To those who don’t experience psychosis, hallucinating can seem like a very scary thing. Sometimes, I find that experiencing psychosis can be daunting, but more times than not I find that I miss my voices when my medication is working. This is something that is hard for me to admit because of fear of being misunderstood or being accused of “not wanting to get well;” however, it is important for me to be truthful about my experience.
I have experienced hearing voices, seeing figures, and feeling and seeing bugs crawling all over me for many years. These hallucinations have caused me a lot of stress, but when I have experienced relief from them while on medication, I find that I almost always miss the voices. It feels weird for me to have a quiet mind and feeling alone is a trigger for me. Despite what my voices might have said to me in the past, good or bad, I always felt like I wasn’t alone because they were always there. Having that noisy distraction removed due to medication forces me to spend more time with myself, and sometimes I find that this increases my depression . When my medication is working correctly and I am not hearing voices, or I am not hearing them as often, I find that I always must be listening to something, such as having the television on, listening to the radio, or even just listening to calming sound videos on YouTube. Having that extra noise fills the space that I feel the voices have left behind.
Sometimes, however, it does get to the point where I want to stop taking my medication to bring the voices back. This has happened on a few occasions which have caused my mental health to deteriorate greatly. It is just so difficult when the voices feel like an important part of my being, but they are toxic and can be very dangerous.
If you experience hearing voices and miss them when your medication is working, please know that you are not alone. Experiencing hearing voices is something that only those of us who have firsthand experience can understand, and however you experience your voices, positive or negative, is personal to you. No one has a right to tell you whether your voices are good or bad, but I do hope that you can find some peace without the voices, if at all possible.
When I am doing well, I try to remind myself how much better my life is without the voices. I try to remind myself about how much better I am able to function, and how, even though the voices are a part of me, they often become toxic. Even when I am not hearing the voices, however, I do hold my experiences with them close because they are a part of who I was and who I still am.
It is OK to miss this part of yourself that may have become a big part of your life. Hearing voices is so personal, and no one has the right to tell you whether what you are experiencing is right or wrong. My hope for you and me is just that we can find peace without the voices, if possible, so that we can lead a life that is meaningful to us. We deserve to be healthy, but we also deserve to feel validated in our experiences with psychosis. If you are at a point where you are missing your voices, I want you to know that that is OK, and that you are not alone. Try sharing your story to give your voices a place where you can honor them. For me, even just writing this article has helped.
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