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Are voices in the head considered normal?


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Are voices in the head normal? I am sure that everyone talks to themselves in their heads, but what about when I hear someone else's voice in my head (not through the ears) interacting with my daily life and activities? I keep hearing internal voices from various people putting me down, judging me, and sometimes telling me what to do, or talking down to me, which lowers my confidence and self-esteem. Anybody can relate? What is this considered?

 

My psychiatrist said auditory hallucinations have to be outside of the ears. But how can my mind produce audible sound without breaking the laws of physics? I mean, isn't sound created by vibrations in the air such as through sound waves?

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Are voices in the head normal? I am sure that everyone talks to themselves in their heads, but what about when I hear someone else's voice in my head (not through the ears) interacting with my daily life and activities? I keep hearing internal voices from various people putting me down, judging me, and sometimes telling me what to do, or talking down to me, which lowers my confidence and self-esteem. Anybody can relate? What is this considered?

 

Yes, I can relate. I hear mostly my mother in my head.  I named this voice Phyllis.  It is Phyllis talking. She judges me, puts me down, always second guesses my choices, manages to make me wrong even when I KNOW I am right, ceaselessly criticizes and worries and somehow miraculously transfers a positive experience into some kind of trouble.

 

This internalized critical debate is debilitating.  Shut it down.  Jump off that endless ingrained brain rut like a skateboarder slides off the ramp. Don't talk back, don't give it ANY credence.  This voice serves no one.  It is your Crazy talking.  Smash the voice into a little box and send it out to sea. 

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My psychiatrist said auditory hallucinations have to be outside of the ears.

 

I disagree, based on personal experience.  I have both kinds of hallucinations (internal and external).  At my worst, I am hearing external hallucinations, and there are people "talking" to me in my mind (I don't hear them, but I know someone is talking to me), internally.

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I've only had external auditory hallucinations, and that is scary. Voices in my head? Never bothered me and I am always in control of them or me or whatever. I suppose if one can not control the voices in the head it could definitely be a problem but technically it really is not a auditory hallucination if it's in your head. The way it happens out of your head is still actually done by your brain but in such a way as to fool you in to thinking there is an actual real voice near you. Much like visual hallucinations too. So I agree with your doc he is correct imho.

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I disagree, based on personal experience.  I have both kinds of hallucinations (internal and external).  At my worst, I am hearing external hallucinations, and there are people "talking" to me in my mind (I don't hear them, but I know someone is talking to me), internally.

 

 

What are the internal ones classified as? Do they have a psychiatric terminology name? Because that is what I am "hearing" and I cannot control them.

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I've only had external auditory hallucinations, and that is scary. Voices in my head? Never bothered me and I am always in control of them or me or whatever. I suppose if one can not control the voices in the head it could definitely be a problem but technically it really is not a auditory hallucination if it's in your head. The way it happens out of your head is still actually done by your brain but in such a way as to fool you in to thinking there is an actual real voice near you. Much like visual hallucinations too. So I agree with your doc he is correct imho.

 

How do you control your "voices in your head"? Are those internal voices yours, or someone else's? You mention that if someone cannot control the voices in their head, that could be a problem. What kind of disorder is this, so I can better understand my condition and notify my doctor?

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I disagree, based on personal experience.  I have both kinds of hallucinations (internal and external).  At my worst, I am hearing external hallucinations, and there are people "talking" to me in my mind (I don't hear them, but I know someone is talking to me), internally.

 

 

What are the internal ones classified as? Do they have a psychiatric terminology name? Because that is what I am "hearing" and I cannot control them.

 

 

They are classified as hallucinations also AFAIK, no separate terminology that I know of.  The way I control them is to put on headphones and drown out the voices with loud music, or put on the radio, or something like that.  But I definitely have the internal AND external voices.  I didn't know there were both kinds until I experienced them both.

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I don't think that it's normal, no. I don't think that most people walk around with their head being so loud inside. I say this because when I was nine I asked my mum when I could expect the voices in my head to go away (as I never heard the adults around me mentioning them). She offered to take me to the doctor. So she, at least, doesn't hear voices in her head. 

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I've only had external ones, but I would think if they aren't your own voice that isn't normal. Especially since you have had psychotic symptoms before (I'm guessing from your sig).  You are right, the external voices aren't really external sounds, it just seems that way.  How are you feeling otherwise? (depressed, anxious, level)?  It looks like you are maxed out on abiilify but there are lots of other meds your pdoc can try.

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Inside the head is not considered a real hallucination because you know where it is, in your head. An actual auditory hallucination is just that. Think of it along the same lines as visual hallucinations. Are there internal and external visual hallucinations? nope. Another kind of hallucination one can have tactile hallucinations. The sense that bugs are all over you, you can actually feel them and see them. Or some one grabbing you or touching you. These are actual hallucinations. But that does not mean that constant voices or racing thoughts, in your head is a walk in the park. It can certainly present problems. What are voices in your head called? Simply voices in your head. You can't have a hallucination in your head, it would simply be a daydream. A hallucination must appear to be real, and external. Br thankful you do not have auditory hallucinations, they can be very scary.

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Here's one quote from someone with schizophrenia

Do the voices sound like they are coming from inside your head or through your ears?

"This is something else that’s changed a bit over time. They used to be more external, but now tend to be internal or outside, but very close to my ears. It can also vary depending on which voice is speaking."

http://blog.ted.com/2013/08/08/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-voice-hearing-but-were-too-afraid-to-ask/

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^^Do you have a reference link to where you got that information?

