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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you think that INFPs are prone to hallucinations since we're so imaginative? :p

I'll give you a story on someone I know who is an INFP.

For as long as she could remember, she started seeing and hearing... stuff. This started at the tender age of 15. A few things she has heard were;

  1. Music playing downstairs at her house when she tried to get to sleep at night. The music was that of classical orchestra. Whenever she would go downstairs to check, the music will then stop.
  2. Some nights, when faint music wouldn't play, she would hear people talking and laughing, as if there was a nice gathering... Again, she would go and check to find herself alone, perplexed and confused.
  3. In high school, when she and other people were in the hallways to go to class, she would hear someone yell out her name. She would turn and find no one (For the sake of the argument, let's say the crowds of people were in front of her.) She would look and look but nobody would come to greet her. This would happen maybe a couple of times a month.

A few things she would see were;

  1. The other night she was in her bed, introspecting like any other introvert would. She turns her head to her bedroom wall, and scrunches her face in disgust when she sees a black dot moving around. It appeared to be a spider to her. She went out of her room for a few seconds, came back, and searched for the spider... She was then taken back when the spider suddenly transformed into a crack on the wall.
  2. She would see things on the corner of her eye (Things moving, things coming at her, etc.) but when she turns to look, it would stop.
  3. ... I got nothing else. :S


Is this a case of being an INFP, or someone with a few mental issues that need to get checked out soon? :confused:
 

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I have a tendency to hear/see things sometimes, especially when I'm stressed/tired/have a slight fever. They're usually ridiculous enough that I know they're not real, and a lot of times they're not very threatening... but sometimes I have to sleep with the light on at night because I imagine things in my room moving and stuff and it creeps me out.
 

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Rarely, but one instance in particular, stands out very clearly.

I went to New Orleans after hurricane Katrina hit and I got a freak blood infection, fortunately just a temporary one. Well, it sent me into a complete spiral of complete pain and suffering for weeks. Cutting it short, it felt like my blood was concrete and that if I ever stood still for too long I would get the most severe spikes of pain as I moved. It led to pain induced insomnia for 4 weeks.

Anyways, there were multiple instances where I was talking to people that weren't there. Having full conversations with them and even touching them. I could remember the details of the things they wore, and I could feel the warmth of their hand when I touched it. At times there would be a pause in the conversation, I'd sit back to reflect, and as I was ready to say something again, I would look up and was nobody there. I glanced around and would notice a lot of people looking at me awkwardly. Then I'd put my head down and go back to shaking so my blood wouldn't "solidify."

Outside of all that, not too much. A few here and there though, but nothing worth sharing.
 

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The psych nurse in me says yes, she should get evaluated if it gets bothersome or starts to interfere with her life. I could send you a PM of other things to pay attention for that perhaps would indicate a need to encourage her to go see her doc or a psychologist/psychiatrist. She's a little young for the typical age when females start to display the symptoms of a psychotic disorder, but it's not unheard of.

The rest of me says that to a certain extent it's relatively normal to "hear" things like your name being called out or to see things out of the corner of your eyes, especially when tired, over-stressed, or sick. The examples eden and lad give are both from physical factors affecting their mental states and their minds' abilities to keep thoughts or random ponderings/memories from crossing the line into being "seen" or "heard" or "sensed" in any other way. They could both do reality checks, and it sounds like your friend can do them to an extent so it isn't a big concern in that.

As for myself, I've also heard my name called down empty hallways and seen things out of the corner of my eyes that aren't there. More recently when I was getting around 2-3 hours of sleep at night and working 65-75 hours a week I was "hearing" people walk or seeing things in the edges of my vision that were more... stable in appearance I suppose, than what I had experienced previously. Sometimes I have trouble remembering what was an actual conversation or interaction with people versus a dream/daydream, but that is something most of my friends have just gotten used to and know to expect from me.

Good luck helping your friend.
 
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ForsakenMe, I find the examples you gave somewhat concerning. I do not have the same expertise as faeriegal, being a psych nurse, but I have read somewhat extensively on the topic, and am familiar with some aspects of brain function. Also, I've experienced my fair share of hallucinatory phenomena.

