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Almost one in ten Aussie teens experiences hallucinations at some time but this doesn’t mean they’re more prone to psychosis or other mental illness, researchers say this week.
A national survey of more than 1200 adolescents aged 13-17 years old found that 8.4% reported either auditory or visual hallucinations such as hearing voices when they are alone or seeing things that other people think are not there.
The survey results, published in the journal Schizophrenia Research (online 29 Nov), showed that hallucinations were three times more common in children of single parent or divorced families and also more common in teens who used cannabis, but not in those who used alcohol. Hallucinations were also more likely to be reported by children with depression.
The study authors, from the Royal Children’s Hospital in
“Clearly most adolescents who experienced hallucinations in this study will not subsequently develop a psychotic disorder,” they noted.