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Centerpointe Research

fear of the dark

The Origination Of Hallucinations In Bipolar Disorder

 

She appears SCARED!

As a bipolar person when I perceive people as doing astonishing things then I stop for a moment and withhold my reactions as I don’t want to embarrass myself.  My daughter was laying down the law to me and all of a sudden she stood up and lambasted me for being poor at handling my money.  I stopped thinking for a moment and realized this was imaginary and my daughter wouldn’t know what I was talking about if I reacted to it.  Also as much as I love being told by some person that they love me this is often a verbal hallucination and it would be embarrassing for me to say I love you back unless this was a family member or good friend.  These are just tricks that my mind plays on me usually at the end of a telephone call.

 

I have had hallucinations as a kid and this may be why I am afraid of the dark.  I was having an asthma attack and saw orange and green bugs and snakes all around me even with the lights on.  I was on codeine cough syrup as I was having an asthma attack so when I told her, my mom thought it was the codeine cough syrup causing these visions.  I became very afraid of the dark I slept with a light on after that and later slept with my head under a pillow.  Curiously enough often when I was sleeping with someone next to me or in a bed in the same room, I was not afraid.

 

As an adult, I began to think that I was afraid of the dark because I was molested at night by my Dad as a child.  Also, I masturbated very early on by using running water in the bathtub.  By the way, my two brothers did not want to talk with me about this or what had happened with them and our dad.  Curiously enough when I attended a cathartic workshop. the words, “Don’t hit him hit me came into my head”.  My dad had a very intense temper and I think my brothers were afraid of him.  My oldest brother inherited his temper.  With this going on in our household there could have been fodder for hallucinations.

 

“Depression..

Who knows what I saw in the dark as a child.  Could I have been hallucinating then?  Could I have been hallucinating about my after?  Also, things at night do not look like they do in the daytime.  It could be that I saw things.  A crumpled pillow or a blanket or a towel could look like a monster and with the ability to hallucinate I could have more easily seen these things like hallucinations and of course, my parents would not have seen them.

 

Recently I was made aware that with a bipolar diagnosis, I could hallucinate.  I also in the recent past before my bipolar diagnosis had brief hallucinations of people in a circular shape such as my husband and strangers  My husband was wearing the wrong color shirt in the hallucination.  They were off to one side and did not last very long, just long enough that I could notice them and figure out what they were.   Once over ten years ago I saw a candy striper with a tray of cinnamon rolls.  I knew it was not real as no candy stripers worked in the hospital and she also disappeared quickly

 

Knowing that I can hallucinate helps me to  “spot” them and react appropriately.  I can not predict when they will happen.  I just have to realize that they can happen and not react too quickly.  Other people often do not believe in them and would think I am “crazy” if they found out about them.  I would rather share these experiences with someone who understands that hallucinations are just a part of bipolar disorder and can be controlled at least by me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whistling In The Dark?

rp_300px-TV_highquality.jpgSmall children not only have problems with object recognition in a dimly lit bedroom, they also in early childhood as young as two or three have good imaginations often telling adults that they see or hear something vividly that is only a figment of their very colorful imagination.  Combine the two and they were easily could see monsters in the dark which their parents then tell them aren’t real and that they should act as if they are not there and go to sleep.  What this really means is that they still “see” monsters but know they have to act as if they weren’t there.

When a child is in bed, they see things from a different perspective than the one they have when they are sitting up or moving around the room.  There is the psychological concept of object permanency which is used when a child is able to see an object such as a bottle from different angles and in different types of illumination and still know that it is a bottle and treat it like one.

Another difference is the rods in the retina pick up and transmit the effect of a black and white picture which is more blurry than that the  very sharp image that the cones give in brilliant color (which are in the center of the retina) in very bright light.  Yes, black and white images in photos and motion pictures are almost gone and “little” ones are probably not familiar with them.The-Sacred-Shadow-Header-1024x462Could this be the origin of fears of sleeping in the dark which are topped off by the parent telling them that what they see and what it looks like (how they perceive it) is wrong and their feelings about it are foolish and should be denied so that the parent (not necessarily the child) can relax and go back to sleep thinking that they have banished the monsters effectively and gotten the child to believe there are no monsters in his or her room when they have done no such thing.  What they really have done has made the situation more scarey because the child still believes there are monsters but his or her parents don’t believe it and now they can’t depend on their parents for help and must face the perceived danger alone and probably without a light to illuminate the dark and scarey corners.

Don’t make children deny their feelings, they don’t go away, they just stay out of sight.  They must be seen from the child’s point of view.  For example, mommy, daddy, there is the monster over there and there is his head, there are his eyes and there are his hands and he has claws sticking out.  See he is breathing.  Fuzzy images in the near dark do look like they might be moving or breathing.  It can happen also from a child’s changes in perspective.rp_3363953427_ba6fe42f32_m.jpg

Recently I have been conducting experiments of my own.  There is a night light on in our master bedroom and I often wake up very early in the morning while it is still dark outside and I see things in the shadows and they even seem to move or look unrecognizable especially my husband’s clothes hung on the bedpost or the covers pushed up in a pile at the end of the bed.  It seems very easy to not realize what I am really looking at and could easily identify in broad day light. I’ve seen a goblin with a shiny eyes and a big male pig laying there with two twitching ears.  I have even reached out to touch the apparition in order to satisfy myself as to what the image really is.