Forums


General Discussions

Hallucinations during migraine?

  • By Livvy

    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.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    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

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
    • By Caroline

      Hello! I haven’t contributed before, but have started recently having auditory hallucinations associated with my chronic migraines. This is a recent thing and I’m finding it to be incredibly scary, because is voices and it’s the same voices and conversations and have been continuous for almost a week, now. I will be seeing my neurologist today, but it is amazingly frightening and I have figured out that it’s me and the voices that belong to my husband, parents and mother-in-law, no matter how much I search my house, they aren’t here. I went online to see if this was something real or was I going insane. Thank you for helping me see that I’m not alone in this!

      Praying for relief, soon!
      Caroline B.

      Reply Created with Sketch. reply
    • By Jojiieme

      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 😉

      Reply Created with Sketch. reply
    • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

      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

      Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By Meaghan Coneys Moderator

    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)

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By Livvy

    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. 🙁

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By Jojiieme

    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.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By Meaghan Coneys Moderator

    Hi Livvy,

    My sincerest apologies. I incorrectly labeled your experience and I apologize for that. My intent was to validate what you saw and normalize it, as some people who have chronic migraine have similar experiences. I stressed seeing your MD because you mentioned stress and feeling like your brain is swelling (at times). I thought it would be helpful to rule out anything more serious. Again, I am sorry and I am really happy you are here. We do love hearing from you and are happy you are a part of our community.

    Warm Regards,

    Meaghan (Migraine.com Team)

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By Sirus

    This is an old post so I will be brief if you experience Chronic Migraines that usually last 48 hours and longer are light sensitive very painful cause vomiting and delirium yes you can experience Hallucinating and will see things its part of a migraine. As someone who has experienced Chronic migraines for ten years can assure you it is normal. Livvy is referring to the stress her head is under not stress management.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By Gilly

    I am 6 days into a mild migraine and I have been hallucinating for all this time. I see people, animals and furniture (worse at night when I lay down) which makes sleep almost impossible.
    I know these are not real but I stumble into other things as I try to miss the hallucinations. I mostly see patterns on any plain surface and this is very distracting. I was admitted to hospital for 10 days in 2010 and since then, up to this attack, I have not seen anything when I get migraine.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By GardensatNight

    My aura used to be black spots over in my peripheral vision. They looked exactly like a spider or a small something. I would freak out and turn, and then nothing would be there. Current aura is sparkly dots in front of eyes that persist until migraine passes. I also have very vivid dreams during that time, although not hallucinations when I am awake other than the sparkly dots.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By Kernow

    I get audio hallucinations and can swear certain music is being played. I was in the shower the other day for example and could clearly hear Jolene by Dolly Parton, but no one else was in and no radio etc on. Sometimes, I find them amusing except it’s just a clear signal that I’m not feeling well.

    I also get visual hallucinations and sometimes see things in the garden like foxes, which aren’t there. The audio ones are prevalent though. Just as well I’m a Dolly fan!

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Kernow,

    Thank you for sharing that with us and being part of our discussion forum!

    Are you able to treat during this phase? Sometimes if we can treat it a migraine attack early enough, we may be able to stop the attack.

    Just an idea you can bring to your doctor.
    Nancy

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By lizlight

    I just finally got on some migraine meds and didn’t even realize how much I was hallucinating. Things would just pop into my vision or disappear. Walls crawl. Things grow. You are not alone, or weird or going crazy.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By absentminded

    Hey Livvy

    I know this post is quite old but holy s*&^, I hope you see this and it gives you some comfort. Your post comforted me.

    I have chronic migraines and have never experienced visual hallucinations until the other day. I kept seeing flickers of light, shadows, and even spiders. Of course there were no spiders, shadows, etc. Nor did they startle me, it was just.. interesting.

    Hopefully your migraines aren’t treating you too terribly. Thanks again for the post, very reassuring!!

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By PeterMarwood

    Hi all,

    I have had visual hallucinations around my migraines since childhood. It’s almost always out of the corner of my eye, and it’s usually seeing something move that isn’t there when I look, or just the presence of something there that isn’t. A variation is that I will mistake one object for another (a fallen traffic cone was a dog about to run in front of my car, same spot, three days running). They are often more frequent in the build up to a migraine, and the more frequent and realistic, the worse the migraine.

    It took years to realise I wasn’t crazy, and I stopped telling people about them as I wasn’t taken seriously, or seen as weird. Eventually, when I worked out what it was, I just ignored them, or used them as trackers for what was going to come. I also discovered my father had them, and explained to him that it just isn’t normal.

    I am on Trokendi XR and Botox, and almost never see them any more. I don’t miss them. In response the the original post, when I was a teenager I saw a cat run through my friend’s kitchen when I was 16. She said that she didn’t have a cat. It was very, very weird.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply