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Hearing voices question


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When I'm hypomanic, there is a thing that happens when I lay down to go to sleep. First, I want to mention that I know it's normal to sometimes hear a voice as you're falling asleep because you're in a hypnogogic state. I've experienced that. As I fall asleep, I'll hear a voice and it kind of startles me back awake.

What I'm concerned about is different. As I lay down to fall asleep and become relaxed, but am still very awake, I'll become aware of voices in my head. And by voices I mean it sounds like I'm sitting in a bustling restaurant full of people having conversations, snippets of which I can pick up. There are female voices and male voices, but usually there is one voice that is stronger than the others (and it isn't the same voice every night - sometimes the strongest voice might be a woman's, sometimes the strongest voice might be a man's.)

When this happens, I'm aware enough to think, "wow, I'm hearing voices. I should tell my pdoc about this." And I'm also aware enough to listen to what they are saying, which I always find interesting. The content is always pretty neutral, nothing stands out as overtly positive or negative - it's just random conversation like you might hear in a group of strangers while passing through a public place. But I can reflect on the fact that I'm hearing voices and that my brain is freaking weird.

My pdoc, after explaining this to her, is kind of non-committal, says things like, "well, that does seem unusual, like there is something going on there." My tdoc seemed altogether unimpressed, hardly commented on it at all.

Soooo....I know that some folks here have psychotic symptoms and are dx'd as bipolar I. I've been dx'd as bipolar II. What I'd like to know is whether what I'm describing above seems totally normal? Nothing to be worried about? Or is it more on the probably-not-a-hypnogogic-hallucination side? I'm just never really sure what to make of it, and I haven't gotten a lot of help from my docs. Does anyone else experience this kind of thing?

Thanks for any advice...

(Update: Oh -- and when I'm hypomanic and this kind of thing happens, I'll often have a remarkably loud inner dialog during the day. Like when I have thoughts, I can hear myself thinking them. Or when I have an imaginary conversation in my head, I can hear the voices of the participants very loudly as I think about it. These "loud voice" things all feel like they go together for me.)

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If I am understanding you correctly, I have had something similar at one point. I actually could not sleep at the time so I don't think it could have been a hypnogogic state for me. I was in a vicious cycle of sleep deprivation and hallucinations at the time. To the best of my knowledge I have never had hypnogogic hallucinations.

I could not make out exactly what they were saying, but I gathered that they were talking about me. I believed that I was intercepting phone calls from other countries. It was always at the same time (between about 9pm and 10pm), and it probably lasted a few weeks.

Though I do not have BP.

I know you got a bit of a shit response from pdoc/tdoc last time you brought this up, but if it is bugging you then I would keep bringing it up until you get an answer. I do not know if this would count as a hypnogogic experience or not. I only think that when I had something a little bit similar that it wasn't for me, but that is going purely by my experiences.

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I have bipolar and I have that. It doesn't impact my life like it used to, I am on an anti psychotic for what they term 'transient stress related psychosis' which just means that I tend o get psychotic under stress but also have periods of normalcy. My psychosis acts up with my moods, they're in sync.

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I know you got a bit of a shit response from pdoc/tdoc last time you brought this up, but if it is bugging you then I would keep bringing it up until you get an answer. I do not know if this would count as a hypnogogic experience or not. I only think that when I had something a little bit similar that it wasn't for me, but that is going purely by my experiences.

I appreciate you sharing your experience. Maybe it's a bit different in how we perceive what we hear, but hearing something that isn't there is pretty strange. I'll definitely bring it up again next time it happens.

I have bipolar and I have that. It doesn't impact my life like it used to, I am on an anti psychotic for what they term 'transient stress related psychosis' which just means that I tend o get psychotic under stress but also have periods of normalcy. My psychosis acts up with my moods, they're in sync.

Thanks so much -- this is really helpful! The voices really only happen when I'm hypomanic, or in some kind of weird mixed state where I'm all amped up but in a negative way. But anyway, when my brain is in overdrive, the voices come back. It's just that it doesn't seem to meet the "textbook" examples of aural hallucinations/psychosis that I've read. It doesn't sound like someone standing next to me, outside of myself, I'm always aware it's in my head. And the voices aren't talking to me, I'm not afraid of them, I can listen like a detatched third party. *shrug*

I appreciate being able to talk about this here.

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If it's only when you are going to sleep, it doesn't sound like psychosis and I wouldn't worry about it. (Sorry to sound like your pdoc/tdoc :))

The stuff when you are hypo sounds like the wonderful world of racing thoughts and noisy head. I have no idea what the technical term for noisy head is.

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If it's only when you are going to sleep, it doesn't sound like psychosis and I wouldn't worry about it. (Sorry to sound like your pdoc/tdoc :))

The stuff when you are hypo sounds like the wonderful world of racing thoughts and noisy head. I have no idea what the technical term for noisy head is.

Oh, "noisy head" is a good word for it, and I think I've called it something similar with my tdoc. No worries about hearing the same sentiments as expressed by my docs. I really appreciate hearing the opinion of others who have dealt with or are dealing with similar things. I just don't have anyone to really talk to about this stuff *except* my docs, and it leaves me feeling curious. It's nice to have a sounding board sometimes. Or a reality check, you know?

Thanks for your response!

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Wow, it looks like I can comment.

When I am falling asleep, I hear things from my fan, which is right next to me. One night it sounded like a phone ringing all night argh. I also have the thing of hearing sort of muffled conversations, like a tv in the background. When I mentioned those to my pdoc. she said that they are psychotic symptoms, and we need to adjust my meds. The talking paople sounds have gone away, and the phone sound is fading.

In a way, I hate to let them go... they're like keeping me company. Anybody else feel like that?

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