How can I make the voices stop?

I don't remember when the voices in my head started, but I remember Hearing them when I was little.

I know it's not normal to hear voices that aren't your own. I fight the voices and I want them to stop. They've been here so long and I want them gone. How can I make the voices stop?

Dr. Meredyth Lawrynce
Dr. Meredyth Lawrynce
Serving Clients Nationwide

You are valid.   It is very unnerving when thoughts control your life.  One way to combat them is to figure out whose voice the words are said in. Oftentimes people say things to us and it stays with us, and it is not often true.  We let others’ opinions penetrate our brains and live rent-free in our heads.  You could try to rewrite the thoughts, the negative thoughts, rewrite them in a positive way.   For example “you are not worth anything” you could rewrite that in a way that shows all the ways you are worthy.  Write all your accomplishments, and things you have overcome and proof that you are in fact worthy because you are!  You can  Interrupt the thought, focus, redirect elsewhere. If you are replaying a specific moment you could go back into that moment and retell the moment, rewrite the moment so that it is what you would rather it have been. Your mind does not know anything other than what we feed it. Feed and integrate more positive thoughts and actions into your routine to possibly see a positive change, a change for the better! This video could be beneficial for you ▶ Negotiating With Inner Critic

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.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

How is your life going overall?

Since you hear voices since you were young I wonder whether you mean the thoughts each of us has about what to do, our opinions, including self-criticism and praise.

I try to understand how severe a problem these voices are if you've managed to get to a point in life of awareness about the voices.

Usually when mental health people hear about voices the immediate thought is you need drugs bc you are psychotic.

Since this is going on for a number of years, I wonder if the problem is something different.

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.
Vikas Keshri
Vikas Keshri
Recovery from mental illness is possible

You are right. It is not normal to hear voices that aren't your own but the fact is some people do. In my experience, medication seem to help. It is also important to understand when you hear voices the most - meaning it is important to understand what the triggers are. It is also important to understand when the voices are the least - meaning what helps you deal with the voices better. My clients have reported that their triggers are being in social gathering or around strangers or for some even the TV. Trying to identify your triggers is helpful for some people. Clients have also reported that listening to music, watching TV, being with friend or family helps them deal with their voices. Every individual is different and you need to figure out what works for you and what triggers your voices. My suggestion is to see a therapist / health care provider and then go from there.

I hope this helps.  

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.
Karen Keys, LMHC, CASAC, NCC
Karen Keys, LMHC, CASAC, NCC
Recovery and Wellness Expertise

First, let me express my support and compassion for what you're going through. Hearing voices can be incredibly difficult and can feel like you can't get a moment's peace, even in the privacy of your own mind. And not everyone will necessarily understand what you're dealing with, so I imagine you may also be feeling isolated or somehow different. Atta girl/boy on reaching out for help! 

Many people find benefit to taking medications, such as risperdal, seroquel, and so on. These should be prescribed by a nurse practitioner or psychiatrist -- I do not recommend a primary care doctor venture into this area, as a general rule. Discuss the options thoroughly and insist on a good rapport with your prescriber, if you decide to go this route. 

Some people are having results with a talk-therapist to develop coping strategies. There is a new and somewhat less conventional approach to challenging voices with a professional to assist you, rather than to suppress the voices, which medication will do. There is peer-run organization and a general approach that attempts to live with voices in a different way.  You can read about it in Living With Voices by Marius Romme. I have heard interviews but have not read the book(s) and can't speak to its efficacy. 

No matter what steps you decide to try, managing your stress, sleep, exercise, healthy food is essential -- in other words, just the daily care and feeding of yourself should be included in all of your efforts and bears surprising benefits to your brain and emotional health. 

Best wishes to you,

Karen Keys, LMHC, CASAC

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.
Kristi King-Morgan, LMSW
Kristi King-Morgan, LMSW
Social Worker, Psychotherapist

This isn't something you can do on your own. 

If you haven't already, you need to see a medical doctor ASAP to rule out medical causes for this. Many diseases, illnesses, and conditions can cause hallucinations. In the elderly, sometimes it's something as simple as a urinary tract infection. Some medicines may have that side effect as well.

However, you say you've been hearing them since you were little. I have no idea how old you are now, but something that has been going on for many years does lead me to think it could be a type of schizophrenia. A psychiatrist could diagnose that after taking a complete look at your history, medical history, etc. There are medications that they can put you on that will help. 

One thing that I find encouraging is that you recognize you're hearing voices. This means you are not so far into a delusion as to believe it is real. A lot of people that hear or see things that aren't there are not able to have the awareness that these things are not real. They fully believe what they're hearing/seeing. It's completely real to them. Because you have the awareness that you do, I feel this is a very good sign that with treatment you can live a normal life (assuming you are not already receiving treatment for it. If you are and are still hearing the voices, please know that medications often need to be changed and adjusted, and the voices may never completely go away but medicines certainly help dull them a lot. Always talk to your doctor when it seems your symptoms are getting worse so that they can make the necessary medication adjustments for you).

If at any time the voices are telling you to do something, please go to an ER as this is an emergency. Sometimes people hear voices telling them to harm themselves, harm someone else, or do other things that are against the law. Do not try to deal with something like that on your own. There are people who can help.

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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