Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Ever hear voices?
Did you ever hear voices or your name being called, only to spin around and see absolutely no one? It has happened to most of us, some say it is fate, others say the voice is a vision, or a warning, or a omen, but hearing your name called is a relatively common experience.
Statistics vary, but it’s generally accepted that between 3 and 10% of the population hear voices that other people don’t. If you include one off experiences (like hearing someone call your name when you’re out shopping, or feeling your phone vibrate in your pocket) this figure goes up to 75%. So, having at least one experience of hearing or seeing something that others around you don’t is incredibly common. Those that have never had this experience are in the minority.
There are lots of different theories and ideas to explain why people hear voices or see visions. These include:
§ A special gift or sensitivity
§ Trauma or adverse life experiences
§ Spiritual experiences
§ Biochemical (e.g. excess dopamine)
§ Paranormal experiences
§ Emotional distress
§ Physical health problems
§ Cognitive error (misattribution of ‘internal speech’)
§ Individual difference
The truth is that we do not know why people hear voices or see visions. A study published in The Lancet Psychology is the result of an online survey and in-depth analysis of people who have heard voices. What the researchers found was that there is huge variation in ways that people "hear things." For example, the stereotype of a person with schizophrenia is that they hear angry voices telling them to do terrible things — we've all seen this in countless bad movies. But many people who hear voices say that they aren't so much "voices" as they are characters, with personalities, who are trying to hold conversations. Often, they are internal voices and don't say anything aloud. It's almost as if they are exaggerated of the kinds of internal dialogues we have in our heads every day, as we debate what to do after work or whether we should really blow a bunch of money on the new MacBook.
Indeed, Durham University researcher Angela Woods, who led the study, noted that as many as 15 percent of people who report hearing voices haven't been diagnosed with any psychological disorder. She and her colleagues believe that "hearing voices" is far more complicated than anyone had ever realized — sometimes they even involve physical sensations like tingling in the hands and feet. People who hear voices say that they can be troubling, but they can also be friendly. Often, therapies can help them understand the voices as parts of themselves, cluing them into subconscious concerns.
So, it may not be the Universe, or God or a Deity calling you, but it may be someone you miss and in the depths of your mind you know misses you that you think they are talking as if you can hear them.
So don’t worry, there is not a spirit waving about its arms excitedly as it speak, it is not getting so carried away that they have ended up volunteering you for "Dancing with the Angels" by blurting your name out so loud that it broke the time-space barrier. That would be exciting, but there is probably a relatively mundane reason for this voice calling to you.