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  • Associations as part of hearing "voices"

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    Old 11-19-2008, 02:59 PM   #1
    Bright day
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    Associations as part of hearing "voices"

    "There's a crack in everything
    that is how the light gets in"
    - Leonard Cohen


    I've found that associations make up a significant part of the voice talk i hear.
    Beginning to notice these associations as they occur helped me change my
    way of perceiving the voice talk, leading in turn to a lesser intensity of the talk.

    Occasionally I sit with a text in front of me, looking at the page, but not reading,
    rather thinking about different things. Doing so the "voice" suddenly speaks,
    f.ex. "You just lost your chance to get out". Seconds later I see that within
    my sightfield were the words "get out".
    These words were registered unconsciously, and associatied to previous
    thoughts about losing a chance to get out.

    I have experienced the same thing when seeing, on billboards etc. and also hearing
    words. My first verbal hallucination was btw. hearing the word "devil" spoken fairly
    loudly while standing by the window. Looking up a little bewildered, I saw a bottle
    next to the window labelled "Stain devil" (a liquid to remove stains).

    I read about a psychological experiment where one group of participants
    suffered different forms of anxieties. These were interviewed about their
    specific problems. Later the experimenter presented them different words,
    very briefly flashed on a screen - only milliseconds, so that you do not
    become aware of them. While watching the words, the participants' brain activity
    was measured.
    The experimenter used both words that were directly connected to the
    individual participants problems - for instance a patient with social anxiety
    who had fears related to dancing, was presented the word "dance."
    Also other words, both emotional and non-emotional were shown.

    The results showed that words related to the persons' anxieties consequently
    caused distinct reactions in the brain - I think a kind of fear response - that the
    other words did not. The person of course didn't react with fear to the word
    "dance" itself, rather it was associated to his fears.

    Finding cracks in voice talk.
    Often sentences of the voice talk are not fully fluent, there are little pauses
    between parts of sentences in a way that differ from normal conversation.
    For instance the voice talk begins: "That's it! Now you'll never" - then a short gap -
    These words are perceived as had I done something wrong and was about to
    hear the consequences. This causes a little anxiety and an immediate
    association "find freedom - I hope I didn't do something to lose freedom".
    And at the same time as I think of this consequence, I hear the "voice"
    pronouncing it (...find freedom).
    (An analogy that might explain a little better: Imagine that the police ring the door
    bell by a family. The parents are at home and the kids are out. Upon seeing the police
    at the door step, the mother thinks "The kids - I hope it's not the kids!".
    I think that in the same way this idea immediately springs to the mother's mind,
    parts of the voice talk is put together.)

    I think punishment and verbal abuse is something closely connected to verbal
    hallucinations in many cases. A lot of times people hear "voices" speaking of bad
    things to happen to them, insulting them etc..
    Often there is no logical connection between the (mis)deed and the punishment.
    F.ex. breaking an object - not getting desert after dinner etc. Also, you often don't
    understand why you are being yelled at. Both, in particular during childhood.
    So, perhaps a little oversimplified and distorted, you basically learn to things:
    1) When you do something wrong, something you find unpleasant will happen.
    2) When someone yells at you, it's because of something you have done
    or are doing in the moment.

    Thus, ideas of why you are being punished, and ideas of negative consequences
    can be quite freely associated. And both when expecting to be punished or when
    being punished/yelled at, you often try quickly (even panically) to find out what's
    about to happen and why. Different memories of experiences of punishment are
    activated (perhaps mostly unconsciously). This kind of quick associations, I think,
    happen a lot in voice talk.

    Another thing, I can interrupt and manipulate sentences of the voice talk.
    For instance, a sentence begins "You're so" - and I finish it - "friendly" or "You will
    never again" - "clean the toilet". Doing so, the "voice" sounds just the same -
    I can think the words in the sound of the voice. Therefore, I think, associations
    described above may occur more often than you notice.
    (Also, if anyone were communicating these words, why wouldn't they react to these
    interruptions?)

    Discovering these associations, makes me go a little "cold" towards the experience,
    and changes the attitude and expectations towards them.

    So, try to watch out for parts of sentences that you feel are your own thoughts,
    ideas/associations - through content or the feeling of something springing to mind -
    and take good notice of them.

    It's also very important to notice when voice talk occurs as associations to other
    people talking - for instance you hear faintly someone talking, and (a) word(s)
    related to your own worries stick(s) out. F.ex. the person says "... it's over", and
    the "voice" then says "Give up your hope, it's over".
    This in order not to develop any ideas of other people speaking about you, being
    related to the voice talk in any way. And the same goes for seeing printed words
    in media, billboards and different places.

    Recently it was shown that schizophrenic persons respond to emotional words in a
    different words than others - a much greater response in the brain occurs. When
    strong emotional/affective reactions occur, they often occur before you are aware
    of what causes them. And unknowingly you search for something outside of
    yourself as the cause of this reaction - something corresponding to the feeling.
    A simple example is having a fever, and thinking that the room you're in is hot,
    when it's not. Another is perceiving people as threatening when you're anxious.
    (S. Valins did an interesting experiment related to this:
    He showed participants images of women. While seeing these pictures, they were
    wearing headphones allegedly amplifying their own heart-rhythm (in reality they
    heard the same pre-recorded heartbeats.) The results showed that participants
    consistently rated the women as more beautiful when they heard the strongest
    (false) heartbeats. Thus, physical responses influenced strongly the later
    evaluations of what they saw.)
    Remembering that when experiencing anxiety and fear, it's mostly related to an
    inner drama, not the surroundings, is a good thing.

