Human behavior is a result of interaction of many factors such as genetics, cultural influences, upbringing and the stimulants that force an individual into behaving a certain way. As long as a person behaves according to social norms and customs, there is no problem to others, but when his behavior and actions are not in sync with the society’s norms, and he seems odd and eccentric, it is believed that he is suffering from mental disorders. Two of these mental disorders are delusion and hallucination that are often confused by people because of their similarities. This article attempts to highlight the differences between delusion and hallucination.
Delusion is a mental disorder that forces a person to hold beliefs that are not consistent with reality. It is plainly clear to everyone that the person is holding wrong beliefs, but he just refuses to come out of his make believe world. The most common delusions are those of grandeur and persecution though there are many more types of delusion. A person may suddenly start to believe that he is the chosen one and sent by God, to control others. He behaves accordingly and is not concerned with what others are thinking about him. Some people believe that they have superpowers or super natural abilities and may even jump from a high building thinking nothing can happen to them. Someone having a belief that he or she cannot be harmed can even move out and walk into traffic without following traffic lights.
When a person is suffering from a delusion of persecution, he thinks that everyone else is conspiring against him. He starts to believe that he is being followed, his phones are being tapped, and his activities are being spied upon so as to make a plan to kill him. The actions and behaviors of such a person may look foolish and strange, but he is convinced that he is doing right things to avoid being caught. Delusions arise because of an underlying mental or neurological problem. If a person has a delusion that his wife is having an extra marital affair, no amount of proof and convincing is enough to make him believe that his wife is innocent.
If you see a person behaving in a peculiar manner or responding to stimuli that are not visible to you, you can safely assume he is under the influence of hallucinations. Hallucinations are perceptions that are false and take place in the absence of any stimuli. Most of the hallucinations are auditory and visual in nature as when a person hears sounds and gets to see images that are not visible to anyone else. A person under hallucination may talk to someone as if he is responding to him though there may be no one present. Hallucinations are common in people taking drugs like LSD that are known to induce the symptoms of hallucinations. People taking LSD feel they become responsive to greater consciousness though the fact is that they start feeling symptoms of hallucinations. Victims of this mental disorder can hear familiar and unfamiliar voices when no one else experiences them. Symptoms of hallucination are found in patients of schizophrenia and also those who are dubbed as psychotic by doctors.
What is the difference between Delusion and Hallucination?
• Both delusions and hallucinations are mental disorders having underlying neurological problems but have different symptoms and effects.
• Delusions are false beliefs guiding a person’s behavior. Delusions of grandeur and persecution are most common and take over a person’s mind making him believe that he is super natural or that he is spied upon to be murdered.
• Hallucinations are auditory and visual perceptions that a person experiences without any stimulus being present. Patient may suddenly start to hear familiar and unfamiliar voices.