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nerevars's avatar

What is "The Voice Inside Your Head"?

Asked by nerevars (221points) October 1st, 2013

What makes someone has a voice inside their head? I mean, what makes it differences than just having a thought? Or thinking critically?

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28 Answers

whitenoise's avatar

I generally don’t have a voice inside my head other than some of my articulate thoughts if I am clnsiously thinking.

ucme's avatar

I often hear Daffy Duck spitting away in my head, makes me ears tickle.
The doc says I have water on the brain, but what does he know?

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

Eventually, if you stay here long enough, we will all be voices in your head. Some less welcome than others, and many making no sense at all, but you’ll hear us. Oh, yes. You’ll hear us.

picante's avatar

Welcome to Fluther!

Never having had a voice inside my head (other than my own, of course), I can’t really say. My own voice often argues with itself, but I always win ;-)

I can only imagine the horror of a mental illness that carried with it the compelling “other” voice.

drhat77's avatar

Schizophrenics who hear voices do not describe it as voices “in” their head. They describe it as hearing snatches of whispers nearby that they can just make out. It can be one voice or many.
A voice in your head is you using language to think your thoughts, which is most go about that.

ucme's avatar

Wonders which voice Stephen Hawking hears…Speak & Spell perhaps?

Pachy's avatar

I’ve always talked to myself inside my head, sometimes in one of my parents’ voices, but usually in my own voice: Do this, don’t do that; believe this, don’t believe that; you’re right, you’re wrong; you’re good enough, you’re not good enough; you should have done this, you shouldn’t have not that; and on and on.

Coloma's avatar

So far the only voice in my head is my own. Yes, the voice in ones head is their ego blathering away. Being aware and conscious of when our inner voice is chattering away and listening to our thoughts is called being mindful or self aware.
Most of my inner dialogue is my ego complaining, not negative self talk.

tom_g's avatar

Schizophrenia can result in voices. Sometimes these voices are non-stop. When I worked with schizophrenics many years ago, there were a few people that just fantasized about having a single moment of quiet. Most of the time, they would try to drown out the voices by wearing headphones and listening to music during most of their waking hours.

As for the content of these voices – one man was convinced that the voices he heard were those of the FBI and Robert Redford. He had been suffering with these voices for many years, and he was convinced that they were “real”. I mean, they are real in the sense that he is actually hearing them. We’d be talking, and suddenly he would start to glaze over and I would ask him if he heard the voices now. He would respond yes. The strange thing is that he at least knew that he had an illness. But he was still convinced that during the middle of the night years ago, the FBI and Robert Redford had broken into his apartment and implanted a device into his head that they used to communicate these perpetual broadcasts.

DWW25921's avatar

When they do speak they’re loud as talking over the others can drown a person out.

Sunny2's avatar

Mostly it’s my own. I used to hear my mother’s voice, but haven’t in a long time. What’s there, when I don’t have any particular thoughts, is music. I tuned in just now and it was “Someone to Watch over me.” Feeling a bit fragile today..

LostInParadise's avatar

The closest I come to having voices in my head is the written conversations with myself that I sometimes use for solving a problem. You might think that it is just a matter of listing arguments and counter-arguments, but that is not how I perceive it. To me, I am not only hearing voices. I am speaking back to them.

Strauss's avatar


El_Cadejo's avatar

I tend to “talk” to myself a lot when I’m working out complex problems. Like @LostInParadise it’s not so much just listing the components of the problem and thinking them through but rather having an open dialog in my head with myself. It really helps me sort things out.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Sometimes I hear my lovely mother saying, April that wasn’t nice, or something like that. She is the voice of my conscience because she’s much nicer than me.

josie's avatar

Sounds a little bit like my dad

rojo's avatar

I am trying to come up with some kind of differentiation between the two; that is having a voice inside my head and a conscious thought.
In those situations, I have always viewed my thoughts as a voice directing me, not me acting out instinctively. That I do on a subconscious level.

Like right now, the voice is telling me what to write, repeating this as I type it out and telling me when I have done it wrong and need to rewrite. I have never questioned whether it was my voice or not. I have always assumed it was and that everyone thought this way.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@nerevars Welcome to Fluther, and thank you for the question.

I have a mental illness, and I had auditory hallucinations. In the past, when I was not on the best medicine, I heard voices and singing. Barbra Streisand was singing. I was cognizant enough to easily realize that she was not in my room singing to me, so it was a hallucination.

What makes it different from a thought? Often it’s the intent of the message I’m hearing. Ordinary, mundane thoughts are mine. The outlandish and many times evil ones are not my thoughts. They are symptoms of the illness.

With the right medicine and many years of psycho-therapy and a lot of work on me, I can often recognize what is a hallucination or voice, as you call it, and what is my own.

YARNLADY's avatar

I used to have voices in my head, which were different from my own thoughts. It’s hard to explain, but it’s very much like someone whispering words to you.

For example, you can always tell when someone is talking to you on the phone, and when you are doing the talking. For me, the voices in my head were like that. They usually would tell me answers to questions or the correct way to respond to things that happened.

One day, I told the voices to go away, because I was tired of being different from everyone else and I wanted to be normal. After some arguing, the voices finally went away, but I did not become normal. However, I finally learned to cope with being different.

thorninmud's avatar

I’m going to assume you mean the “self-talk” voice that everyone has, which you experience as your own internal voice. This is something different than “hearing voices”.

In Zen, we call this voice the “commentator”. It’s the mental equivalent of a movie voice-over. This is your brain’s way of taking the raw material of your experience and processing it into a coherent narrative using language. In other words, your brain is constantly writing your life story, and the “voice” is the sound of that somewhat chaotic process. From that process emerges your sense of who you are.

The future “writing” will be informed by the story thus far constructed; the commentator, like any story writer, is trying to construct a good story with a believable narrative arc. So experiences that aren’t consistent with the overall story will tend to not get written in. Experiences that fit in well with the narrative will get preferential treatment.

This is different from deliberate thought in that the commentator is largely involuntary, not easily subject to conscious control. It’s driven largely by subconscious mental processes.

antimatter's avatar

I don’t know but mine always makes a funny zing zing noise, as for the voice I’ll ask my imaginary girlfriend tonight.

Rarebear's avatar

Mine is usually Captain Kirk.

flo's avatar

It’s your conscience.

WestRiverrat's avatar

A line from a song by Laura Branigan.

filmfann's avatar

I have two voices in my head when I am stressed (I am Schizotypal).
It does sound like someone is talking to me, usually baiting me to do something.
The joke I use is that the voices in my head are teaching me Latin.

mattbrowne's avatar

There are basically two reasons:

1) A mental illness called psychosis
2) A normal inner voice, every healthy person has

ISmart's avatar

didn’t want to say it but.. NSA

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