I was recently asked about hallucinations. They are not uncommon for a bi-polar person to experience, and I’ve certainly had my own. I guess that makes me an authority?
First off, I want to make it clear that these are not those crazy directive hallucinations that tell you “Freddy is the devil” or “Kill your wife and children” (or in my case, husband). These are just run of the mill, everyday glitches in brain chemistry that cause you to think you are experiencing something that you’re not.
For instance, I hear music on a regular basis that doesn’t really play. It can be metal/screamo or Mexican fiesta or anywhere in between. It doesn’t matter that I never listen to these genres, it’s still there. Sometimes there are actual words and other times it’s just a faint melody with a beat to it. Always it doesn’t make sense.
Which is how you know you’re experiencing a hallucination by the way…it just doesn’t make sense. I once hallucinated a visit from a neighbor. I could have sworn I heard his truck and saw his headlights. I heard the truck doors slam and his voice talking in the yard. The thing that tipped me off is that the dogs didn’t bark. My dogs are alert barkers extraordinaire, and not a peep from one of them. I knew not to go to the door and not to expect a knock, because he wasn’t really there (a relief to me in my nightie, I assure you.).
All in all they are mundane (yet exasperating) experiences. The first time it was a little unreal, but I was able to tell myself “Oh, this is what the hype is all about.” After that, you just ignore them and tell them (at least mentally tell them) to go away, you’re to busy for this nonsense. Oh, and you hope you don’t get caught having one, because being caught is infinitesimally worse than the actual experience. Being caught means that someone normal will know your secret and label you and tell on you. This will set you apart from the rest of the world in a manner that can never be reversed (or corrected, as I like to think). You will be lumped in with the globulous population known as the “mentally ill”, never to be trusted or looked at as a real human being again.
We’re really good at covering up what we experience too. There are a million excuses or explanations. “I was just talking to my dog.” covers a multitude of things (Why do you think I HAVE a service dog anyway?). It’s amazing how little attention people pay to what we actually do.
So, if you see me bopping to a really good beat that you can’t hear, and I say I’ve just got a song stuck in my head, I bet I make you wonder from now on.