Meth-induced voices in your head start with pareidolia

I’ve never written about this topic on this blog, although it was a frequent subject on my old blog. Maybe it’s time…

This subject is fascinating to me now, though it wasn’t always that way. In active addiction it was scary. It was something that I lived with for a few years, but what I find most interesting is how it started.

Firstly, you need to know what pareidoloia is. It’s defined as seeing patterns where none exist, and while that explains it technically, it doesn’t really make it clear what the psychological phenomenon actually is. Visual pareidolia is when we think we see shapes like faces in inanimate objects, like Jesus on a piece of toast, or a face on Mars.

But pareidolia is also when we think we hear voices or recognisable sounds through white noise. An example of the less well known auditory pareidolia is when you’re taking a shower or hear really loud rain falling on your roof, and you think you hear voices or your phone ringing through the noise. That was how my meth voices started. At first it was just ordinary pareidolia, where there was loud rain or wind and I thought I heard voices, but would realize immediately that it was my imagination.

But then something seemed to go wrong in my brain. Fragments of sound that sounded like voices evolved into much more. As months went by, it would happen more frequently, and any background noise, even noises that were not noticeable to most people, would trigger it. So what started out sounding vaguely like voices, after a few months became voices of people that I knew speaking unintelligible words. (So it was like hearing a conversation from another room, one just out of earshot and not heard clearly.) Then as time went by, it became actual words and sentences that I could make out.

Eventually, and note that this happened with everyday use of crystal meth for a couple of years, there didn’t have to be any white noise to trigger the voices. Eventually I heard voices all the time, and they took on a different nature. They would sound just like real voices, coming from different directions and distance, so the sensation was enough to trick my brain into believing that I really heard the voices with my ears. They became voices that mocked me, voices that ridiculed me, voices of imaginary observers to a mind that became increasingly paranoid and deluded. (So it became much like a persecution complex, or paranoid schizophrenia.) At one stage I heard people talking about me at work, saying terrible things about me. I heard them through the walls. I heard them even when I was alone. Eventually I isolated myself from the outside world and everything in my life was affected as I retreated into my own delusional world of suffering and pain.

Meth-induced voices in your head take you to a bad place, a real living hell on Earth. And many who go there don’t return. They end up permanently psychotic. I’ll probably revisit this topic and write about how it felt to live with those voices and the inevitable delusion, but today’s post is mostly about how they start.

I find it interesting to know that those voices do start with auditory pareidolia, which is something we all experience. Of course, if you’re a meth addict and you start to experience voices, it’s probably a great time to stop using. (But you won’t, I know. Yet you need to recognize that when this happens, you can no longer try to convince yourself that you aren’t an addict. When it reaches this point, you’re a long way past crossing a line from user to addict. You need to recognize that you have a serious problem, one that is affecting not only your life but those of all involved in it.) Once the voices progress to the point where you hear them all the time, they don’t stop as long as you continue using. Even if you are clean for a long time and then relapse, the voices return in a few days, and then stick around as long as you use. At least that’s how it was for me.


Update: This article about apophenia (the spontaneous perception of connections and meaningfulness of unrelated phenomena), which is of course closely related to pareidolia, lists high levels of dopamine as a possible cause. Of course drugs like meth, and to a lesser extent cocaine and crack cocaine, cause tremendously high levels of dopamine, considerably higher than the levels that occur naturally. And all of those drugs cause voices in the heads of long-term users. Apparently high levels of dopamine might also cause belief in the paranormal, and EVP, among other things. (I’d considered mentioning EVP here anyway.)

I find this very interesting, in that it could mean that hearing voices is simply an expected side-effect of prolonged drug use. Further, I noticed many meth addicts who tended to believe in black magic and possession. Even when I was in rehab years ago, some residents there became convinced that a schizophrenic resident (who talked to himself and spoke in gibberish that they thought were “demonic tongues”) was possessed. No amount of attempting to reason with them would convince them otherwise. So beware, voices in the head and apophenia leading to an irrational belief in the paranormal (as well as possibly in God in recovery) may well just be a side-effect of the high levels of dopamine as a result of frequent prolonged drug use. And it may be permanent.

