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Old 04-09-2012, 09:28 AM
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New here..Opinions, please!

Hello everyone. I am new to this forum and am hoping for some advice. I began experiencing hallucinations (auditory and visual) at a very young age (I am now 23). I can't remember a time before I had these hallucinations. Typically, I see people, animals, or sometimes objects. The visual ones used to last for what felt like hours when I was a kid, but now I just get flashes of images, lasting for a couple seconds each. They happen pretty often though. I also have times of confusion and feeling disoriented or in a dream-like state. I have memory loss and am not sure why. People sometimes bring up things they say we discussed, and I have no recollection of these conversations. I also tend to "space out" pretty often, which my boyfriend has brought to my attention numerous times. I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder several years ago, but my psychiatrist and therapist have always said my visual hallucinations are unusual, even for someone with this disorder. My therapist recently mentioned the possibility that I may be experiencing complex partial seizures. Is that what they sound like to you? I know the best way to determine if that's the case is to have tests done, but in the meantime, I was hoping to get some opinions/advice on this forum. Thank you in advance!
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:57 AM
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Hi Rose1902, welcome to CWE!

The majority of hallucinations with seizure disorders are like the ones associated with migraine -- simple dots or flashing shapes -- rather than specific images. However, some folks do report more complex hallucinations, particularly if they are also have nighttime seizures or other sleep disturbances. Lesions or other stresses on the optic path can also produce hallucinations and seizures.

The "spacing out", memory issues and confusion could be due to absence seizures and/or complex partials. If you can, you and your boyfriend should try to keep a detailed record of these symptoms. Make a note of when and how often they occur, whether they vary over the course of a month or a day, what happens during them, how long they last, whether they have changed significantly over the last few years. It can be helpful to note other factors as well that may or may not play triggering roles -- things like what you eat and when, whether you are fatigued/hungry/full/dehydrated, what your hormones are doing, whether certain environments or stressors make things better or worse, etc. This info can be helpful to both you and your neurologist.

I do agree that an EEG and MRI may ultimately prove more helpful in narrowing things down, since there can be multiple and co-occurring causes of visual hallucinations.

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Old 04-14-2012, 11:58 AM
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I went through a similar situation as yours with similar symptoms and a similar diagnostic. In my case it turn out to be wrong but they only found out after performing a sleep deprived EEG.

That being said, I was told by one of the (oh so many) psychiatrists I saw that the symptoms between the 2 conditions are very similar so that you might indeed be schizoaffective though of an atypical sort.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:34 PM
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Hi Rose - Welcome to CWE

I can't say I relate in any way to what you are experiencing, however at one point in our journey my daughter was told her seizures were "psychogenic". It turned out that they are much more nutritionally based. Blood sugar levels, nutrition, and hormones. I learned a lot about how gut health is related to brain health. It can even cause schizophrenia.

I searched for some of the information that I remember posting here about it, and it didn't come up for me. However, I am sure you could do a good search on some of the words and put in nutrition with them and see what hits you get. Such as this:
Nutrition and Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia, gluten, low carb....

There is also a great video of a gal that was put into a mental hospital, but after being diagnosed with hypoglycemia she was relieved of her symptoms.

Think out side of the box - you might find answers to your specific situation

Neurofeedback - Rebecca's Story

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Knowledge is power and knowledge shared is power multiplied.
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