Hearing Voices - It Really Scares Me

Published: December 05, 2012
Dear Hearing Voices - It Really Scares Me,

I am 20 i hear voices a lot there's sometimes one and sometimes many voices at the same time talking to each other about what they want want me to do and what other people are saying and thinking they tell me to hurt other people cut there throats stab them even kill them i am so scared i will act upon them as these have been getting worse for sometime and want me to hurt myself cutting and once i start i cant stop i don't want to do it but its if something else is controlling me and even kill myself its got to the point where i think of death a lot and plan my death i no longer want to be here. I encounter images along with these voices as if iv already done what they have told me to do i see the person with a cut throat and blood pouring out and it really scares me. i also see dead birds and cars coming at me from of the road ready to run me over i have all different things like this but it seems so real there's a few times iv gone to pick up the bird or froze as i watch the car come towards me i really don't know whats wrong with me and i find it really difficult to speak to people about how i'm feeling and whats going on in my head on a daily basis. whats wrong with me??? please help

Dear Hearing Voices - It Really Scares Me,

While TeenHealthFX cannot give any kind of definitive diagnosis over the web, it sounds like you are dealing with auditory hallucinations. An auditory hallucination in when you hear something that doesn’t really exist. And when the voices tell you to do something, such as to harm yourself or harm others, it is called a command hallucination. Hallucinations can be associated with several things – for example, it can be a result of certain types of drug use or it can be a symptom of a mental health illness such as schizophrenia.

FX can appreciate how scary this situation must be for you. It can be very frightening to experience these kinds of auditory hallucinations and feel like you might get to a point where you would hurt yourself because you are feeling so distraught by what’s going on. But FX wants to assure you that there are treatments available that can help you to address these symptoms. We think that it is important for you to tell someone – a parent or your primary care physician, for example – about what is going on so that consultations can be set up with mental health professionals who can assess your symptoms, give you an accurate diagnosis, and discuss with you the most effective treatment options based on that diagnosis. People experiencing hallucinations are generally best treated with a combination of psychotropic medications and psychotherapy, so FX would recommend that you have a consultation with a psychiatrist who can assess your needs for medication, as well as a therapist, such as a clinical social worker or clinical psychologist, who can meet with you for therapy sessions. It would be best for you to meet with reputable mental health professionals who have been personally referred to you (perhaps by your doctor, a school staff member if you attend school, family member or family friend) and who are experienced in working with people who have these kinds of hallucinations.  

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

If you get to the point that you are seriously considering suicide or are afraid of your impulses then you need to seek help immediately. You can call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. In northern New Jersey you can also call the crisis hotline from Morristown Memorial hospital at 973-540-0100. Outside this area call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433), available 24 hours a day, or the Suicide & Crisis Hotline, 1-800-999-9999, 24 hours, 7 days a week.