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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5805
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Greetings, Alright, here we go. A while ago I was diagnosed

Customer Question


Alright, here we go. A while ago I was diagnosed as having anxiety, specifically OCD with some general anxiety in there too. I have all of the symptoms of anxiety and I believe it is slowly getting better. There has been a few times where I have heard voices in my head that have worried me into a state of extreme turmoil. I will explain them to you. They happen when I'm about to doze off, or try to doze off because I am experiencing insomnia. Its like a bunch of random voices saying stuff that does not make any sense as I'm trying to sleep or when I wake up in the morning. I am terrified about scizophrenia or a mental illness related to it. I also get random thoughts that make no sense during the time when I am trying to go to sleep or waking up. Disconnected thoughts, or random words and stuff. I pray to God this is to do with sleep and sleep only. Thanks for your advice.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


It sounds like you may have a symptom related to your anxiety. Although it is not one of the major symptoms of anxiety, hearing voices, especially when going to sleep is not uncommon. It is called a hypnagogic state. When you first begin to fall asleep, hallucinations are very common. Some people see things, others hear things. Either way, it is completely normal.


One of the major differences between hearing voices (auditory hallucinations) related to schizophrenia and hearing voices related to anxiety is the fear of the symptom. People who have schizophrenia and hear voices usually believe they are real and although they are upset, they don't fear mental illness as much as they fear the voices. With a person who has anxiety, they hear voices and fear being mentally ill.


If you had schizophrenia, you would also have other symptoms. Hearing voices is not the only indication of schizophrenia. Many people with schizophrenia do not have the insight to understand their illness and therefore do not feel they need help or feel there is anything wrong with what they are experiencing. On the other hand, people with anxiety often fear what could be wrong with them and it becomes part of what they experience to be fearful and to worry.


Also, just by reading your question, I can see that your thoughts are organized, calm and well thought out. A person with schizophrenia is highly unlikely to be able to explain their thoughts in such a manner. Usually, you will see a very disorganized and hard to follow question.


If you feel being seen by a therapist or your doctor would help you feel better about the voices, by all means make an appointment. They will be able to reassure you that the voices you are hearing are completely normal.


I hope this has helped you,

TherapistMarryAnn and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for that detailed response. It makes sense to me in every way. I was thinking the same thing when analyzing the issue but I can just never be sure these days for some reason. The fear of having a seriuos mental/physical condition overides every piece of insight I have on anything strange or perceptionally abnormal that i experience. I had to drop out of University because of this issue which originally manifested as obsessive thoughts about suicide and harming myself. I would just have these obsessive thoughts all the time and they made me extremely depressed and emotional all the time. I came home and would cry from morning tilll night because of the severity of the thoughts and the state of my life after everything was going so well. Recently I ahve been getting a little bit better once implementing the Linden method, which I am currently not doint very well... I have gone to the hospital because I thought I had MS one day. I thought I had aids at one point, was very worried about it and got tested. And then I thought I was scizophrenic or one of those disorders when I was trying to fall asleep on the couch and herd a loud nock in my head. I went to check the front door and nothing was there. From this point on I started to monitor every single noise I heard and when something was out of harmony with the way I thought it should sound I panicked and convinced myself I had scizophrenia. Sometimes I heard, or thought I heard some whispering noises that were out of sync with the natural environment or situation and would just dwell on the fear I associated with this for days on end. Then having these before bedtime auditory hallucinations just made me tremble with fear. Last night the voices were kind of evil it seemed and I saw a picture of a little horrifying doll in my mind? And in the morning when I was still trying to sleep because I stayed up the whole night in fear I experienced some of the auditory hallucinations too and strange thoughts that made no sense? I feel like I am very out of sorts indeed. I can't concentrate on anything or even read like I used to. I also seem to be having difficulty speaking. The muscles around my mouth feel weird and my sentance structure, tone, and pace of words jsut feels completely off. I am also extremely fatigued most of the time, have kind of itchy eyes and mood swings. I never feel right or even close to the person I know I am. Does this all sound like anxiety to you (OCD, GAD)? In my heart I think I know it all is yet I worry and am scared all the time of something else. I recently read about candida and got tested for it and the etst turned out to be a mild positive so now I am on this rediculous diet and taking antifungals that are lowerng my energy even more. The naturopath said that half the population would get the reading that I got on the test? Yet im sure theyre not taking all the stuff I am? And my doctor said that everyone who goes to get tested yields the same results? What should I believe? What if I really do have candida that can be a very serious illness? Im just in disarray with everything right now. I have seen many of psychologists and therapists who have said the same thing about my condition, but I did no explain to the the recent night hallucinations that I have experiences and the candida stuff. My doctor wants me to see yet another psychologist for an evaluation. Is there even a point to go after being evaluated all the time? Is there a chance anything is up other than anxiety? Do you think candida is a real concern? Or scizophrenia?
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

It definitely sounds like anxiety. Fear of a serious illness is very common with someone who has anxiety. And the problem is, you never feel reassured so the anxiety keeps increasing until the person feels almost obsessed with how they feel.


I don't know if another evaluation is indicated. It is up to you. If you feel your doctor is right, go for another evaluation. But from what you have told me, it sounds like your diagnosis should be anxiety.


Here are some excellent books that can help you work on your anxiety at home:


The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne


The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety: A Step-by-Step Program by William J. Knaus


From Panic to Power: Proven Techniques to Calm Your Anxieties, Conquer Your Fears, and Put You in Control of Your Life by Lucinda Bassett

These books can be found on They will help you understand your symptoms, why they are normal and how you can help yourself feel better.