April 19, 2006

Hallucinations or Real Voices?

The en masse voices are singing God Bless America, a youth chorus with a men's choir, repeating it patriotically over and over for the last ten minutes... now they've switched to a Gospel hymn I don't recognize...Now it's I Gave My Love a Cherry in four or five part harmony but not quite finishing the piece before starting all over again so that the ending is never reached and the song has no point; parts get stuck too and repeat ten times or more before the record can get started again, the record being what's coming from the bedroom if it isn't actually a choir in there or the walls...Or a DJ playing a record (I don't think a tape or a CD can skip which is why I think it's an LP), it's also an old old song, not likely to be on CD...Sounds now like two competing songs, but it could be an attempt at polyphony with messages, two different lyrics going along with two different melodies! Polyphony and polylyricism! Now they are just doing tuning up tones, in preparation for another concert, the instruments too are tuning up...a reprieve for a while. Maybe I can read now for a bit...?

Later: While I was playing around with fonts here, they were singing the same oldie goldie folk song, with 3 men talking to each other in the background, no words distinguishable but ominous sounding, as if they were conversing behind the screen of the singing on purpose so I wouldn't be able to hear what they said...

Later again: now they've segued into singing or chanting, really: One, you're the One, you're the One, do your duty! One, you're the One, you're the One, do your duty! Duty! Duty! Do duty! Do Duty! Do do do do do Duty Duty Duty Dooty Dooty Dooty! Doooooooty d'ty d'ty d'ty d'ty d'ty d'ty d'ty d'ty...It has devolved into gibberish as they just play on that word and torment me. I don't know exactly what my duty is, but I know the "One" was capitalized, which doesn't bode well for my duty being something easy or minor...

They just started talking, singing, in pig latin, saying words like oomay and ootay and oozay (moo, too, zoo) which make no sense either as English or pig latin...Not to me at any rate...One man is talking in a monotone to the others, lecturing them, or is it me, is he lecturing me? I can't quite tell, it's all inside the wall, so the words are muffled and I can't pick them all out...He has a certain authority, though younger than I am, maybe thirty-something but he's not the deep-voice whose orders can't be disobeyed...I haven't heard him for a long time, though I've thought I heard him singing with the basses. But I don't think he sings, so I must have been wrong. If I heard him I'd be in deep s---

Wait a golddanged minute here! What am I talking about???? I forgot, I forgot, I forgot completely for almost the whole afternoon...Sheesh...They aren't real, Pam, they aren't even "out there." They are inside your brain. Your brain is causing you to hear things. They are hallucinations, and only that. There are no LPs being played by a DJ in the wall or in your bedroom. There is no deep-voice guy who has to be obeyed, nor yet a younger guy who doesn't... Something is irritating a part of your brain and triggering impulses of neurochemical activity that your mind interprets as hearing real sounds -- voices -- and naturally it wants to know why, so it has confabulated a story to make the voices have a reasonable explanation, however nutty the explanation might seem to someone else...OOOhhhhhh

Okay, so my brain tells me, through some neurochemical glitch, that I am "hearing" voices that are talking to me, when in fact that is false, what the brain is telling me is not true. Though I do "hear" them, it is my brain that is conjuring the false sound of sounds, not my ears actually perceiving sounds...No sound waves actually stir the tiny hairs inside my inner ear or impinge on my ear drum. In fact (I suspect) my auditory cortex may not even be involved at all (though scientists may not yet know whether this is true or not). My brain creates the feeling/perception that I hear these voices and my mind creates the story (the DJ in the wall playing LPs) to explain the feeling to myself, to make my experience jibe with the world as I know it...

So Okay, then, that's all the music is, that's all the singing is, hallucinations, irritating and upsetting, yes, but only because I forgot for too long that they were just my brain playing a trick on me. Now that I know that, they may still distract me, because I can still hear them, but I don't need to worry about what they are saying, because it doesn't matter. Whatever they say it is unimportant because I understand it's just a hallucination, which would be silly to listen to or take seriously.

Phew! Almost got caught there, almost, but not quite. This stuff takes so much work, and you've gotta keep on your feet, keep thinking, keep your ears and eyes and mind on alert all the time. Few people appreciate how hard that is, how utterly exhausting...I've gotta stop here in fact, because I've worn myself out. I wanted to write some about the Zyprexa and my ambivalence again, but that will have to wait till tomorrow or whenever I next write (if I remember). Anyhow, thanks for listening to this verbal spew.

Posted by pamwagg at April 19, 2006 05:45 PM


Oh wow I got through!
Reading Pams little bit on how the voices and music are in her brain is really interesting.It's excactly what happens to me.I have had every diagnosis under the sun.So am I a multiple or bipolar or schizophrenic?Im being treated for all 3 at moment as they aren't sure.Does anyone have insomnia lasting for months and people with lives inside of them?I dream awake many dreams not my own in the day and night.Are these hallucinations?They take me on journeys and tire me out.

Posted by: Faye at July 5, 2006 02:55 PM

first wanna see if i can get through

Posted by: Faye at July 5, 2006 02:46 PM

Dear Pamela:

You are, as always, an articulate, lucid documenter of your symptoms.

How debilitating for you that you continue to hear voices and experience such severe symptoms. You know yourself better than anyone, but do not stop trying to find the right medication combination to help you to function as best as you can.

It is amazing that you are able to communicate your experience, and your's is a voice that deserves to be heard.

Throughout all of this terrible ordeal, I suspect you haven't been able to write your wonderful poems. I for one so want to see a collection of your poetic works. It is my heartfelt wish that you find relief from your agonizing symptoms and are able to publish a book of literature that I know will inspire and give solace to generations to come.


Posted by: ky perraun at April 20, 2006 11:57 AM

Dear Pam,
You will never cease to amaze me. It really doesn't matter that you forgot about the true source of the voices for a while. Old habits are hard to break. You ARE breaking them though. You gave the ultimate psychiatric explanation of what is occurring inside your brain when you suddenly remembered it. The real question is this. Do you truly BELIEVE what you wrote, or are you just pretending to go along with the party line? Is it the lady or the tiger?
Remember that I am always with you in spirit, Your Paula

Posted by: Paula Kirkpatrick at April 20, 2006 12:35 AM

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