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Seeking to understand: is hearing voices "in your head" the same as audibly hearing external voices

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Swirl

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Jan 9, 2015
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2
Seeking to understand: is hearing voices "in your head" the same as audibly hearing external voices

I would really love your help in understanding if my experience is the same as what is talked about as hearing voices.

When I have tried to explain it to psychiatrist and doctors when seeking help, they have written it off as nothing because I have described it as something I hear in my head, not as something that I hear from outside of me, so I always figured they were just normal thoughts, but in some kind of warped way.

I stumbled upon Eleanor Longdens TED talk and felt very connected to what she was speaking about. I went to the intervoice website and felt I could see how the voice I had, had the same kind of structure and effect on me as was described.

I suspected many times it was something more than "just my normal thoughts", but have never been able to get it confirmed, so I would love your help to distinguish what it is. Maybe it is just my thoughts, but intensified somehow...

When I was 13 a very cruel voice showed up in my head. It was part of the same sphere as my thoughts, but it was talking to me, it wasn't like when I was thinking.

It was incredibly abusive and hateful and told me what to do to harm myself, and that I had to do it because I was a worthless, disgusting human being that did not deserve anything but pain. The voice would go on and on with this talk, the most horrible verbal abuse. It was there all the time.

The things the voice told me to do were not things I had ever heard of or read anywhere at that age. It could for instance say that I should go to the woods and get a thick branch and then harm myself very hard repeatedly on my body until there were lots of bruises, as a punishment. If I did it, the voice would calm down for a tiny bit until it came back.

I became very mentally ill and dropped out of school and would not leave my mothers house for three years.
The voice followed me into adulthood and continually caused me to do violent self-harm and to feel horrific anxiety.

When I was 27 I was lucky enough to learn a tool to relax my mind completely rather than to follow whatever was appearing, and it helped bring the instances with the voice down significantly. After added medication it became even less, but will still pop up every now and then, especially if I get mentally sick with depression and anxiety.

Sometimes I still have to use every ounce of strength in me to not do as it says and harm myself. Also sedatives will calm it down.
 
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keepsafe

keepsafe

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Dec 15, 2008
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Hi, I also have voices that tell me I am worthless and tell me to harm myself, I can identify one of the voices.
Mine are external, I am not sure about internal voices, they (the professionals) do just tend to write them off as normal thought processes. I think what you are describing is something I very much identify with but my voices come from beside or behind me.

Its hard not to follow what the voices want or believe what they say so I admire you greatly though you have suffered a lot.

I can't say for sure what you are experiencing but what I do know is that it is very disturbing from my own experiences.

You are very brave and courageous

Did anything happen to you in your childhood to bring this trauma about?

KS
xxx
 
S

Swirl

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Jan 9, 2015
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Thank you so much for your reply and very encouraging and kind words, I'm very touched by them. Nobody ever said I was brave and courageous before and it was so touching to hear.
Mostly I consider myself, and society too, as very weak and a failed human being, so it meant a lot to hear that.

I had a difficult childhood with precarious circumstances, but I think it was significantly worsened by my disposition. I had a lot of "weird" thoughts from the time I can remember my thoughts, about 3 years old. Delusions of being deformed, deep shame about who I was, fear, believing I would be killed by other adults if I was left alone with them etc.
My father was mentally ill and a drug addict, and my mother has mental illness in her family, so I think genetics may have contributed a lot here.

I was bullied when I grew up and I would say that is my greatest trauma. I felt completely shattered as a human being and lost trust in all humans after that.
I can't allow a close relationship with anyone and hide my symptoms to everyone. It's an extremely lonely life.
 
keepsafe

keepsafe

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Dec 15, 2008
Messages
13,623
You are courageous.

Its difficult to allow people in to our lives when we have been hurt, believe ourselves not to be normal. What is normal though hey?

I can understand that you don;t want to be hurt, but I can also understand the need to be heard and understood. I hope that for you as life goes on there will be a different outlook for you - we are ok - we are what we are, it doesn;t make us untouchables.

It's difficult to love ourselves or to even like ourselves. I think personally you have taken a good step forward by joining the forum. I do hope you make great friends here

KS
xxxx
 
C

CaptainKirk

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Joined
Apr 6, 2015
Messages
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Location
USA, Richmond, Virginia
I wouldn't say that the voice that you heard when you were 13 is particularly you think of it maybe as part of the vessel or imperfect human mind that your in, thinking of it that way helps me a lot. Check out Carl Jung and the Collective conscious or subconscious. I call schizophrenia and aware subcouncious.
 
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Eigau

Guest
Hi Swirl, welcome to the forum! Psychiatrist are generally dismissive of voice hearers, as many don't believe their content has any purpose. So don't be surprised if they disregard what you say. They may still give you an antipsychotic.

Voices can be both internal and external. I would suggest you do as much research as possible rather than ask on forums as each voice hearer can have their own conception of what voices are. I would recommend looking up Phenomenology of Voices for some articles. Some of them have charts that I have found very helpful.

Take care.

Te
 
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