formicative hallucination

formicative hallucination
   Also referred to as formication, dermatozoic hallucination, and insect hallucination. The terms formication and formicative hallucination are indebted to the Latin noun formica, which means ant. All of the above four terms are used more or less interchangeably to denote the hallucinated feeling of ants or other bugs crawling upon or beneath the skin. Formicative hallucinations may be accompanied by pruritus and scratching, which may entail even more pruritis, and hence an aggravation of the formicative hallucinations. Their occurrence is associated primarily with the use of (or more likely, withdrawal from) substances such as cocaine, amphetamines (including the therapeutic methylphenidate), and alcohol. They can also occur in the context of *alcoholic hallucinosis, and in association with a variety of somatic conditions such as * delirium, high fever, diabetic neuropathy, herpes zoster, and peripheral nerve regeneration or neuropathy, as in * Tinel's sign of formication. They have also been described in association with psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder and somato-form disorder. Formicative hallucinations may be accompanied by delusional parasitosis, a condition also referred to as Ekbom's syndrome, after the Swedish neurologist Karl Axel Ekbom (1907-1977). They may also be accompanied by *visual hallucinations of insects, which may be regarded by the affected individual as confirmation of an actual bug infestation. The term *chronic tactile hallucinosis is used to denote a syndrome characterized by formicative hallucinations, parasitic or other dermatozoic delusions, and a chronic course which is believed to occur mainly in women of 50 years of age and older. When formicative hallucinations are attributed to the chronic use of cocaine, they are referred to as * cocaine bugs, * Magnan's sign, or Magnan-Saury's sign. When they occur in the context of amphetamine use they are known as * crank bugs. Formicative hallucinations are classified either as * tactile hallucinations or as *paraesthesias. They should not be confused with hallucinations due to * ant ingestion.
   Bers, N., Conrad, K. (1954). Die chronische tak-tile Halluzinose. Fortschritte der Neurologie und Psychiatrie, 22, 254-270.
   Ekbom, K.A. (1938). Praeseniler Dermatozoen-wahn. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 13, 227-259.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

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  • dermatozoic hallucination —    see formicative hallucination …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • insect hallucination —    see formicative hallucination …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • tactile hallucination —    Also known as tactile phantasma, haptic hallucination, touch hallucination, and hallucination of touch. The term tactile hallucination is indebted to the Latin verb tangere, which means to touch. It refers to a bodily sensation seemingly… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • simple hallucination —    Also referred to as elementary hallucination. Both terms are used to denote a hallucination of the lowest degree of complexity. In the auditory modality, simple hallucinations are known as * akoasms. Common examples of akoasms are clicking… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • cocaine bugs —    Also known as Magnan s sign and Magnan Saury s sign. All three terms refer to a * tactile hallucination consisting of a crawling foreign body beneath or upon the skin that is associated with the chronic use of cocaine. Except for their… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • zoopsia —    The term zoopsia derives from the Greek words zoion (living creature, animal) and opsis (seeing). It is used to denote an *illusion or *complex visual hallucination depicting one or more animals, such as cats, dogs, tigers, elephants, snakes,… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • formication —    see formicative hallucination …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • schizophrenia and hallucinations —    The term schizophrenia stems from the Greek words schizein (to split), and phren (nerve, diaphragm, heart). It was introduced in 1908 by the Swiss psychiatrist Paul Eugen Bleuler (18571939) to denote a group of mental disorders displaying… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

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