Altered States of Consciousness

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

States of consciousness may be different from the commonly experienced wakefulness, drowsiness, and so on. Other, more bizarre situations, such as those occurring with hypnosis, mind-altering drugs, and certain diseases, are referred to as altered states of consciousness. These altered states are also characteristic of psychiatric illnesses. One of the diseases that induces altered states of consciousness is schizophrenia, a disease in which information is not properly regulated in the brain. The amazingly diverse symptoms of schizophrenia include hallucinations, especially "hearing" voices, and delusions, such as the belief that one has been chosen for a special mission or is being persecuted by others. Schizophrenics become withdrawn, are emotionally unresponsive, and experience inappropriate moods. They also experience abnormal motor behavior, which can include total immobilization (catatonia). The symptoms that occur vary from person to person. Others altered states of consciouness are depression and bipolar disorders.