Family History
First of all, it would be important to find out if any psychiatric disorders are in the family of this individual, or any disorders that include hallucinations. Also pertinent would be whether the parents engaged in hallucinatory drug use. Either of these factors can lead to a predisposition for hallucinations in offspring.

Factors involved with the Hallucinations
The nature of the hallucinations that you described are potentially concerning, and it certainly would not hurt for this individual to look into this with a mental health professional, because if it were the foreshadowing of a mental illness, catching it early is important. Also of importance are the frequency and amplitude of the hallucinatory phenomena. Do these hallucinations occur every day, or multiple times a day? Are these hallucinations subjectively experienced as strong sensory impressions of sound and visual perception, or are they perceived as so real as to be almost impossible to distinguish as unreal until the hallucination stops? How the person perceives the reality of these hallucinations is also important. If the individual is convinced there really is something going on outside the mind, that is a warning sign, and that very belief can potentiate the hallucinatory process.

Imagination and Hallucination
You asked whether imagination was a part of this. I'd say that it can be. For instance, a very young child often sees things that aren't really there, or things that are there become something different. This happens because the brain has not yet become conditioned to separate internal impressions and perceptions from real world stimuli, and there occurs a crossover. In time this lessens or completely disappears. But for those who retain a tendency to utilize internal imaginatory processes either through parental encouragement, or through developed preference, or to escape reality, this sensory crossover phenomena may continue. For most it will continue only so much as to allow the person to internally conceive of different variations to their real-world stimuli, causing mild distortions of perception, like seeing a face in a texture, or hearing a melody vividly in your "third ear". But for others, these impressions take on a stronger form. In rare cases, hallucinations or intersensory crossover called synesthesia occurs from childhood and on, but for others there is an elevation of hallucinatory activity that begins in the mid-to-late teenage years or early twenties.

Causes
The potential causes are multiplicitous. It may be due to physiological reasons such as a nutritional deficiency/excess or exposure to environmental toxins or chemicals that alter brain chemistry. Or the process may occur through strictly psychological means, where the individual's internal thinking behaviors over a period of years begins a process of neurochemical imbalance. The development of the individual's belief system can largely affect the progression of hallucinations. For instance, someone who develops a very strong belief that there are beings around him that are trying to contact him will predispose his mind to create increasing sensory impressions that surround this belief, and could eventually experience full-blown hallucinations of that very nature. An example of something like this that we all can relate to is if we have a sudden moment of paranoia, like when are walking on a street at night, and thought we heard someone's feet shuffling behind us, and we look and no one is there, and in that heightened state of alarm, our mind may create moving objects in our peripheral field of vision so that we think we saw someone moving in the corner of our eye.

Personal Experience
I always had a crazy imagination since I was a child, but never had real hallucinations. But then I messed with hallucinogenic and dissociative drugs, and that changed things in my brain so that I would experience unwanted hallucinogenic pheonomena even when I was unaffected by a psychoactive substance. At first I experienced motor hallucinations bordering on schizophrenia for a few months after a psilocybin incident, but since then it has mainly been unusual phenomena. One day I was looking at these articles with pictures that had certain words and symbols embedded and hidden within them, and I looked at the pictures for awhile, and after I was done I started freaking out, because everywhere I looked, at a wall, a couch pattern, or grass....everywhere I was seeing words and symbols. I thought I'd finally lost my mind, but it stopped. This taught me that if you focus your mind to believe certain sensory stimuli are there, your mind, if pliable or suggestible, can do a remarkable job of creating those impressions. One other thing is that I see complex, moving, geometrical patterns in my vision at certain times. When I was in an embrace with my ex-girlfriend once, I was feeling blissful, and suddenly in my open-eyed vision there were these exploding swirls of color and patterns. I said, "I'm seeing fireworks." She thought I was being sweet with a little cliche, but she didn't know I was being literal, haha.
 

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The people calling your name things is not odd. Everyone does that from time to time. It seems like alot of this revolves around her sleeping. When slipping in and out of sleep you can have hypnotic episodes where you can see or hear things.

Or sence its Halloween ill just toss it out there, could be paranormal.

However if things get to out of controle see a doc.
 

