Can you tell me if there are any reported cases of people with mental illnesses, notably schizophrenia, who have hallucination illusions of people and can actually touch or feel them.
Tactile, or haptic, hallucinations involve the sense of touch. One case study I retrieved presents the occurrence of tactile hallucinations as one of the first signs of the study patient’s emerging Schizophrenia. It says: “Miss. MS was a 21-year old single woman who was admitted to the inpatient psychiatric unit around December 2004 secondary to 4 months of experiencing tactile hallucinations. . . .” Miss. MS related that in August 2004 she felt that her face was being touched very lightly by someone she was not able to see or hear. She responded by pushing away whoever she thought was touching her and told no one about it. This episode continued every day . . .for a week. Then one night she was unable to sleep because she felt that someone was touching her legs and arms. She describes that although she had her face covered with her sleeping bag, she saw a silhouette that appeared to have spikes on the head. She thought it was a classmate who had dreadlocks on his hair.” (See “Tactile Hallucinations: Presenting Symptom of Schizophrenia” at .http://jdc.jefferson.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1029&context=jeffjpsychiatry) In a second study, visual and haptic hallucinations are described in a patient with a right hemisphere infarct. The hallucinations lasted intermittently for 10 days, The patient claimed to have touched some of the beings in hallucinations which included children, animals, and the patient’s relatives.(See “Ghosts in the Machine: A Case Description Of Visual and Haptic Hallucinations After Right Hemisphere Stroke” in the journal, Cognitive Neuropsychology, Volume 11, Issue 4, 1994. DOI:10.1080/02643299408251982) There is also some discussion of this phenomena which can be found on discussion boards such as http://www.crazyboards.org, http://www.medhelp.org, and http://www.healthboards.com.For examples, see below:“I'm curious... I have all kinds of hallucinations, too... Can anyone else control some of them? Especially, the "touch" hallucinations. I can like "will" myself to feel something in my left hand. Most of my touch realated ones are involved only w/ my left hand...” “I hallucinate alot.. Tactile touch hallucinations violent 1s grabbin pushing.. Ive had the colour blue chase me.. It used t follow me once i saw it flyin around the room like a laser coloured snake then it hit me stright in the stomach and knocked me off my chair.”“I am new to these boards and have no idea if this is ever the right area to post this. That being said...I suffer from tactile hallucinations and so far not a single doctor can even give me a clue as to why! Basically it feels like someone is touching me 24/7. My hallucinations never stop. The only time I don't notice them is if I am too busy doing something else. Mainly it feels like a male presence touching me such as caressing a leg, playing with my hair, massaging my shoulders, etc. . . .Also at night when I am trying to sleep my tactile hallucinations are more acute and I get some vague visual ones. Mostly just silhouette images when my eyes are closed.” I hope this has been helpful to you! Please be sure to rate my response using the star system so that I can be credited for my time. After that, I will I will be happy continue with any additional questions you might have.
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