Hallucinations

William  K. Drell, M.D. -  - TMS Specialist

Houston West TMS

William K. Drell, M.D.

TMS Specialist located in Houston, TX

Hallucinations involve seeing, hearing, touching, or smelling things that aren’t actually real. In many cases, issues with your brain can cause these episodes. If you experience auditory hallucinations related to schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, you may benefit from the help of a Brainsway Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Deep TMS) specialist and board-certified psychiatrist such as William Drell, MD, of Houston West TMS. Please note that TMS is not FDA-approved for the treatment of hallucinations. TMS is an off-label treatment for hallucinations that deserves consideration. It is not covered by insurance at this time. If you or a loved one are experiencing hallucinations in spite of appropriate medication, call the office in Houston, Texas, or request an appointment online.

Hallucinations Q & A

What causes hallucinations?

Hallucinations often signal a problem in your brain’s function. Causes include:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease
  • Brain tumor
  • Migraines

Auditory hallucinations may also occur due to bipolar disorder, psychosis, borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and drug use.

How are hallucinations treated?

Your psychiatrist will do everything he or she can to determine what is causing your hallucinations. Treatment depends very much on the cause. Your psychiatrist may order a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and electroencephalogram to get specific images of your brain and its activity.

Treatment involves addressing the issues causing hallucinations and may include:

  • Medication for dementia or schizophrenia or Parkinsons
  • Antiseizure drugs for epilepsy
  • Surgery or radiation for a brain tumor

Certain medications and talk therapy can help patients, too. Counseling may be helpful if the underlying cause of your hallucinations is a mental health condition. Through talk therapy, you can get a better understanding of the origins of your hallucinations and develop coping strategies, especially when the hallucinations cause fear or paranoia.

Whatever you do, don’t just wish your hallucinations would go away. Without treatment, they may become more intense and vivid and interfere with your quality of life.

What is Brainsway Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Deep TMS) therapy for hallucinations?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, involves the application of a strong magnetic field close to the surface of the scalp. The TMS device delivers strong and brief magnetic pulses that stimulate the brain and its network of neurons.

The procedure is noninvasive and has minimal side effects. The treatment may be helpful to people with schizophrenia who often experience symptoms of hearing voices or seeing things. TMS may be a complement to medication. Medication may often cause unwanted side effects, such as apathy, tremor, and significant weight gain. TMS does not cause any of those unwanted side effects.

Although TMS treatment for hallucinations associated with schizophrenia is relatively new, some research suggests positive outcomes and reductions in hallucinations. Deep TMS may also help with the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. These symptoms include lack of motivation, energy, and social withdrawal.

If you suffer from hallucinations or the “negative” symptoms of schizophrenia, contact Dr. Drell at Houston West TMS. He offers Deep TMS to complement the therapies you are already receiving from your current psychiatrist. Call the office today or request an appointment online.