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Hallucinations during migraine?

Hi,
I'm not sure if I am just imagining this but when I was in one room today I saw from the corner of my eye my little cat run past the doorway, he is black and I saw a little black shadow but then I realized he was sound asleep in another room. Then I thought I saw a spider or something but there definitely wasn't anything there at all. I half believe in ghostly cats and have some loved cats gone to Rainbow Bridge... but I also wondered if you can have these kind of hallucinations during a migraine. I know about the auras (I've never had that) and flashes of light (I've had a few tiny ones) but not seeing ghost kitties running about! 😀 Or is my dearly departed kitty here to comfort me perhaps?

I'm hoping not to see any ghouls or anything though. 🙁 I'm just kidding, I don't feel afraid but I know my brain and mind go through so much stress and perhaps even swelling during these episodes.

  1. Hi Livvy,

    Thank you for your question, let's see what information I can give you that may help.

    It is possible to have olfactory hallucinations; smelling things that aren't there, and auditory hallucinations; hearing things that aren't there during the aura phase. Visual hallucinations like seeing cats that aren't there aren't typical, but I've heard from patients who have experienced similar things. We have information on migraine aura in this article;
    https://migraine.com/migraine-basics/migraine-phases/.

    If this is a new and/or different symptom, please discuss it with your doctor so he can rule out anything more serious.

    Nancy

    1. Caroline, hi.
      I had really strong auditory hallucinations as a teenager and younger adult, especially when my Alice in Wonderland symptoms were in play... of course I didn’t know anything about any of this Migraine World we live in then, just thought I felt weird or uncomfortable, and later my head would pound (and maybe I’d get my period). Now I’m in my 60s, I sometimes think I’ve heard music that isn’t there - turns out that’s just something human brains are wired to do anyway; and sometimes my thoughts are a little louder than usual.

      If I feel uncomfortable about a symptom, I try to take a breath and close my eyes, release and relax for a minute. Like a mini-meditation.

      Hope this reassures you a little 😉

    2. Hi Caroline B.,

      Thank you for sharing that with us. I am sorry to hear you are experiencing those symptoms. As you can see you're not alone!

      I hope your appointment with your doctor went well. Update us when you get a chance,

      Nancy

  2. Hi Livvy,

    Thanks for posting your message! We are happy to hear from you. That must have been an interesting experience - to see your little kitty run by when perhaps it was a hallucination? I could imagine that being a bit startling, maybe scary, or possibly fascinating, but either way it is definitely a good idea to discuss this with your doctor. It sounds like this is a new experience for you, in which we always suggest the best course of action is to consult with your doctor so that he or she may help you gain a deeper understanding of its manifestation and how it could potentially be connected to your migraine attacks.

    You did mention auras, so here is an article which identifies various forms of auras that you may helpful - https://migraine.com/migraine-symptoms/aura/. Also, this article identifies ways to manage stress associated with chronic migraine - https://migraine.com/infographic/managing-stress/.

    However, again it would probably be best to chat with your doctor regarding your experience. Please keep us posted. We love hearing from you here at Migraine.com and we are happy you are a part of our community.

    Warmly,

    Meaghan (Migraine.com Team)

    1. Hi,
      Okay, I'm kind of regretting writting this post and would delete it if I knew how. I didn't see my cat in detail, just a small movement or shadow which I know many people in my life have said they've seen something from the corner of their eye. I ASSUMED it was my cat. I wasn't scared at all. I wrote "I'm not afraid" so please don't assume I'm either startled or shaken. The other time I saw a small flicker which I thought might be a spider but I know migraines cause people to see flikers of light. I don't feel I'm losing my mind and need to see an MD. I don't feel I'm seeing real halucinations. I just feel worse from people telling me to seek help and wish I had never shared this small silly experience. I don't think I'm "crazy". It was clearly a mistake to share this here.

      I also do believe in the afterlife and do believe my cats are still existing somewhere. I don't need to see a doctor for that either. 🙁

      1. What a fascinating account! I'm glad to read it, because now I realise it could be I've been experiencing some of my symptoms for much longer than I've realised.
        When I was about 6 or 7 we moved to a very old house with a long central hallway that was very dark at one end. Nothing unsafe or spooky, but there was a right-angled bend and a mirrored hall stand there, lots of elements for a childish imagination to create romantic tales.
        Often as I was walking around the house on my own I could swear there'd be the outline of a man's head and shoulders floating in the air midway in the hall corner, just out of clear sight. If I turned to look better, it would go. I wasn't scared, in fact it more 'oh, ok, that's just there...' Then I'd go on about the day.
        Continued until I moved out after university. I never told anyone.

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