The voices may seem real because they may be real. Though hearing voices is often a symptom of mental illness, it’s not always indicative of mental illness. It is estimated that up to 10% of the population regularly hears voices and are not mentally ill. Oliver Sacks, the famed neurologist, believes that hallucinations and hearing voices, for some people, constitute a “normal mode of experience.”
Having said that, it would be advantageous if your symptoms were monitored by a mental health professional. The fact that you have been on antipsychotic medication in the past possibly indicates psychosis but further investigation is necessary.
The bottom line is this: hearing voices may or may not indicate psychosis but if so, it’s imperative that you do everything in your power to prevent the development of a full-blown psychotic episode. It is important to be vigilant. Research shows that when it comes to psychosis, early intervention works, which is yet another reason to stay connected to mental health professionals. They can provide support, objective analysis of your symptoms and assist you in treating psychosis, should it develop. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle