Mental health is a very wide or vast field of human science. In studying this subject, we will surely encounter a lot of words and terms that are quite difficult for us to understand and differentiate. One of the most common conditions associated with mental health is none other than schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that can cause different and bizarre symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations. These two terminologies are commonly encountered when it comes to dealing with psychotic disorders. However, many of us are still unaware of the difference between the two words. Some of us may think of them as synonymous, but these terms are actually very different from each other. But what is the difference between hallucinations and delusions?
Delusions are defined as a type of symptom of many mental disorders, most particularly schizophrenia. Other mental problems that also exhibit this kind of reaction are schizophreniform disorder, schizoaffective disorder and delusional disorder. But what are delusions? Delusions are defined as false or erroneous beliefs that are usually involved in misinterpretation of different perceptions and/or experiences. This type of symptoms is further divided into 5 different types namely grandiose, religious, somatic, persecutory and referential.
The most common delusion among the five is persecutory. This type of delusion shows a person that is in false belief of being tormented, tortured, tricked, ridiculed or even spied on. Referential delusions are also considered common and are described as a person who always believes that some actions, words, quotes, gestures and even passages in many reading materials are directly or specifically addressed to him or her. Grandiose delusion is defined as the false belief of oneself as someone who is powerful, well known and idolized by many. Most individuals with this type of delusion usually think of himself or herself as a celebrity or a well known personality.
Hallucinations on the other hand are described as a false perception without the influence of any stimuli. This type of symptom usually appears only in schizophrenic or psychotic people. Just like delusions, hallucination also has 5 different types namely auditory, visual, tactile, gustatory and olfactory. As we can see these types are all based on senses. This shows that hallucination is the false perception of what they can sense from the surroundings of the environment. Out of the 5, the most common hallucination is the auditory. This is usually exhibited through the hearing of voices, either familiar or unfamiliar, that is considered distinct in the person’s own thoughts. Visual hallucinations, on the other hand, talk about the false perception of seeing someone or something that is not really there. These are just some of the important differences between delusions and hallucinations.