Hypnopompic Hallucinations
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Q:  Hypnopompic Hallucinations

I have had hypnopompic hallucinations from time to time in my life. They have become a lot more frequent in the past 2-3 years and especially so in the last 3-4 months. Do they have any relation to bipolar psychosis? Can they be the effect of psych meds? I have taken 400 mg of Wellbutrin for 2.5 years (other antidepressants in previous years) and just recently started Lamictal (I am up to 100mg). I was rediagnosed from a lifetime (40 yrs) of Major Depression to Bipolar NOS a couple of months ago.


Hypnopompic hallucinations are usually associated with a sleep disorder, most often narcolepsy.  They can be caused medications although I couldn't find anything linking Lamictal to them.  If you have had psychotic symptoms as part of your bipolar illness,  the hypnopompic hallucinations could be related to that.  I would start a journal/log to record when you have the hallucinations and see if you can find any causes such as poor sleep, medication changes, stress/anxiety levels.  Also you mentioned a greater frequency in the hallucinations over the past 3-4 months, so has there been worsening mood symptoms during that time?  That also could lead to sleep problems and therefore the increase in the hypnopompic hallucinations.

Dr Plyler

Published May, 2011


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