Hallucinations are commonly associated with mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and substance abuse. It’s a disturbance of perception. Any information which is coming through a sensory organ is called perception. There are five basic perceptions.
So hallucination is a false perception in the absence of any object. If something exists but is perceived falsely, it becomes an illusion. Four criteria must be fulfilled before we can call perception a hallucination. The first criteria are the definition itself that it’s a false perception. The second criteria are hallucinations are as vivid as real perception. Now, real perceptions have a quality of what we call less vividness.
There are five types of hallucinations:
Auditory hallucinations: It means hearing something which does not exist. The persons with these auditory hallucinations hear something not there, but they’ll listen to some sound inside or outside. All these types of hallucinations will call auditory hallucinations.
Visual hallucinations: It means seeing something which does not exist or appear. People can see something others cannot see, which does not exist. This type of hallucination will call visual hallucination.
Tactile hallucinations: It is feeling something like with the touch. They feel something that does not exist, like they feel that tickles without doing anyone. These are all called tactile hallucinations.
Olfactory and gustatory hallucinations: It means the smells they smell, something that does not exist and others cannot experience.
So these are all types of hallucinations, which may coexist with a mini kind of other disorders like schizophrenia and affective disorder, dementia, and Alzheimer’s sleep disorders.
Many types of disorders can coexist and appear singly and with the differentiation of symptoms that doctors or therapists know. Also, CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy will significantly help this type of person.
Books about hallucinations help a deeper understanding of how the brain processes sensory information and can sometimes misinterpret or generate perceptions that aren’t based on reality.
5 Books About Hallucinations (Psychological Fiction)
Hallucinations occur in the outer and the external world, or hallucinations occur in outer and objective space. So anything that is happening outside the body is outer and objective space.
For perception to be a hallucination, it must be in outer and objective space. Hallucinations are not under the willful control of the person. There are many movies and books based on hallucinations. Here I am going to talk about five books about hallucinations. They’ll expand your perspective on various aspects of the human experience. Let’s go!
1. Lunar Park
Lunar Park is about how this book has affected and changed Bret Ellis’s life for better or worse. Also, it’s a mock memoir. It begins as if it’s the autobiography of Bret Easton Ellis. However, the story is fictional, and Bret appears in the novel as a highly fictionalized version of real-life-like hallucinations. While the book touches on his homosexuality in the story, he has a wife, a son, and a stepdaughter; all three are entirely fictional characters.
So the book is an exciting blend between fact and fiction. It’s a metafiction piece about merging Bret’s life and his fictional worlds. It is also a commentary on the writing process and a subtle satire on celebrity culture. Bret Ellis has said he was a huge Stephen King fan growing up, and Lunar Park is ultimately his tribute to King.
So you can see a Stephen King influence on this novel. There are elements of The Shining, the Monkey, and Even the Dark Tower. But what Lunar Park reminded me of the most was Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, the seventh film in The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise.
In the book, you find out that he had a relationship with an actress at a certain point. Also, they had a kid together, even though he tried to deny it initially. This woman ends up having another child with somebody else, but Ellis tries reconnecting with this woman and his son at a certain point.
This woman offers him a shot at redemption, so he and this woman get married. In the beginning, Ellis claims that he’s a changed man. You realize that he’s still doing drugs and even sleeping with this girl at the college he’s currently teaching at.
In the novel, weird things begin happening to Bret. He is also experiencing paranormal activity at his house. It appears that he’s haunted by an evil, possibly demonic presence that primarily possesses his stepdaughter. This ghost or demon is causing the natural world and Ellis’s fictional world or hallucinations to overlap horrifyingly.
Lunar Park is an exciting mix between a metafiction piece, a domestic drama about fatherhood, and a horror novel. It goes from being funny to scary to deeply moving and even heartbreaking.
Author: Bret Easton Ellis
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Self-Help & Psychology Humor
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle
2. True Hallucinations
True Hallucinations is about Terence McKenna’s discovery in the Amazon with his brother and a couple of friends. The story is that they were reading about they heard about the mysterious plant called the Kouhei. It was a mysterious, sacred plant from a local tribe in the Amazon, and they wanted to have the adventure to go there and figure out where this plant was and try it and see what they could learn about it.
So they venture out to the Amazon, to this place called Lecturer in the Columbia. It is about their adventures there, mainly focusing on an incident of what they were trying to do. There’s an experiment that Terence was trying to do in which they were trying to synthesize some Philosopher’s Stone through some transdimensional alchemical things. They were trying to do these things with sonic sound resonance as they were doing things in particular. They were trying to condense energy into one specific point while after, they would.
They find lots of psychedelic mushrooms, and that’s what they end up taking throughout the trip. Terence talks about hearing the voice of the mushrooms. The mushrooms are giving him wisdom from their intergalactic life spans. He talks about the stuff in a very lucid manner that invites the possibility that what he’s saying is quite true, and it’s a very interesting hallucination.
Author: Terence McKenna
Average Rating: 4.8/5
Category: Parapsychology, Unexplained Mysteries
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover
3. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is paranormal, centering around the main character, Mara Dyer. She is the only survivor of this mysterious accident that killed her three friends. No one knows what happened. The only person who would know what happened would be her, but she doesn’t remember.
So most of the intrigue of this book is that Mary Dyer is a very mentally unstable character, and as such, she is a very unreliable narrator. Sometimes she deals with hallucinations and fantasies. Michelle Hodkin is great at creating an atmosphere that makes you question reality. So getting back to characters, Mara is a delightful character. Then she has a creepy aspect, which makes for this dynamic character. We have Noah Shaw. He’s witty and funny.
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Mystery, Detective, & Spy, Parapsychology
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | MP3 CD
4. Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
Illusions starts with the main character, Richard Back. The author was flying from town to town in his biplane, offering rides for three dollars a pop, and he got this idea. What would happen if I encountered a messiah doing the same thing as me? How would that go about? What would happen? That’s what this book is. So in this book, he meets Don, and Don is a messiah who quits. He didn’t want to be a messiah anymore.
So Richard comes across Don, and Don starts training him to be a messiah. They came to see miracles. It was hallucinating. So the illusion that this refers to is everything is an illusion. Beauty is real, so you can’t count on anything to be real. You can’t count on anything, but you can appreciate it nonetheless. Does that make sense? To paraphrase a quote from this book: You are never given a dream without the means to accomplish the goal.
Author: Richard Bach
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Consciousness & Thought Philosophy, Metaphysical & Visionary Fiction
Available: Mass Market Paperback | Paperback | Library Binding | Kindle | Audio Cassette
5. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: and Other Clinical Tales
This book was written in 1985 by British neurologist Oliver Sacks, who described The Case Histories of some of his patients. According to the author, the brain is the most incredible thing in the universe. The book’s title was chosen from one of the cases mentioned in the book about a patient who got a visual signature disorder. Visual amnesia is a neurological condition that leaves him unable to recognize faces or objects.
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat consists of twenty-four essays, each explaining and exploring different disorders and doctors’ approaches to those cases, to mention a few. A person who cannot form new memories due to the course of the syndrome. The disembodied lady the unique case of a woman who lost all of her proper reception senses.
Proper reception is the ability of your body to feel your body parts and their position. The man who fell out of bed about the young person couldn’t believe his leg belonged to him, and some people have hallucinations or delusions.
When Oliver Sacks was working with his patients, most of those disorders were very new, and little was known about them. So Oliver Sacks and most of the specialists of that time had to create a new field of medicine. Also, you can imagine that most illnesses and diseases were treated with suspicion and prejudice.
The book is mainly important not for some knowledge you can find but for the doctor’s approach to the new cases in his field of interest. So it should be interesting for the psychology majors and medical students and everybody.
Author: Oliver Sacks
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Medicine & Psychology, Psychologist Biographies
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | MP3 CD
Romance Books About Hallucinations
A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar: This non-fiction book tells the story of a mathematician who struggled with schizophrenia. The book explores his personal and romantic relationships while delving into the challenges his hallucinations pose.
Night Road by Kristin Hannah: This novel incorporates grief, loss, and the healing power of love. The story follows a woman who experiences vivid dreams and visions after a tragic event. Her romantic relationship plays a significant role in her journey of self-discovery and recovery.
Darkness Visible by William Styron: This memoir depicts the author’s struggle with depression, occasionally involving hallucinatory experiences. It focuses on his illness’s impact on his relationships, including his marriage.
The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson: This young adult novel combines romance and supernatural mystery. The story follows a girl who moves to a small town where mysterious disappearances occur every October. As she falls in love, she begins to experience strange visions and questions her sanity.
These books are informative and thought-provoking. It’s essential to approach the subject matter with an open mind and respect for those who experience hallucinations as part of their daily lives.
More Psychological Books:
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