Every time I try to think or sleep I end up hearing voices and it happens during the day too. I can’t even hear myself think and when I read things like a book for example I hear a different voice. Is it possible you can give someone schizophrenia? I just want these voices to stop..please help?

A. It would have been helpful if you would have provided more information about the voices. What are they saying? Are they external or internal voices? Are they derogatory in nature? When do they most often occur? Having the answers to those questions would have helped me to better understand what you are experiencing.

For some people who say they are hearing voices, it turns out that they are hearing their own internal voice. We all seem to have our own internal voice. Some have referred to our internal voice as our intuition.

Other people hear external voices, voices that they do not recognize. External voices might be indicative of a psychological disorder. Whether you have a psychological disorder depends on the nature of the voices and if other symptoms are present.

I would recommend that you have a mental health evaluation to determine what might be wrong. I would also suggest that you keep track of the voices by documenting them. Document how often you hear them, what they are saying and at what time points you hear them the loudest. Also be certain to document whether they’re frightening, saying disparaging things about you, or commanding you to do things that you would not normally do. Having that information might help you to better understand what is happening. It would also be helpful to the evaluator when he or she is attempting to determine what may be wrong.

You asked whether it is possible to “give someone schizophrenia?” I’m not certain what you meant by that question but schizophrenia is not contagious. The exact cause of schizophrenia has not been determined but generally most scientists believe that a combination of genetics and environment contributes to the development of the disorder.

If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to write again. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog