A common question that I receive, mostly from teenagers, involves the idea of having two people in their head or a split brain or some variation thereof. In the vast majority of cases, I believe that they are describing an inner voice or what some researchers call subvocal speech. This phenomenon is experienced by everyone and it basically refers to internal mental dialogue. Virtually everyone hears a running mental dialogue.
People with psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, seem to hear an inner dialogue of voices that they don’t recognize. Studies have shown that non-psychotic persons recognize this voice as their own, whereas people with psychotic disorders think it is someone else’s voice or several other people’s voices. Naturally, hearing unrecognizable voices would be frightening.
You mentioned consciousness and I’m not certain if you were describing the experience of hearing voices or something else. I would need to more information to fully understand what you are experiencing.
Generally speaking, if you are in psychological distress, you should consult a mental health professional. He or she can evaluate your symptoms and determine if something is wrong. Most importantly, they will design a treatment plan to address your symptoms. I would highly recommend having an evaluation. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle