Need Help Identifying What's Going On

O

Opsylum

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Hey everyone, I'm new here, and was looking for some advice before I go in to a doctor. I just recently acquired a second job, so I'll be able to afford health insurance, and intend to get medication for a problem I've had. I've tried to do internet research on what might be going on, but I don't feel confident I've pinpointed it.

I hear a voice that isn't there, pretty much all the time. It's intrusive, and I often speak back to them instinctively, without meaning to. It usually doesn't happen when people are within earshot, although the problem has been getting worse over the years and lately I've had several occasions where I've slipped. I don't hear the voice as an auditory hallucination - that is to say, I don't hear it like I hear other people talking to me - it happens inside my head, where it feels real but I don't perceive it as anything else than thoughts. If I'm really stressed, I'll start feeling like someone is around, or my head starts jerking instinctively, or weird things like that. I'd generally figure this is just negative self-talk, although it seems a bit more extreme. If I try tricks like finishing its sentence or willfully speaking its words out loud, or things like that, it imposes itself more forcefully on me, and adapts to what I do. I've tried to argue with it before and felt my body literally shrink, and look at the clock to discover twenty minutes had passed during what felt like five, or the other way around.

I've had this problem as long as I remember, although I generally attribute it to some traumatic childhood events. Without flooding anyone with needless details, I was raised fundamentalist Christian, with authoritarian parents who had it in their head that isolating, demeaning, screaming at, and physically abusing their kid was the best way to raise a good, submissive Christian. I bought into the religion at the time, especially the parts about hearing demons and the voice of the Holy Spirit in my own mind. As I believed God himself was always reading my thoughts, I tried to micromanage them and think only good thoughts (which never worked out). When I heard thoughts that didn't appear to be my own, I assumed they belonged to spirits, and treated them as such (giving them personalities and names and agendas) all the way up to my early twenties. At a certain point, they would try to imitate each other, so that I would hear one voice and think it belonged to one person, only minutes later to discover it was really this other person trying to trick me. They felt like real people living inside my brain, although they never had a gender or a distinctive-sounding voice.

I left Christianity a while ago, and ever since only one voice has really stuck with me - unfortunately a "demon's." I once visually hallucinated it during my teenage years, but haven't really experienced anything like that since. I just hear an imposing, constant voice that's sometimes louder than what's happening around me, and interferes with my ability to work and live my life. I want it gone.

If anyone has any insight, I'd love to hear your thoughts. I don't think this qualifies as anything as extreme as schizophrenia, as I don't hear the voice in an auditory form (I just disappear into my head) - but I really don't know how to identify this, and I want to represent my condition to my doctor well in order to get the right treatment. Thanks for your time.
 
calypso

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I was brought up Plymouth Bretheren so totally get where you are coming from. My parents rejected it but sent me and my brothers along to all the meetings (don't ask me why!). We did the whole demon possession thing too. I now reject Christianity as a very unsafe place for me.

I have voices inside my head and I'm not schizophrenic. Schizophrenia is much more than hearing a voice. You might be interested to know that hearing voices is now known to be very common which I only found out about a year or so ago.

Could it be the last remnant of your upbringing still affecting you? I had therapy and that helped immeasurably (I am also diagnosed bipolar by the way). Might it be an idea to think of going to therapy?
 
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Opsylum

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I'm sorry that happened, Calypso. Thanks for sharing.

Yeah, I don't think I'm schizophrenic. I just wasn't finding anything online that completely reflected my own experiences. Rather than voices, my mind functions like there are two distinct personalities present in it, and for fractions of a second I feel like I disappear and this thing evokes through my body. There was one incident that greatly concerned me where I grasped hold of my girlfriend's neck (she had asked me to, as it's a kink of hers, although she felt it got too real and I didn't feel like myself in that moment). She told me to stop, and I did immediately, fortunately enough. It just feels like there's a person behind those voices, who I don't have any control over.

I don't know. That would be a comfort to learn this isn't anything uncommon (and a little bit scary). Therapy is totally something I'm wanting to get into, and is partially the reason I applied for a second job, to be able to afford it. When I can afford it, I'll definitely do that. It's probably also worth mentioning that my parents are still in my life to an extent - I've separated myself from my father, but my mother is still involved to some extent, and the both of them have a lot of sway with how my younger siblings see me, so I try to stay a little involved.
 
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Opsylum

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Sorry, I miswrote something, and can't seem to edit the original post. This sentence should be:

Rather than just hearing negative voices like negative self-talk is described as, my mind functions like there are two distinct personalities that exist in it, and for fractions of a second I feel like I disappear and this thing evokes through my body.
 
NWiddi

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my mind functions like there are two distinct personalities present in it
That's because there is, all humans have two minds sharing one body, mine talks to me all the time and has done for over 3 years now.

Most go unnoticed, they can influence our decisions in a very subtle way, what to say, eat and do but some decide to talk to us directly and if you've found these forums yours will probably be a rather bad one like mine is. Mine is so bad I haven't said a word to him for two and a half years, he refuses to give me any kind of peace and quiet and I'm lucky if I get 5 minutes without him speaking, he also does physical things like cause me pain as he has connections to the body that my mind doesn't so you're lucky yours is just a voice in your head.

They rely on a neurotransmitter called Dopamine to talk and effect the body, getting anti-psychotics which reduce Dopamine levels will help lower the volume of the voice by around 95% letting you concentrate and focus more like they have done for me.

If you tell any doctor you're hearing voices they'll probably prescribe them to you, I'm on a rather high dose of 10mg Aripiprazole and 4mg of Risperidone with very few side effects to stop mine from doing the physical things to me like cause me pain but since yours just talks a low dose should be enough to help.

The main goal is to get them to be symbiotic with you (you're good for them and they're good for you) and I can teach you ways to negotiate with them and what you can do for each other if things go well after you get the medication you need.

Good luck and take care!
 
boudreauj4

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I read a book that I thought was very good titled Hearing Voices: A Common Human Experience by John Watkins. It is all about all the different ways people hear voices and that it is much more common than most people think. Things like grieving, to religious experiences, to shamanism, to mental illness and others. Many people function fine in life with these voices so they may not have ever seeked any professional help for them, so it is often not really considered a mental illness. Later in the book he explains 20 different ways to help cope with the voices.
 

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