Some of my most annoying Facebook “friends” are people I became acquainted with in rehab, who share Christian nonsense followed by “type Amen” all the time. I can’t bring myself to unfriend them somehow. The most annoying proponent of the sharing Jesus movement is a girl I remember from rehab who believed that she needed to eat sand. There was even a patch of sand set aside especially for her in the garden. (My greatest challenge in rehab was to refrain from pissing in her sand patch.) So ironically, some who hang on so desperately to Jesus in recovery may, in my opinion, do so simply because their brains are fried from all the drugs. Fortunately I’m not one of them. I guess I’m just lucky.

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197 thoughts on “Meth-induced voices in your head start with pareidolia

  1. My first experience with stimulant-induced auditory hallucinations was something I now call “phantom radio” – a persistent soundtrack of music (for me, pop music) coming from a source of white noise.

    At first, I just thought that someone had a radio on. But then it dawned on me that I was the only person in the house, and that surely whoever is playing their radio outside my window wouldn’t be there for an entire day!

    The auditory hallucinations progressed to whispers, screams, and voices, but they all seemingly emanated from sources of noise – outside traffic, the shower, a vacuum cleaner, etc.

    It would seem that in a hyper-stimulated state, the brain will be overly aggressive at fitting known sound patterns to what would normally be interpreted as noise. It’s quite unsettling, but also very interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s exactly how it works, at least how it worked for me. Auditory pareidolia, the recognition of patterns in meaningless white noise. But then it progressed from there. At first my brain needed white noise to stimulate the process, and later it did not.

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  2. Have any of heard like as if people are having sex outside your house. That’s what I hear one too many times and i only used as far as i know 2 or 3 times.

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    • That’s exactly what I heard and it was my girlfriend at the time that I was hearing Which I promptly dumped and two years later I still hear her taunting and being repulsive she slept I found out later with my brother and my employees people who were mutual friends who aren’t friends anymore and she slept with other people in California I found out she co founded a dating site which see used to sleep around and she would snicker about it on her Facebook which was blocked to me she was a total trash of a person who used people for money and sleeps around To feel desirable any ways I think it might of been my unconscious mind telling me subconsciously what I somehow felt but didn’t want to face because I loved her for some reason that I can’t even recall she never did a thing for me but make my life worse everyone seen it but me

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      • Wow reading all these stories really makes me realize what a big mistake using was and I’ve been clean for six months but I went through a time using daily for four years destroying my life and my mind I can’t say that everything was completely my fault cause I believe I was taken advantage of , But I also know that me using let me be taken advantage of so I blame myself enormously I’ve been trying to put my life together but the shear enormity of everything I went through is astounding to me I would spend hours out my window screaming at the wind ended up destroying my house looking for these voices and trifling people in my life sucluded myself from the world just me and my pipe being tormented the whole time by my mind. Now I am not saying that their wasn’t any cheating going on my brother admitted sleeping with this woman and that might have really triggered my psychosis to some point and all the Facebook and Co founding date sites were real so I understand this woman was trash in my life even though I felt I had not done her wrong maybe the whole using was not that appealing to her but her being a dealer I didn’t think she minded not to mention my money was foundering a lot of these transactions. It was a worlwind of a life I should of known better to involve myself with in which everyone my friends famlie girlfriend betrayed me ruthlessly I believe this along with drug use compounded my life and my mind And even my sexuality don’t get me wrong I know I’m hetrosexual but I don’t see myself the same way I suppose it’s the same feelings with any betrayal self pity doubt depression hate useless feelings and then the dam voices constantly ridiculing me for two years straight no one came around me asked how I was doing tried to help me or even looked for me unless it was to rob me which did take place a number of times while I wasn’t there these people all lived with me before I ran them off and were familiar with my schedual .This isn’t meant to be a pity party so I’ll stop at that my heart runs heavy with trying to figure out what was real and what part was just my mind sometimes I Keep going back and back running it throug my mind the way I remember it building on the things I know to be factual ….but, it doesn’t help me go forward with my life the best I can sum it up is the people who weren’t There in my life for whatever reason weren’t worth having thier I spent years alone yelling at my walls and I did have one or two people that would stop by and they understood I was going through some shit and they knew the person I was befor all that shit those are the people worth having around and keeping around and I hope that they can put the person I was away so that things can progress forward and if I ask that then I have to give it and give up on what happened because I already know I fucked up being involved with that lifestyle and it cost me whatever I spent I’m not getting back and if I could understand it well then I’d still be getting high but I’m here searching cause I can’t so I try to rationalize it understand it so I can go back to getting high but folks I’m not stupid and neither are any of you do you really want to go through this over and over again
        It’s time for a better understanding of yourself a better life better friends richer feelings
        God bless you all if you don’t believe in that na nu na nu

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  3. There is other explanations for this.

