July 13, 2005


I have to write about these rather strange hallucinations I experience quite often, completely undisturbing and rather like watching a movie or a dream, which I think they might rather be, though I am completely awake at the time.

I usually am doing something absorbing, like a craft project or cleaning something mindless and suddenly some people appear, first in my peripheral vision, then in front of me, and start talking, perfectly normally and having a conversation about something. They are clearly visible though reduced in size and perfectly, utterly normal in every way. Once they were a mother and daughter arguing about whether or not the daughter should take horseback riding lessons when she wouldn't clean her bedroom, and the mother was being very unreasonable about it, but stopped when I interrupted to tell her so...then a billionaire 50 year old man and his brother appeared on the gangplank to a yacht and I knew the man was an A-hole and the brother was a decent sort from the clothes they were wearing, the 50 year old in posh get-up and his brother in white jeans and a normal striped shirt, like an ordinary sailor. Then a lady in a yellow hat appeared and was about to board the yacht when I got mad and told the 50 year old to cut it out, his brother was a better man than he was. He looked startled at this evaluation and shut up...

That's just to give you a flavor of the sort of things that happen in these hallucinations. They don't disturb me a bit and they NEVER berate me or have anything to do with me. I am completely extraneous to the discussions unless I intervene to save someone, and then I usually win the argument or stop the fight, which is usually what is happening, people arguing about something or some injustice occuring.

The famed Dr O, as I call her, who is a sleep doc as well as a shrink, suspects that these may be the sort of hallucinations that are really REM sleep, or dream states, occuring when one is awake. It can happen in narcolepsy, which some of you may know I have had since I was about 20. I have long had a problem with REM states occuring in such a way that I can't tell if something was a dream or happened when I was awake, but usually it is the other way around: usually I dream things and think they happened in real life, not that I am awake and really dreaming...Hmmm, I think those things are different, aren't they? Anyhow, I'm usually in bed, clearly asleep when the other mistakes happen, even if it's awake that the confusion occurs. At these other times I KNOW I'm awake and aware, but the hallucinations happen anyway.

Does this happen to anyone else? This is the reason I wanted to know if anyone else suffered from diagnosed narcolepsy. If not, I'd love to know if this sort of thing is familiar to others without narcolepsy, so I'd know that in fact it isn't that after all. What do you think it is? Is it as strange as it sounds, or something any of you have frequently, or even occasionally, gone through?

Posted by pamwagg at July 13, 2005 04:09 PM


ive had similar experiences - now diagnosed as hallucinatory sleep paralysis -
you might find some of the info on the following links useful -

dunno whether this stuff applies to your symptoms but it helped me understand my condition a little better.
wont say much more, but i hope this helps - let me know please if it does.
take care and best wishes!


Posted by: scott at April 26, 2006 06:25 PM

Dear Feebe,
Since you know me so well, you are aware that I do not experience hallucinations. Many times you have described your experiences, and this blog makes them seem much less threatening and fearful as I had perceived them to be before. The fact that you are merely a disinterested viewer of what appears before you, and you are not part of whatever is going on, is fascinating to me. Particularly the fact that you can, at will, intervene and act as an arbiter of sorts, for the first time seems to put you in control as opposed to being controlled by your disease. This is in keeping with the positive spirit so evident in your "Contentment" blog. You have spent so long in hell. It's about time you are experiencing a taste of heaven. That's where angels belong, you know.
Lovingly, Your Paula

Posted by: Paula Kirkpatrick at July 13, 2005 10:10 PM

Post a comment

Please enter this code to enable your comment -
Remember Me?