    "There's a crack in everything
    that is how the light gets in"
    - Leonard Cohen


    I've found that associations make up a significant part of the voice talk i hear.
    Beginning to notice these associations as they occur helped me change my
    way of perceiving the voice talk, leading in turn to a lesser intensity of the talk.

    Occasionally I sit with a text in front of me, looking at the page, but not reading,
    rather thinking about different things. Doing so the "voice" suddenly speaks,
    f.ex. "You just lost your chance to get out". Seconds later I see that within
    my sightfield were the words "get out".
    These words were registered unconsciously, and associatied to previous
    thoughts about losing a chance to get out.

    I have experienced the same thing when seeing, on billboards etc. and also hearing
    words. My first verbal hallucination was btw. hearing the word "devil" spoken fairly
    loudly while standing by the window. Looking up a little bewildered, I saw a bottle
    next to the window labelled "Stain devil" (a liquid to remove stains).

    I read about a psychological experiment where one group of participants
    suffered different forms of anxieties. These were interviewed about their
    specific problems. Later the experimenter presented them different words,
    very briefly flashed on a screen - only milliseconds, so that you do not
    become aware of them. While watching the words, the participants' brain activity
    was measured.
    The experimenter used both words that were directly connected to the
    individual participants problems - for instance a patient with social anxiety
    who had fears related to dancing, was presented the word "dance."
    Also other words, both emotional and non-emotional were shown.

    The results showed that words related to the persons' anxieties consequently
    caused distinct reactions in the brain - I think a kind of fear response - that the
    other words did not. The person of course didn't react with fear to the word
    "dance" itself, rather it was associated to his fears.

    Often sentences of the voice talk are not fully fluent, there are little pauses
    between parts of sentences in a way that differ from normal conversation.

    For instance the voice talk begins: "That's it! Now you'll never" - then a short gap -
    These words are perceived as had I done something wrong and was about to
    hear the consequences. This causes a little anxiety and an immediate
    association "find freedom - I hope I didn't do something to lose freedom".
    And at the same time as I think of this consequence, I hear the "voice"
    pronouncing it (...find freedom).
    (An analogy that might explain a little better: Imagine that the police ring the door
    bell by a family. The parents are at home and the kids are out. Upon seeing the police
    at the door step, the mother thinks "The kids - I hope it's not the kids!".
    I think that in the same way this idea immediately springs to the mother's mind,
    parts of the voice talk is put together.)

    I think punishment and verbal abuse is something closely connected to verbal
    hallucinations in many cases. A lot of times people hear "voices" speaking of bad
    things to happen to them, insulting them etc..
    Often there is no logical connection between the (mis)deed and the punishment.
    F.ex. breaking an object - not getting desert after dinner etc. Also, you often don't
    understand why you are being yelled at. Both, in particular during childhood.
    So, perhaps a little oversimplified and distorted, you basically learn to things:
    1) When you do something wrong, something you find unpleasant will happen.
    2) When someone yells at you, it's because of something you have done
    or are doing in the moment.

    Thus, ideas of why you are being punished, and ideas of negative consequences
    can be quite freely associated. And both when expecting to be punished or when
    being punished/yelled at, you often try quickly (even panically) to find out what's
    about to happen and why. Different memories of experiences of punishment are
    activated (perhaps mostly unconsciously). This kind of quick associations, I think,
    happen a lot in voice talk.

    Another thing, I can interrupt and manipulate sentences of the voice talk.
    For instance, a sentence begins "You're so" - and I finish it - "friendly" or "You will
    never again" - "clean the toilet". Doing so, the "voice" sounds just the same -
    I can think the words in the sound of the voice. Therefore, I think, associations
    described above may occur more often than you notice.
    (Also, if anyone were communicating these words, why wouldn't they react to these
    interruptions?)

    Discovering these associations, makes you go a little "cold" towards the experience,
    and changing your attitude and expectations towards them.

    So, try to watch out for parts of sentences that you feel are your own thoughts,
    ideas/associations - through content or the feeling of something springing to mind -
    and take good notice of them.

    It's also very important to notice when voice talk occurs as associations to other
    people talking - for instance you hear faintly someone talking, and (a) word(s)
    related to your own worries stick(s) out. F.ex. the person says "... it's over", and
    the "voice" then says "Give up your hope, it's over".
    This in order not to develop any ideas of other people speaking about you, being
    related to the voice talk in any way. And the same goes for seeing printed words
    in media, billboards and different places.

    Recently it was shown that schizophrenic persons respond to emotional words in a
    different words than others - a much greater response in the brain occurs. When
    strong emotional/affective reactions occur, they often occur before you are aware
    of what causes them. And unknowingly you search for something outside of
    yourself as the cause of this reaction - something corresponding to the feeling.
    A simple example is having a fever, and thinking that the room you're in is hot,
    when it's not. Another is perceiving people as threatening when you're anxious.
    (S. Valins did an interesting experiment related to this:
    He showed participants images of women. While seeing these pictures, they were
    wearing headphones allegedly amplifying their own heart-rhythm (in reality they
    heard the same pre-recorded heartbeats.) The results showed that participants
    consistently rated the women as more beautiful when they heard the strongest
    (false) heartbeats. Thus, physical responses influenced strongly the later
    evaluations of what they saw.)
    Remembering that when experiencing anxiety and fear, it's mostly related to an
    inner drama, not the surroundings, is a good thing.

    Do the "voice" experiences described above seem familiar to you?

    Have a nice week!

     
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    Old 11-19-2008, 06:34 PM   #2
    MSD607
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    Join Date: Apr 2008
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    Posts: 309
    MSD607 HB User
    Re: Associations as part of hearing "voices"

    Well, I didn't read the whole thing, but from what I read I think it's really interesting. I'll have to be more aware of what my voices are saying to see if this is true in my case..really interesting.

     
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