Auditory Hallucination Or Not?
Both of these men heard voices. The field of psychiatry calls these voices auditory hallucinations. To both men, they don’t seem like hallucinations, a figment of their imaginations. The voices seem very real. In both cases, the sensation wasn’t limited to the verbal. Their other senses were engaged as well. That doesn’t always happen, however. Sometimes people just hear voices and nothing else.
Mark heard a voice tormenting him, telling him to die. He felt pressure on his shoulder. This has the characteristic of a bipolar disorder. This may be a mental illness.
On the other hand, Jeff heard a voice soothing him and felt an embrace. The voices didn’t belong to anyone or anything either man could see. Even so, Jeff’s experience wouldn’t be classified as a mental illness.
Why this is so is because of what illness is considered to be. A voice that builds you up and gives you strength is enriching. Conversely, one that impairs your ability to function makes you worse off.
Which voice was real? We really don’t know. Nobody can know for sure. Maybe one. Maybe both. Maybe neither. It wouldn’t be accurate to suggest that because the person can’t see the origin of the voice, that would preclude the voice from being real. Modern physics tells us there is much more to the world than what we can see with our eyes. Mystics and tradition tell us that there is a whole range of entities we can’t see: spirits; demons; angels, and so on. This fits in with the experiences of people worldwide. One in ten people hear voices.
You can have these experiences when you’re awake. You can have them in dreams when you’re asleep. Some people report hearing them as they’re drifting off to sleep. They can be very negative. They can be very positive.
It can be best if you treat the voice as if it belongs to a being with a body.
You don’t simply do what a voice tells you to do if it’s not right. For example, shooting people sitting in parked cars who have done nothing to you as David Horowitz did because he was hearing voices isn’t right. Simple morality always applies.
People like him who give up control of their own actions give hearing voices in your head a bad name.
Saints like St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila heard voices. In and of itself, hearing voices isn’t a bad thing. On the contrary, it can be inspirational, a great source of wisdom and interior strength.
You don’t simply obey the voice just because it has no body.
You are responsible for your own actions.
What to do if you hear voices?
Are you taking any medication that has been known to cause hallucinations? Are you under an excessive amount of stress? Did you take any substance that’s known to cause hallucinations? Are you getting an appropriate amount of sleep?
These things can cause people to have hallucinations. If that’s the case, as the stress lessens or the psychoactive substance wears off, the voice may go away.
Evaluate the voice
We should also consider that sometimes voices are neither positive nor negative. Sometimes they’re neutral. We, therefore, break down voices into spiritual, psychotic and neutral.
What is a Spiritual Voice Like?
These voices have a kind, gentle, and loving quality. There’s a profoundly wise character to them. They’re soothing, often use complete sentences whether the sentence is short or not.
What is a Psychotic Voice Like?
These voices tend to be terse, involve the repetition of single words or short phrases. They’re extremely negative, hostile, or antagonistic. They issue commands combined with threats. Sometimes they involve two or more voices speaking about the individual in the third person.
The psychotic voices seem calculated to drive the individual to madness.
They’re absolutely different experiences.
What are Neutral Voices Like?
They aren’t particularly loving, wise, or profound. Neither are they menacing. They vary in character a lot. They don’t fill you with a light, loving feeling nor do they fill you with dread.
The voice can seem like they’re trying to communicate with someone who will listen or who they’re able to talk with. They can be trying to give information. This place was ours! Help me! As opposed to the spiritual voice or the psychotic voice, the neutral voice is more self-focused on their situation.
Disembodied voices, whether spiritual, psychotic or neutral can appear in dreams or while waking. Mediums often can see visuals that the entity wishes to show them.
A neutral voice can also be somewhat spiritual if you determine that it seems like it belongs to a departed friend or family member. Often, the primary message of the friend or family member is that they love you and that they’re all right. Sometimes it’s not a voice, so much as it is a feeling.
It’s important to come to terms with these voices. While there is a stigma in our society associated with hearing voices, it’s important to realize that, over time, it’s a common experience for many people.
It’s less threatening if you determine the character of the voice. It’s also important to not blindly obey the voice. You are fully responsible for your actions at all times.
Realize, too, that some have reported the character of a voice changing over time. A voice can start out as neutral or even loving. Later it devolves into a menacing evil. The character of the voice must be evaluated. If the voice is telling you to do something wrong, as before, don’t do it simply because it’s disembodied.
If you feel like you can’t take hearing the voice or that you feel control of your actions slipping away, it’s important to seek help at an emergency department. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s nothing that anyone in emergency services hasn’t heard of before. Overly negative disembodied voices have driven people to suicide before.
On the other hand, it’s perfectly fine to make peace with the voice if it’s neutral or spiritual. Many people have before. It can be a source of strength and or enlightenment an asset to you.