An internal hallucination is the perception of a visual hallucination that exclusively occurs within an imagined environment which can typically only be viewed with closed eyes, similar to those found within dreams. This is in stark contrast to external hallucinations, which display themselves seamlessly into the external environment as if they were actually happening.
At lower levels, internal hallucinations begin with imagery on the back of a person's eyelids which do not take up the entirety of one's visual field and are distinct from their background. These can be described as spontaneous moving or still images of scenes, concepts, places, and anything one could imagine. The imagery is manifested in varying levels of realism, ranging from ill-defined and cartoon-like in nature to wholly realistic. They rarely hold their form for more than a few seconds before fading or shifting into another image. It is worth noting that this level of intensity occurs in a highly similar manner to that of hypnagogia, the state between sleep and wakefulness.
At higher levels, internal hallucinations become increasingly elaborate as they eventually become all-encompassing, fully-fledged 3D scenes which surround the person in a similar manner to that of dreams. This can create the feeling that one has "broken-through" into another reality. The things which occur within this perceived alternate reality can be anything but fall under common archetypes, such as contact with autonomous entities alongside a wide variety of imagined landscapes, and scenarios.
This effect is capable of manifesting itself across the 5 different levels of intensity described below:
- Enhancement of mental visualization - At the lowest level internal hallucinations can be defined as a distinct enhancement of mental visualisation that a person drifts into when daydreaming or using their imagination. It can be described as a short-term detachment from one's immediate surroundings, during which a person's contact with reality is blurred and partially substituted by an ill-defined fantasy. The details of this internal visualisation are slightly spontaneous or autonomous in nature but are mostly controlled by the content of one's current thought stream.
- Partially defined imagery - At this level, internal hallucinations consist of partially defined, blurred, and faded imagery within a person's visual field.
- Fully defined imagery - At this level, the vividness and intensity increases in a fashion which renders the imagery seen within one's visual field as fully defined and realistic in its appearance.
- Partially defined immersion - At this level, the vividness, scope, and intensity of the hallucinations become all-encompassing in a way which begins to display momentary flashes of scenes which surround the person in an immersive environment in a similar fashion to that of a vague dream. Although all-encompassing, they are often blurred or transparent in appearance, and a person's physical body still feels as if it is partially connected to the real world.
- Fully defined immersion - At the highest level, the internal hallucinations further increase to become all-encompassing in a manner which displays long-lasting scenes which surround the person with an explorable and fully immersive environment which is similar to that of a dream. This occurs in a fashion which is entirely realistic, detailed, and highly vivid in its appearance. It typically also occurs alongside relevant auditory and tactile hallucinations, as well as the sensation that a person has become completely disconnected from their physical body.
The content within these external hallucinations can be further broken down into four distinct subcomponents. These are described and documented within their own dedicated articles, each of which are listed below:
- Autonomous entities
- Object activation
- Perspective hallucination
- Scenarios and plots
- Settings, sceneries, and landscapes
- Shadow people
It is worth noting that the content, style, and general behaviour of an internal hallucination is often largely dependent on the emotional state of the person experiencing it. For example, a person who is emotionally stable and generally happy will usually be more prone to experiencing neutral, interesting, or positive hallucinations. In contrast, however, a person who is emotionally unstable and generally unhappy will usually be more prone to experiencing sinister, fear-inducing, and negative hallucinations.
Internal hallucinations are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as geometry, external hallucinations and delusions. They are most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of hallucinogenic compounds, such as psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants. However, they can also occur under the influence of stimulant psychosis, sleep deprivation, and during dreams.
Internal hallucinations typically last anywhere between 30 seconds and several minutes before the person slips back into reality or the presence of another hallucination. There are several different methods through which these hallucinations are transitioned between, these are described and documented below:
- Zooming - Images can switch between each other via the experience of one's vision zooming into or out of the current image to such an extent that it reveals an entirely new hallucination.
- Morphing - Images can switch between each other by transforming the details of their shape and structure to show an entirely new image. This can happen in a variety of different speeds and typically occurs in the style of a fluidlike motion.
- Sliding - Images can switch between each other by sliding in a specific direction which then reveals an entirely new image behind them.
- Fading - Images can change between each other by fading into nothingness before a completely new image fades back into view.
- Splitting - Images can switch between each other by splitting into two or more sections which drift away from each other to reveal an entirely new hallucination behind it.
- Tiling - Images can switch between each other by separating into geometric formations which then slide or fade away from each other to reveal an entirely new hallucination behind them.
The specific differences between each potential style of internal hallucination can be broken down into the following variations:
- Lucid vs. Delirious - Hallucinatory states can maintain a consistent level of awareness throughout them regarding the fact that none of these events are actually happening and that the current situation is simply a result of drug-induced hallucination. In contrast to this, hallucinations can also become completely believable, no matter how nonsensical they may be, in the same way, that one does not have any problem accepting "absurd" and non-linear plots within ones dreams.
- Interactive vs. Fixed – Hallucinatory states can either present themselves as completely separate in a manner, that is similar to watching a video play out in front of one's field of vision, or they can be completely interactive. For example, conversing with autonomous entities or interacting with imagined objects in a fashion similar to lucid dreaming is entirely possible.
- New experiences vs. Memory replays – Regarding their subject matter, hallucinations can either be entirely new experiences or they can follow themes of normal, everyday situations and a replaying of specific memories.
- Controllable vs. Autonomous – Imagery and hallucinations can be partial to completely controllable. This can be described as the content of their appearance always seeming to perfectly follow and fit the general topic and subject matter of one's current thought stream, with varying levels of partial to absolute control. In contrast, autonomous hallucinations are completely spontaneous in their subject matter and entirely uncontrollable.
- Geometry-based vs. Solid – Hallucinations can be comprised of condensed psychedelic geometry or they can appear to be made from realistic materials.
Compounds within our psychoactive substance index which may cause this effect include:
Anecdotal reports which describe this effect within our experience index include:
- Experience: 1.5g Psilocybe Cubensis - Analysis of body and mind
- Experience: 15mg 2C-B (oral) - A pleasant low-dose evening with Nexus
- Experience: 200µg 1P-LSD (sublingual) + 12mg CBD - The Vortex of Empathy
- Experience: 40mg 5-MeO-DMT (oral) + 40mg MXE (oral) - Untitled
- Experience: 80mg EPT - Bummer
- Experience: 80mg EPT - Slight improvement
- Experience:1000 Morning Glory seeds - Rediscovering the Self
- Experience:1000mg / 1200mg / 1400mg / 1600mg - heroic doses
- Experience:100ug 1P-LSD - A Fear and loathing into Bliss
- Experience:10mg & 20mg Intravenous DPT HCl - Familiar Shapes, Experiencing Death, Immersed in The Light
- Experience:120mg - Unexpected 'trip', insane CEVs
- Experience:120ug - An Overdose of LSD and Trip into Insanity
- Experience:150mg MDMA + 20mg 2C-B - I designed it this way myself
- Experience:170mg 4-AcO-DMT - Recklessness rewarded
- Experience:1g of stars and love
- Experience:2 grams Psilocybe Cubensis + 2.7 grams Syrian Rue - The Psilohuasca Albino Fox
- Experience:2 x 150 LSD tabs
- Experience:2.5g Mushrooms + 500mg DMT
- Experience:2.5g Syrian rue + 6g Mimosa Hostilis - My first experience with unity
- Experience:20mg - A profound sense of oneness
- Experience:20mg - High Weight, No Effects
- Experience:20mg - I looked up and saw an angry god-like figure made of clouds glaring down at me
- Experience:20x Extract - a tall humanoid figure wearing a white cloak
- Experience:225mg Pregabalin +Cannabis -Bliss and Serenity; a hedonistic evening
- Experience:225ug - Sheer Awe and Joy
- Experience:250 seeds - Harsh body load
- Experience:25mg (insufflated) - Simultaneously amazing and horrible
- Experience:25mg DMT - Your wall can't save you
- Experience:26mg - I begged the shroom aliens to kill me
- Experience:2g Syrian rue + 1g Mimosa Hostilis - These voices are the building blocks of consciousness
- Experience:2mg Etizolam & N20 - "Hippy Crack" Indeed
- Experience:3-MeO-PCP - Extreme psychosis
- Experience:3.5g Syrian rue + 30g Mimosa Hostilis brew - flying through a rainbow tunnel
- Experience:3.5g Syrian rue + 50g Mimosa Hostilis - I was trying to engage in sexual intercourse with the personification of Ayahuasca
- Experience:300ug LSD - Profound religious experience
- Experience:300ug LSD - The Pyramid Universe
- Experience:300µg AL-LAD - Don't worry, because you're everyone!
- Experience:300μg 1P-LSD + 40mg diphenidine - My first psychotic break
- Experience:30mg 4-HO-MiPT - Positively groovy
- Experience:337mg DMT fumurate - A Day With DMT
- Experience:354mg DXM, weed, nicotine - Descending into the void
- Experience:35mg 2C-P - Asymmetrical Terror and the Geometric Sea
- Experience:4-HO-MiPT / A care free psychedelic getaway
- Experience:400ug LSD + weed + nitrous -- Fundamental insights into the universe
- Experience:40mg (smoked) - The planet became a watermelon
- Experience:40mg + Syrian rue (3g) - My triumphant return
- Experience:40mg - Brothermind and the Forest's Hand
- Experience:40mg - Second breakthrough
- Experience:45mg 2cc & 45mg 4-aco-dmt - Ego death and loneliness
- Experience:5 tabs LSD + cannabis + nitrous - A lover's ego death
- ... further results
- Responsible use
- Subjective effects index
- Psychedelics - Subjective effects
- Dissociatives - Subjective effects
- Deliriants - Subjective effects
- External hallucinations
- Siegel, R. K. (1985). LSD hallucinations: from ergot to electric kool-aid. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 17(4), 247-256. https://doi.org/10.1080/02791072.1985.10524329
- Kometer, M., Schmidt, A., Jäncke, L., & Vollenweider, F. X. (2013). Activation of serotonin 2A receptors underlies the psilocybin-induced effects on α oscillations, N170 visual-evoked potentials, and visual hallucinations. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(25), 10544-10551. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3007-12.2013
- Pekar, S. The connection between psilocybin and dreaming. https://www.lakeforest.edu/live/news/6657-the-connection-between-psilocybin-and-dreaming
- Kraehenmann, R. (2017). Dreams and psychedelics: neurophenomenological comparison and therapeutic implications. Current neuropharmacology, 15(7), 1032-1042. https://doi.org/10.2174/1573413713666170619092629
- de Araujo, D. B., Ribeiro, S., Cecchi, G. A., Carvalho, F. M., Sanchez, T. A., Pinto, J. P., ... & Santos, A. C. (2012). Seeing with the eyes shut: neural basis of enhanced imagery following ayahuasca ingestion. Human brain mapping, 33(11), 2550-2560. https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.21381