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"Do you hear voices?" "Doesn't everyone?"
March 29, 2007 8:33 AM   Subscribe

INTERVOICE (International Network for Training, Education and Research into Hearing Voices) "offers information, publications, research, and good practice on hearing voices and other key issues." Voice hearing is surprisingly common, even normal. Many people find it a pleasurable and positive experience. Find everything from stencil graffiti to a recent New York Times magazine article on the work of the Hearing Voices Movement. (w i k i s)
posted by srs (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
The first link could use some more 200+ page rants about the Special Sputnik Forces Fleet sending sex images and thinly veiled threats to my masculinity via x-ray beams and black helicopters.

Man those webpages are the best.
posted by Avenger at 8:51 AM on March 29, 2007


Remember Julian Jaynes.
posted by No Robots at 9:30 AM on March 29, 2007


I hear voices sometimes. Usually when I'm at work. Invariably they correspond to an apparition which looks like one of my co-workers standing by my desk looking imploringly at me for help.

What I always do, is turn up my headphones, close my eyes, and say in a loud and clear voice "It's all in my head! It's all in my head!" over and over again.

And when I open my eyes, both the horrible phantom visage and the irritating voice are gone. It seems to work every time.
posted by quin at 9:51 AM on March 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


No Robots, that should be an FPP. Very interesting reading.
posted by Avenger at 10:11 AM on March 29, 2007


The story of No Robots' username should also be an FPP
posted by srs at 10:13 AM on March 29, 2007


Their list of famous "voice hearers" seems to be riddled with those that use inner voice metaphors in interviews.
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 10:49 AM on March 29, 2007


I hear voices in my head.
I think they're called 'memories'.

I also hear my own voice if I'm doing math in my head, for example.

Another example would be if I mentioned Martin Luther Kings's 'I have a dream' speech. Do you have Dr. King's voice in your head right now?

I'm assuming these things are normal. How are they different from the stuff in the links?
posted by MtDewd at 10:50 AM on March 29, 2007


Not all voices are imaginary. I myself was astonished by my father within the last ten years when one day on a visit he exclaimed, 'Oh man, that's LOUD!'

He claimed to be hearing the local NPR affliate through his teeth; he was quite vehement as the vibrations were apparently really bothersome. I was skeptical, of course. So when he insisted that I had to come and place my ear in front of his open mouth, I thought I was humoring him.

Much to my surprise, I was able to clearly hear Scott Simon's voice emerging, slightly buzzy and tinny, from my father's rear molars, shiny with old metal fillings. Amazing.
posted by mwhybark at 10:55 AM on March 29, 2007


What's the etymology of "a little bird told me" and the inner voice metaphor?
posted by srs at 11:12 AM on March 29, 2007


Another example would be if I mentioned Martin Luther Kings's 'I have a dream' speech. Do you have Dr. King's voice in your head right now?

I have a friend who hears voices. Occasionally she'll have to ask me, "Did you hear that too?" Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn't — when she hears voices, they're often so vivid that she can't tell them from the actual voices of people speaking in the room.

When I think about Dr. King, on the other hand, it's obvious to me that I'm imagining his voice, not actually hearing it. I'm aware without having to ask that nobody else in the room will have heard it. That's the difference.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:54 AM on March 29, 2007


Who said that?

*looks around frantically*
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:16 PM on March 29, 2007


My cat hears voices.
posted by signal at 4:35 PM on March 29, 2007


My cat hears voices.

/off topic

My buddy's cat had this habit that always amused me. It would be laying on his bed next to the other cat, while he or his girlfriend were in the room, working on the computer. The cat would suddenly leap up, arch it's back, puff up it's tail and start frantically hissing at the closet. This would cause the other cat to freak out and start doing the same thing.

So my friend. A completely rational man, would be sitting there amidst this sudden flurry of terrified motion, and be wondering 'what the fuck is in the closet that has these cats acting like this?' Which would lead inevitably to the thought 'And do I really want to know?'

I love the idea of a grown man, too spooked to look in his own closet.

So yeah, I think sometimes cats might hear voices.
posted by quin at 5:00 PM on March 29, 2007


Wow, that was really poorly punctuated. I blame the voices.

It's all in my head, it's all in my head....

posted by quin at 5:02 PM on March 29, 2007


Ah, finally a thread for me. I hear voices, and I find the biggest mystery for me is that the voices seem to come up with things that couldn't have come from in my head - they'll talk about some obscure foreign film that came out 6 years ago or something like that. I'm actually always slightly worried that they'll do something that literally is impossible, like mention some news item before I've read the paper that day.
posted by Astragalus at 5:17 PM on March 29, 2007


I'd like to add, the freakiest thing my voices do is blurt out the correct answer to difficult math problems that I have to work on for a half hour before I even realize the answer is correct. This I have to attribute some kind of temporal hallucination - thinking that I heard/thought of something before I actually did.
posted by Astragalus at 5:35 PM on March 29, 2007


There's a huge spectrum of experience contained within the idea of "hearing voices". It's a lot like talking about "seeing colors" or "feeling stuff". I've known two people who dealt with prominent voices. One found it amusing, but for the other it was tragic. So I'd assume that it can also be mundane. So mundane that you can go your whole life without noticing it. Until now. Muahh hahahaaa...
posted by Area Control at 6:54 PM on March 29, 2007


Yeah, but do your voices constantly and loudly bust truculent sesquipolysyllabic flows in perfect iambic pentameter about every conceivable understanding of what a dick you are?
posted by Astragalus at 9:05 PM on March 29, 2007


H-hey come back! *offers steaming pile around*
posted by Astragalus at 9:13 PM on March 29, 2007


I'll bet everyone hears voices to varying degrees, but puts various labels on the experience. When you can't get a handle on it is when it becomes problematic. I'm thinking, I'm imagining, I'm remembering, I'm hallucinating, I'm schizophrenic... is it all just a matter of degree or semantics?
posted by Enron Hubbard at 5:44 AM on March 30, 2007


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