I was have been diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety disorder. I have this voice in my head that talks to me and tells me what to do. Sometimes it says things like “if you don’t go do this you’ll die” other times it tells me to cut or to kill myself. It tells me I’m worthless and a failure. I also spend a lot of my time talking to myself and the voice in my head. It’s not an external voice, I’m not hearing it, I know it’s in my head. I asked my psychology teacher and she said that may be schizophrenia. I am afraid to ask anyone else because people think I’m crazy. I also don’t have the social skills to even approach anybody. I believe I may have Asperger’s syndrome as well because I have absolutely no social skills whatsoever and people think I’m rude because of it and my girlfriend has pointed out that I have these weird obsessions. Do you have any advice for me? 

A: Yes, I have some advice for you … go get some professional help.  Either go back to the person who diagnosed you with ADHD and an anxiety disorder or ask your parents to take you to someone else. Hearing voices, especially ones that tell you to do things, is not normal and is not typically part of the diagnoses you list here.   

Auditory hallucinations can be linked to several things, including schizophrenia, severe depression, bipolar disorder and some types of dissociative disorders. There are also some medical conditions that can cause hallucinations. Getting an accurate diagnosis from a mental health professional now, while you are still young, could be crucial in avoiding more severe problems later. 

Furthermore, you don’t have to have good social skills to participate in therapy. In fact, therapy can help you improve your social skills, which will help you interact more effectively in your personal relationships. 

Don’t worry about being “crazy” or about what anyone thinks. No one besides you and your parents need to know about  your treatment, but please talk to your parents soon about getting professional help. You can also talk with your school counselor or nurse, or your family physician, to get an appropriate referral. I hope things get better for you soon.

All the best,

Dr. Holly Counts