Avatar universal

Hallucinations and lack of sleep

Over the past week or two, for the first time in my life, I've been experiencing visual hallucinations -- vivid, lifelike images that scare the he** out of me. This tends to happen in the evening or nighttime when I happen to awaken. I'll notice a person in my room, just standing there and staring at me. I kind of notice it out of the corner of my eye. Then, I stare right at the image...and it immediately vanishes.

Needless to say, I've been freaking out and am afraid this is going to keep happening. I have bipolar disorder, but my current mood is stable. In the past, during extreme depressions or manic episodes, I've had psychotic delusions. But  never, ever anything visual.

What's different now, my gut tells me, is that I've been getting considerably less sleep than usual. About a month ago, my brother gave me a new laptop. Before that, I'd been off the Web for a long time. Now, the old Internet addiction seems to be rearing its ugly head again and I find myself at the keyboard morning, afternoon and night. Sometimes until 2 a.m. And then I'll wake up at 5 or 6 a.m. to start surfing again.

All the Websites I've read that discuss hallucinations point to sleep deprivation as a possible trigger. But I'm not going for long stretches of days with NO sleep; I've just cut down on the amount slept each night.

I'm fully aware that I need to set limits and reduce my laptop usage for my own good. That's going to be my challenge.

I can think of only two other possible causes of the hallucinations:

1. I take Abilify and Depakote, and sometimes psychoactive drugs have strange, rare side effects.
2. I am a kidney dialysis patient, and the Web tells me a very uncommon condition called dialysis disequilibrium syndrome, experienced during or after the treatments, can involve confusion, cognitive problems, or -- you guessed it -- hallucinations.

I would appreciate any feedback or thoughts from readers. There must be some in the community who have also gone through this, or know someone who has, or have a greater understanding than I do. Thanks.
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973741 tn?1342342773
Sincerely, talk to your doctor.  Hallucinations before sleep are often a indicator of an actual sleep disorder. Narcolepsy that is atypical comes to mind. Your primary care doctor can get you rolling to a specialist and you could do a sleep study. Then they know.  It's really helpful.  Improper sleep does impact mental health significantly.  But which came first here?

Now, you are some heavy hitters with medication.  What is your diagnosis?  Bipolar? Here is info about those two drugs combined.  https://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/abilify-with-depakote-233-109-918-484.html  Are you in a manic phase? I am wondering if visiting with your prescribing doctor to discuss if you are on the right dosage or combination might not also help you.  Not saying it would, but possibly.  I know that treating the main issue and functioning is most important so if that's good (bipolar is even, then that's good). My son took abilitfy and was WIRED from it. He was on a very low dose but couldn't tolerate it (as in up for 48 straight hours with zero ability to sleep ).

I'm sure this is scary for you.  I'd look at if it is a medication issue first, poor sleep habits second, and sleep disorder on top of things third.  Or a manifestation of whatever disorder you have that causes you to take those two meds.  

Let us know! I'll be following.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
You need proper sleep, but you aren't getting it. No one forces you to be on the web, so you can time manage that and get more sleep. After you sleep properly for a week, then you will find out if the  hallucinations  stop, and can make a go forward plan accordingly..
Helpful - 0
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