Note: I’d like to start with something personal, so please bear with me!
Last month when I was at work, I heard a voice and I thought it was my colleague talking to me. But, when I turned to reply back, she was not even in her place. I freaked out and my employer saw that; it was so humiliating and embarrassing. It was not the first time that I heard “voices” but it was not that common either.
There are some people in the world who hear voices in their heads; voices that sound like someone they know or that sound like a stranger who’s talking or commenting on a specific thing. Sometimes when you hear these voices, you’d wonder if you are actually hearing them or if you are just thinking you are hearing them. And, sometimes these voices can be so distracting that you lose your focus on anything that you’ve been doing or that has been going on around you.
Some are quick to think that hearing voices is a symptom of an underlying medical condition and that they should talk to a medical expert. However, hearing voices doesn’t always have a connection with your mental health. If you can’t confide in a close one but are still worried about hearing voices inside your head, then maybe this article can help you.
What “Hearing Voices” Sound Like?
For example, you may hear:
- The voice of a friend, a family member or a neighbor talking
- The voice of someone complimenting you
- The voice of someone criticizing or swearing at you
- The voice of someone commenting on things like food, clothes, travel and etc.
- The voice of someone talking about spiritual stuff
- The voice of someone warning you about impending dangers
- The voice of someone urging you to take a challenging or dangerous step/decision
- Someone humming or singing
- The singing voice of a celebrity (maybe a celebrity you know)
Is Hearing Voices Same as Hearing Thoughts?
Unfortunately, no. There is a sharp contrast between hearing voices and intrusive thoughts!
Intrusive thoughts tend to come in the form of your own voice while the voices that you hear can sound real.
Is It Common and NORMAL?
I know it’s hard to believe but sometimes it can be pretty normal to hear voices in your head. According to some studies, it is even believed that more than 10 % of people will experience it at some point in their life. In fact, according to another research, these voices may occur without any underlying condition.
So, if you hear voices like once in a while or if you’ve heard them just two-three times in your life and if these voices are not that disturbing and frustrating, there’s absolutely no need to stress out as it’s completely normal.
While it’s completely normal sometimes to hear voices in your heard without any underlying health issue, there are some specific causes that can result in these auditory hallucinations:
- Hearing voices after losing a loved one
- Hearing voices when experiencing lots of stress or when going through depression
- Hearing voices after a head injury or surgery
- Hearing voices when consuming too much alcohol
When Should You Be Concerned?
Studies have also proved that people who hear voices can also suffer from certain mental health problems like schizophrenia. So, if you identify closely with the symptoms below, it means you need the help of a medical expert.
- Constantly hearing voices that say terrible things to you like, “You are a fat b***h”, “You are good for nothing”, “Nobody cares about you” and etc.
- The voices become unnerving and scary.
- The voices become so unbearable that the only choice is to sleep.
- The voices intensify and become louder.