Topic Options
#14377 - 03/07/13 06:05 PM The Voices in our Heads
Dianne E. Offline


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2789
Loc: United States
Cheri Huber's Practice Blog
Cheri Huber Website
Cheri's Practice Blog
The Voices Don’t Care about Content

Posted: 16 Feb 2013 12:47 PM PST
Incalculable suffering happens because people believe what the voices in their heads are saying. Person is going along and hears that was wrong or you shouldn’t have or people think you’re… or people don’t like you or you’re never going to have what you want or you’re just not good enough or you can’t or you should or it’s your fault…. On and on it goes with the person feeling worse and worse with each statement. Short film clips of past mistakes and failures are interspersed with predictions of future disasters.

When asked about depression I often respond that I’ve never known a depressed person who is not living with self-hate. I’ve concluded it’s not possible to “be depressed” without the “depressing” conversation of “what’s wrong.” We are all “depressed” when listening to and believing the haranguing voices of self-hate.

Without the voices’ comparison, judgment, negative assessments, criticism and a litany of loss, lack, deprivation and fear, a person is simply in the moment they’re in and there’s nothing wrong. A true story.

But here’s the reason I’m writing to you today. (If you’re a recording and listening person, please record what’s coming and listen to it many times a day until it sinks into the depths of your being, never to be excised by any voice, no matter how pernicious.)

Those voices do not care one whit about the content of the conversation.

The voice in your head talks to you about what you believe, not what it believes. The voice will talk to you about anything you will believe and feel bad about.

If money is an issue for you, it talks about money fears and woes and mistakes and a future of deprivation—and that it’s all your fault. If you have body image issues, it will talk about how you look, compare you to others, let you know that everything wrong in your life is wrong because of the way you look—and that it’s all your fault. If you have relationship issues, it will point out what wonderful relationships everyone else has, how lacking or inferior your relationships are, how it’s always been that way and always will be—and that it’s all your fault.

If none of the above is your issue, I’m sure by now you can fill in your version of the torture system!

We have so much trouble catching on to this because the torture is perfectly tailored to each of us individually. Because it’s all done in secret, we don’t realize everyone is suffering within the same process just with different content. Plus, it all started so long ago that by now it’s just the reality we live in. There’s nothing about it to flag us as something we should question. “I am overweight.” “I don’t have enough money.” I don’t have the relationship I want.” What’s not to believe??

Here’s something to consider. A very good argument can be made that our lives consist of what we give our attention to. That voice in the head wants our attention. It lives on our attention. Without our attention it does not, cannot exist. We are trained to give our attention to “what’s wrong.” In this way, our lives consist of “what’s wrong,” and the voice feeding us information about what’s wrong has full control of our attention and our lives.

If you decide NOT to believe that story you’re being told, if you really get it that it’s not true, it’s just something you’ve been trained to believe, then you’re truly free to put your attention where you want it to be, on the life you choose to have.

Here’s the next thing to consider: What might happen to the “issue” the voices incessantly yammer on about if you stopped listening to their yammer? Would those stories be “true” if no one experienced them as true? What would be “true” about your life if you weren’t living in reaction to what’s wrong, loss, lack, deprivation, fear, criticism, and comparison? Might be worth finding out, don’t you think?

#16205 - 01/07/14 01:04 PM Re: The Voices in our Heads [Re: Dianne E.]
water Offline

Registered: 12/22/13
Posts: 11
Does anyone know at what age a human usually starts mentally hearing his or her own voice? I've never been able to find an answer for that.

I'm asking because I didn't hear my own voice in my head, except perhaps when reading - although I might have been imagining hearing the authors' voices - until about age 19 after experimenting briefly with Speed; it appears to have stimulated the intellectual/analytical side of my brain more which turned on my voice in my head. Prior to that switch, my thinking was more like a "knowing" and feeling and sensing and keen observation of things, and images, although I always performed well in language, reading, grammar, math, science, etc. in school. I read very serious books at a young age when my "friends" were reading a lot of silly garbage. Even the novels I read were more mature and complex than those of my "friends". So the non-verbal thinking did not hamper me. It was a much freer and different way to think. I still felt empathy, compassion, love, and the gamut of emotions; I just didn't verbalize them.

When my Psychopath mother or someone would ridicule or criticize me, I knew they were wrong, and I didn't dwell on it afterward as one who thinks in words does while the ridicule or criticism repeats over and over and over in their heads. I didn't make conscious verbal judgements about them, e.g. didn't think "she is a [censored]" or "she says and does that because she hates me" or "she's jealous" of "selfish", yet I knew it non-verbally. Because I didn't think in words, I also rarely responded verbally to their questions or ridicule at any length; I often just looked at them when they were nasty, or to their questions I gave simple answers devoid of lengthy explanations or defenses. In retrospect, that probably threw the Psychopaths off and they didn't know how deeply they'd affected me or hurt me because I seldom said much or gave much info into what I was thinking and feeling. Instead I'd be mentally digesting and processing it in an abstract non-verbal way. It's difficult to explain if you don't remember thinking non-verbally.

I really miss my natural way of thinking quietly and non-verbally which, besides feeling relatively peaceful, allowed me to concentrate easily on things and to learn quickly (e.g., someone could show me how to operate complex equipment which required numerous steps and I'd "get it" the first time; and no, I don't have photographic memory, although I am visually oriented). I suppose it's what metaphysical people refer to as "whole brain thinking", engaging their intellectual and emotional sides of their brain wholly at the same time, minus the words as you do in various types of meditation and metaphysical mental pursuits.

I also used to be fully engaged and exuberant in joyful and fun moments; e.g. when swimming and playing in a lake or the ocean I'd ecstatically "soak in" the smell of the air, the silky cool feel of the water, the sensations of gliding through the water, feel of the soft sand and sharp rocks, the heat of the sun; the sound of the waves, boats, birds, and people playing and laughing; and I'd be "in heaven". Likewise with snow, animals, forests, playing, etc... There were no words to encumber or distract me; I was truly in the moment and soaking it all in.

I suspect that long-term stress and caffeine affects the brain similar to Speed or any similar drugs, causing you to think in words more and more, thereby drumming in all those negative and judgmental thoughts... It's truly a drag. Even the positive judgments in one's head are a drag; it's so exhausting to think the words, e.g. "that is a gorgeous view (or animal or person..)" compared to just experiencing the vision of beauty and all that it entails. Words truly take away too much from things. Of course there are times when words are appropriate and useful, but not when they're in your head all day.

Does anyone else here remember when their minds were quiet?

#16586 - 05/22/15 04:24 PM Re: The Voices in our Heads [Re: Dianne E.]
DancingSara Offline

Registered: 05/21/15
Posts: 4
Loc: West Coast, United States
I am not sure I can completely, directly and intelligently respond to your excellent post, but it hit a nerve within me and I feel that I must respond with what I lived. And I have to say that this thing about the voice in my head is the reason why I have trusted no one with this information. I was/still am pretty sure they'd think I was crazy.

I feel that when I was married to my exhusband, overtime I acquired a new voice in my head. It was a terrible one. Although I did grow up in an abusive and dysfunctional family, and you certainly gain some unseemly voices from that, I never encountered such a voice as the one I acquired when I was married to my exhusband. I never knew such a thing existed. Over time, I continually doubted my thoughts and actions and decisions about everything except for when it came to raising my child. I also degraded myself, telling myself that I was the worst person that ever lived. I've always been a fairly confident person and have felt that I was okay as I was, but being with him turned me into something completely differnt. It was so bad that I questioned my sanity on a daily basis and even thought of suicide (but I want to state that this was temporary. I never thought of it before I married him and I do not consider it now. ) I never connected my relationship with him as the reason for why I thought this way. I just thought "I feel so hopeless, I can't do anything right, I feel inside out and upside down."

I have had to work so hard to meet this voice head on and undo it, if that makes sense. After I got divorced, I always wrote in my journal that I felt that I had been poisoned. I still feel that way about my time with him. But I wonder if that feeling of being poisoned lines up with the voice in my head. When I told a counselor that, she looked so surprised. The only thing she said was that she thought I had PTSD.

I do feel more confident now that when the voice pays a visit, I can help it see new ways of thinking about things. I can talk it down and I don't believe any of what it tells me. The more I have been away from the ex, the more "normal" I feel. HOWEVER, I will never feel completely 100% again after being with him. Something in me changed. I have no trust of most people, I am hyper aware (is that even a phrase?) of my surroundings, and now I only look over my shoulder - anywhere - about 50% of the time. And 75% of the time, I feel like I live on my own island or planet, figuratively speaking.

I wish someone would respond to this post and give me their perspective. I am open to suggestions, etc. frown

#16588 - 05/23/15 06:51 AM Re: The Voices in our Heads [Re: DancingSara]
Dianne E. Offline


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2789
Loc: United States
Hi DancingSara, welcome to our community.

It is quite common unfortunately for people to not be able to understand if they haven't had the same experience. Even people that are close don't typically see what you would see or feel behind closed doors. It depends on how good meaning versed any psychopath is as far as how well they can hide these things from others.

One of the most common things that victims have said over the years is they had instincts or voices about what was going on, but they shut them out. I think you counselor is probably right because I don't think in all these years I have encountered anyone who had spent time with a psychopath and didn't come out the other side with severe PTSD.

Have you explored that you were probably undergoing quite a bit of gaslighting? I would say it is their number-one thing they like to do to their victims and if done while the person doesn't really ever know it was done to them.

I know that writing about your experience can help, and I hope we can help you.


#16662 - 11/07/15 10:46 PM Re: The Voices in our Heads [Re: Dianne E.]
Notmyfault Offline

Registered: 11/05/15
Posts: 17
I have had this debate with my own therapist, as I have been told voices in your head point to DID , or what use to be refered to as MPD....a serious dissociative disorder that creates multiple selves. I have argued this because I think Everyone has voices in their head, I know I do. Doesn't everyone?