It’s been a manic week at work since coming back from half-term. I have 5 half-written posts saved on here, waiting for me to trail on back. But this is the most important to me. This I started thinking about ever since reading My Anxiety Diaries and her post about hallucinations (Angels / Voices – My Experience. Though I’d suggest checking out her other posts too, they’re really worth it!)
For the longest time, I’ve had doctors poking in and out of my ears. Hearing tests upon hearing tests. Even worse after both my drums burst when I had the mother of all infections. But still, not bad enough to need a hearing aid.
But the thing is I started getting tests for a different reason in the last few years. I started hearing… things. Not bad things. Not even good things. I’m not even sure how to describe them. Sounds that never made any sense. Sounds that could not be real because they came from nowhere. No direction. No person. No movement.
They came from my head.
The recurring one for the longest time was this sound that I struggle to describe, but I’m going to try. It sounded like I was scraping my teeth together, grinding hard enough to chip the tops away. Like an industrial saw muffled through my gums. And every time I heard it, it felt like it reverberated up from my jaw and swarmed my head.
Then new sounds joined it. Indescribable sounds. Sounds that left me unsettled and uneasy.
My psychiatrist consults my GP and my GP consults my psychiatrist and they tell me that it’s all okay. These are auditory hallucinations. They can cause upset and stress but talking sanity-wise, nothing for me to worry about. I have not progressed into psychosis. They will need to monitor me though – can’t risk the schizophrenic uncle passing anything down – but for now, just try different methods to deal with these stimuli.
I never knew there could be a thing such as ‘don’t worry about it’ hallucinations. I guess we never talk about it. All of us can receive stimuli that doesn’t necessarily exist, it doesn’t even have to be malicious.
But if I say auditory hallucinations to anyone, they panic. My mum nearly cried and feared the worst – again, reference the schizophrenic uncle, he’s hers – until I explained what it means. Which is virtually nothing. It’s almost an underwhelming outcome. Sorry?
The only pin in this lovely calm that concerns me is my response to auditory stimuli, real or imagined. Auditory stimuli stress me out to degrees that I don’t even understand. There’s a word for it my psychiatrist used. I’m afraid I actually wasn’t listening. I was just relieved to know I wasn’t losing my mind.
There were times where I’d scream and cry just because I could hear the continuous beat of music in the distance. Times where I’d have panic attacks because the silence meant I could hear every little process in my body. Times where I’d just get unfathomably angry because of all the noise around me and want nothing more than to scream or hit something. Or preferably both.
Sounds terrify me. They aggravate my emotions to such an extreme degree that I don’t even know how to handle it. It’s not just being noisy, it’s just noises. Certain noises in certain situations.
Continuous noises. Beats. Uncomfortable noises. Mechanics. Furious noises. Shouting.
Something about it all just drives me that little bit crazier.