Hearing Voices in Dissociative Identity Disorder

Wednesday, June 22 2016 Crystalie Matulewicz

Hearing voices is a common symptom in dissociative identity disorder. The voices can't be medicated away. Learn what it's like to hear voices in DID. Read this.

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) includes the experience of hearing voices, medically referred to as auditory hallucinations. This is also a common symptom in several other mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder. The experience of hearing voices in DID is quite different from the experience of hearing voices in other disorders, however, and the causes and treatments are not the same.

Hearing Voices in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Psychosis

There are several mental illnesses that have auditory hallucinations as a symptom. These include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder with psychotic features. In these disorders, the auditory hallucinations are related to psychosis, which involves a loss of contact with reality.

The exact cause of psychosis in these disorders is still debated. There is some connection to an imbalance of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain. Antipsychotic medications, which alter the action of dopamine in the brain, are the most commonly prescribed and effective form of treatment for auditory hallucinations in these disorders.

Hearing Voices in Dissociative Identity Disorder: Not a Symptom of Psychosis

Unlike in other disorders, hearing voices in DID is not connected to psychosis. In DID, the voices one hears come from within the person. In other disorders, like schizophrenia, the voices come from outside of the person. This is one of the key differences in telling DID apart from psychotic disorders.

In DID, the voices are not a result of a break with reality. The voices are, in essence, real. They are the voices of the alters, or parts, existing within the core person. The voices aren't caused by a chemical imbalance, so medications cannot get rid of them. Many with DID spend their entire lives hearing these voices.

What It's Like to Hear Voices in Dissociative Identity Disorder

Hearing voices is a common symptom in dissociative identity disorder. The voices can't be medicated away. Learn what it's like to hear voices in DID. Read this.There is an an assumption that when a person hears voices, the voices are negative, telling the person to do something bad. This assumption is wrong, as most people, even those without DID, do not experience those types of voices (Schizoaffective Disorder and What It’s Like to Hear Voices).

Many people with DID report hearing voices starting early in their childhoods, while others first started hearing voices in adolescence or adulthood. Sometimes the voices are talking directly to the core person, while other times the voices are just talking among themselves. The voices can be very different: young or old, male or female, high-pitched or low-pitched. Sometimes, the voices all sound the same. Each person's experience of hearing voices in DID is different.

My Experience with Hearing Voices: I'm Not Crazy

I first started hearing voices when I was a teenager. At first I just assumed I was hearing my own inner thoughts. But then I realized the voices were not at all like my own, and quite distinct. I didn't tell anyone about my experiences. I was afraid of being labelled crazy or being locked away in an institution, so I kept the voices a secret for over a decade. It wasn't until my therapist assured me that I wasn't crazy, that I felt comfortable being honest about the voices I had been hearing for so long.

I still hear voices nearly every day. Most of the voices I hear are that of my younger parts. Sometimes, my parts talk to me directly. Other times, it's just random conversations going on inside. I try to keep the lines of communication open. I let my parts have their voices, because they deserve to be heard.

Many people hear voices just like me, and you would never know it. It's just a part of living with DID.

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Author: Crystalie Matulewicz

Crystalie is the founder of PAFPAC, is a published author and the writer of Life Without Hurt. She has a BA in psychology and will soon have an MS in Experimental Psychology, with a focus on trauma. Crystalie manages life with PTSD, DID, major depression, and an eating disorder. You can find Crystalie on FacebookGoogle+, and Twitter.

View all posts by Crystalie Matulewicz.

Hearing Voices in Dissociative Identity Disorder

Philip Carr
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
Fascinating. I would love to make a film about this and share someone's experiences. Please get in touch if interested
Ryan
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
Hi, I'm an author who began writing a fiction novel about my own experiences with schizophrenia, depression, etc., but became fascinated with DID and stopped writing about myself. I'm now attempting to write a novel about a main character who has DID. It's a thriller, but I want to make it as accurate as possible. Chapters include meetings with psychiatrists and communication between alters. I would like to know more about how alters communicate with each other. I have a million questions actually, but focussing on that, there was a period where one of the voices that tormented me as an auditory hallucination became a voice in my head as opposed to through my ears. The experience was utterly bizarre, and I was terrified. I thought my hallucination had taken over my thoughts. In any event, I can't imagine how difficult it is for people with DID to live with it. I want my book to raise awareness and not shed a negative light on the disorder. A couple specific questions I have are: 1) When the primary alter (excuse me if my terminology is off) or the identity who is controlling the body speaks with an alter in their head, do any images come along with the voices? I read in a book by a medical professional that alters sometimes visualized the alter they were speaking with. Has anyone had that experience? If so, could you please describe it, 2) When alters are talking to each other, does the primary alter always hear it or can they talk without causing voices in head of whoever is controlling the body, and 3) If anyone would like to share their experience with fusion or integration with me, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much and I wish everyone the best of health!
Sam
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
Hi Ryan
In response to your first question simply, yes. Or I at least have that experience I can be shown images during theses conversations like photos or videos being flashed right in front of my face. Like someone else's thoughts and perspectives are being forced on me on me in a way by almost literally being shoved right at me. I also am able to see/ visualise who's talking depending on which part of me it is.
Question 2: as far as I know I don't hear everything that's going on and I do have my blank spells where there are gaps where I don't know what's happened.
hope that sheds some light at least
CW
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
Hi Ryan,
Just like Sam replied, mine is quite similar. At times, I forget that occasional "we" will have conversations and often reply out loud . I have long since been diagnosed by multiple Dr's and specialist along with complex PTSD and others. I have also been misdiagnosed as schizoaffective given meds that actually made it worse, since the auditory wasn't a form of psychosis but part of a whole, but only a few are known and capable. There are others but are unknown to the core as of yet.
Debby
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
I am just learning about this as there's a lot about it that they say I show,do an say while
Others are at work. Me to originally diagnosis end with schizo effective disorder but first was told about this 5years ago but I think I got lost somewhere till lately.
Brighton
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
I am 16 and have been hearing voices since earlier than age 11. I was repeatedly abused - physically, emotionally, and sexually as a child. I have had problems with dissociation since 6. I recall "zoning out" so much that I would forget who I was and begin to cry. I have been involved with mental health professionals since aged 11 and was recently told that these "voices" I hear may become separate identities. I fear they have because they are all already very distinct. So my question is - how do these types of things develop into DID?
Tiara
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
My core personality (who I am day to day) hears the voices inside my head like a movie commentary. (It is how I got so good at writing movie scripts as a hobby) my alters include a sophisticated middle aged caucasian woman... think Bree Van De Kamp in desperate housewives..) another alter is a russian man who is some what of a dare devil.. he is the one who comes out when I drink mostly.. anothet alter that I hear alot is a mexican man, he is my protector. He comes out whenever I feel scared, or whenever I feel I'm being lied to.
Alot of times my alters will bicker amongst themselves and I can hear it in my head. At first before I was diagnosed, I just thought I "talked to myself" alot but just not outloud. It took along time before my therapist and I found out what was going on.
From what I have learned, my alters have always talked to eachother. It wasnt until I knew what I was looking for that I could hear them. 99% of the time it is inside my head, but my loved ones have heard me talking in different accents before "to myself". My base alter was unaware it was happening but all my other alters were aware of each other.
It usually happens in VERY high stress situations. And when those situations happen it is usually my other alters trying to calm down my protector.
I hope this answered some questions!
Patty
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
Not Sure if it's DID
Patty
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
My adult son started talking to himself from his inner thoughts of his life events, and after taking some antipsychotic drugs also uncontrolled movement. The doctors said he has schitzoaffective while others think it's stress and trauma. He was on one med after another and just made him worse. I can not find the right help for him., without another doctor putting him on more drugs. Now he akithisia from these drugs. His thoughts are from his head and not from the outside first he kept the thoughts to himself until the mix of drugs. He has conversations with his inner thoughts or sometimes yells because of situations he was in and very trauma experience. If anybody has any input please let me know what you think. Thank You
Daniel
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
More than just voices
Wendy Barkman
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
Thanks? Really? This is the best science has to offer on this topic?

I can speak only from experience.

In no way has multiple personalities ever felt like "hearing voices!"

It's who I am. It's how I assess my surroundings and my whole being reacts with the most appropriate, respectful, loving, strong persona in response. It's a spiritual thing. It's like letting Life bring out the very best in you.
Wendy Barkman
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
Again from my experience:
I didn't need more medication- I had a message that needed to be heard. I needed people- people close to me and the medical professionals I confided in- to hear what I needed to say. Don't get scared when I admit I'm suicidal. In my case, I'm simply saying I'm very overwhelmed or I feel very alone and misunderstood. Listen and show you care. This is something we can walk through, holding hands through the pain. Thanks, Korey Dyck, for showing me two are better than one.
Sherry
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
in some cases medication CAN stop the voices. I started Naltrexone about 4 years ago and never dissociated or heard another voice since, despite previously having DID. Meds affect everyone differently. So while meds may not work for everyone it IS possible to treat DID and the voices with medication.
Crystalie Matulewicz
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
Some would suggest a misdiagnosis in that case, then. Because it is even current agreement that there is no medicinal cure or treatment for DID. The auditory hallucinations may have been connected to another disorder.
Allison
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
There is no medication that will help DID, although, there are meds to treat other disorders that may accompany parts (alters). Some of my parts have eating disorders, borderline personality,etc. I have Complex PTSD and depression myself
Ace
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
I've hallucinate a lot, and sometimes the hallucinations speak or whisper.
Most of the time I just have voices in my head talking over me.
Other times it's a voice speaking from a certain thing. When I was little it use to be this hallucination of a child who would talk to me all the time.
I always thought it was normal to have the two linked together?
Is it not?
Crystalie Matulewicz
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
The hallucinations you are describing don’t sound to be a part of DID, but perhaps another psychotic disorder. DID is connected to auditory hallucinations from inside.
Chad
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
As of current I have a female part that hates my fiancée, on a daily basis she speaks awfully about her to me and my other parts. Since she knows the things I worry about the most she tends to use those to try put a wedge between my fiancée and myself. Any advice about that?
Amanda
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
You give people really suffering such a bad name, its obvious you are faking especially with your you tube channel! Stop now before you cause more damage
Dan
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
Schizophrenia is a crime against humanity. Please spread an awareness of this crime. The blog is based on a true story!!

