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Observations placeholder

Hallucinations and diarrhoea



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 1


The sad thing about this case is that they never tried to find out what caused the diarrhoea - parasite, virus, bacteria, toxin?  Parasites are a very frequent source of diarrhoea and are often left undiscovered by standard tests.

If they had done more tests, they would probably have found out why he had the recurring experiences.

A description of the experience

J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2010 Apr;31(3 Suppl):S18-20. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e3181d83050.

Episodic hypersomnia and unusual behaviors in a 14-year old adolescent. Hirst J, Mignot E, Stein MT. Stanford University Center for Narcolepsy, Stanford School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California, USA.

CASE: John, a 14-year old white male of European Jewish descent without a prior history of medical or psychiatric problems, presented following several days of increased need for sleep (16-20 hours per day), disorientation, difficulty maintaining attention and concentration, bizarre behaviors.

He was sexually inappropriate toward his mother, sister, and housekeeper, masturbated in public, and sang nonsense lyrics.

In addition, he had brief periods of agitation, paranoia (including fear that he was being followed and that he would be hurt by the physicians), and periods of distraction by auditory and visual hallucinations.

His appetite increased significantly during this time.

One week prior to the onset of these symptoms, he traveled to the Midwest where he experienced several days of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

John's physical and neurological examinations were normal except for the behaviors noted above. A medical evaluation revealed a normal brain computerized tomogram (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Urine toxicology screen, a comprehensive metabolic blood panel, and a complete blood count were normal. A lumbar puncture demonstrated a slightly elevated opening pressure (24 centimeters); the cerebrospinal fluid examination was unremarkable for cells, protein and glucose. Following the lumbar puncture, for which he had received midazolam, he had a brief, 30-45 minute episode of lucidity in which he was able to describe feeling like he was "in a fog."

John was transferred to a psychiatric hospital where he recovered over several days and was discharged home. After three weeks of complete recovery, he acutely developed profound fatigue and the previously seen bizarre behaviors returned and persisted for 2 weeks. Following a 2-week period without symptoms, a similar behavior pattern recurred for the third time. The third episode differed from the first two in that he initially developed mental status changes and then developed symptoms of hypersomnolence.

John has now been completely recovered from the third two week episode for one week and is taking summer school classes and enjoying socializing with his friends.

PMID: 20414066

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps