- sexual hallucination
- Also known as erotic hallucination. The term sexual hallucination is used in a general sense to denote a type of hallucination that is sexually charged, such as a * visual hallucination depicting an alluring man or woman, a * verbal auditory hallucination delivering a message with a sexual connotation or a *panoramic hallucination in which pornographic scenarios are acted out. Sexual hallucinations ofthis general type are found relatively frequently in individuals of * old age with or without dementia. In a more specific sense, the term sexual hallucination refers to a * tactile or * somatic hallucination experienced in an erogenic zone such as the genitals, mammae, buttocks, anus, or mouth. As noted by the Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler (18571939), tactile or somatic hallucinations occurring in the context of *psychosis would often seem to start out as genital sensations. Sexual hallucinations are also known to occur during or after anaesthesia. They have been reported after the application of substances such as nitrous oxide, chloroform, midazolam, and propofol. Unfortunately, actual sexual abuse cannot always be ruled out with certainty in such alleged instances of 'sexual hallucination'. The term *nitrous oxide hallucination, for example, is used to denote a hallucination experienced under the influence of nitrous oxide or nitrous oxide-oxygen. As these hallucinations are described as predominantly sexual in nature and tend to be reported mainly by young women, it has been suggested that the notion is little more than a smoke screen serving to protect health professionals guilty of sexual harassment. A syndrome of continuous sexual hallucinations occurring in the absence of any actual sexual lust or desire is known as the * persistent sexual arousal syndrome (PSAS). Reportedly, the * incubus and * succubus phenomena occurring in the context of classical * nightmares may also be erotically charged.ReferencesBalasubramaniam, B., Park, G.R. (2003). Sexual hallucinations during and after sedation and anaesthesia. Anaesthesia, 58, 549-553.Bennett, C.R. (1980). Nitrous oxide "hallucinations". Journal ofthe American Dental Association, 101, 595-597.Bleuler, E. (1950). Dementia praecox or the group ofschizophrenias. Monograph series on schizophrenia no. 1. Translated by Zinkin, J. Madison, WI: International Universities Press.Ey, H. (1973). Traité des hallucinations. Tome 1. Paris: Masson et Cie., Éditeurs.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.