Can you hear voices without being ill?
July 28, 2008 7:39 AM Subscribe
I'm looking for scientific information on whether a person who is not suffering from mental illness can experience ongoing, coherent auditory hallucinations, specifically voices.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (27 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm trying to help a friend who is suffering from mental illness but refuses to get medical help. She claims that she hears voices but says that she is not ill. According to her, the voices are coherent and she can have conversations with them. She understands that hearing voices can be a symptom of mental illness but claims that if she was mentally ill enough to be hearing voices, she would be acting crazy in other aspects of her life, and she isn't. Therefore the voices are not an illness but are spirits.
Is she right about this? If you are talking to voices in your head because of mental illness, can you keep everything else together? How unwell must you be before you can have a conversation with the voices?
Peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals would be ideal. I'm not sure if a logical, reasoned discussion about this will work, but I'd like to try it. Even if my friend rejects good evidence that hearing voices is a sign of illness, that will tell me a lot about her attitude to getting help. Thanks.