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The patient reported seeing insects and he thought the nurses were going to poison him

Identifier

021396

Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

The Art of Dying – Dr Peter and Elizabeth Fenwick

The consensus seemed to be that although drug hallucinations are vivid, they are annoying rather than particularly frightening, and are never comforting or particularly significant to the patient. They are also to some extent reversible, because they can be controlled by changing the drug the patient is taking. We were told of one patient who experienced both drug-induced hallucinations, paranoid thoughts and deathbed visions at the same time.

The patient reported seeing insects, and he thought the nurses were going to poison him. But he also experienced the comforting presence of his mother - who had died of lung cancer several years previously - sitting in the next bed.

‘He knew everything was going to be all right because his mother was in the next bed keeping an eye on him. Even though to me he was hallucinating it felt very different when he spoke of his mother. It was a different language he used, very different.'

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities

Observation contributed by: Neffy Limb