Can Someone with Bipolar Disorder Hear Voices?

Most people are unclear about what sufferers of bipolar disorder go through. Sadly, some are very insensitive and just chalk it up as them being “crazy!” Many people around the world do not know what this mental health issue is about.

Those who have bipolar disorder often experience psychotic symptoms. If your family member needs bipolar disorder treatment, you must also understand what goes on in their minds so you can empathize and provide the right support. 

It is fairly common for bipolar disorder patients to experience delusions, which include auditory and visual hallucinations. For some bipolar disorder patients, it is possible that they hear voices in their heads. This usually occurs during moments of extreme moods.

Patients who are under a severely manic state will hear voices or experience auditory hallucinations. It can be very unnerving to see, and it is even more frightening for the ones hearing the voices. After all, these delusions equate to experiencing a separation from reality. 

What is Manic State?

The manic state elicits these voices occur due to a variety of triggers. Mania is a psychological condition that causes the individual to experience the following:

  • Unreasonable euphoria
  • Deep and intense moods
  • Hyperactivity
  • Delusions
  • Highly excited behavior 

This manic episode can last for a week or longer. As such, when a person is in a manic state, it can have a significant impact on the patient’s day-to-day activities. Mania is part and parcel of bipolar disorder. 

What are the Triggers?

Though this manic mood that seems to be inherent in bipolar disorder appears uncontrollable and random, research cannot discount the fact that it could actually be triggered by a broad range of events. These phenomena include:

  • High levels of stress
  • Changes in sleep
  • Lack of sleep
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Changes in the seasons
  • Hormonal changes 
  • Negative life events

Noteworthy, attaining goals and extremely happy events like falling in love, winning something, or getting promoted can also have an impact on a bipolar person’s state of mind.

As such, it can trigger a cycle of mood switching, which, unfortunately, can be very destructive. Hence, bipolar disorder treatmentis crucial to help patients manage triggers. With the right tools, they will learn how to cope and protect their own psychological health. 

Why Do People Hear the Voices?

Mania can be very distressing, uncomfortable, and unnerving. Hence, during a manic state, hearing these voices can offer a touch of comfort and reassurance. Most individuals who suffer from bipolar disorder have ideas racing in their heads during their manic state.

Amid the ideas, loud voices can be heard, driving their mental state into overdrive.  Some patients say the voices make them feel scared because they can be screaming and shouting. The loudness creates a very extremely intense and stressful experience with all the booming noise.

At times, words can be incoherent. On some occasions, their shouting is clear with words like “No one likes you” or “Kill yourself!” It can be very frightening for bipolar patients to hear, so they resort to covering their ears to escape the noise.

Unfortunately, the voices continue, so there is no other recourse but to curl up like a fetus and cry because the noises just won’t stop. Meanwhile, other patients note that the voices fill their heads with confidence, elevating their moods further.

Most patients try to speak to the voices, and somehow, these voices always give a reply. They are highly audible and appear as if the owners of the voices are in the room with the patient.

Most have gotten used to having a companion the moment their mood becomes elevated. The saddest part is not knowing how long the voices will last. 

What to Do?

While there is no exact cure for a manic episode, it is often treated with antipsychotic oral medication. Long-term treatment can also include medicines that stabilize the mood to prevent future episodes.

Furthermore, apart from medication, bipolar patients also benefit from therapy and making lifestyle changes. Identifying triggers is the first step to avoid escalations. Next, understanding how to cope and manage symptoms is also helpful.

If your family or loved one with bipolar disorder still suffers from fluctuating mood swings, reassess their current level of care to find more effective management and treatment. When triggers are not managed properly, they can initiate a dangerous cycle, which will lead to delusions, visual hallucinations, and voices in their head. It can be very disheartening for a person to go through this repetitively, so immediate intervention and care must remain a priority.

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