One would think that hearing voices in your head should be cause of some concern, however a new study reveals that one should worry about this, depending on what these voices are telling you. The research revealed that ‘hearing voices’ are only negative if they go against your objectives and values.
Defined as auditory hallucinations, ‘hearing voices’ are often linked to mental health issues like schizophrenia. Still, this might not be the case, as at times, individuals with zero mental health disorders can, at times, hear voices too. As such, the research team was quick to note that voices can be regarded as ‘negative’ if they clash with what a person’s outlook and values on life are. If these auditory hallucinations coincide with what a person’s beliefs and goals are, then they can actually be regarded as a ‘good’ thing.
The study looked at forty individuals, 22 who were given support for mental health issues, 18 who were not receiving guidance around auditory hallucinations. Participants were asked to complete a survey that offered details around goals in life, what their auditory hallucinations were telling them, and what their reactions were when they heard these voices. Additionally, they were asked to rate the degree of impact these voices had on their goals, and whether the impact was positive or negative.
The results revealed that the voices played a key role when it came to going through with or interfering with the participants’ pursuit of their goals. When voices adhered to the individual’s system of believes and goals, and said participant reacted in a positive fashion, than a positive outcome was likelier.
Medical News Today reported that a majority of those who hear voices and had mental health issues within the study, experienced a hindrance when it came to pursuing goals; they also saw their voices as problematic and distressing. Still, those who heard voices that supported their values and goals, were able to view these auditory hallucinations as a constructive and positive aspect in their lives.
The team was quick to note that the study results stayed the same, even after relevant elements were put into place, like how often the voices were heard and the level of hostility the voices had.