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Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
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Ive heard voices in my head for years. Im too afriad to

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I've heard "voices" in my head for years. Things used to be really bad, I would be depressed and lash out at people but as years have gone by things seem to be getting calmer but the voices are still there. Lately things seem to be better but my friend thinks I may be losing control or "relying" on what they say. Im too scared to see a Dr. Help?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 6 years ago.

Greetings:

 

Great question. Given that you are only 20 years old and these voices have been around "for years," I am skeptical of a schizophrenia diagnosis (i.e., they may not be traditional hallucinations). Based upon your written description, it is more likely that you developed a sort of self-talk to help you cope with some of the really bad times. It is a grown-up version of how lonely kids will create an imaginary friend to help soothe or comfort them when they are bored, anxious, worried, etc.

 

In fact, some of the recent theories of auditory hallucinations in schizophrenics is that the "voices" they are hearing are actually their own inner-thoughts. In other words, they cannot distinguish their own thoughts from the world around them. Taking this notion a step further, I am thinking that your voices may in fact be related to trauma, and were originally developed to help you deal with trauma (which would also absolutely drive an agitated depression, BTW).

 

As far as treatment goes, it sounds as if your friends think you MAY have a problem ,but you do not think so(?). If the counseling and meditation have helped, then I think you should return to them. Also try yoga or some sort of guided imagery exercises to settle your thoughts. Based upon the info you supplied, it does not sound like medication would be necessary, although a thorough evaluation by a qualified professional should be conducted if this problem seems to grow worse, or if it hovers beyond your ability to cope. If you are satisfied with the response, please hit "Accept." That is the only way I can receive credit for my answer. Thanks-

Dr. Steve

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

My counceller didnt help. He made things worse.
These voices have been with me since i was 14 Its hard to try and exsplane but they have been known to come out and talk with people. Sometimes I lose time or end up in places where i dont know how i got there, sometimes Xedan (one of the voices) tell me she has "used my body" but the other one (Sam) doesnt tell me and it is a bit frieghtening. I've kinda grown used to it and it used to be much worse, Sam used to be rather violent but now Its alot calmer since i found something it likes. I feel fine and I feel like Im in more contorol of myself. Before I knew I was in trouble because Sam has lashed out and physically hurt my friends and other people before, she had horrible thoughts and would hurt me because she felt she was trapped inside me and wanted to get out.
I've tried different ways of calming her down and found that going for a run or just letting her out in my room to have a rant helps. She is alot nicer to me now.

Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 6 years ago.

Hello again:

 

Thanks for the additional info... this gave me a better idea of what may be going on. Still, I am not convinced that these voices are indeed auditory hallucinations, characteristic of a thought disorder (like schizophrenia). In my opinion, and particularly if you have a history of bad trauma (sexual abuse in particular), these may still be other aspects/facets of your personality that have splintered away while your personality was developing. If counseling has not helped, it may be because of one of three reasons: (a) your did not connect with your therapist, or s/he was not very good, (b) you were not evaluated/diagnosed properly, so the treatment may not have targeted the exact problem, or (c) you really do have a thought disorder, in which case medication would work very well to take away these angry voices.

 

In any case, I encourage you to seek another mental health specialist (preferrably a psychiatrist) who can evaluate you one more time, and maybe give you a more appropriate answer. I wish you well- If you are satisfied with the response, please hit "Accept." That is the only way I can receive credit for my answer. Thanks-

Dr. Steve

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