Internal hallucinations can be described as the visual perception of imagery and scenes that exclusively occur within an imagined environment which can typically only be similarly viewed with closed eyes 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 happening.
At lower levels, internal hallucinations begin with imagery which does not take up the entirety of one's visual field and is distinctively separate from its 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 completely realistic. They rarely hold their form for more than a few seconds before fading or shifting into another image. 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 similarly surround the person 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.
The experience of this effect can be broken down into five distinct levels of intensity. These are described and documented below:
- Enhancement of mental visualisation - At this level, internal hallucinations can be defined as a distinct enhancement of the heightened state of mental visualisation that one 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 somewhat 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 one's vision field.
- Fully defined imagery - At this level, the vividness and intensity increases in a fashion which render the imagery seen within one's visual field as fully defined, realistic in its appearance and detailed in a lifelike manner.
- 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 with 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 one's physical body still feels as if it is partially connected to the real world.
- Fully defined immersion - At this level, the immersive 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, incredibly detailed, and highly vivid in its appearance. They can also occur alongside relevant auditory and tactile hallucinations, as well as the sensation of that one, has become completely disconnected from their physical body.
The content within these internal 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:
Internal hallucinations typically last anywhere from 30 seconds to 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 occur in the style of fluidlike motions.
- 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 images fades back into view.
- Splitting - Images can switch between each other via 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.
- Lucid vs. Delirious - Hallucinatory states can maintain a consistent level of awareness throughout them, regarding the fact that none of these events are really 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 exactly the same way that we do not have any problem accepting absurd and non-linear plots within our 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 – In terms of their subject matter, hallucinations can either be entirely new experiences or they can follow themes of normal, everyday concepts and a replaying of specific memories.
- Controllable vs. Autonomous – Imagery and hallucinations can be partially 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 which may cause this effect commonly include:
1P-LSD, 25C-NBOMe, 25D-NBOMe, 2C-C, 2C-D, 2C-I, 2C-T-2, 4-AcO-DMT, 4-HO-MET, 6-APB, 6-APDB, AL-LAD, ALD-52, Ayahuasca, Benzydamine, DMT, DOB, DOC, DOI, Datura, DXM, DPH, ETH-LAD, Efavirenz, Escaline, Ketamine, LSD, MDA, MDMA, Mescaline, Methoxetamine, Mirtazapine, Nitrous, PCE, PCP, PRO-LAD, Psilocin, Psilocybin mushrooms, Zolpidem, Zopiclone
Documentation written by Josie Kins