Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Hear Music When No One’s There? You’re Hallucinating

“Seven years ago Reginald King was lying in a hospital bed recovering from bypass surgery when he first heard the music. …Each day, the music returns. …Last year, Mr. King was referred to Dr. Victor Aziz, a psychiatrist at St. Cadoc's Hospital in Wales. Dr. Aziz explained to him that there was a name for his experience: musical hallucinations. …There is no standard procedure for treating musical hallucinations. Some doctors try antipsychotic drugs….” (New York Times)

Another part of living medicalized. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a hallunication is the "Perception of visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, or gustatory experiences without an external stimulus and with a compelling sense of their reality, usually resulting from a mental disorder or as a response to a drug."

See: ”Mental Illness: Psychiatry’s Phlogiston” by Thomas Szasz

Cross-posted at The Foundation for Economic Education

P.S.: There's a great 1950 Irving Berlin song called "(I Wonder Why) You're Just In Love," which has wonderful lyrics, including (with my commentary):

"I hear singing and there's no one there [auditory hallunication]
I smell blossoms and the trees are bare [olfactory halluncination]....
You don't need analyzin' [Szaszian!]
It is not so surprisin'
That you feel very strange but nice....
You're not sick [Denial]
You're just in love"

Hear the music and read the lyrics here.


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