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John Exell analyses the experience of Hearing Voices

I suffer from schizophrenia. I hear voices and see things. Sometimes I imagine I'm talking to a friend telepathically. The other night I was doing this when I realised that I was creating the friend's telepathic voice - that her voice was really in my mind and my mind was creating it, just as it was creating my own telepathic voice. I talked it over with another good friend, who is not a voice hearer, who said he did something similar. He would have conversations in his head - what he would say to a friend and what he imagined they would reply - and so on.

This led me to realise that all my voices are in my head, my own mind's creation. When I feel good I have good voices. When I feel bad I get nasty voices. The voices are only what I imagine some other would say. When I have done wrong, I get accusing voices - what I imagine these others, upright citizens or even God, would say. Often my voices are just the result of wishful thinking.

I hear the thoughts or voices, but the part of my mind that thinks "this is what I guess they would say" is missing from my consciousness. It is part of my unconscious. I have a blockage with this part, but I am working on it.

I take a small maintenance dose of anti-psychotic medication, and I see a nutritionist. I have already given up alcohol and street drugs, and am now attempting to give up all stimulants, eg caffeine and nicotine. These stimulate my mind and can produce voices.