"I'm sitting in bed. The voices have started. I can hear shouting, but I can't make out what they’re saying. It sounds lượt thích it’s coming from all around bầm. It won't stop. I’ve turned on my máy tính xách tay and found the easiest, light hearted programme I can find, Friends. It reminds bầm of my childhood, before the voices started. If I can focus on this maybe the voices will leave bầm alone.
"It isn't working. Now the shouting has turned into screaming. The screaming is urgent, and incredibly loud as if someone is in danger or in pain. The blinds are closed and I'm paranoid now that the screaming is real and someone is playing a joke on bầm. Should I get up and check? I really should. I've opened the blinds and there was nothing there. I'm really uncomfortable. I feel sick. I'll turn the volume up on the máy tính xách tay đồ sộ try and drown out the noise… It's not working. What is my mind trying đồ sộ tell me? How can I rationalise this or tell it đồ sộ stop?"
I started hearing voices as a teenager. I live with Bipolar, and some people with this disorder, lượt thích bầm, also have psychosis. For the longest time I lived in denial. I knew something was wrong, that it was wasn't right đồ sộ endure such traumatic experiences at the hands of the voices in my head, but I convinced myself it was normal.
As a sixteen year old, I regularly heard a voice that told bầm how amazing I was; how I could bởi anything. It made bầm hyperactive and I bounced around lượt thích I’d eaten a fiver's worth of sweets and energy drinks. In those moments, when the voices were positive, they filled bầm with confidence and a euphoria I’ve experienced nowhere else. I liked those voices.
The other ones were vindictive and full of hate, and I would push them far into the back of my mind, denying their existence. Everyone has an internal voice, right? That’s true, but the difference was I never knew when the voices would appear, what they were going đồ sộ say, or if they were going đồ sộ be cruel or life-affirming.
The confident, charismatic voice came with bầm when I moved đồ sộ university. Just lượt thích a mischievous bestie, it would urge me: "Go on, have another drink!". It would encourage me: "That guy keeps looking, go and talk đồ sộ him!" It gave bầm the drive đồ sộ try new things and energised bầm into making friends. Ultimately, it made bầm happy, the happiest I’d ever felt.
"The voices never told bầm đồ sộ hurt anyone else and that’s what I thought psychosis was"
But life took a turn when I became severely depressed. I’d dealt with this before, but the voices became nasty and I couldn't escape. I would hear screaming and shouting in my head. Sometimes I wouldn’t be able đồ sộ make out what they were saying, other times they would tell bầm I was pathetic and disgusting and tell bầm đồ sộ hurt myself. It was terrifying. I felt utterly lost and alone. I started đồ sộ believe what these voices were telling bầm and I became suicidal.
I went đồ sộ see my GP, but only mentioned the depression. I was young and had no experience or idea of what psychosis was. I never thought it would or could happen đồ sộ bầm. It was something you saw in movies, or read in the tabloids that someone had done something terrible because of the voices they heard. That wasn’t my experience. The voices either made bầm feel fantastic and ready for anything - or the complete opposite; worthless, scared beyond belief. They never told bầm đồ sộ hurt anyone else and that’s what I thought psychosis was.
I felt lượt thích I was living in a constant state of alert. This went on for years. I hid from everyone what was happening đồ sộ bầm, but at the same time I couldn’t bring myself đồ sộ believe it. Even though I was in denial, I often kept a journal of my experiences. I thought writing it all down would be the key đồ sộ making it all stop.
“The screaming has stopped, suddenly. Thank you. I can breathe again. The cát has leapt up on the bed and has curled up next đồ sộ bầm. It’s lượt thích she knows something is wrong. Stroking her and listening đồ sộ her gentle purr is calming bầm down. I’ve just realised it’s getting dark outside and I’m sitting in the bedroom with no lights on. I don’t want đồ sộ get up because right now sitting here I’m not hearing anything scary or intimidating. I don’t want đồ sộ jinx it.
"Now it’s dark and I’m still sitting in the bedroom, still too afraid đồ sộ get up. I feel really muddled and confused. Oh, here come the voices. I close my eyes and try and focus my mind. All I can hear is 'Disgusting!', 'Ugly!', 'Get out!' It’s relentless. I feel lượt thích I’m being pushed over the edge into a darkness full of fear and helplessness. I can’t take this anymore. I realise I’m trembling as I get up. I feel as if I’ve been shaken roughly by someone much stronger kêu ca bầm. I sit down next đồ sộ my partner on the sofa. I can’t be bothered đồ sộ explain what’s been happening. I’m still feeling overwhelmed by voices. I’m asking him about his game. I make myself listen đồ sộ him intently, and the shouting starts đồ sộ fade.
"Now I’m paranoid. Is that banging from outside or in my head? Is that whispering in the background from the TV show or in my mind? Unknown noises phối my teeth on edge. I’m jumpy, full of panic with the fear it will start again."
I remember clearly the moment I accepted I had psychosis. I was on the MIND trang web and stumbled upon the section on hearing voices. It was lượt thích they’d plucked all my thoughts and experiences out of my head and put them on this page. My toàn thân started shaking as I read more and more of the article. When I finished reading I broke down and sobbed. I couldn’t control it, I could hardly breathe through the sobs. I didn’t want đồ sộ be ill. I didn’t want đồ sộ be that person. The freak, insane, the one people were afraid đồ sộ talk đồ sộ. I felt completely alone and as scared as I’d ever been.
It hasn’t been an easy journey. I’ve felt completely out of control, lượt thích the voices had taken over my life. I've felt frustrated, lượt thích my stubbornness let this happen. I’ve felt terrified; not knowing what my future would hold, worrying daily about when I would next hear the voices. And I’ve felt anger, wondering why this happened đồ sộ bầm when I couldn’t see a way out.
But slowly, I learnt đồ sộ accept that psychosis wasn’t the over of my life. It’s not a dirty word. It doesn’t change who I am as a person. I’m not a monster or a weirdo because of it. The creative, caring, passionate Katie is still here. Now, when I hear voices, I try đồ sộ rationalise the experience. I know they can’t hurt bầm. I distract myself by putting headphones on and listening đồ sộ my favourite music or podcast series. Talking đồ sộ a close friend or my partner helps đồ sộ ground bầm in reality, and shows bầm the voices aren’t real. I know now that hearing voices isn’t normal and that’s ok. It means I’m facing them and not letting them rule my life anymore. I’m winning.
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Dr. Sarkhel, Consultant Psychiatrist from Living Mind explains: "Psychosis or having a psychotic episode can be incredibly scary and can cause somebody đồ sộ lose touch of reality. They can start đồ sộ perceive things in a different way from everybody else and can have difficulty distinguishing between reality and fiction.
"Psychosis may also involve hallucinations or delusions - these may include hearing threatening voices, hearing voices which encourage you đồ sộ engage in dangerous behaviour, or feeling that someone is ‘out đồ sộ get you’.
"It can give a feeling that someone is out đồ sộ get you"
"Hearing voices can also be a symptom of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or severe depression. It can also result from the consumption of illicit drugs such as marijuana. This is known as 'drug induced psychosis'. Traumatic life experiences such as the death of parents, sexual assault or violence can also be a trigger for hearing voices, especially in children and young adults. Moreover, psychosis can be triggered by episodes of feeling extremely low which may present themselves in depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, personality disorders and even eating disorders. After bereavement, it can be common đồ sộ hear the voices of our near and dear ones. This is a part of the normal bereavement process."