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My Thoughts Are Not My Own (Non-Delusional)

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Background: I have been diagnosed with Schizoaffective and Severe Bipolar Disorder w/ Psychotic Symptoms by 2 psychiatrists.

My main psychiatrist believes I have the latter with proper medication and it escalates to Schizoaffective without medication.

Currently I am taking Depakote ER and Lithium. I was prescribed Seroquel ER but stopped taking it due to side effects.

Question: Sometimes I hear thoughts in my head that are not my own. I do not believe they are implanted, or someone is placing these thoughts in my head. I just believe that there isn’t something quite right and I am here to ask exactly what it is.

I have heard voices in the past, both inside and outside of my head. The “outside voices” I would classify as auditory hallucinations. These voices are always “someone else’s” voice.

What I am hearing is my own voice. The same voice I use to think with, except sometimes I hear phrases that I did not think. Sometimes I hear these phrases while I am having conscious thought. I can interrupt them if I choose, but sometimes I do not and “listen” to what they say.

I know I did not think these phrases purely because of the content which seems to be nonsense. Most of the phrases are 2-5 words.

Some examples of these phrases would be:
“The lumpy wall grows”
“Dancing tree sings beautifully”
“Bottom right corner”
“Fixture of light”

What exactly is this? And how can I reduce the frequency at which it happens?

My Thoughts Are Not My Own (Non-Delusional)

Answered by on -

A.

Hallucinations are associated with psychotic disorders, drug use and some organic brain syndromes. There are multiple theories that attempt to explain why they occur. The nature of hallucinations is complex and their cause is unknown.

One intriguing theory about auditory hallucinations involves an inability for some people to recognize their own voice. We all hear an inner dialogue. This voice we typically recognize as our own. Several studies have indicated that some people with schizophrenia have difficulty recognizing their own voice. Some scientists theorize that it could be due to faulty neurological functioning. If you hear a voice that you don’t recognize as your own, your brain might naturally conclude that it was someone else’s voice.

Maybe something similar happens with your thoughts. These thoughts are generated by you, but you’re not recognizing them as your own. You also might be describing thought insertion, which is a belief that an outside influence is inserting thoughts into your mind. It is a symptom of psychosis and commonly linked to schizophrenia.

There may be other possibilities as well. I would recommend discussing your concerns with your psychiatrist. He or she might have more insight into why you are having these experiences and more importantly, how to reduce or prevent them from happening. A medication adjustment might be necessary.

You might also try reading about the nature of auditory hallucinations. You can learn more about the aforementioned brain theory in the book Neurologic: The Brain’s Hidden Rationale Behind Our Irrational Behavior. Another good choice is Hallucinations by Dr. Oliver Sacks. It is a very informative and well written book. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

My Thoughts Are Not My Own (Non-Delusional)

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). My Thoughts Are Not My Own (Non-Delusional). Psych Central. Retrieved on January 17, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/02/03/my-thoughts-are-not-my-own-non-delusional/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.