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This is the Voice in My Head

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I have a voice in my head.

It’s not malicious really but it’s always there with a retort to something I think about or something I say.

I don’t know if that’s normal but it’s a fact.

This voice has masqueraded as the voice of God, the voice of reason or a myriad of other sometimes helpful conscience characters but it’s been there since my breakdown almost ten years ago.

I could talk about the fact that when I’m laying in bed at night and feel the need to pray this voice answers back and most of the time the things it says are pretty helpful. It’s for that reason that for a long time I thought I was talking to God. I never told anybody about this because I thought it would make me sound crazy and I’ve been fearful of that since I broke. It’s true though.

It’s strange though that the voice doesn’t seem to be coming from me, at least not my concept of me being in my physical body. It seems disembodied, and like it’s being broadcast into my head.

No matter what I think about it seems to have an answer, that is until I asked it out right if it was God. It remained silent after that question and it made me realize that although it’s full of good advice it can’t always be trusted.

It speaks a lot about the character of something going around masquerading as God, and if a disembodied voice can be held accountable for it’s character as if it were another human being, then there would be some serious issues with trust there.

The point is, this voice, which doesn’t seem like me, came from somewhere inside my head and it has solutions to problems that I, in my sense of self would have a hard time figuring out on my own.

It’s a strange balance between listening to what the voice has to say and trusting it as a voice of reason. It’s like a constant friend by your side that goads you into doing things that are good for you and right for the time and place, but at the same time that friend talks trash behind your back.

It’s supportive to me though, and it’s always quick to offer up advice but I have to ask where the voice itself came from. I can remember a feeling of staring into my bathroom mirror and feeling like my brain had ripped apart one night in college. I think maybe at that point, the voice of reason developed as a sort of defense mechanism from the paranoia and fear that had overridden me and now, as I’m healthy and stable, it’s chosen to just stick around.

The thing is, I don’t kno0w if I can quite separate the voice of reason from the paranoia and I don’t know if it’s the same thing in my brain doing these polar opposite functions or if it’s something else entirely.

There’s a lot of truth to the name schizophrenia, which in Latin means ‘of two minds’ and it’s definitely a fitting description.

At times the paranoia takes over my sense of self and the voice of reason knows this and tries to calm me down. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but wherever it came from, maybe as a function of separating myself from the trauma, it seems to know how to handle the situation and is always quick with a word of advice.

I still don’t know if it’s fully trustworthy though, it might just be the devil in disguise.

This is the Voice in My Head


Michael Hedrick

Michael Hedrick is a writer and photographer who has lived with schizophrenia since he was 20. His work has been featured in Salon, The Week, Scientific American and The New York Times. You can purchase his book 'Connections' here or Follow his blog on Living with Schizophrenia here.


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APA Reference
Hedrick, M. (2015). This is the Voice in My Head. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 17, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/two-minds/2015/09/this-is-the-voice-in-my-head/

 

Last updated: 26 Sep 2015
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