How does one know to distinguish hallucinations from reality?
I mean, let's say that a person is hallucinating, but their hallucinations are "non-bizarre". That is: they aren't seeing anything overly unusual,
like supernatural stuff. No demons, ghosts, aliens, or anything like that. But this afflicted person is definitely hallucinating.
Let's say that this person is out in public, walking among a large crowd of people. They meet a stranger, have a short conversation, and then part
ways. Shortly after the conversation ends and this afflicted person turns then begins walking away, the afflicted person overhears their old
conversation partner quietly mutter: "...# you." Maybe as the afflicted person was turning, they saw in the corner of their eye that their new
acquaintance was smirking. But the afflicted person can't be certain because they weren't looking directly at that other person.
Maybe that other person may have said: "thank you", but the mind misinterpreted it as: "# you." Maybe that other person was talking to somebody else,
about somebody else. Maybe that other person didn't say anything at all, and it was a pure fabrication of the mind. How can the afflicted person be
certain that they weren't hallucinating?
What if this afflicted person has a somewhat unusual experience with no supernatural, paranormal, and/or conspiracy theory elements to it. This
unusual experience was a full-blown psychotic episode, complete with hallucinations affecting all of the senses: visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory,
and gustatory hallucinations... the afflicted person assumes that this experience really happened in the physical world, in reality, among other real
people who experienced the same exact things so that the general consensus is something that the afflicted person and everyone else involved can agree
So this afflicted person goes about their day assuming that this experience really happened. But then they start meeting with other people and talking
to them, and those other people suddenly start saying things that contradict what the afflicted person experienced.
How can the afflicted person be certain that they didn't simply hallucinate the entire experience?
edit on 23-9-2016 by Quasiscientist because: