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By: Hywel Davies
Auditory hallucinations are like hearing voices of someone who is not present there in person at that very moment. Scientifically, it is described as false perceptions of sound usually resulting out of severe mental illness, which ordinary people sometimes describe as some sort of divine communications. According to the recent survey carried out by researchers of Stanford and Durham University and published in Lancet Psychiatry, these apparent voices sometimes feel like coming from inside the head or sometimes thought to be spoken by someone invisible but speaking in the same room.

Some of the most common disorders related to this kind of hallucinations are enlisted below:

• Psychosis:

A debilitating mental disorder which results impairment of normal thinking and emotional out-burst. The affected person becomes completely detached from the reality and goes into a world where he or she hears many voices. They can talk with these voices and take them as reality.

• Schizophrenia:

It is a debilitating loss of the ability to organize thoughts and perceptions, which leads to a gradual withdrawal from reality. About 1% of the world’s populations is stricken with Schizophrenia, and most of them remain largely disabled throughout their adulthood. Principal symptoms, which arise in early teen, include delusions, hallucinations- usually auditory but sometimes visual that can make every day events terrifying for the sufferer.

• Alzheimer’s disease:

It is 4th most leading cause of death in adults. Sir Ronal Ross displayed Alzheimer’s in the funeral of R. Nixon. It is basically a degenerative disease of brain from where there is no recovery. It is characterized by abstract thinking and memory loss, personality change, language disturbance, motor difficulty and hallucinations.

• Creutzfeldt Jakob disease:

It is a rare progressive cerebral disorder which mainly affects the central nervous system. The neurons of the affected person develop large vacuoles resulting in this disorder. Symptoms include muscle trembling, disorganized thinking along with hallucinations and mood switch.

• Dementia:

It has an effect on both the lobes of the brain, thus affecting the thinking, memory, judgment and behaviour of the sufferer thereby giving a complete at a loss look and feel.

Other similar kinds of diseases include:

• Alcohol withdrawal delirium
• Low blood Sodium concentration (Hyponatremia)
• Epilepsy
• Narcolepsy
• Migraine with aura
• Extreme consumption of caffeine
• Intoxication of Marijuana
• Low blood sugar level ( hypoglycemia)
• Cryptococcal Meningitis
• Partial seizures
• Delirium
• Primary cerebral Lymphoma

Unfortunately, common societal concepts and ideas regarding this problem of “hearing voices” are like hodgepodge, somewhat represented in horror movies or psychological thrillers. The reality is much more severe and painful. In contrary to the common belief, the “volume” at which the affected individuals hear these auditory psychics has no relation with the severity of the disease. This is because a person with a more extreme form of psychosis does not hear these unusual voices more clearly or loudly than a patient whose condition is not as debilitating.

Though most of these diseases are difficult to cure but if proper treatment is given on time, the severity of the problem can be cut short. So, as soon as the symptoms are noticed, it is the foremost responsibility of friends and family members to consult a psychiatrist and start giving the person medical attention.

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