Dear Dr. Archer,
My father died four years ago, and his death affected me very much. Back then I never thought to kill myself or stop seeing people -- I was just sad.
I was attending college, studying civil engineering, but I wasn't very good at school. I kept failing tests which I thought I prepared for, and it was difficult to accept I was a bad student. I was always a good student in primary and secondary schools.
I did not want to drop out of school, but I became sick. I have voices in my head; there are three. One of them is a boy that I met before, and I've fallen in love with him.
According to my EEG results, I have beta disorder, and I would be grateful if you could explain to me what causes this disorder, and what this disorder is about.
A year has passed since the voices have begun, and I fell into a depression. My family doctor gave me medication, which I took regularly, but the voices kept returning.
I think they come back when I think of the boy I fell in love with. I know perfectly well that they're not real, but I can't understand why they keep coming back when I take my medication and feel fine.
I only miss that boy. Since I was 7 years old I've heard these voices, but they never spoke directly to me. It was like they described me, as an example "she's pretty" or "she's good." I never paid attention; I thought I was just tripping. But then they started speaking to me, and they were in my head for months.
I can speak with them, learn with them and am perfectly normal, yet they're still in my head, but I feel fine. What is the cause of this? I'm sorry if this is difficult, but I do not know perfect English.
I hope you're able to understand my story. I'm looking forward to any psychological advice you can share with me. Thank you so much.
You did just fine telling me about your problem, and your English is excellent. I cannot make a diagnosis over the Internet, but can tell you you need an evaluation by a mental health professional. It sounds like you are seeing a family practitoner, so ask him about a referral.
Hearing voices could be a symptom of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression or another condition. It seems you've lived with these voices for years, and do not describe them as negative or frightening.
Yet you are taking meds and they bothered you enough to write me…..so, you should get a full workup. If you want to try without meds then see a liscened therapist first and go that route. But you should see a professional soon.
There are many people who hear voices and do not view them as negative. In fact, some lead normal lives and have learned to embrace them. The fact that you fell in love with one of the voices is not all that unusual. Listening to the voice allowed you to somewhat control it while also reducing stress.
As for ‘beta disorder’, I assume you are referring to beta activity on your EEG, which has been researched extensively, but currently is not diagnostic for anything specific related to mental health/illness.
The key is to find the right doctor or therapist, and then work closely with him. I wish you well.