If people hallucinate, do they have schizophrenia?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
Hallucinations are caused by a variety of triggers and do not necessarily indicate that someone has schizophrenia. A hallucination occurs when someone's sense of reality is distorted, and the individual has trouble identifying what is real. The most common hallucination that people experience is hearing voices that are not there. Other hallucinations include hearing sounds, feeling things, seeing things, or smelling things that are not real. Some illegal drugs can cause people to hallucinate, as can fevers and other severe illnesses. Epilepsy, narcolepsy, and dementia can cause hallucinations too. Even though hallucinations don't always indicate a severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, people should seek help if they start to perceive that imaginary things are real.

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