Can anxiety make me think I heard something about me?

When I'm around people, I sometimes think someone has made a comment to me or asked me to do something. I will be focusing on something else and then randomly think I hear something about me. I never know if it was actually said.

Cynthia Finefrock
Cynthia Finefrock
LPC Associate, supervised by Martin K. Shaw, LPC-S, LMFT and Christy Graham, LPC-S, RPT-S

That sounds like something you would benefit from seeing a therapist for. There are some hypotheses I can think of. 1. Maybe someone really did say something but you were too distracted and it didn't register until moments later. 2. You could have anxiety that others are judging you or talking behind your back. 3. You could be having audible hallucinations and referential delusions (believing others are talking about you or implying things about you). As you can see, the possibilities range from the mild to the serious, so I really recommend you see a therapist and start journaling what you thought you heard, when you thought you heard it, and how you felt about it. Thought journals can be very helpful to therapists and to yourself for tracking patterns in your mental health. You might try asking the person you are with if they said something, what they said, and compare that to what you thought you heard. My compassion is with you, as I know hearing voices can be a scary experience; but just remember that you are loveable and it's okay to ask for help if you're scared.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Kaileen McMickle, MS, LPC
Kaileen McMickle, MS, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor

Sure can!  Especially social anxiety or anxiety in the form of paranoia.  

Are there any patterns to when or where this happens most?  Does it ever happen with people you feel safe and comfortable with?  Or only when you are in an uncomfortable social setting?  If you notice any patterns, you can focus in on the anxiety surrounding them and build coping skills to help you get through those moments (if that's what would feel helpful).

You could also seek help and talk to someone about what's happening to get a better assessment of your situation and more personalized techniques.  There's many counselors out there that are great at working with anxiety!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Jennifer Gerlach
Jennifer Gerlach
Your Story Matters

Anxiety can absolutely make you think you heard something about you. When we are on high alert, we tend to look for threats and often the greatest threats we experience on a daily basis are social in nature.  To some extent this is normal, for example, when people experience late onset deafness, they often will worry people are talking about them (and usually not good things) because our brains tend to jump to that. Of course, I'm not saying you are going deaf or anything, just giving an example. Counseling can help you work through this anxiety. It may also be helpful to reach out to a counselor to rule out if there may be other things going on. Sometimes things like paranoia can blend in with anxiety, which is a very distressing experience. But both are absolutely treatable. Wishing you the best!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Ben Braaksma
Ben Braaksma
Mental Health Counselor

It sounds like you are having difficulty knowing if people are saying things to you, or if you only thought someone was talking to you, and this is anxiety producing. It's understandable that it could be confusing and/or a bit scary to be unsure if people are speaking to you or not. It's hard to say exactly what is going on from just this description, but if you can work with a competent therapist, you may be able to get more insight into what is happening, get clarity about your social interactions, and develop some ways to deal with the anxiety.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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