benign hallucination
   Also referred to as non-morbid hallucination. The term benign hallucination is indebted to the Latin words bene (good) and gignere (to entail, to bring forth). It was introduced in 1960 by the American psychiatrist Gordon For-rer to denote a hallucination occurring outside the context of illness or pathology. Forrer uses the term benign hallucination in opposition to the term * malignant hallucination (i.e. a hallucination characterized by persistence, and associated with pathology, as in individuals with a clinical diagnosis of * schizophrenia). As Forrer maintains, "Hallucinations are surprisingly commonplace occurrences. They may be brief and benign as in the mundane auditory hallucination of 'hearing' one's name when one is quite alone. Or they may be persistent and malignant as in the auditory hallucination of paranoid schizophrenia repeatedly accusing the subject of aberrant practices. In the benign hallucinatory experiences of everyday life only the fact of the experience is usually recalled. In the malignant hallucination of psychosis, preoccupation with the subjective sensory experience becomes intense... Benign hallucinations terminate by more or less complete repression of the experience. Malignant hallucinations, on the other hand, spawn delusions, oftentimes themselves ceasing to exist in a manner analogous to plants which, in sprouting, replace the seeds from which they grew." In clinical practice, the term benign hallucination is used to denote hallucinatory phenomena such as * bereavement hallucinations, * simple misperceptions, * visual hallucinations occurring in the context of * Charles Bonnet syndrome, * musical hallucinations occurring in the elderly, and * deathbed visions.
   References
   Forrer, G.R. (1960). Benign auditory and visual hallucinations. Archives of General Psychiatry, 3, 95-98.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

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