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As I walk up the stairs, I hear the TV and some chatter, I think to myself oh that's my honeybuns watching some show. I open the door,the box is black,the couch is empty and room a little too quiet. It freaked me out the first time.
I sometimes I'm jamming out and I totally hear my honey calling my name out. I go "what do you wanntt!" and she's like "I didn't say nothing!". I get those a little too much to say I feel safe. IDK maybe it's some sort to telepathy.
 

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As GBer pointed out, some of it could be nighttime hypnagogia, which is normal. But if she is not in the hypnagogic state, and still experiences hallucinations simply from darkness and lack of stimuli, that is different. A question would be, how often does she experience daytime hallucinations?
 

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i think when we feel an emotion strong enough, particularly fear, sound and imagery can pour from our imagination to real life. I've never fully experienced that before, but i have imagined myself imagining things, if you can make sense of that..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ForsakenMe, I find the examples you gave somewhat concerning. I do not have the same expertise as faeriegal, being a psych nurse, but I have read somewhat extensively on the topic, and am familiar with some aspects of brain function. Also, I've experienced my fair share of hallucinatory phenomena.

Family History
First of all, it would be important to find out if any psychiatric disorders are in the family of this individual, or any disorders that include hallucinations. Also pertinent would be whether the parents engaged in hallucinatory drug use. Either of these factors can lead to a predisposition for hallucinations in offspring.

Factors involved with the Hallucinations
The nature of the hallucinations that you described are potentially concerning, and it certainly would not hurt for this individual to look into this with a mental health professional, because if it were the foreshadowing of a mental illness, catching it early is important. Also of importance are the frequency and amplitude of the hallucinatory phenomena. Do these hallucinations occur every day, or multiple times a day? Are these hallucinations subjectively experienced as strong sensory impressions of sound and visual perception, or are they perceived as so real as to be almost impossible to distinguish as unreal until the hallucination stops? How the person perceives the reality of these hallucinations is also important. If the individual is convinced there really is something going on outside the mind, that is a warning sign, and that very belief can potentiate the hallucinatory process.

Imagination and Hallucination
You asked whether imagination was a part of this. I'd say that it can be. For instance, a very young child often sees things that aren't really there, or things that are there become something different. This happens because the brain has not yet become conditioned to separate internal impressions and perceptions from real world stimuli, and there occurs a crossover. In time this lessens or completely disappears. But for those who retain a tendency to utilize internal imaginatory processes either through parental encouragement, or through developed preference, or to escape reality, this sensory crossover phenomena may continue. For most it will continue only so much as to allow the person to internally conceive of different variations to their real-world stimuli, causing mild distortions of perception, like seeing a face in a texture, or hearing a melody vividly in your "third ear". But for others, these impressions take on a stronger form. In rare cases, hallucinations or intersensory crossover called synesthesia occurs from childhood and on, but for others there is an elevation of hallucinatory activity that begins in the mid-to-late teenage years or early twenties.

Causes
The potential causes are multiplicitous. It may be due to physiological reasons such as a nutritional deficiency/excess or exposure to environmental toxins or chemicals that alter brain chemistry. Or the process may occur through strictly psychological means, where the individual's internal thinking behaviors over a period of years begins a process of neurochemical imbalance. The development of the individual's belief system can largely affect the progression of hallucinations. For instance, someone who develops a very strong belief that there are beings around him that are trying to contact him will predispose his mind to create increasing sensory impressions that surround this belief, and could eventually experience full-blown hallucinations of that very nature. An example of something like this that we all can relate to is if we have a sudden moment of paranoia, like when are walking on a street at night, and thought we heard someone's feet shuffling behind us, and we look and no one is there, and in that heightened state of alarm, our mind may create moving objects in our peripheral field of vision so that we think we saw someone moving in the corner of our eye.

