Is this a hallucination or calling something by the wrong name? - AgingCare.com

Is this a hallucination or calling something by the wrong name?

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My father-in-law said he saw a rabbit in his bedroom. How do I know if he was hallucinating or did see something else? Perhaps a pile of pillows, and didn't know what to call it?

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I asked this once of a hospital speech therapist. Does he really believe he is in a high school, or is it just that he can't remember the word hospital. Her surprising answer was that it was often not possible to tell! It may take some time and hearing the statements in context to try to figure it out. (I'm pretty sure my husband thought he was in a high school building.)

It is also hard sometimes to distinguish an hallucination from a delusion. "There was a cute bunny in my room" could be either depending on whether the person saw the bunny or just thought about it.

Usually how you react is more important than what to call the phenomenon.
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Dear Mjs2699,

I hear your concern. But I would try and see if a pattern develops. It could very well be innocent but if he mentions this again, I would consider talking to the doctor about reviewing his meds. Maybe one of the side effects of his meds is causing this hallucination.
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What difference does it make, really? If the "rabbit" bothered him you could chase it out the door, or if not, laugh about the cute bunny and the check to make sure the door is closed properly so it doesn't get back in.
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