Olfactory hallucinations are said to be one of the less common forms of hallucinations associated with psychotic disorders. However, olfactory hallucinations are said to occur with several other neurological disorders, most commonly temporal lobe epilepsy in which the aura before the epileptic seizure sometimes includes an olfactory hallucination lasting up to 24 hours.
While more rare, olfactory hallucinations also occur with headache disorders at times but are less commonly recognized and studied. This makes it essential to rule out serious medical causes of olfactory hallucinations before resorting to a schizophrenia spectrum disorder diagnosis.
Monica Babaian, MA
WKPIC Doctoral Intern