Friday, June 01, 2018
Voices in Our Head
Once, I counseled a young woman who insisted that there were snakes and coakroaches beneath her bed at nights.
She claimed that voices in her head would constantly tell her that. She felt fearful and miserable every time she goes to sleep.
What was the underlying cause of these voices this young woman would say she hears?
"Voices in the head" is a description of a symptom, among others. It is not a cause.
Virginia-based psychologist Kirk Brown witnessed the processes of attention and emotion in the brain using EEG.
He observed that thought and feeling unfold millisecond by millisecond. At that speed, the brain appraises the stimulus, rendering a quick judgment, and setting off an emotional response.
Viewing "voices in the head" through this lens can help explain why one experiences the sudden mental shift. And he or she could not understand where it comes from.
The experience is unconscious. Outside awareness. And one surrenders to it instantly before he or she perceives it ... partly as a result of brain processing speed.
The cause why this happens is a known common mechanism underlying many mental illnesses - a "stimulus," such as person, place, sensation, memory, thought etc - often from the past.
When that "stimulus" dominates the mind, it thrusts all else. It uncontrollably occupies the center of consciousness. It shifts or designs perception of reality, whether detrimental or beneficial.
What fascinates me is how a strong "stimulus" can override both reason and will. Even altering reality. Controlling our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors ... without our permission.
I think we are all biologically vulnerable to "stimulus" in our minds. Just at different thresholds.
We all need to find meaning and wholeness through the flux of "stimulus" that lodged into our heads.
The way we attend to the "stimulus," which can change everything else, holds the key to significant recovery in times of distress.