What are Sensory Deprivation Hallucinations?

According to some studies, being in a sensory deprivation tank for even 15 minutes can give you vivid amounts of hallucinations. These hallucinations in the sensory deprivation tank include wearing an earplug and wearing a blindfold by the participants, so the participants are unable to hear or see. This study allows 19 volunteers to float in the sensory deprivation tank that is ultimately dark and soundproofed; is spearheaded in the University College London by Oliver Mason. The 19 volunteers explained that they have encountered “anhedonia or incapable of feeling pleasure, visual disturbances, and paranoia” after being submerged into a sensory deprivation tank even just for 15 minutes. This is a good support to the theory made from 50 years ago that sensory starvation exhibits symptoms of psychosis.

Giving a comment to the study is Paul Fletcher, a psychiatrist from the University of Cambridge, gave a statement to WIRED: “This is a great finding. It is witnessed that when we are faced with the sensory patterns in the surrounding with limitation, we have a possibility of natural imposition of our own patterns.” This study concludes that our brain needs to create its own sensory patterns, even if our brain creates these alternate sensory patterns that do not exist. The hallucinations from the sensory deprivation tanks are a “faulty source monitoring,” wherein the brain misinterprets the origin of inputting sensory details. In the first-time users of sensory deprivation tanks, a lot of people report that they experienced hallucinations. It is a common attribute to the use of sensory deprivation tanks because the mind is totally free from the input of sensory details from the outside world, and this sensory input just wander around and starts to create its own interpretation of what it can perceive in its limited surrounding. But having to experience hallucination really is predisposition-dependent on your part.

A study in 2015 divided 46 individuals into two groups that are initially tested on how they are more likely to experience hallucinations. Both groups experienced similarities after having a session in a sensory deprivation tank. But the group that was more likely to experience hallucination showed higher frequency levels of hallucinations. Even though these weird things happen sometimes in the sensory deprivation tanks, it is well-tolerated and very safe according to the research of Suedfeld on Resting Environment Sensory Treatment or Rest. He stated in 1989 that lesser than 10% of people stop their sessions in a sensory deprivation tank on the basis of unpleasant experiences before 24 hours have ended prior to their treatment. For sensory deprivation tanks, Suedfeld (1999) concluded that lesser than 5% of the individuals that were subjected to the sensory deprivation tank sessions leave the tank before the 60 to 90 minutes allocation even ended.

For you to really have a good and unforgettable experience in a sensory deprivation tank, you should first consult your doctor and approach the sensory deprivation tank centers that have well-trained and professional workers for your overall guidance.

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