Reel Doctor Talk

Does this look upside down to you?

by Smitha R. Chadaga MD


On the one hand Stranger Things is an 80s kid's dream.  It feels like E.T. and Goonies rolled into one.  On the other hand the show’s premise is a parent’s worst nightmare – a child disappears with NO TRACE.  Most assume the child is dead but his mother – Joyce (Winona Ryder) - is adamant that he is not.  People around town say she is hallucinating from grief.  Is that possible? Yes it is.


Hallucinations are seeing, hearing, smelling or feeling something that is not there.  Most of the time hallucinations are a sign that something is not right internally.  But seeing or hearing a deceased love one can be part of the normal grieving process


The other more common causes of hallucinations are:

1. Drugs – legal and illegal (including alcohol)

2. Psychiatric conditions - including schizophrenia and severe depression

3. Neurologic conditions – including seizures, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease

4. Delirium – a clinical condition where severe illness stresses out the brain and body to the point where hallucinations are possible


In general, if you experience hallucinations you should seek medical care to make sure there is no serious underlying cause for them. It goes without saying it is not advisable to intentionally take substances to induce hallucinations for recreation (translation = don’t do drugs!)


If you are looking for something to take your mind off things, watch the Stranger Things kids doing this: