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My wife is hearing voices and I need some helpful advise

Gajolene

Gajolene

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With my son JS (who has scitzoaffective)he is very reluctant to talk anything about his voices unless he is really triggered and upset by the ones he can hear. A lot of time he will here faint whispers through white noise which he finds very distressing and paranoia inducing and will spend hours straining to hear what they are saying to him, while getting upset and demanding complete silence in the house, or demanding we admitt we are hearing them too, because he can hear them so clearly at times. He also hears random noises which aren't voices as well. Through walls, coming from outside ect.
I don't pry at him for information when he is upset, as he can get quite volitile and has no insight into they're not being real (as in what you would normally hear). I know they are "real" to him, so rather than saying that they are not, I will at times just say, I'm not hearing what your hearing, or "I can't agree with that conclusion as I can't hear it." or "I wish I could help you more with what your going through/know what your going through" Aside from that there is very little I can do when his voices are triggering him. It only upsets him more and make him more volitile.

JD (disorganized/delusional scitzophrenic)when he's very ill and in his disorganized states, will have so many thoughts/voices bombarding him that he can't speak a sentance without changing topics several times completely within a couple of minutes, they call it "Word Salad" when it happens, he also gets a lot of word association going of when that happens as well. He can not communicate at all at those times
I highly suspect it is a manic state when this happens to him, but the mania doesn't end with JD, without his injections he regress' within a couple days back into those states. He hallucinates converstions with full visual people as well during those times, more mildly when not so disorganized, but is never scared or paranoid like JS gets. He has great fun with his and would happily stay in that state disconnected from reality permanently if he could. Unfortunately he can not function or care for himself at all in those states so medical intervention is essential with him. But he is happy to tell me about any of them and laughs at it hysterically.

Don't know if any of that information helps or not, just my day to day's at home with my boys, and how I handle it.
 
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Eigau

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Mainly the things that you have described so far in this thread. Behaviour patterns, as well as what the voices say if she let's you know. Voices take a lot of work to gain their trust. You've done nothing wrong, you asked the right and valid questions. The information you gained is that the voices don't yet trust you, so in my opinion, you need to keep reassuring both your wife and through her, her voices. You are doing well with the questions you have asked, it's a bit like driving, you have to adapt to the conditions which are changing all the time.

Take care, Te
 
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themountaineer

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Tough day today, we are away on a short break, I gave her the whole evening to herself yesterday (in which she skipped going out for a meal with me and stayed awake most of the night), today she has also been asked to be left alone (again she has skipped meals). I had to beg her this morning to come down for breakfast but she refused, so I took some food to her which she ate a minimal amount of. She is now refusing to come out for a meal again tonight. She thinks eating will change her "state" and will effect the communication, she has promised me she will be more present tomorrow and will eat and just needed this time today to try resolve things, claiming she has not really had the space to do so. She is quite calm, reasonable and relaxed, I have not asked any questions today, just suggested we put a framework around this, as it cannot get in the way of her being able to look after herself by eating etc. So I'll see what tomorrow brings having given her what will be 36hrs to herself (albiet I am in the same room/space most of the time being quite and getting on with reading, researching and trying to stay calm myself). I really wish she would get involved with the forum, I will try and encourage her too again, when I mention it she gets defensive so I am treading egg shells at the moment. My big worry is when I go back to work next week, as I am away from home quite frequently on duties.
 
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Eigau

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She is correct that deprivation of different kinds can make the experience more potent. Whether that is a good thing comes back to the word "balance". It's also important to know that voices can take on the voices and sounds of familiar and unfamiliar people or surroundings. So it's quite possible to lose yourself in the experience. I don't say this to scare you, but to prepare you. I know all this information may be overwhelming, however the voices have no need of sleep and can remain constant where as we only have small windows to talk.

Things get very complicated when the voice hearer is deprived of sleep and food. Ideally, you do not want her to be alone for long periods. You may need to think about letting a trusted person know about the situation. May be they could come to the house while you work. I will be here to and reply when I can.

I'm really sorry you feel like you're walking on egg shells. Your suggestion about setting up a framework was excellent. Also she needs to be reminded later that she said she would be more present and follow through on her word. This is important for her to show the voices that she is reliable. It may be helpful to make suggestions along those lines.

Take care, Te
 
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themountaineer

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Thanks Te, appreciated
 
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themountaineer

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A more positive day today, the sleep done some good last night I think, it took some negotiation in the morning to come into the present with me, but she joined me for breakfast and later that day a walk with some people, so she kept to her word. I even managed to talk about this forum for a short while without being immediately cut off, and she is warming to the idea of joining which is good. She is getting anxious about going back to work, so I started a new thread here http://www.mentalhealthforum.net/forum/thread99093.html
 
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Eigau

Guest
That's great news! If she should come onto the forum, it may be a good idea for you to be with her when she comes on until she finds her footing. In my opinion she is in a vulnerable state at the moment. If she is due to return to work, the stress may destabilize her further. It's important to know that the non-medical route is the harder one to traverse. I will also look at your new thread and post any thoughts there.

Take care. Te
 
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themountaineer

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So here is an update (not sure if I need to start new threads for this or just continue here, it is easier for me on one thread I guess)

Last week agreed that we would get an appointment with the GP today and my wife would arrange this. In the morning she woke up saying she is fine and that she does not need to see anyone. She had just spent 50 mins ironing two items, so I subtly pointed out that maybe she is still getting a bit distracted. So I book the GP and get a same day appointment for later that afternoon. A few hours later I go and check on her (thankfully I was working from home today), she starts freaking out about the GP appointment and revealed some more of what is going on with the voices (btw, I am not actually allowed to use the words hearing voices with my wife, so I have to say noise, as the voices know I am talking about them). She described her experience as she is stuck in this communication channel, a bit like tuning into a radio, she is being told she is not meant to be there and the voice said they are doing what they can to get her out, and over the last few weeks have been trying to guide her out. She was promised she would be back to normal that morning, but as she overslept she has missed that opportunity. Also she said now I have booked the GP she will never get better as more people will know and that I should have left it. She did feel she was being communicated to by either another planet or lifeforms out of our human knowledge, and that she knows it sounds crazy if you say it like that, but that is her experience, and she cannot tell the GP that as they only look at the medical model.

For the GP visit we focussed on what our initial goal, to get something to help her sleep at night (she has been sleeping maybe 2hrs or so a night, she may lay with eyes shut, but not asleep, just stuck in this communication channel). We both know sleep deprivation can play havoc on the mind and cause hallucinations (I know this is not the root cause, but clearly not helping the situation), so we will try this out for 1 to 2 weeks and see if this helps make it at least more manageable or at best resolve it. After that point if it is unmanageable I'll book her into see a private clinician for a proper assessment.

A question, how long can an episode last for? (I know this is difficult to answer, as it will vary massively).

She has been experiencing this for 5 months, she thinks it is almost over, as that is what she is being told by the voices.

Apparently it started off with her becoming very sensitive to noises, and over time these noises have developed into communication. She is also getting brain zaps from time to time, which I would put down to sleep deprivation.

I'm not ashamed to say I burst into tears today, I just want to help her so much and make sure she is ok.
 
cpuusage

cpuusage

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She did feel she was being communicated to by either another planet or lifeforms out of our human knowledge, and that she knows it sounds crazy if you say it like that, but that is her experience, and she cannot tell the GP that as they only look at the medical model.
i personally feel that these non-ordinary experiences do often involve stuff that is outside of normal rationality. There are many ways of understanding & approaching it all from non-medical means, but it can be hard to find the people experienced enough to do so.

Your wife is right that the Doctors won't understand & it & it will all be primarily approached in terms of pathology, labels & drugs.

i think medications can sometimes help, if used wisely.

Hope she resolves things more soon. Stuff can clear & resolve itself. Can only suggest as calm, open & honest communication as possible, & see how your wife wants to approach it all. Does she have any spiritual leanings? Some alternative/spiritual healers are a lot better than others, & some would be willing to work with her. It's maybe worth a try. People can & do learn to work & cope with their experiences outside of the mental health system. People need a lot of support.

None of that means to say that mental illness doesn't exist - it does. i'd see it as how best can it all be approached? Sometimes the intervention of services is needed, but very hard call as to when that is appropriate, & what outcomes there will be from getting them involved.

5 to 20mg of valium a night, for a few days/intermittently might help to reintroduce a sleep/wake cycle.
 
Gajolene

Gajolene

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How old is your wife, may I ask? Just that scitzophrenia most commonly comes on in late teens to mid 20's with people, there are of course exceptions to the norm.

It is quite common for people to report heightened sensitivity to noise, smells, sense of touch ect. before going into a psychosis state. Please keep recording what your wife is going through in as much detail as possible. I don't think a GP is trained enough to handle what is going on with your wife either, you most likely need a referral to a psychiatrist if this really gets out of control and becomes dangerous for you.

How is her behaviour now between episodes of hearing? Is she showing a lot of paranioa?

My JS had me in tears as well the last couple days, It is so hard to communicate when lack of insight is stopping the mentally unwell person from being able to rationalize and you feel so helpless in being able to do anything to stop it.

It is really concerning me that the voices are now telling her what to do, and that she is doing what they say. As long as it's harmless it's fine, but if it crosses the line and she start self harming, or putting herself in danger, or you or others in danger of harm, hospital may be your only option left.

Huge huge hugs.:hug:
 
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themountaineer

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Does she have any spiritual leanings? Some alternative/spiritual healers are a lot better than others, & some would be willing to work with her. It's maybe worth a try. People can & do learn to work & cope with their experiences outside of the mental health system. People need a lot of support.

None of that means to say that mental illness doesn't exist - it does. i'd see it as how best can it all be approached? Sometimes the intervention of services is needed, but very hard call as to when that is appropriate, & what outcomes there will be from getting them involved.

Yes she is quite a spiritual person, so that is always an option. I am keeping a very open mind for this, and want to work as much with her and they way she wants to approach this. She was prescribed a mild sleeper, basically antihistamine (the drowsy type) that she will take for a few weeks. I'd really love her to talk to other people experiencing similar non ordinary experiences, I am sure that in itself would be helpful, especially for finding how people cope in different ways.

Regarding intervention, we are not at that stage, and I am monitoring her closely, if I felt she was in danger or myself, I'd be straight on the case. She is very calm and can function relatively well, just getting a quite exhausted with the experience and praying it comes to an end soon.
 
cpuusage

cpuusage

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Yes she is quite a spiritual person, so that is always an option. I am keeping a very open mind for this, and want to work as much with her and they way she wants to approach this. She was prescribed a mild sleeper, basically antihistamine (the drowsy type) that she will take for a few weeks. I'd really love her to talk to other people experiencing similar non ordinary experiences, I am sure that in itself would be helpful, especially for finding how people cope in different ways.
There is the spiritual emergency network -

The Spiritual Emergence Network | spiritualemergence.com

In Case of Spiritual Emergency: About Catherine

Tons of info out there - i put together a thread of resources & info here - http://www.mentalhealthforum.net/forum/thread54371.html
 
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themountaineer

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How old is your wife, may I ask? Just that scitzophrenia most commonly comes on in late teens to mid 20's with people, there are of course exceptions to the norm.


How is her behaviour now between episodes of hearing? Is she showing a lot of paranioa?

Huge huge hugs.:hug:
Thanks for the reply

She is in her early 40s, and never has experienced this before.

Not displaying any paranoia in between episodes, or really during either. The only paranoia was around telling the GP, which I fully understand, as this could have implications that may not be helpful and cause additional stress.

She is not really acting on what is being said, she is just listening and does not communicate back. She described it a moment ago as a bit like watching a film, and if you tune out you miss important dialogue and cannot piece together the plot so it gets confusing.

I feel she is in a safe place, it is more when she wants to be left alone she gets caught up in her mind, and I need to help her put a boundary around this, so moments when she can indulge and moments when she needs to focus on external thinking. So I am trying to put some things in place so she can focus on some things while I am out at work. A walk in the local park, or give some tasks like go to local shops to pick up some ingredients I will need to cook that evening, just to get her out of the house.
 
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Eigau

Guest
Hi there, you are doing really well. In my opinion, an episode will vary in length depending on the amount of awareness the person has of themselves and their environment. The more involved with voices one is the more trance-like their condition becomes and the harder it is to pull out of it. But not listening to voices can be intense and overwhelming also. So it is a difficult balancing act.

I want to be up front with you, but it may be difficult to take. From the moment I started hearing voices to the moment I was hospitalized and in a serious catatonic state was about 5 or 6 weeks. It ramped up very quickly in my case. It took about six months until I was able to find a constructive way of dealing with the voices.

Take care, Te
 
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