I do not know if the fact that I am bipolar makes a difference, but there are times that I can smell smoke very strongly, but there is none around. It is almost unbearable, but then it goes away after awhile. Has anyone ever had this happen? Is there such a thing as fantom smells?


3339 days ago
Do you notice a relationship between manic or depressive symptoms and the smell of smoke? Also, are you on medication for the bipolar?

I'm no expert, but I know that bipolar people can have psychotic symptoms which can include hallucinations. I've heard of visual, auditory and even tactile hallucinations (petting an elephant in the room). I don't see why someone couldn't have olfactory hallucinations. It might help to get a friend to see if they smell smoke when you do, to rule out the possibility that nothing weird is going on.

If it persists, you could consult with a medical doctor or your psychiatrist to make sure nothing else is going on, just to be sure.

3338 days ago
This really isn't an answer, but I do the exact same thing! And I have gotten my husband to check and no matter when or what, he never smells the smoke either. And it has a very distinctive smell, like dried leaves burning or something like that. And I have only noticed it during my more manic phases. But that doesn't mean that's the only time it happens. I actually thought it was from the med I have recently started, Tegretol. Has anyone else had this happen?

3337 days ago
I have had the experience of smelling the "burning leaves",smokey smell..that no one else seems to be able

to smell. This happened back in the 80's,after a very bad divorce,the ex taking our four kids out of state,and on the run,and five years of not dating,and to top it off,finally the new boyfriend let me know he was gay.

It never occured to me that I was having mental issues.Just thought it was stress,and that if I held on,things would get better!

Now,that I'm in my 60's,(and not smelling that burning smell),a psych dr has diagnosed me with ptss,anxiety and bipolar II...after experiencing homelessness since March of 2008,and living in two women's centers..etc.

During this ordeal,I did not smell the "odora" BUT did have

a few hallucinations..which clued me in to seek help.

All is well,now,as of Nov. Am now in my own apt.and have qualified for ssi,etc.

Am thinking it's not meds that cause the phantom smells,but excessive stress.

But why would we smell a burning smell?

*My mother had epilepsy and would sometimes see silvery streaks and strange smells,just before she would have a

seizure. For a while,thought I might have an epilepsy disorder.

3337 days ago
I also have had this, but it was mainly when right after my Dad stopped smoking. He smoked for like 60 years and had lung cancer.

Once he had his lung removed, he stopped smoking.

But I can still smell it from time to time. Perhaps it is just a different kind of smell that is so similar to the smoke that it triggers that thought in our heads?



2279 days ago
FOR 3 YEARS. After extensive MRI's, CAT Scans, sinus surgeries, X-Rays....It turns out to be ALLERGIES! I smelled smoke for 3 years. At first it wasn't odd since I am a fireman. So I discounted it. Up until I transferred to a specialty station that no longer handles structure fires. Maybe the smell was stuck in my turnout gear? Nope, Got new gear issued to me and there it was again. So off to specialists I go. In short, an over the counter allergy medication known as fexofenadine (ALLEGRA) without the pseudoephidrine, solved everything! I just so happened to borrow some from my engineer when I forgot my traditional/antihistamine medication of choice (Claritin & Zyrtec). I tried all other allergy meds in the past and over looked the Allegra stuff due to the cost and the ignorance that "all allergy and sinus meds are the same". Well it took a couple of doses for me to realize that I no longer smelled the smoke. After my second dose, I could almost time it to when the smoke smell would start to come back. In the beginning, I smelled a campfire-like smoke along with the burning eyes. After the fexofenadine, the smoke smell morphed to cigarette-like smell then ultimately to paper or lint-like burning smell. After 6 days of taking the allergy meds, the smell of burning has gone away. I can still sense when the medication is wearing down, when I start to smell a hint of smell like a hot dry summer day. DRINK A BUNCH OF WATER on this stuff. Not saying that this is the cure, since I don't dare discontinue taking the allegra yet. However, it has given me back my sanity. The guys at work razzed me about it for years saying it was my brain cells spontaneously combusting! I hope this info helps someone. I would try each med until I found the one that worked. I imagine that each of us have a different reaction to the various OTC allergy meds, name brand to generic. Give it a shot! I CAN FINALLY SMELL THE ROSES!!!