Different types of hallucinations in Schizophrenia & other disorders

When talking about hallucinations, we know there is more than just one form of hallucinations and these different types of hallucinations also tend to be more or less likely to occur depending on the psychopathology the individual is suffering from.

A study I found concerning this topic investigated auditory, visual, and olfactory hallucinations. Their sample consisted of 51 schizophrenic, 25 schizoaffective, 28 bipolar, and 79 unipolar depressive patients. According to index hospitalization, higher rates of visual and auditory hallucinations were found in patients with schizophrenia, as well as schizoaffective patients in comparison with depressive or bipolar patients. By comparing these different groups to each other, researchers were possible to find differences in the pathologies themselves, which in turn can facilitate diagnosis in the future.

A longitudinal study is very relevant for the differentiation between schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia. The first years of occuring symptoms are assumed to be helpful for the differentiation between bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder. Other findings discovered in this study suggest if auditory hallucinations have an early onset, future recovery is most likely reduced. The main takeaway point of this study is the relevance of longitudinal observation over the symptoms so consequently, we are enabled to discover more detailed relationships between different disorders, which as a result can help us not only to improve diagnosis but also recovery.

But the above-mentioned psychopathologies are not the only ones sharing hallucinations as a symptom. In borderline personality disorder, not only can we see paranoid delusions, but also auditory hallucinations can be seen as a relatively common symptom. If the presence of the hallucinatory symptoms, correct diagnosis is quite difficult, as distinguishing these symptoms from other similar symptoms in other disorders, such as schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders.

In conclusion, it can be said that there are various different types of hallucinations and correctly distinguishing between them is crucial for finding the right diagnosis. Hallucinations as a symptom are common in various disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, psychosis, or even borderline personality disorders. In order to be able to select the correct treatment corresponding to the symptoms of the pathology, it is, therefore, crucial to understand hallucination as a symptom in-depth and analyze it sufficiently. 


D’Agostino, A., Rossi Monti, M., & Starcevic, V. (2018). Psychotic symptoms in borderline personality disorder. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 1. https://doi.org/10.1097/yco.0000000000000462

Goghari, V. M., & Harrow, M. (2016). Twenty year multi-follow-up of different types of hallucinations in schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and depression. Schizophrenia Research, 176(2-3), 371–377. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2016.06.027

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