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I'm exploring the possibility of a SZ/SZA diagnosis. A friend who works in mental health (but is not himself a psychiatrist/psychologist) suggested I bring up with my pdoc that I "hear" voices. 

I do have voices in my head, but they're firmly in my head - I am and always have been clearly aware of the difference between an internal "voice" and sounds I hear with my ears (if that makes sense). These aren't voices that have sound or anything like that, but it is constant chatter and mostly negative/depression. I have whole conversations with myself (in my head). Therapy has helped that, in that they're more conversations/debates... they used to be purely scolding, teasing, bullying, etc. 

I don't remember a time when I didn't have this kind of "voice" in my head, which is perhaps why it doesn't seem like something I'd bring up with pdoc... I thought this was normal.

What is your experience of voices? Does this sound at all like yours? Apologies if I shouldn't be asking this here.

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I've heard both internal and external voices, though the external voices aren't very clear (usually a scream, unintelligible banter, etc). You should definitely let your pdoc know that are experiencing this. Hallucinations aren't specific to Sz/Sza, and can occur in a variety of other illnesses, including depression.

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5 hours ago, Geek said:

I'm exploring the possibility of a SZ/SZA diagnosis. A friend who works in mental health (but is not himself a psychiatrist/psychologist) suggested I bring up with my pdoc that I "hear" voices. 

I do have voices in my head, but they're firmly in my head - I am and always have been clearly aware of the difference between an internal "voice" and sounds I hear with my ears (if that makes sense). These aren't voices that have sound or anything like that, but it is constant chatter and mostly negative/depression. I have whole conversations with myself (in my head). Therapy has helped that, in that they're more conversations/debates... they used to be purely scolding, teasing, bullying, etc. 

I don't remember a time when I didn't have this kind of "voice" in my head, which is perhaps why it doesn't seem like something I'd bring up with pdoc... I thought this was normal.

What is your experience of voices? Does this sound at all like yours? Apologies if I shouldn't be asking this here.

(bold 1) ... What you write sounds very similar to what I experience.  I "hear" voices inside my head, as well as the auditory voices.  The voices in my head (that no one hears) are always trying to "think" to me about stuff, especially when I listen to music.  It is hard to distract myself when they are thinking to me.

(bold 2) ... I would definitely bring this up with your pdoc.  IME, because I waited so long to tell my pdoc about the voices, all of it became ingrained, so now they happen and I will spontaneously react to them, and it is like a "normal" thing for me now to answer the voices or whatever.  Even though I know they are not real and they are not normal to have. 

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Auditory hallucinations that are 'inside the head' are the most difficult to figure out, I think. The overwhelming majority of my hallucinations (including visual, kinesthetic, tactile, and olfactory, in addition to auditory) are very clear perceptions that I cannot distinguish from real life whatsoever.

When an auditory hallucination is inside of your head, it's different. It's more like an impression of a perception. It's very hard to describe. And yet it can seem just as real in its own way. It's sort of a delusion of a hallucination, I guess you might say.

I have had some command hallucinations that combine delusion, outside of the head auditory hallucinations, inside of the head auditory hallucinations, and inside of the head visual hallucinations. 

I suppose the hallmark of any kind of hallucination is that you can't will it away. At least I can't. If I have commentary, music, or whatever going on in my head, and I can influence it, stop it, or do something that blots it out, then I don't consider it to be a hallucination. 

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15 hours ago, Flash said:

I suppose the hallmark of any kind of hallucination is that you can't will it away. At least I can't. If I have commentary, music, or whatever going on in my head, and I can influence it, stop it, or do something that blots it out, then I don't consider it to be a hallucination. 

(bold)  That is so true for me too ... I can't will it all away either.  Distraction helps, but doesn't make it all go away.

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I have mostly internal voices, and they are somewhat similar to the chatter you describe. I also hear voices outside my head, but only when very manic. I also thought it was normal until it came up with my tdoc and she told me they sounded more like hallucinations. If you find them distressing, it's worth talking about to your doctor.

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I just wanted to share here that I spoke to my pdoc about this. She was interested but largely unconcerned. She said it is important for her to know about these voices, but because I have insight, because I know that they're in my head and not "real", it is not psychosis.

I think these voices, for me, are or can be a symptom of depression. The level of chatter, the negativity of it, often eases when I've had treatments that eased my depression (temporarily... depression gets worse and the voices get louder, more negative, etc.). My pdoc says she will continue to treat my depression with mood stabilizing anti-psychotics to augment the antidepressants. If something changes I'll be sure to let her know.

Thank you for sharing your experiences here, I appreciate your support.

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10 hours ago, Geek said:

I just wanted to share here that I spoke to my pdoc about this. She was interested but largely unconcerned. She said it is important for her to know about these voices, but because I have insight, because I know that they're in my head and not "real", it is not psychosis.

(bold) I always wondered about this.  Thank you for posting that.

Thank you for sharing your information and updating us!

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