• Welcome to the PopMalt Forums! Whether you're new to forums or a veteran, welcome to our humble home on the web! We're a 20-year old forum community with thousands of discussions on entertainment, lifestyle, leisure, and more.

    Our rules are simple. Be nice and don't spam. Registration is free, so what are you waiting for? Join today!.

The Voices in my Head

icegoat63

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
I've always been frustrated with this concept. "The Voices in my Head"... You hear this used sometimes jokingly, sometimes serious, but 90% of the time you'll hear it when some sort of major catastrophe has happened.

What does it mean to you when someone pleads "the Voices in my head told me to do it"?

Take for instance the Arizona Shooter, Mr. Jared Loughner, I've heard now on multiple accounts from different sources on Television (sorry I cant provide links) how he's claiming not guilty and blaming his actions upon the voices in his head. And now will most likely not receive the repercussions of his actions that he truly deserves, only furthering a stance for future killers to blame their actions on "The Voices".

Now obviously I don't want to make this thread about the Arizona Shooting, but what I want to focus on are those particular Voices. What are they? Are they pure schizophrenia? A separation from reality? Or just Strong opinions that weak individuals succumb to?

Pardon this following article for being slightly outdated, however I found it relevant to the discussion;

Although hearing voices has traditionally been viewed as ‘abnormal’ and a symptom of mental illness, the Dutch findings suggest it is more widespread than previously thought, estimating that about 4% of the population could be affected.

Researcher Aylish Campbell said: “We know that many members of the general population hear voices but have never felt the need to access mental health services; some experts even claim that more people hear voices and don’t seek psychiatric help than those who do.

“In fact, many of those affected describe their voices as being a positive influence in their lives, comforting or inspiring them as they go about their daily business. We’re now keen to investigate why some people respond in this way while others are distressed and seek outside help.”

Can hearing voices in your head be a good thing? | Science Blog
So the question I bear in mind is... mind you this is my opinion however feel free to debate it if you find relevance to your opinion.

Are the Voices nothing more than inner yearnings of our strong opinion, our Subconscious pushing us to accomplish those wants and act upon those Opinions? In which case we'd still be responsible for our actions regardless of what the Voices instruct us to do, for its our job to society to "do onto others as we want done to ourselves" (in short, know right from wrong)

I hear voices every once in a while, they tell me to do maniacal things. Generally all resorting in epic mischief that would otherwise place me as a lavish criminal. Fire, Violence, Theft.. but mostly Violence. the whole lot of 'em... I've been urged by my self conscious with the nagging hint of "wouldn't it be fun to..." Sometimes I've succumbed, but more often than not I know that just because I have a severe nagging want to... doesn't make it right or even remotely acceptable. At all times I was taught right from wrong and I weigh the odds and impact of hurting someone else before ever taking advice from that Dark side of me. Am I a special case in the sense that my voices aren't as convincing? Or are all the Voices the same and its just our own will that is different?

What is your opinion on "the Voices in my head". Do you ever feel any voices in your head? What do you think is the root of them (I want your opinion even if you don't have your own Voices).

I know this is MD, but Its also Psychology... so quite frankly I don't want any Right or Wrong answers... I want Opinions only, links are welcome to back those up. But I refuse to believe there is an end all to this discussion... if you claim you have it... I'll claim the voices in your head are making you delusional.
 

Unity

Living in Ikoria
Staff member
I've studied a lot of psychology, counseling, the DSM-IV handbook, etc.

When I hear of "voices in my head" and those voices telling someone to do something, I think of Schizophrenia and command hallucinations. Severe and untreated cases of Schizophrenia will often result in people hearing auditory sounds or voices that aren't there, and those voices can also command the individual to do something - in the most extreme cases, telling someone to harm someone else because they're a thread to the individual's safety.

I don't buy into the subconscious manifesting itself through unrecognizable voices or commands...if that's happening, it's probably a result of a lack of grasp onto parts of reality due to severe mental illness. Which can be treated/managed with the proper individuals and resources. If we have a desire that's truly our own, without the presence of delusion, then often chances are we'll know it's our own in the first place.

