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Question about hearing voices
bipolargal posted:
Whenever I see a new pdoc, they always ask if I have ever heard voices. I have not, but my question is that if a person is hearing voices, how do they know they are hearing voices? I mean my mom is schizophrenic, but she never would admit hearing voices, so she must have thought she was actually hearing someone talk with her. If a person is hearing voices, wouldn't that mean that their perceptions are different, which might lead them to believe that someone is actually speaking with them? How are the voices different then actual thoughts in one's head.

I have been curious about this topic ever since the doctor asked me about it. I don't mean offend anyone by asking, I just want to understand more about what my mom experiences.
DizzyJgirl responded:
I don't know for sure. I don't hear voices often but it happens. A lot of times, I hear music. It sounds distant, like I left the radio on in another room or something. I can't make out the music but I hear it (if that makes any sense). But if I check my radio, it will be off. The few times I have heard voices has been the same way. Sometimes I think I hear someone saying my name.

My thoughts are just there...they are my voice. Voices/music are something else. Initially, I might think I actually hear the radio or someone talking but once I realize I don't, I understand that. This doesn't happen often to me and I think for me, it is related to my episodes, though I haven't actually thought to connect it all together. Mine are pretty short in duration, it doesn't go on for hours. They seem to cluster together. Like I won't hear anything for weeks or months maybe, then I hear things here and there over the course of a few days. But I am sure the severity of it is different for everyone.

Could it be that your mom doesn't admit to hearing voices, just because she doesn't want to admit it and see how people react to that?
bprobin responded:
hey bipolargal. thats a good question. i would also like to know the answer to that question. can you cut and paste it for dr g.? im kinda like dizzyjgirl. i will hear someone call my name or think i hear music that far away in the house knowing that i have noe playing. i have just always played it off as though i was hearing things. i look forward to his answer.
thanks, robin
tryforever replied to bprobin's response:
I don't hear it all the time but when I do hear things I hear my name being called. My doctor tells me its called having an auditory hallucination. He said that there is always white noise in a room and when you hear your name or what sounds like a radio, it is your brain distorting the sound and making it sound like something different. We hear our name often throughout the day, so that would be a common auditory hallucination.

Hope this helps,

IrwinsLady responded:
Hey hon, I for one do hear voices but I am not schizophrenic, its a gift. I do have a girlfriend of mine who is and she knows when she hears them but when she was first diagnosed she didnt know. I guess its different for everyone. Let me know when you get the true answer I would love to know.
bipolargal responded:
Thanks for the answers all. I'm gonna do what bprobin suggested and repost this as a question for Dr. G, since other people seem to be curious about this question too,
Joseph F Goldberg, MD replied to bipolargal's response:
Hello all,
Any of our 5 senses can misperceive reality, or play tricks on us, for a variety of reasons. If you see, hear, taste, smell or feel something and there is nothing or no one else there, it is by definition a hallucination. If someone tells a doctor they are hearing a voice, the doctor would want to know when it happens, for how long, is it discernible and recognizable, what does it say, is anyone else around, and are you fully awake and alert when it happens. Hallucinations can happen while drifting off to sleep (called hypnogogic) or waking up (called hypnopompic) and they don't really "count" because you aren't fully awake and alert. If you hear a voice while awake and alert and someone else is present, you can ask if they heard it too. If you're alone, it becomes a bit like the tree falling in the forest when no one is there -- does it make a noise? A recurrent hallucination with a theme (eg, telling you to do something, the same voice, or calling your name) that occurs at different times when no one is there is suspect. In psychosis, people are by definition convinced that what's happening is real and are fairly unwilling or unable to consider the possibility that it is a misperception -- it is a false and fixed perception. The ability to ask yourself if that was real or not is a less impaired ability to tell what's real from what's not real than when someone is entirely convinced of the reality of a voice heard when no one else is present and cannot even consider alternative explanations. Think of dreaming, or taking hallucinogens like LSD or mushrooms -- seems pretty real at the time, rarely do you question if the perceptions are true or not....till you wake up. In psychosis, it can be hard to "wake up" without antipsychotic medication.
- Dr. G.
IrwinsLady replied to Joseph F Goldberg, MD's response:
Dr. G

I read what you said but my question is, if im awake and alert and still hear the voices and im not diagnosed as Schizophrenic whats going on? Im asking because I am on no medications that can trigger something like that.

bprobin replied to tryforever's response:
thanks Lori. that makes a lot of sense. I am glad to know that now. \thanks a bunch!
Lost_Kitten13 replied to bprobin's response:
im curious of that to, like irwin said i have not been diagnosed with Schizophrenic but i do hear voices. i have for a while.
i hear things like my name being called, but alot of times no one is. i also hear negative things too...i will not mention them for they will trigger me an others on the board...
the closest thing ive gotten to for hearing voices as in songs is when i just normally get a song stuck in my head that i like or one that is annoying like radio commercials...
Lost_Kitten13 replied to Lost_Kitten13's response:
ive also had hallucinations, ive been wide awake though an alert, ive seen someone riding thei rbike down the sidewalk, it looked like a mountain bike an the guy was wearing a helment. i had nothing better to do while sitting in a car as it drove so i watched the guy. he went behind two parked cars an as i kept watching to see where he was going he never came out from behind the cars. when i got a better view he also seemed to of vanished, there was no bike nothing...ive also seen things before as much as people an animals...
ive also been in 'contact' with a spirit when i was in 1st grade, i lived in a haunted house, but this guy was an nice old man but whenever he tried to speak with me id go sleep with my mom cuz i was scared...
beachbum777 replied to Joseph F Goldberg, MD's response:
hey im juanjohn aka johnny, i read and it explane alot ive have been told befor and find a lot of it a fact. do you know anyone that has study of of mental disorder hearing voice and haveing tbought come up and get a oerson to react on the thought that is doing the science study research on this. i develope hearing voices 1991 and been dealling with this. i know that there is a diffrance in mental (WITHIN YOUR OWEN MIND) of haveing disorder and something else causeing to hear voices. if you do know anyone or a site i can goto or email please EMAIL ME AT
beachbum777 responded:
hi, i have this disorder hearing voices it starte 1991 in my adult years. the closest thing i can discribe it to is it like haveing a microe phone on your ear low and someone talikng to the inside of yor head. it like this take 2 walky taky and go about a 100 yrs have the walky talky to your ear as the other person is taling into the other walky talky and you listen as this is happening try to do somthing. that what your mom is going threw . yes it is embarassing to talkabout because not normal .
Joseph F Goldberg, MD replied to beachbum777's response:
Dear Johnny, The experience of hearing voices when no one is actually speaking (or, when any of your 5 senses perceive something in the environment that isn't really there) defines psychosis. I'm not sure what it is you're asking in terms of whether anybody is studying psychosis. It is a difficult but common enough problem in psychiatry and has been the subject if worldwide research for centuries. Dr. G.

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