I can't tell if i'm talking to myself or hearing voices.

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Anonymous #1
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At the start of quarantine I started talking to myself to replace actually speaking with friends I thought it was pretty normal as I had complete control over what they were saying. I was basically just making up situations in my head. But now I have little to no control over what they're saying and I can't make them go away. I can't actually hear them if that makes sense but they're still saying things.
Is this hearing voices or something else?
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Dee-Emma
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For me I'd regard that as my usual inner dialogue. Whether such a subjective thing as that is the same as your experience, or anybody else's I have no way of knowing. I guess the deciding factor is whether it has a negative impact on your ability to live your life.
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kittencat1503
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(Original post by Anonymous)
At the start of quarantine I started talking to myself to replace actually speaking with friends I thought it was pretty normal as I had complete control over what they were saying. I was basically just making up situations in my head. But now I have little to no control over what they're saying and I can't make them go away. I can't actually hear them if that makes sense but they're still saying things.
Is this hearing voices or something else?
This depends on what you mean by ‘hearing voices’.

I don’t know much about this, however usually when people refer to ‘hearing voices’, it is like the sound is from an external source.

But as for our normal internal dialogue, often people have control over their thoughts.

However as Dee-Emma said, it is very subjective. Two people could have the exact same experience, but one would say it’s their normal inner dialogue and the other would say they had no control so they were hearing voices.

Often thoughts will pop into my head, ‘voices’, and I can’t necessarily control them, but I still know that these are my thoughts and is normal.

Perhaps it depends how detached you feel from the voices? If you feel like you are only a bystander, completely unable to interact with these voices, and this is causing moderate or significant distress, then you could consult a professional, who would be able to tell you whether this is natural or not.

However, personally I would say that your experience doesn’t describe people’s typical view of ‘hearing voices’, which are not in your head but outside, as it is normal to have voices pop into your head out of seemingly nowhere, which may make it seem as if they are beyond your control (but actually your thoughts were processing on a subconscious level, or something else, possibly like an Eureka moment). Typically, when people say ‘hearing voices’, as in outside their head, they are describing one of the symptoms of schizophrenia. However, some research (reliable or not, I don’t know) suggests that some people who have heard voices outside of their head don’t have a mental illness.

I would keep this under watch. There is also the subjective nature of whether a voice is inside the head or not. At least you recognise that the voices are indeed in your head and are not real, but it could be distressing if the voices are negative or telling you to do bad things, whether they are external or not, and could be worth checking out if you are concerned. But I would say it’s likely nothing to worry about and perfectly normal.

Perhaps this is a case of intrusive thoughts in apposed to hearing voices? Something to consider, but it could just as well be normal thought process, or a fail safe coping mechanism you’ve developed.

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Anonymous #2
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Do you feel like you are the origin of these voices/thoughts?
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