As far as the AZ shootings, I really don't know enough about Jared Loughner to make a judgment call on that one.

Now outside of mental illness (I'm going off of the article you posted, and sorry but I'm doing so without reading it...I don't have the chance to at the moment Goat, but hopefully I can get around to it later), I do know that some people will relate this sort of thing with their faith. You'll often hear Christians saying that "something just told me to..." Usually in these cases, though, it's something nonviolent and more sensible such as checking on a family member, looking into a new career, etc. Whether this is truly Divine Intervention or more of a person exploring options with their own mind and explaining it through religion, I don't know. I'm on the fence with that one.

I also think of instinct, where people will explain a "gut reaction" as a motivator to do something. I guess a voice doesn't come into play her, but I feel it relates to the religious side of things.

But I think there's a big difference between a direct and quotable command hallucination related to misconceptions related to mental illness, and something getting a gut feeling and explaining it (whether correctly or not) with religion or instinct.

Interesting to think about, and a good topic!
 

Tucker

Lion Rampant
I've always been frustrated with this concept. "The Voices in my Head"... You hear this used sometimes jokingly, sometimes serious, but 90% of the time you'll hear it when some sort of major catastrophe has happened.
I'll take that figure as a rough estimate. :lol:

The term 'voices in the head' is used to describe various mental experiences, very commonly auditory hallucinations among the severely mentally ill. At the other end of the spectrum is what might be called the 'voice of imagination,' which the average person (if not too stoned) can control at will. I suspect a causal correlation of sorts between the two and I think that what actually occurs in the mind is not necessarily always one or the other, but possibly sometimes an experience on a fluid continuum between the two extremes.

It's interesting to contemplate, too, the fact that we all hear clear, seemingly other-controlled voices in our heads every night when we sleep.
 

icegoat63

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
I'll take that figure as a rough estimate. :lol:
haha yeah when I throw out "90% of the time" while I'm talking thats actually a figure of speech I use to sound smarter than just saying "alot or most of the time".

There is no true statistical value to me saying "90% of the time" about 90% of the time I'm saying it.... its merely just a way to fill in a few extra characters ;)
 

Doc

Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
V.I.P.
What does it mean to you when someone pleads "the Voices in my head told me to do it"?
I see the voices as being a projection of someone's subconscious. If said voice(s) aren't your normal inner voice then they are a projection of how you may feel on any subject whether you know it or not.
 

Wade8813

Registered Member
I think there's an important distinction between "voices in my head" and a person's internal monologue. Hearing voices in your head which would be an audio hallucination, probably indistinguishable from actual voices, and is probably pretty rare. On the other hand, an internal monologue is basically just thinking in words, and almost everyone does it.

I would guess that the inner monologue is tied to the inner yearnings that you were talking about.
 

EllyDicious

made of AMBIGUITY
V.I.P.
A lot of people confuse the term "voices in my head" to "listen to my heart".
If we literally talk about voices in the head then there is some mental disorder happening to your brain.
About the second term we refer to what we mostly feel like doing at the moment of speaking while following our conscience.
The first and the second have a difference because they happen (respectively) in "abnormal" and "normal" mental activity.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Sim

Doc

Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
V.I.P.
I would guess that the inner monologue is tied to the inner yearnings that you were talking about.
No, I was trying to make the distinction. I believe the voices to be separate from the inner monologue but still being a projection of the subconscious instead of a direct reflection of what you are thinking.
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
Compulsions - as in "wouldn't it be fun to..." type thoughts - are different than what mentally ill people are talking about when they talk about hearing voices in their heads. As others have pointed out, those are auditory hallucinations and constitute psychosis
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sim

overburn1976

New Member
I have schizophrenia and i can tell you that the voices are just your past experiences haunting you, such as an abusive parent. If we learn to forgive these people and resolve past issues, these voices will begin to subside.
 
Top