Tuesday, January 17, 2006

auditory hallucinations

Thanks, Octave Ocean for your response to the last post.

So, I think I will try to explain here what auditory hallucinations are like. My reason for doing this right now is mostly because it may help me to put this information down and call it a hallucination, since I am having a great deal of difficulty lately with believing that they are not "real".

The way that I "hear things" is not the same as with some other people. I don't hear words being said very often by people who are not visible. I generally hear things being said by real people, who are really talking.

What happens is that there is a kind of double, or triple "speak" that goes on, and I hear what they said in the one-dimensional sort of "real world", as well as hearing them say other, generally frightening words, at the same time.

For example, a mother in a shopping mall might say to her child, "don't cry now", and I might look and see that this is a mother, saying this to her child. At the same time I might also look, and hear this woman saying to me, "go die now".

Generally what I hear that is an "auditory hallucination" is rhyming with something the person really is saying. Sometimes I also hear people who aren't there saying things, or hear people calling my name to taunt me, but most often it's like this.

A person might say, "would you give me your telephone number", and I would hear, "would Jew get herself out of here?"

The word "Jew" comes up a lot, because in some way my mind got very connected to delusions about being called Jewish in a taunting, harassing way, which coincides with delusional thoughts I have about concentration camps and death.

Whenever, for example, someone says, "You're welcome", to me, I hear them saying, "You'll walk home."

That happens several times a day, every single day, because I always thank people for things, and people almost always say those words. The meaning to them might only make sense to me, but it comes from a delusional belief in the eventual long walk people will have to make in the state that I live in to get to concentration camps, at the time when we are forced to go there.

Bear in mind here that not that long ago in history, in another part of the world, real people who really were Jewish, really did get forced to walk to death camps, and so did some real people who really were mentally or physically ill or disabled. So there is some sense of reality, to me anyway, in these "delusions", because I know that it is not just a belief in something that never really happened in the history of mankind. It did happen. I didn't make that up. Where do you start to draw the line, though, between what is real, and what your mine created? And for another example, just when I typed that sentence, my mind flashed to "Israel" as the same sound that comes from the words "is real", because this also fits into the delusional belief system I've got in my head.

I'm only putting a snapshot of a much larger picture here, because it would be very difficult and time-consuming to explain in further detail how the auditory hallucinations work, but if you read the last post, and then this one, I think it might give you some idea of what this experience is like. I think people who imagine that their minds played tricks on them constantly, and very insidiously, all day long, every single day of their lives, might better understand a desire to end their lives just to get out of this nightmare.

Thanks for listening.


John said...

Thanks very much beautiful mind for taking the time to explain what its like to live with your condition. You write marvellously well, and I get a lot more insight from your posts than from the mainly clinical explanations that Ive found elsewhere on the internet. My girlfriend had a psychotic episode a couple of years ago before I met her, was hospitalised and is now on medication. So Im trying to understand it better, and how to support her when its needed.

By the way Ive been reading your blog for several weeks, and I tend to check every few days to see if there is something new.

Ive been a bit reluctant to comment because I felt I didnt have anything "useful" to say. Perhaps its enough to say that Ive become better aware of what it is like to live with a mental condition, and that does help. Actually there are quite a few things I would like to ask, or am curious about, but heres a couple that have been on my mind.

Many posts talk about suicidal thoughts, but can what brings them on, or what causes them to intensify? To what extent is it the condition itself ( so for example the delusional thoughts and hallucinations ), and to what extent the life problems that come as a result (the financial worries for example) ?

Some posts are very dark and despairing ( and actually I hope their isnt the need to put a smile on for these posts when there really isnt one ), but if there was a set of circumstances which would make life seem worth living, despite all , what would it be ? Is there even such a set of circumstances ? I suppose Im looking for a bit of hope, as the thought that there might be none is a bit hard to handle.

One more thing. I dont feel I have any qualifications to make suggestions, and Im probably being very naive but I wondered if its possible to ajust some of the images regarding the delusions. For example I read a lot at one time about the jews, their history and also how the holocaust could happen. The striking thing is despite the victimisation of hundreds of years, the jews havent passively accepted their fate, but have survived and have made an enormous contribution to life in general. So my though was perhaps to counteract in a small way the image of a ragged broken people tied to a dreadful fate that cant be escaped from. Well im fairly sure Im completely missing the point regarding delusional thoughts, but that was just a idea that occured. Hopefully im not exposing too much ignorance.

I'll finish by saying that I get the impression of a very goodhearted and giving person, and perhaps at times putting on a brave face for the benefit of others, getting taken for granted and not getting the appreciation deserved, which is usually the way it goes. I'll just offer best wishes for now, and thanks again for putting your thoughts down here.


Paul’s Thoughts said...

I hope that this post has encouraged you in its intended purpose, to discern and identify illusionary auditory experiences that misrepresent what is really occurring. Your examples were particularly clear with regards how double/triple speak can skew things.

Moving back to the visual framework, I looked up some visual illusions with regard to motion because in these instances it is clear that the mind is not representing what is real appropriately. There is the true form of the image and then there is the double take that the mind exercises. This is the best I could come up with in trying to relate to what you experience audibly. They are however illusions and not hallucinations.

Illusion 1

Illusion 2

Illusion 3

Yes, real things occurred to the Jews and represent true historical events. However, truth is not relative to space and time. At one time it is perfectly true to say that “Regan is President” but it would be in error to say this now. Similarly, at a certain time in history it would be true to say “Jews are being sent to concentration camps and gassed to death”. This was true at one time, but not now. It appears as though some of the experiences you have mentioned try to bend the rules of time, to transcend time, along with self-identity. By bending these rules I am beginning to slightly understand how difficult it is for you to unravel the extrapolated double speak and discern that what is really going on. Or as you put it “Where do you start to draw the line, though, between what is real, and what your mind created?”

This is a process that we are all involved in to varying degrees. It is one thing to know the nature of truth, but it is another thing altogether to examine the knowability of truth.

On the nature of truth or the really real, Perer van Inwagen explains that “each of our beliefs and assertions represent the World as being a certain way, and the belief or assertion is true if the World is that way, and false if the World is not that way. It is, as one might put it, up to our beliefs and assertions to get the World right; if they don’t, they’re not doing their job, and that’s their fault and no fault of the World’s. Our beliefs and assertions are thus related to the World as a map is related to the territory: it is up to the map to get the territory right, and if the map doesn’t get the territory right, that’s the fault of the map and no fault of the territory."

This happens to everybody. Our assumptions, presumptions and inferences about certain events, experiences and natural phenomena are not beyond error. This is life, we try our best, we do what we can to be honest with ourselves and with others.

You have given some clear examples of how your mind plays unfair tricks on you as auditory hallucinations influence the process of ‘mapping the world’ around you. How do we know if our map of the world around us is correct? This question deals with the knowability of truth? Essentially, any movement on this matter is likely to flow from presuppositions about how to arrive at the truth of things, or in your case the truth of your audible world. For me, I believe that truth is not relative to space and time, that truth is not relative to persons, that absolute truths do exist as opposed to relativism, that truth is correspondence with reality as opposed to subjectivism, etc, and as I am a Christian my acceptance of what is true is guided by the God of the bible. As a direct consequence, all of these things play a role in where I “start to draw the line” between what is real and not.

In this post I have just let my fingers drift over the keypad as your post really got me thinking. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

All the best,

Valli Sankar said...

What you describe basically fits PTS type III.

Refer to the article on PTS in the book 'Introduction to Scientology Ethics'.

What you are experiencing is solvable.

Good luck.

jeff said...

Thank u very much. I have been dealing with this for a while now. I relate with ryming what people are saying. It first took me by supprise and i really thought people where talking s*** behind my back. I confronted prople about what the said, what i thought they said, and they had no idea what i was talking about. I even hear my name from people i have never met before or eve on the radio. When ever i am surrounded by a large group of people i get anxiety because i hear them taking about me. These are people i have never seen before. I even thought that there was this big conspiracy behind my back. It is really affecting my personal life. Would anyone know how i could treat it so i dont have to live the rest of my life with this. I am only 19.


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