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Delusions, Hallucinations & Mania
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Published by HOPES
(Huntington's Outreach Project for Education, at Stanford University)

Hallucinations, delusions and mania are very rare behavioral symptoms of HD.

Hallucinations involve seeing, hearing or experiencing things that are not real, such as feeling bugs crawling on you, hearing voices, etc. Thinking that someone is out to get you or that someone is watching you are examples of delusions. Delusions are defined as thoughts about unreal situations.

Many hallucinations or delusions are benign, meaning that they are not bothersome or harmful to the person experiencing them. If an individual is staring out into space and laughing at something that appears to be in front of them, this is a non-bothersome hallucination.

However, this is not to suggest that the hallucination or delusion is non-bothersome to a caregiver. Occasionally, more severe hallucinations or delusions occur and may cause extreme fear or paranoia. In these cases, medical treatment can be sought.

Mania is also a very rare symptom of HD. Characterized by an irritable mood, overactivity, decreased need for sleep and impulsiveness, mania can drastically upset ones daily routine. Sometimes a period of mania is followed by a period of depression (see depression), referred to as Bipolar Disorder.

Mania and Bipolar Disorder can be treated with medication. For more information on the medical treatment of any one of these three behavioral symptoms, a psychiatrist can be consulted.