U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 19-year-old member asked:

What is the difference between delusion, illusion, and hallucination?

5 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Douglas Bey
Psychiatry 58 years experience
Stimulus: Hallucination is a false perception while an illusion is a misperceptions of a real stimulus--hearing voices with no stimulus is a hallucination misinterpreting the sound of the radiator as voices is an illusion.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Douglas Bey
Dr. Douglas Bey commented
Psychiatry 58 years experience
Provided original answer
Delusion is a false belief that isn't altered by logic.
Feb 26, 2015
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Alianswered
Psychiatry 33 years experience
Delusion/Hallu.: Delusion is false belief. Illusion is misinterpretation of a true sensation. Hallucination is perception of non-existing object or event (false perception).
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Douglas Bey
Psychiatry 58 years experience
Stimulus/belief: Hallucination is false perception--illusion is a misperceptions --delusion is a false belief that is not altered by logic.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Seth Kunen
Clinical Psychology 46 years experience
Examples: 1. Watching a tv show but tv is off = hallucination. 2. Watching a tv show and believing it is about you when it is not = delusion. 3. Watching tv and incorrectly believing that a character on the show is a relative = illusion.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Ali commented
Psychiatry 33 years experience
Great answer Dr. Kunen ! Thumbs up.
Oct 16, 2012
Dr. Seth Kunen
Dr. Seth Kunen commented
Clinical Psychology 46 years experience
Provided original answer
Thank you Dr. Ali . Your many contributions to this website have greatly helped many patients!
Oct 16, 2012
Dr. Andrew Berry
Clinical Psychology 15 years experience
Different : A delusion is something that in theory can happen, but is not very likely an example of this would be a patient who says that Cindy Crawford is in love with them. That's a delusion. An illusion can be thought of in terms of tricks that a magician performs. Hallucinations are defined as stimuli that come from the environment that affect our five senses, but do not exist at all in reality.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

Similar questions

A 40-year-old member asked:

What is the difference between illusion and delusion?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Patrick Tapia
Psychiatry 14 years experience
Perception or belief: An illusion is a primarily perceptual disturbance where something looks like something else. A delusion is a fixed false belief that is not a function of misinterpretation but rather a form of preformed and self referential belief that is deeply entrenched and not connected directly to directly observable data in the outside world.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 31-year-old member asked:

What causes illusions, delusions, and hallucinations?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Griggs
Clinical Psychology 40 years experience
Illusions are simple: perceptual distortions, seeing things that aren't there because of low lighting, atmospheric distortion, etc. Once light is shined on the cause, the illusion disappears. Delusions are fixed patterns of thought that do not respond to reality. Hallucinations are psychotic manifestations that have little to do with reality. The latter two are usually brought on by drugs or mental illness.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

Related questions

A 31-year-old member asked:
I have delusions and hallucinations, but no sign of stroke, what is this?
1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
A 51-year-old male asked:
Can tegretol cause delusions and/or hallucinations?
1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
A 38-year-old member asked:
Do adults with fever get hallucinations or delusions?
3 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
A 43-year-old member asked:
Are visual hallucinations a schizophrenic symptom also, or only delusions?
3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Last updated Mar 27, 2018
Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.