What is the difference between hallucinations and PTSD flashbacks? I have always denied hallucinations, but acknowledged that I do have flashbacks of high entensive combat of Vietnam, 1968. What is the difference, if any?
Also, I have noticed that those that acknowledge hallucinations receive a lower GAF score and a higher PTSD disability rating. Yep, its the rating schedule, I know, but I don't see the difference. One guy told me that he wakes up at night and "sees" a few soldiers at the foot of his bed, talking about something. I've never seen or heard anything like that. I just see myself in an Army body bag dead and it makes me very nervous and I cry for about 2 minutes, max. Sometimes it happens 3 times a day..... is that a hallucination?
Interesting, I had never thought about it too much.
I cannot recall ever "seeing" myself dead! Intense fear of dying, others dying around me, highly charged night time events with nobody getting killed seems the routine..
Oh, yes, there is a $BIG difference between flashbacks and hallucinations.... like $1,000s in your disability rating. BIG-time difference. In establishing a GAF, there are a few critical issues to be determined:
1) do you have hallucinations?
2) do you think about suicide and/or have you attempted suicide?
3) have you been hospitalized for your mental problems?
YES, Sir. If the answer is yes to those..... you will receive a much higher rating, for sure. I have always denied hallucinations, but now not sure if my experiences are hallucinations versus flashbacks.
|Facilitator, Veterans Issues|
I do not think so, but you are now asking for a professional opinion. I gather some definitions to try and help.
A flashback is a psychological phenomenon in which an individual has a sudden, usually vivid, recollection of a past experience. The term is used particularly when the memory is recalled involuntarily, and/or when it is so intense that the person "relives" the experience, unable to fully recognize it as memory and not something that is happening in "real time". The medical term for the phenomenon is "hypnagogic regression".
Flashbacks are not necessarily episodic — that is, the re-experienced memories may not include specific identifying features (such as images and sounds) that were part of the original event or experience. Because there is a strong emotional component to memory as well, flashbacks can occur as a rush of feelings, emotions, and sensations associated with a traumatic event. This is especially true for young children who were lacking the cognitive abilities needed to define and characterize the trauma when they experienced it, but who may, nevertheless, relive all of the emotions associated with the traumatic event. In addition, those adult survivors of childhood trauma who have solely these emotional memories to draw on, also may experience them in flashbacks.
A hallucination is a perception in the absence of a stimulus. Hallucinations may occur in any sensory modality—visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, proprioceptive, equilibrioceptive, nociceptive, thermoceptive. Hallucinations are different from illusions. In an illusory experience, a genuine sensation is attributed to an incorrect cause, misinterpreting a coat hanging on a door to be an intruder or thinking there is water on a hot road, due to the heat rising from the road. A delusional perception is where a genuine perception (ie. correctly sensed and interpreted) is given some additional (and typically bizarre) significance. Hypnagogic hallucinations and hypnopompic hallucinations are considered normal phenomena. Hypnagogic hallucinations can occur as one is falling asleep and hypnopompic hallucinations occur when one is waking up.
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