Is it hallucinations or manipulative "faking"?


New Member
Over the past couple of weeks our daughter has begun to report various psychotic like symptoms. First she was "mis-hearing" people who spoke to her - sort of like hearing voices but only while there were there... then her last day at the phospital, she had a nightmarish hallucination of a little girl with dark hair (and more gory details of which I'll spare you). Her therapist there felt she was genuinely shaken and fearful after that although other staff saw it as attention seeking as she was being ignored by one "friend" that day.

Now at her new hospital, this hallucination persists and she has named her "Isabel". She has started to refuse to shower because Isabel will be in there. The staff note that her behavior surrounding the hallucinations is "different" than other patients as she usually doesn't disclose them as they happen, but tells the staff about them hours later. Also while on one-one precautions (getting lots of attention) there were no appearances of Isabel.

Is this typical? How can one ever differentiate between actual hallucinations and the attention seeking behavior of a child who does have a history of making up trauma (grief over the passing of friends who don't exist).

It is terrifying to go from diagnoses of depressive disorder to bipolar to Borderline (BPD)... and now surely they must be thinking of schizophrenia.....



Well-Known Member
I dont know if what she is having are true hallucinations or not. The few times I have had hallucinations they were strange but I never told anyone what I saw until years later. Even now when I get "iffy" bouts of seeing strange things I dont really talk about them.

If your dtr has borderline pd, then it wouldnt be out of character to manipulate things for attention. Im ashamed to admit how often I have done that. I never realized it at the time that I was doing that but looking back at some of my behaviors I can now see it.


Mom? What's a difficult child?
I am sorry you are going through this, but wanted to add that hallucinations can be a part of BiPolar (BP) and don't necessarily mean they would jump to Schizophrenia...

I don't have it with me, husband has it, But they do discuss this in "The Bipolar Child". I don't know what is going on with your daughter. I hope they can figure it out and get her some help. She will have to come to terms with reality hopefully with some guidence...
My daughter is too young to manipulate yet... so her Auditory Hallucinations are pretty honest and scary... as are her night terrors.

My daughter only discusses them with me mostly and sometimes with Dad. She will talk about it with a Doctor if I am around.

Hang in there.


Well-Known Member
Isnt this the child who is now reporting a sexual assault?

I forgot if you mentioned it in your other post but was she exhibiting these behaviors prior to the supposed assault. I seem to remember you saying something about how she deteriorated in behavior but blamed it on two friends who had died.

If this all happened right around that time, then it wouldnt shock me if she did blame some "socially accepted" reason for her declining behavior rather than tell people that she was assaulted. It also gives a reason for some of her behaviors.

Im going to give you a link about borderline which has a few links to information of parents with teens with this diagnosis.

If I can be of any assistance with either the borderline, ptsd or bipolar diagnosis's then please feel free to either PM me or just send up a SOS for me on the board. I will answer questions as freely and openly as I can.


Active Member
difficult child 1 doesn't tell just anyone about the blue lady in the bathroom. He will only tell someone he trusts and sometimes it takes him awhile to trust. Hence, I don't hear about her until weeks after she appeared. I can tell it isn't attention seeking or escaping behavior because he gets the same amount and same intensity of attention if we're discussing blue lady or the weather. This doesn't mean that my heart isn't upset, but I do my best to not let it show. Also, the teachers and I have talked and he doesn't get out of any work because of it. Also, she went away when the medications were increased.

My heart goes out to you. Good luck. Either one she is doing isn't very comforting.


New Member
First, my son ALWAYS mishears conversations. He will always insist you said something you didn't and this will cause him to try to argue with you for over an hour about what you didn't say. I don't think this is an auditory hallucination.

As far as the visual hallucination. When my son was on Adderall, he was having some visual hallucinations- he saw things when he blinked...they flashed in front of his eyes like a photograph. He never told me about them until one day, after raging and tearing apart my van and me almost calling 911, he finally told me about 20 minutes after he calmed down.