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I work for a TV company that makes films/shows for the BBC and US networks.

I'm researching information about hallucinations that have been caused by medication.

I'm really keen to speak to individuals who have experienced something like this or know someone who has. Or anyone with information on this subject matter would be quite helpful.

I'm currently at the research stage of this project so your help and insight would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks,


I experience Hypnagogic hallucinations.

Hypnagogic hallucinations are hallucinations which occur at the boundary between sleeping and waking. They can occur when people are falling asleep, or when they are starting to wake up, and they tend to be extremely vivid. I will usually have them when I am just about to fall asleep. My brain is in REM mode while I am still conscious and I will see things around my room. It is never frightening or scary imagery. My subconscious will mix fantasy with reality. Last time it happened I saw the closet door open, and seconds later I snapped out of it, and it was closed. I also woke up to find a bunch of purple balloons floating in my bedroom, and when I realized it wasn't real they simply disappeared. When it happens upon waking up for me, the images tend to be linked to whatever I was dreaming. For example, I was dreaming aboutsome crazy zoo thing with abunch of amazona rainforest type vines. I opened my eyes and the lightfixture on theceiling over my bed wascompletely covered invines and they were hanging off of it and dangling down toward me (moving as if alive), and then suddenly vanished when I became fully conscious. Although not scarry in the supernatiral way, they are extremely annoying. I will often have a difficult time falling asleep because it almost always starts to happen and then I am jerked back into being fully awake for a while before finally going to sleep. The only time it was scary was when I hadwatched ahorror movie and started hallucinating inthenight; Iopened my eyes and my dog (a small Yorkie) was sitting uo in front of my face. He was really there, but he looked all gray like he was dusty, and his eyes were all messed up looking asthough he were a zombie dog or something, then I snapped out of it. Again, it was linked to what I had been dreaming, and I had just watched a horror movie the night before so that was on my mind.

Also, more often that "seeing" things, I will become very disoriented and wake up panicked that my baby is in the bed with me and I can't find her - like she is wrapped up in the covers -and I tear the bed apart searching for her before I snap out of it and realize she is in her crib safe and sound. My husband has gotten annoyed with this many times. This happens to me every few days. I will forage through my blankets desperately looking for her - it is always the hallucination that my baby is in trouble. I have also,manytimes, grabbed my husbands arms or legin thenightwhen hewould move and freak out on him because he "will crush the baby." Again,Ialways seem to think that sheisin bedwith us. This is themain reasonwhy I DO NOT let her sleep in bed with us. If I never do it, then I will always know right away that I am hallucinating since it isn't possible that she is actually there. The other night I thought she was stuck between the bars on my vanity chair (which is right next to my bed), like she had crawled through them and gotten stuck, and I was pulling the chair all over the place to "get her loose." I usually feel quite rediculus when I snap out of it. These little "spells" never last more than a few seconds. Maybe 7 or 8 seconds at the maximum. Usually by the time I am able to focus my vision on the imagery I am seeing I realize it isn't real and it fades away. The whole disoriented, panic where I am somewhat sleep walking usually lasts the longest (7 or 8 seconds). Oh, I have also woken up alltheway acrosstheroombefore franticallytrying to findsomething or turnon the lightswitch (no where near where theswitch is actuallylocated.) I guess sleep walking is part of this process. As an adolescent I used to sleep walk, I dream pretty much nightly, and have always talked in my sleep. Myabe that is why I was a perfect candidate for this awesomely annoying sleep disorder.

Ok,so down to the causeof my hallucinations: I have Graves Disease which is a type of hyperthyroidism. I take this nasty medicine called Propylthiouracil (also known as PTU) that has nasty side effects, including what is called "loss of taste" - which is actually the opposite if you ask me - for about an hour after I take it my entire mouth, tongue and taste buds taste like I drank clorox bleach. I do not think that the medicine caused the hallucinations however, as the research I conducted said that hyperthyroidism itself can cause the hallucinations, especially if the medical condition goes untreated. However, I did not start having the hallucinations until a few months after I began taking the medication, and I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism for at least a year before the hallucinations started and before I started the medicine (PTU). So now I am wondering if maybe it is the meds?

Note: I was going through a great deal of stress and became moderately depressed around the time that I began having the hallucinations, so maybe that contributed to them. Lately I have had relief from a great deal of the stress, and have not experienced any hallucinations recently.
ALSO - I take two other medications (for blood pressure) in conjunction with the PTU - so maybethecombination is having an effect onme as well? I take Labetalol and Hydralazine. I have to take these as the hyperthyroidism caused my blood pressure to go out of whack and be high all the time.

I have not been diagnosed with the hallucinations by my doctor as of yet though. It really isn't happening as often as it was before, and I did thourough research on it myself and discovered the source. I was also sort of embarrassed at first to tell my dr because I don't want him to think I have a mental disorder (although these hallucinations are actually considered a sleeping disorder). I am not gonna worry about it unless it gets really bad, or becomes frequent. I know what it is, and I take comfort in just that knowledge.

Hope this info helps in your reasearch. Feel free to let me know if you find out anything else that may be related to my specific experiences and condition. Best of luck.


My name is Todd I am 21. I'm writing about what I experienced after taking the drug that was prescribed to me, Zoloft. I went to the doctor and told them my anxiety was getting worst because of some stressful events that had happened. So the prescribed me Zoloft, 50mg. I took 1 like the bottle said and ate right after. About 2 hours into it I started getting nervous and fidgety. My girlfriend and I went out to eat, she drove. While I was in the car it got worse. By the time I had sat down to eat I couldn't control the shaking. I couldn't even hold my hotdog. So we left and i continued to shake and fidget with things. We were almost home and I looked up at the sky and I can only describe it as the feeling I got when I did acid. For the next 5 hours I continued to hallucinate and I always had to be moving. Because I have experimented with hallucinogenics, I was able to remain positive and just role with the trip. The trip was intense and deep. I just want to know if this has happened before and why it happened to me