Experiencing hallucinations and delusions? Tips to help you manage

If you experience hallucinations or delusions, you should see your specialist or Parkinson's nurse as soon you can to find out how to reduce them and the distress they often cause. There are also some simple steps you can take to manage and reduce your hallucinations or delusions, which we share here.

1

Recognise that hallucinations are a common symptom of Parkinson's, and that they can be managed. Try challenging and reframing any negative thoughts in a helpful way. For example, replacing thoughts like ‘I'm going mad’ with ‘This is normal, and I'm going to be okay’.

2

Check the time your symptoms begin to occur, and consider moving your medication time backwards or forwards slightly, if you find it is impacting on your hallucinations or delusions.

For example, if your hallucinations happen when your medication is wearing off, you might want to consider taking it slightly earlier.

Always talk to a health professional before making any medication changes. 

3

Focus your attention on a stimulating activity, such as reading or watching television, to distract yourself from the hallucination or delusion.

4

Don't react to any visions or sounds - instead, block them out and try distracting yourself using suggestions in the point above. 

5

Try to practise good sleeping habits, as tiredness can bring on or increase hallucinations. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants (eg nicotine and alcohol) too close to bedtime, and engage in a relaxing activity before going to bed (eg reading or listening to music). 

Read more about good sleep hygiene.

6

Consider adjusting your environment to reduce any triggering sights and objects. For example, improving the lighting to reduce shadows, and removing or covering objects which could cause hallucinations.

7

Eating regular, nutritionally balanced meals can help to reduce the symptoms of hallucinations and delusions, as can frequent exercise.