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Charles Bonnet Syndrome

Charles Bonnet Syndrome, or CBS, is a particularly interesting condition that causes people to see hallucinations. But it's different from a mental disorder like schizophrenia as the person is aware the the hallucinations are unreal.

Often known today as “phantom vision” or “ghost vision,” many similar cases have been recorded in the decades since, and though it has long been regarded as a rare disease, recent evidence suggests that it is much more widespread than previously believed.
For those stricken with Charles Bonnet Syndrome, the world is occasionally adorned with vivid yet unreal images.
Some see surfaces covered in non-existent patterns such as brickwork or tiles, while others see phantom objects in astonishing detail, including people, animals, buildings, or whatever else their minds may conjure.
These images linger for as little as several seconds or for as much as several hours, appearing and vanishing abruptly. They may consist of commonplace items such as bottles or hats, or brain-bending nonsense such as dancing children with giant flowers for heads.

(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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That's an interesting story, FM - thank you for sharing.

I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. My mom just passed away a little over a month ago, and I know how you feel.
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It's also quite common in older people who have had certain kind of strokes. My mother was gradually losing her vision after her stroke and had Charles Bonnet syndrome. She was usually quite amused by the things she saw ("iron animals" moving in the courtyard, a baseball game going on outside her window, a cat or baby on the floor) but she'd get annoyed if she thought her visions were people who weren't answering when she spoke to them. She had a wonderful sense of humor and maintained her upbeat personality even as her vascular dementia increased. She died three years ago and I miss her every day. So if you know of older folks who are "seeing things" they may not be "crazy" or even have dementia--they may have Charles Bonnet. See https://www.macularsociety.org/visual-hallucinations for more information.
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