This piece is a personal view of hearing voices and pseudo hallucinations. These views are my own experiences and may not be the same for everyone. If you have concerns relating to the topic please get in contact with a health professional or check out the useful websites for services that may be able to provide more information. Please also be trigger aware when reading this piece.
I hear voices. There I’ve said it. It is one of the scariest things that I have admitted to in regard to my mental health. In fact it took me a while to admit it to my psychiatrist and I have not been open about it with many of my friends or family. Why? Because I thought that they would section me straight away or keep their distance from me. I have however decided its time for me to write about it. Especially as having tried to read about pseudo hallucinations and found very little information and personal experiences.
Before I go into too much detail about my own experiences lets share some information about the hearing of voices. According to the Hearing Voices Network between 3 and 10% of the population hear voices that others do not. They say that many famous people, past and present, have experienced hearing voices and that there are many different theories behind why people hear voices. For more information check out www.hearing-voices.org.
My experiences of hearing voices is a bit different to others in that I know the voices are not due to an outside stimulus but are actually in my head. This has led to my voices being described as a pseudo hallucination. This to me can sometimes be difficult to contend with as to me they still feel real even though I know they are not. It has been suggested to me originally, that they were my thoughts, but I do not see this as the case as my experience with thoughts were different to these voices. This is how the label pseudo hallucinations was added.
To me the voices can be very distressing although for some people this is not the case. My voices are very negative and I have tried different things to try and control them including mindfulness. This for me was not a very successful experience. I have also tried an anti psychotic medication but was taken off of this due to the negative side effects. This however does not mean that for other people these treatments are not useful.
I’m still learning to live with my voices and also to control them. Therefore this story will not be completed today as its an ongoing battle. If you hear voices don’t suffer alone. Please check out the useful websites for places that can help you.
I wanted to update this post as I have been living with my voices for longer and recently have found them increasingly depressing and intrusive. I’m on a new antipsychotic and it has helped to some extent.
I wanted to give a more personal view of how they make me feel as well. For me they have made me retreat into myself. Everyday tasks have become harder. I still haven’t opened up to many people about what I experience. I’m still scared of being called ‘crazy’ or a ‘nutter’ and I know that is wrong. Opening up on here is hopefully a step forward into admitting just how big a part of my life they have become.
I wake up with them everyday and have them quietened by the medication for a few hours before they return. I know, still, that they are in my head but that does not decrease the effect they have. I feel like a fraud as I know that some people don’t have the ability to say “well they are just in my head”.
However I am getting help with them and that is the positive that I hold onto. The medication is helping me have some hours of respite. It is only in the early stages of being introduced so there is hope it will further help with an increase in dosage or maybe a different medication. As I said before if you are suffering with hearing voices please don’t suffer alone. Check out the useful websites post or get in contact with a health professional for more advice on how to cope with them. Remember you are not alone and are definitely not the only person to experience this.