https://thestimulatedbrains.wordpress.com/2018/05/14/schizophrenia-is-a-crime-against-humanity/

https://thestimulatedbrains.wordpress.com/2018/05/14/targeted-individuals-just-a-tip-of-the-iceberg/

Here are further proof to understand that this is a crime. That being said, delusions are there due to meaningful interactions with things that suppose to be a coincidence and human beings are making false assumptions to judge these interactions so they end up in making false claims. This is why people think that they are being followed, their thoughts are being broadcast, their houses has been bugged etc...

1). The voices constantly told me they were never leaving, and that I’d have to learn to deal with it. They told me that our entire society is inside of a quantum computer, and that we are all just lab rats, being studied by their people. In particular, they told me that I was being “stress tested” to see how stress affected my memory. The voices constantly asked me questions about my memory and asked what medications I was taking, whenever I took pills. I could hear these voices clear as day, as if through a radio of some kind. On a few occasions, I actually saw people that correlated with the voices, faint visual hallucinations. Mind you, prior to all of this, I led a fairly normal life with no history of psychosis or mental disorders, except mild PTSD and ADD.”” - http://hvn.forumatic.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=551

2). Raina Walks “if i needed to get somewhere i did not know the directions to…they would literally lead me there without me having looked at a map…just with them directing me…it is heady stuff…” - http://www.mentalhealthforum.net/forum/thread36344.html

3). one time though the voices told me something i couldn’t have known – they informed me that the 9/11 attack was about to happen in new york.. ten days later it transpired…(This voice hearers mind generated this voices? He knew this attack? Obviously he was surprised to see. When are we using our common sense?) -http://www.bluelight.org/vb/archive/index.php/t-469466.html

4). “My voice gathers information from around the globe and gives me heads up months in advance for important events. -http://www.hearing-voices.org/voices-visions/comment-page-2/

5). Actually, they can do any voice they want (man, woman, child, God, devil, British guy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Mexican, someone I know, etc.). It’s a skill they have that I’ve learned to appreciate, and I find incredibly entertaining. - (Can we imitate anyone's voice? If not then why would someone get this ability when they are mentally ill ? Is that a mental illness or a skill? ) http://hvn.forumatic.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1203
Dan
says:
May, 24 2018 at 12:45 pm
Schizophrenia is a crime against humanity. Please spread an awareness of this crime. The blog is based on a true story!!

https://thestimulatedbrains.wordpress.com/2018/05/14/schizophrenia-is-a-crime-against-humanity/

https://thestimulatedbrains.wordpress.com/2018/05/14/targeted-individuals-just-a-tip-of-the-iceberg/

Here are further proof to understand that this is a crime. That being said, delusions are there due to meaningful interactions with things that suppose to be a coincidence and human beings are making false assumptions to judge these interactions so they end up in making false claims. This is why people think that they are being followed, their thoughts are being broadcast, their houses has been bugged etc...

1). The voices constantly told me they were never leaving, and that I’d have to learn to deal with it. They told me that our entire society is inside of a quantum computer, and that we are all just lab rats, being studied by their people. In particular, they told me that I was being “stress tested” to see how stress affected my memory. The voices constantly asked me questions about my memory and asked what medications I was taking, whenever I took pills. I could hear these voices clear as day, as if through a radio of some kind. On a few occasions, I actually saw people that correlated with the voices, faint visual hallucinations. Mind you, prior to all of this, I led a fairly normal life with no history of psychosis or mental disorders, except mild PTSD and ADD.”” - http://hvn.forumatic.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=551

2). Raina Walks “if i needed to get somewhere i did not know the directions to…they would literally lead me there without me having looked at a map…just with them directing me…it is heady stuff…” - http://www.mentalhealthforum.net/forum/thread36344.html

3). one time though the voices told me something i couldn’t have known – they informed me that the 9/11 attack was about to happen in new york.. ten days later it transpired…(This voice hearers mind generated this voices? He knew this attack? Obviously he was surprised to see. When are we using our common sense?) -http://www.bluelight.org/vb/archive/index.php/t-469466.html

4). “My voice gathers information from around the globe and gives me heads up months in advance for important events. -http://www.hearing-voices.org/voices-visions/comment-page-2/

5). Actually, they can do any voice they want (man, woman, child, God, devil, British guy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Mexican, someone I know, etc.). It’s a skill they have that I’ve learned to appreciate, and I find incredibly entertaining. - (Can we imitate anyone's voice? If not then why would someone get this ability when they are mentally ill ? Is that a mental illness or a skill? ) http://hvn.forumatic.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1203

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