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Yesterday a dear friend of mine confided in me that she's been "hearing voices" for 2 months now. She told me that they are always talking negatively about her. Basically brow beating her.
She said that they are pretty much constant, and she's only getting 2 hours of sleep per night.
I am confused b/c to me this seems like a pretty serious issue, and that she should see a dr immediately. But she says that she will not see a dr b/c it might interfere with her adopting a child, and that she can deal with the voices.
I am very concerned for her and her 2 children. Also, she told me if anyone called to ask about her (for a reference for the adoption) not to mention the auditory hallucinations. I don't know that I could do that! I don't neccesarily think she's a danger to herself or her children, but I don't think it's normal to ignore the fact that you are having auditory hallucinations.

She's had a great deal of stress on her in the past 2 years, 2 medically fragile children, a husband who is loosing his vision, cervical cancer causing a complete hysterectomy (at the age of 27). I know she's currently taking 20mg of celexa for anxiety etc... and she's had a history of mental issues (mostly in her teen years from what i understand). but for the 3 years I have known her she's been in a relatively stable mental state. with only 3 or 4 occasions that she's become distant and pushed me away (later apologizing and becoming "her old self" again.)

I just don't know what to do. I feel compelled to say something, but her nonchalant attitude about it makes me hesitant.


You seem to be under the impression that hearing voices is a mental illness. of itself, it is not. people (4% of the population) hear voices for many reasons, sometimes all their lives, sometimes as a result of stress. If your friend confided in you, you should keep her confidence. To intervene because of your own fear about a state of mind that you admit to not understanding. would be terribly wrong (IMO), especially if the effect could dramatically change her life for the worst.
There is nothing for you to worry about in terms of harm to her or her children.
Hearing a critical voice putting down everything your doing is a common voice type. There are others that sardonically comment on conversations between you and friends and still others that seem to impart knowledge, or even tell you to do things. But there is a MASSIVE difference between hearing a voice, and acting on it's demands.

There's a lot of stigma about hearing voices. it comes from lack of understanding, voice hearing, though it can be distressing, should not be thought of as bizarre or dangerous. There's a mass of info on the internet though. so before you talk with her about it again, look into it a bit more. Perhaps she would benefit from joining the local support group for voice hearers, in confidence.

Some people who hear voices, regardless of being able to cope with this or not, may have a burning need to construct a personal understanding for their experiences and to talk to others about it without being 'written off' as mad.

Hearing voices can be associated with memories of emotionally 'undigested' events, usually connected with key relationships, and can be helped by CBT or various self-help techniques.