Usually, I can figure out the reason for hearing voices. I hear schizoaffective voices a lot. This week, I heard them two days in a row. That’s never happened before. But I think I know why my schizoaffective disorder made me hear voices two days in a row.
A Reason for Hearing Voices Is Heightened Anxiety
The holidays are upon us, and many people feel anxious around the holidays. I’m writing this two days before Christmas Eve and even though I’m grateful to be surrounded by family and friends, I’m nervous about the chaos of celebrating in bigger groups of people than I’m used to. Part of my schizoaffective disorder is that I’m very sensitive to noise, and the holidays sure are noisy.
So, I think I heard schizoaffective voices two nights in a row in part due to holiday stress. But what’s funny—and ironic—is that the second night I heard them, it was because I was nervous about getting to a support group. As I drove myself to the support group, the voices hit. I turned around and went home.
I’m Always Afraid I’ll Hear Voices, No Matter the Reason
I’m learning in therapy not to get caught up in what-if thinking, but the fear that I’ll hear voices is always in the back of my mind. The day after I heard voices two days in a row, my husband, Tom, and I had plans to go to The Art Institute of Chicago. I was afraid of another assault. Luckily, that didn’t happen.
However, pretty much anytime I have an important event coming up, I’m afraid I’ll hear voices. I was afraid I’d hear them on the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Walk. Again, I didn’t.
Trying to Stop the Reasons for Hearing Voices
The only way I know how to prevent the voices is to not let myself get too stressed out. Yet sometimes I get really stressed out, and I don’t hear voices. When I do, I sometimes blame myself because I feel I let myself get stressed out. I know logically that it’s not my doing when I hear voices. One time I even apologized to my mom because I was hearing voices. She said, “Elizabeth, the voices are not your fault. They’re a symptom of your illness.”
I am not to blame when I hear voices. The best thing I can do is to not blame myself but to try to relax and distract myself. I baby myself. I listen to soothing music and drink lots of water. I call my mom. I like to be at home at my apartment when I’m hearing voices.
It was scary hearing voices two nights in a row, whether I understood the reasons or not. But, I know the voices aren’t real, and I know how to take care of myself and help the voices go away. And that’s something I can count on.