 

I KNOW mine are hallucinations, both internal and external.  I experience them all the time.

 

It's more of an opinion I share with others, I understand some consider both hallucinations but i couldn't disagree more in that. If you use the same logic used to call voices in our heads hallucinations, then we must also consider rhymes and tunes that suddenly out of no where come in to our heads, it doesn't seem its from us, where did the tunes come from then? What's the difference? A voice in your head can engage you in conversation much like a tune can engage you in humming or singing. The mechanics are the same. Where it can become a problem is if one can not control their thoughts or voices, just like the inability to control racing thoughts can be a problem too. Same mechanics. That some want to call voices in their heads hallucinations doesn't really bother me, call it whatever you like, but technically it is not a hallucination. Unless of course you want to change the meaning of hallucination to hearing any voice any where. In which case then many people even normal people would fall in that definition.

Edited by IndieVisible
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^^Do you have a reference link to where you got that information?

 

I KNOW mine are hallucinations, both internal and external.  I experience them all the time.

 

It's more of an opinion I share with others, I understand some consider both hallucinations but i couldn't disagree more in that. If you use the same logic used to call voices in our heads hallucinations, then we must also consider rhymes and tunes that suddenly out of no where come in to our heads, it doesn't seem its from us, where did the tunes come from then? What's the difference? A voice in your head can engage you in conversation much like a tune can engage you in humming or singing. The mechanics are the same. Where it can become a problem is if one can not control their thoughts or voices, just like the inability to control racing thoughts can be a problem too. Same mechanics. That some want to call voices in their heads hallucinations doesn't really bother me, call it whatever you like, but technically it is not a hallucination. Unless of course you want to change the meaning of hallucination to hearing any voice any where. In which case then many people even normal people would fall in that definition.

 

 

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.  I know what I experience (I actually hear them) -- auditory internal and external -- and I didn't know there were both until I experienced both of them.

 

Here is a PubMed link I found:

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0003742/#adam_003258.symptoms.causes

 

 

"Hallucinations involve sensing things while awake that appear to be real, but instead have been created by the mind."

 

That definition does not specify that they are only external.

 

Here is a CB topic that was brought up:

 

http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php/topic/62821-unusual-internal-auditory-hallucinations/

 

 

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0920996403000926

 

"Traditionally, auditory hallucinations (AHs) heard outside the head have been regarded as more pathological than those heard inside, partly on the basis that internal AHs are conceptually closer to normal thinking than external AHs. Our data show that many patients hear AHs both internally and externally ... "

Edited by melissaw72
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I've learned to see it as a matter of perception. If you perceive the talking as if it was coming from one of your senses, then it is a kind of hallucination. I personally don't think internal voices are auditory hallucinations, I think they are a kind of hallucination from a sense other than the 5 we know well. Like our minds are hallucinating on a sense that it created out of nowhere.

Another example is the 'feeling' of being watched. It's a perception and thus is actually considered a hallucination (though BELIEVING you are being watched is considered a delusion because it's a belief.)

Our 5 senses are only a basic way of describing our brain's input. We actually have many other senses (think balance) but they all get grouped into the big 5.

Anyway, I get these internal 'voices' too though mine don't talk in complete sentences. I usually get a few garbled words and a few words I can understand. It's like I'm picking up radio signals or something in my head though the content usually has to do with what I'm doing our thinking at that moment; It's what I would imagine telepathy to be like. It can be VERY distracting.

So generally:

• If you perceive it, it's a hallucination.

• If you believe it, it's a delusion.

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HI all,

 

I see both sides of the debate on this one; I guess what is important is, is it messing with your life? Is it interfering with your functioning, is it upsetting you? These are all valid (unless you have completely lost touch with reality) questions to ask yourself.  I hear a constant voice in my head but that would most likely be a part of me/feels like me, etc and I wish I would shut up! I really hate when my mind is racing and I can't switch it off which is why I am currently grateful for Seroquel on a small dose 25-75mg for helping me sleep a little bit (still wake up early though and think might have a melatonin imbalance as I see lights outside my head with my eyes closed - sorry, hard to explain).  I really think your own voice constantly going on inside your head could be considered outside the norm too - especially if it is not helping you.  Just my two cents' worth.  :)

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I dont hear internal voices, and healthy people do not hear voices. The only time I heard it was med induced, and my pdoc was really worried at that time, so it seems it was not a normal thing.

If you say that the internal voices judge you, tell you what to do and put you down, then it is a problem.

Edited by CookieN
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HI all,

 

I see both sides of the debate on this one; I guess what is important is, is it messing with your life? Is it interfering with your functioning, is it upsetting you? These are all valid (unless you have completely lost touch with reality) questions to ask yourself.  I hear a constant voice in my head but that would most likely be a part of me/feels like me, etc and I wish I would shut up! I really hate when my mind is racing and I can't switch it off which is why I am currently grateful for Seroquel on a small dose 25-75mg for helping me sleep a little bit (still wake up early though and think might have a melatonin imbalance as I see lights outside my head with my eyes closed - sorry, hard to explain).  I really think your own voice constantly going on inside your head could be considered outside the norm too - especially if it is not helping you.  Just my two cents' worth.  :)

 

Everyone has an inner voice.That is how I think. I don't think that is what the OP meant, though

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