I want to share with you all something that I have had great difficulty dealing with over the years, and in fact, it’s only recently that I have been able to talk to anyone about it.
I couldn’t talk about it because I didn’t know how to describe what was happening to me and I also didn’t think anyone would believe me. And I guess the other reason was that if it was really happening – it really scared me!
When I first started seeing my current psychiatrist he went through the normal diagnostic routine asking the usual questions and taking a full history etc., then he asked me did I hear voices. I paused – then answered reluctantly, yes. He then asked me did I hear them in my mind or did I actually hear them.
Now I don’t know if you have ever been asked that question in that way? I knew that I had a voice most of the time telling me things but whether I could say categorically that I heard it or was it just in my mind, I honestly didn’t know so I said just in my mind.
As usual with me – in retrospect – another mistake!
Now let me tell you about the voice. He, yes it’s always a he talking to me, has a very smooth cultured voice, a very seductive voice in the sense of being very believable and easy to want to follow. He talks to me nearly all the time when I am out of balance, especially in a major low.
I hear him as I drive to work in the very early hours of the morning as he tries to persuade me to drive off the road into the trees or into oncoming trucks.
I hear him tell me how evil I am and how my family would be better off without me. In fact the whole world would be a better place without my existence and it would be so easy to end it all.
I kind of endured this for years but really not understanding or knowing what to do about it.
About two months ago I was in the middle of a low spell again and my wife and I went to see our family doctor about some normal prescriptions we needed and I finally had enough and I broke down into uncontrollable tears and told them both about this voice and how he constantly went on at me about killing myself and my evilness that needed to be purged from the world!
When my family doctor asked me the same question – was the voice in my mind or did I actually hear him? I answered that all I know is that I hear him and he is getting more and more insistent as life goes on and how the hell can I tell at times if he is in my mind or I really physically hear him!
An urgent appointment was made with my psychiatrist who was a lot more receptive to the idea that I really might be hearing someone this time. I also broke down again at this appointment and felt as wrung out as at any time up to this point in my treatment.
Now I know that you will really think that I am crazy but when I was asked by my psychiatrist did the voice belong to someone – I answered that I did know who was talking to me when it happens – it was Satan or the devil trying to get me to kill or hurt myself.
Since then my meds have been changed to increase my Epilim and an anti-psychotic, Seroquel, has been added to my daily chemistry lesson.
It has helped as now the voice is only a whisper at the moment and I feel a lot more confident in resisting his enticements when I do hear him.
I wish I had the courage to be more upfront earlier – it might have made things easier for my wife and family again.
I guess that one day I might learn – hope so – but as long as I try each day at a time there is always the chance that I will learn. I hope the same is for you.
15 November 2004
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