Understanding the People in Your Head
Back in olden times people with auditory hallucinations were depicted as prophets who have been "blessed by God". We have been turned from people to worship to people who are labeled as crazy and need to be put in a mental hospital. Common everyday people always think that if you hear voices you must be absolutely insane. Today's society doesn't help concur this belief either, since hearing voices is a common story line for horror films and psychological thrillers. Even though 5 to 13 percent of adults have experienced auditory hallucinations society still demonizes people who hears voices.
Now lets go into detail about what its really like to have voices constantly stuck in your head.
Types of Voices You Might Hear
One of the most common types of auditory hallucination that you probably even don't realize you have is mistake hearing a sound. You know how sometimes you might be walking in a store or just at home and you thought someone called your name? Or maybe you thought you heard your phone go off? This has happened to just about everyone at one time or another.
The following auditory hallucinations commonly lead up to or will happen before hearing distinct voices. These hallucinations do not always lead to hearing voices. You may hear:
- A rhythmic tune
- Indistinct laughter
"The voices are so loud it feels like they are tearing my head apart"— Anonymous
Since we have covered what sounds can lead up to hearing voices, lets cover the different types of voices one might hear. Some of the types of hallucinations are more serious than others, so if you have a voice in you head that I've put asterisks around please be cautious and possibly talk to someone about it. (example: *non-stop voices*) Voices you might hear:
- A departed relative, friend, or angel speak to them
- A singular male or female voice
- A recognizable voice such as your mother or brother
- Multiple voices conversing with each other or with the hearer
- *An evil or threatening voice* (If the hearer is unable to shut the voice up this is very serious)
- God or a religious figure
- Losing track of internal thought and turning your thoughts into voices
- *Hearing voices that you think are in the real world*
- Only hearing voices when you are in a specific mood
- *Command Hallucinations* (This is a voice that commands you to do things. Which can become very serious if you start to listen to this voice.)
Have you ever had an auditory hallucination?
What is it like to have voices?
Everyone is different when experiencing auditory hallucinations, however most who talk about it claim that the voices are very loud and annoying. Close your eyes and imagine going to lay down after a long day running around about to lay on your cozy bed, and BAM! A non-stop voice starts going on-and-on about trivial things. You try to make it calm down and be silent or at least muffled but it just gets louder and louder. Sometimes this is as bad as it gets for some people, however some have other voices that chime in. For instance they will have one voice cheering them on and the other telling them that their worthless. Most people who have voices in their head describe them as painful, in the sense that they make people get headaches and sometimes even get to the point where it makes the hearer want to tear their head apart. Also most people who have voices deal with the more unpleasant types of voices, such as an evil or threatening voice, command hallucinations, or multiple voices conversing. Notice that these are the more serious and life threatening types of voices, however their more common because most people with voices also either have depression or anxiety. Since people with those diagnoses already have a low self worth it is no surprise that if you develop voices they will be unpleasant and most likely try to control you.
To suffer from constant auditory hallucination is similar to being trapped inside a small room full of a crowd of people all talking to you at once. It is to have a person constantly in your ear telling you how you won't amount to anything. It can also feel similar to fighting against yourself on a daily basis, because all you want to do is the right thing but the voices don't allow you to. They want you to stay in and suffer in your self loathing, meanwhile all you want to do is go out and try anything possible to feel better. Below you can play a simulation to understand what its like to have voices in your head. I recommend using headphones or ear buds to experience what it is truly like to hear these voices.