I do miss the voices in my head occasionally. Most people who hear voices in their head would give anything to get rid of this scary and disruptive symptom of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder (Auditory Hallucinations: What’s It Like Hearing Voices?). I’m one of them. Yet sometimes I wish I could have an episode of hearing those voices in my head. Here’s why.
Hearing Voices in My Head Is a Sign to Take a Break
When I hear voices, I stop everything I’m doing to take care of myself. It’s almost as if the voices in my head give me permission to do that.
As soon as the symptom of hearing voices invades, I always used to put on an album by Tori Amos and go on Facebook. But Facebook has been stressful, at least ever since the 2016 US presidential election. When I’m hearing voices, the last thing I need, on the one hand, is Donald Trump’s angry face glaring at me or, on the other hand, alarmist posts about how the USA is poised for a Holocaust (Schizophrenia, Anxiety, and Hearing Voices).
I’m not hearing voices or on Facebook right now, and I’m still getting pretty worked up just thinking about all the discordant Facebook messaging, let alone how I would feel if I were trying to use it to calm myself down while experiencing a painful symptom. So I don’t go on Facebook anymore when I hear voices. Instead, I watch a really mellow, soothing DVD of an intimate Tori Amos show.
The focus is on soothing the voices in my head down to silence. Yet I don’t know why I need to hear voices in my head to allow myself to take a break. I think it goes back to my days at college and graduate school at places like The Rhode Island School of Design and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where the absolute worst thing you could be called was a slacker. Also, American culture perpetuates an ideal of the workaholic. After all, our mass addiction of choice is caffeine.
Coping When I Hear Voices in My Head but I’m Not at Home
When I hear voices in my head and I’m not at home, I go home as quickly as possible. That’s why I don’t like to go out in groups. In fact, I really don’t like to go out at all, but if I do, I go with my husband, Tom, who is understanding about leaving an event early. I go out to lunch or tea with close friends who would offer support if we had to get the sandwiches boxed and leave. I go to my parents’ house, a short distance from my apartment.
Last summer, Tom and I went to the Renaissance Fair together, and we had to leave after only a couple of hours because I started hearing voices. That is one example of a time it stunk to be hearing voices. I look forward to going to the Fair every summer, and it was sad that it was cut short early for both of us – because of my stupid voices.
So 99 percent of the time, I don’t like hearing voices. But if I’m already under a lot of stress, and not out trying to have a good time, occasionally the voices in my head come as a relief. Sometimes it takes hearing voices to make me realize it’s time to calm down and calm the way I wrap myself in the world around me.
The Voices in My Head Tell Me to Take a Break
Photo by Elizabeth Caudy