Personal Experience
I always had a crazy imagination since I was a child, but never had real hallucinations. But then I messed with hallucinogenic and dissociative drugs, and that changed things in my brain so that I would experience unwanted hallucinogenic pheonomena even when I was unaffected by a psychoactive substance. At first I experienced motor hallucinations bordering on schizophrenia for a few months after a psilocybin incident, but since then it has mainly been unusual phenomena. One day I was looking at these articles with pictures that had certain words and symbols embedded and hidden within them, and I looked at the pictures for awhile, and after I was done I started freaking out, because everywhere I looked, at a wall, a couch pattern, or grass....everywhere I was seeing words and symbols. I thought I'd finally lost my mind, but it stopped. This taught me that if you focus your mind to believe certain sensory stimuli are there, your mind, if pliable or suggestible, can do a remarkable job of creating those impressions. One other thing is that I see complex, moving, geometrical patterns in my vision at certain times. When I was in an embrace with my ex-girlfriend once, I was feeling blissful, and suddenly in my open-eyed vision there were these exploding swirls of color and patterns. I said, "I'm seeing fireworks." She thought I was being sweet with a little cliche, but she didn't know I was being literal, haha.

Family history - The girl's family is more or less normal... Or maybe, this is what she wants to believe. Her parents are very paranoid people, to the point of being bizzare. They tell her everyday that people don't want nothing from her but to hurt her in a physical sense. They think that if she steps out for just a few hours with friends, that they will lose her to a crazy serial killer, so they always freak out and blwo up her cellphone, screaming at her to come home. Her social life was never easy.

Her sister also shows some very concerning behaviors... But that's a whole different story. The girl's uncle has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia as of last year, and his mother (the girl's grandmother) told her that there were some people on her side of the family that behave the same way as the uncle... Delusions, hallucinations, paranoia... It's pretty frightening, when I think about it. It's like all the pieces of the puzzles are pulling in very quickly into one conclusion.

The girl feels that the things she sees or hears are so realistic that she never stops to think, "Oh, it's just my wild imagination, or stress, or being exhausted..." She literally believes them until she tries to find the causes... To which, scarily, she never finds. :sad:

Someone said something about Halloween. :crazy: This whole thing happens year-round for the girl... Has been for the past 5 years or so.
 

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To expand on what I've said before:
  • Whenever I used to go on "visits" with my psychologically abusive biological father, I would frequently imagine the voices of my mom, brother, and dad, and imagine I could see what they were doing throughout the day. To me it was realer actually than reality - clearer and easier to remember. :unsure:
  • I also saw myself levitating a foot off the ground frequently.
  • I imagined my best friend (and first love) had an aura, a halo, and folded wings behind her back when I first met her, and yes, that was realer than anything to me.
  • I thought werewolves were after me all the time.
  • I always think there are like, ninjas or thieves or sexual predators in the house. Like, any shadowy figure, anything out of the corner of my eye, it's somebody stalking me or something.
  • Sometimes I hear buzzing sounds, violin music, and like, other random things.
  • I turn anything with a face towards the wall so I can sleep at night without seeing their heads turning towards me.
  • I have seen a car (a cool, shiny red sports car) in the living room.
  • I have heard dinosaurs in the kitchen.
  • I've seen floors and ceilings shrink, move, expand, all kinds of things like that.
  • The worst one was kind of recent. I heard my dad speaking to me through my laptop. (WTF?!) He was doing his "threatening" voice, and I thought he was playing some sort of prank. I heard him moving all through the house, saw the shadows of his feet move past the door. I heard him leave in his car. But his voice was still coming through my laptop speakers. I was confused. Nothing I did to the volume controls stopped it. I figured whatever he did, this was a very elaborate prank. His voice kept calling my name, wanted me to respond. I refused, because he was being very annoying. Eventually he stopped. I told my mother about it. Dad was at work the whole time, and he never played any prank. I imagined the whole thing.
My concern about your friend is that when she experiences these episodes, it sounds like she's very naive and sheepish about them, like she wants to give over control to them. Well, you know, they're not real, and you can't always trust the figments of your imagination... it's not actually the hallucinations that bother me, it's her attitude towards them. You know, maybe that's because I've always dealt with mine with an attitude that I was going to remain skeptical and in control. *shrugs*
 

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In light of those extra things you shared, this girl should definitely see a mental health professional if she's willing. It would be the most sensible thing to do.

