Charles Bonnet Syndrome; Presenting as “Innocent Spirits Within’: A Case Report

James Ayugi, Philip Opondo, Anthony Olashore, Keneilwe Molebatsi


Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS) is an under-recognized and under-reported disorder that involves visual hallucinations in visually impaired individuals. These patients have intact cognition, do not have hallucinations in any other sensory modalities, and retain insight into the unreal nature of their hallucinations. In most developing countries like  Botswana where mental health and ophalmology professionals are  scarce, cases like  Charles Bonnet Syndrome are likely to be misdiagnosed for psychosis/’madness’ with consequent  inappropriate biological interventions . Our patient, a 90 year old blind widow pensioner, with no prior psychiatric history, complained to family members that she was seeing people without heads and sometimes without limbs following her. She felt tortured as these people followed her everywhere. She consulted her pastor about these visual hallucinations, and was told not to worry about them as ‘’they were harmless spirits within her’. When she was eventually brought to the Hospital she was given a diagnosis of Charles Bonnet Syndrome and showed marked improvement after being given assurance about her sanity and antidepressants.There is need to increase awareness of rare psychiatric syndromes in the elderly like the Charles Bonnet Syndrome amongst clinicians since they can be easily missed or inappropriately managed more so since the population of the elderly is increasing in Botswana and many other sub-Sahara countries

Keywords: Charles Bonnet Syndrome, Hallucinations, Botswana

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email:

ISSN 2422-8419

Please add our address "" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright ©