The Voices Inside My Head with Amy D. - E034
Have you ever asked yourself, "What are these voices inside my head all about?" I sure have. In this episode, I combine what I've learned in my counselling degree, Freudian thinking, spirituality, neuroscience, and so much more. I've synthesized the mechanics of what these voices inside my head are. Let me know what you think via one of the links below. I'd love to know what you think about the voices inside your head.
> What're the commons reasons that I can hear voices inside my head? (01:05)
> Why this might be happening? Based on Amy's experience (02:45)
> The importance of embracing who we are right now in mental health management (06:55)
E034: The Voices Inside My Head
Do you ever hear voices inside of your head?
Amy: [00:00:36] Do you ever feel like there are a slew of voices trying to run the show inside your head? Because I do. And I'm constantly wondering to myself, is it OCD, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar... or is it just a really bad habit that so many of us struggle with?
Now, I've decided to do some research. Basically, what science tells me, is that common symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar, and other mental illnesses can cause hearing voices inside your head. But, they also acknowledge that you can still hear voices without having a mental illness.
Now, that's a little alarming to me, only because you would think that that might be a negative thing and that people should not be experiencing these voices.
However, science basically says, “Nope, that's not true. And you might just have to deal with it and not have any framework to help you move through that.”
Now, that's okay. Because when you think about most diagnoses, it may be something that is exactly what is going on in your life. It may just be the best guess. So arguably, we're always kind of going into these situations where we don't really know if it's gonna work or for us, but at least science tells us this time.
[00:01:55] So, from a psychological perspective, the voices inside my head, the way that I think about it, is like this. We all have this image of us or a persona, identity, or whatever you want to call it, that we've created. It basically is a combination of all the traumas, hurts, and bad experiences we had as a child. Also, as a young adult, and really any time that was very impactful to our life.
I call this the inner child. Psychologists call this a variety of different names. But I'm just trying to explain to you the concept. I'm not trying to tell you whose is right, whose is wrong. I am instead taking information from a variety of different psychological perspectives to explain to you, you know what? This could be.
So, we all have an inner child and that inner child, when it gets hurt or triggered, it reacts. And most of the time it overreacts. The way that it overreacts is through coping mechanisms. You may be thinking, “What’s this have to do with the voices inside my head?”
Well, most of the time those coping mechanism are toxic coping mechanisms.
For instance, drinking too much. Eating too much. Exercising too much. Having too much sex. Basically anything can become toxic if it's being used to avoid your emotions. So the inner child doesn't want to get hurt. It does not want to relive the pain that this trigger has started to remind itself of, so it acts out.
Now, a lot of people can also view that as the ego. So, I view the ego is in this like really bratty, 18-year-old, high school, popular, jock. Granted, I grew up in the nineties. So that was still who was “popular.” I'm not really sure how it works now. But a man-child who has gotten everything that he has ever wanted. And when things go even slightly bad, he overreacts and he throws hissy fits. He refuses to play the homecoming game. You know, just the most ridiculous things in the world.
[00:04:03] But that's how I picture what's going on inside me. Because I throw a tantrum when I get triggered. When I feel like I'm about to relive an old trauma, it scares me. And the best thing that I subconsciously have done in the past is to overreact. I also did really toxic behaviors that I really wouldn't recommend to anyone. All because of the voices inside my head.
The thing is, I gave up trying to know exactly what was going on inside my head a long time ago.
Because it's just too hard. There's biological factors, there's genetic factors, the social factors, the environmental factors, the psychological factors. There's actually so many different things that affect what is going on inside that it's just too hard to know for sure.
That being said, it's nice to have some framework for understanding. And that's why I like to give a little bit of information. Now, according to the psychologist, Maslow, he talks a lot about self-actualization and how important that is in all people. What that means is the want or the need to become the best version of yourself as possible.
Now, I don't know if this is the case, but for me, I know it is. And I know for a lot of people, they are guided by achieving a better version of ourselves. Or a better experience for themselves. And that can be portrayed and perceived as self-actualization.
Self-actualization does not look the same for every single person. Everyone has different voices inside their head helping (or hurting them). I have different voices inside my head than you do. For some people that might just mean, starting a business that allows them to stay home with their family and not spend three hours a day commuting and traffic. For another, it might mean that they are a doctor that cures a disease that we've been struggling with for a very long time. Or for someone else, it might just look like showing up every single day.
[00:06:13] And that self-actualization process is something that will grow and evolve. It does this as individuals overcome certain struggles and challenges.
They will ultimately experience these in their life because of the biological, social, environmental, and psychological factors.
These also contribute to what's going on in that beautiful head of yours.
In other words, and in short, we're all the F word. And I say that with happiness and jest. I think we really think that there's a way out of this that is very clean cut and exact. That makes us feel bad that we haven't achieved something yet. But that's not the case. It's actually not the case at all.
The biggest practice is for so many of us, especially those who deal with mental health struggles for a while, is to sit and be with who we are right now. To really be okay with who we are and to acknowledge that, yeah, this is not necessarily who we want to be forever. But this person has got us to where we are.
This person allowed us to explore. They allowed us to become and know what we don't want to be. This leads us to the path of self-actualization. So, those voices inside my head and those voices inside your head? They actually might try to be there to make us feel better.
[00:07:46] Those voices really convey the message or many messages adults/society taught us. Now that's if we're in default mode. If we're not aware of what our beliefs are, if we're not aware of how certain things impact our actions and our experiences... Then yeah, it's probably going to be planted there by a caregiver or a parent.
So, a lot of what this is, is just being able to be with ourselves and be content in the moment.
A lot of us struggle with this. It's hard for me. This week I have had a lot of struggles with my personal and professional life. It sucks.
Sometimes I think, “Oh my goodness. I can't believe that I'm still here after all these years.” Then I just remember that this “still here” or this emotion that I'm experiencing comes up for a much shorter period of time. I'm not stuck here for 15 days. I'm here for three days. And that small amount of progress is so integral to remind yourself about. Because we just want this thing that happened so fast and it's just not possible sometimes.
[00:08:59] So, if you are someone that just is feeling like all the voices inside your head are just overwhelming you and you don't know what to do, please reach out to someone. There are different elements and different levels of how loud these voices can be talking. And these voices can have a severe impact on your day to day life.
If you feel like you are like, “This isn't right. This isn't something that I feel I should be experiencing.” Reach out to your doctor, mental health specialist, friend, family member, someone that you trust. And if you don't have anyone please reach out to a crisis line or there's something called. And if you are someone that doesn't have that someone to trust in your life, please reach out to a crisis line. There are people that are there to support you.
Let me know what you think about this episode. Let me know what coping mechanisms you use that you find effective and healthy when it comes to dealing with the voices inside that head of yours.