That's so unfortunate, though, that her parents have implanted such negative ideas in her mind :( I feel sympathy for her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
To expand on what I've said before:
  • Whenever I used to go on "visits" with my psychologically abusive biological father, I would frequently imagine the voices of my mom, brother, and dad, and imagine I could see what they were doing throughout the day. To me it was realer actually than reality - clearer and easier to remember. :unsure:
  • I also saw myself levitating a foot off the ground frequently.
  • I imagined my best friend (and first love) had an aura, a halo, and folded wings behind her back when I first met her, and yes, that was realer than anything to me.
  • I thought werewolves were after me all the time.
  • I always think there are like, ninjas or thieves or sexual predators in the house. Like, any shadowy figure, anything out of the corner of my eye, it's somebody stalking me or something.
  • Sometimes I hear buzzing sounds, violin music, and like, other random things.
  • I turn anything with a face towards the wall so I can sleep at night without seeing their heads turning towards me.
  • I have seen a car (a cool, shiny red sports car) in the living room.
  • I have heard dinosaurs in the kitchen.
  • I've seen floors and ceilings shrink, move, expand, all kinds of things like that.
  • The worst one was kind of recent. I heard my dad speaking to me through my laptop. (WTF?!) He was doing his "threatening" voice, and I thought he was playing some sort of prank. I heard him moving all through the house, saw the shadows of his feet move past the door. I heard him leave in his car. But his voice was still coming through my laptop speakers. I was confused. Nothing I did to the volume controls stopped it. I figured whatever he did, this was a very elaborate prank. His voice kept calling my name, wanted me to respond. I refused, because he was being very annoying. Eventually he stopped. I told my mother about it. Dad was at work the whole time, and he never played any prank. I imagined the whole thing.
My concern about your friend is that when she experiences these episodes, it sounds like she's very naive and sheepish about them, like she wants to give over control to them. Well, you know, they're not real, and you can't always trust the figments of your imagination... it's not actually the hallucinations that bother me, it's her attitude towards them. You know, maybe that's because I've always dealt with mine with an attitude that I was going to remain skeptical and in control. *shrugs*
You have some crazy sh*t going on in your mind, dude. :confused: LOL!

Bold words- I don't understand what you meant by this... Everyone would turn sheepish when they experience something out of the ordinary. It's a normal human reaction.
 

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You have some crazy sh*t going on in your mind, dude. :confused: LOL!

Bold words- I don't understand what you meant by this... Everyone would turn sheepish when they experience something out of the ordinary. It's a normal human reaction.
Yeah, I know. Sometimes I'm afraid to sleep at night, because I have no damn control over my dreamscape, and I know that can go horribly awry.

Well, then, I must be inhuman. I don't just automatically go along with of my episodes, I question them, and if they're illogical (or it just seems like a bad idea to get too into them, trust them, whatever), then I choose to treat them as false.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, I know. Sometimes I'm afraid to sleep at night, because I have no damn control over my dreamscape, and I know that can go horribly awry.

Well, then, I must be inhuman. I don't just automatically go along with of my episodes, I question them, and if they're illogical (or it just seems like a bad idea to get too into them, trust them, whatever), then I choose to treat them as false.
Well, if you can question them and see if they are illogical, then I don't think you're out of your mind. Maybe it's something that you eat (allergic reaction or something) or maybe you, uh... Smoke a bit too many trees? :tongue: Nah, I'm kidding, but I could see how recreational drugs can do that to someone after a while.

When someone doesn't question them and goes along with these hallucinations, and believe they are experiencing something realistic and life-like... Then it's a cause for concern. Insanity is basically... Throwing logic out the window.
 

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My brother asked me who I was talking with in the bathroom. Tee hee, that probably doesn't mean anything. ^^;;
<.< I told him I didn't say anything. Maybe I was whispering really loudly.
 
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Well, if you can question them and see if they are illogical, then I don't think you're out of your mind. Maybe it's something that you eat (allergic reaction or something) or maybe you, uh... Smoke a bit too many trees? :tongue: Nah, I'm kidding, but I could see how recreational drugs can do that to someone after a while.

When someone doesn't question them and goes along with these hallucinations, and believe they are experiencing something realistic and life-like... Then it's a cause for concern. Insanity is basically... Throwing logic out the window.
I have done no drugs at all that were that interesting. However, my biological father may have had a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder, and also, my childhood development was super traumatic, so those combined factors might have something to do with it.

I thought that was personality. I mean, insanity is experiencing disordered thought, and personality is allowing it to flow.
 
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