    Its not always dopamine deficiency.

    There is a program, and yes this sounds nutty. But there is a program aimed at the War on Drugs to make a “target” appear to be reaching rock bottom. It is a failed experiment.

    It commonly goes by the name “V2K”, “RNM” and “The Voice of God program”.

    It is literally a communications system that interacts with particularly sensitive people. (High range of hearing, those noticing patterns)

    It is analog sound. How do I know this? Accidently discovered it 552 days ago.

    Thought I was “delusional” until I picked it up on recording and now others in my house hold (non drug users) have started picking up the same thing.

    Welcome to the realization that simulating schitzophrenia is easier than you want to believe.

    I hear a broadcast 24/7 that are clearly others using vocoders.

    This has relayed real time, real world information.

    Its not the case for everyone but some of those experience unknown audio sorces are being manipulated by UHF, VHF, AHF and Infrasonic messaging.

    Welcome to the war on drugs and minds.

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    • I can’t believe that I just got this notification as I’m sitting hear listening too the haarp waves is what I call them. I can hear the frequencies and it blows my mind that no one else but my cat can hear them. The voices are there but I can control those. I learned that a long time ago. Do you have anymore information on this testing? Please send me some stuff so I can research it. Thank you!

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      • @Christy… The reason you can control the voices is that your brain is their source. Your subconscious mind literally is making them up, so taking partial control and influencing what they “say” is easy. Because they aren’t real.

        None of it is real. Asking someone else for more details about their delusion isn’t going to help you.

        When someone claims that others can hear the sounds too, all it means is they have crossed the line and can no longer tell the difference between the voices of actual other humans and those people’s voices in their head.

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        • I wanted to know more about the governments part in this whole thing. I have witnessed some very disturbing things lately and I have doing a lot of research on it and I just cannot believe the things the government had done to their own people and people in other countries. They have done horrible, inhuman and downright evil shit to people. I just wanted to know more about the programs.

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    • @NoCb… What would the purpose of such an experiment be? Like there are government agencies all over the world targeting the minds of tweakers as they fuck around doing stupid shit? The voices (and any other sounds) are in your head.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Why not try their mind control experiments on tweakers? We are the perfect lab rats. Up all the time, If we do figure out what they are doing they can turn it around on us and call us crazy drug addicts. In the 1950’s the CIA was giving LSD to people without their knowledge or consent. Do you have an using mine control manipulation that far back the project was called MKUltra and they were shiny use it as a truth serum in a way to control peoples minds

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    • The 1950’s was a long time ago. This mind control thing is a delusion… and a conspiracy theory. Lots of crazy people believe in it, and if you “research” it online you are just going down a rabbit hole of madness. Meth makes you paranoid and can help you be more credulous. People who don’t believe in mind control and evil government agencies might believe in the occult and demons, etc. It’s all the same… messed up logic and reasoning to explain how the voices are “real”. None of it is real. It’s in your head and investing further thought in it is the path to madness.

      I’m not writing this to insult you… this tendency to believe in crap reminds me of my ex. I started out using with her and believing in some of it too, and then found skepticism instead, and would bring home my arguments for why the stuff she believed in was untrue.

      I think in a way these conspiratorial thoughts might be comforting. The idea that someone out there is controlling you, anyone, even if they are evil, might bring some sort of solace, some meaning to a meaningless existence. But the truth is, nobody cares. Nobody gives a fuck about tweakers and the people in the government don’t even know you exist. You just think people are watching/listening/talking about you because meth makes you paranoid and causes you to hear shit that isn’t there. Furthermore, there is no god, no afterlife… no spirits… no demons… no aliens… nothing besides this one life where you are focusing not on reality but on some drug induced fantasies.

      I don’t know how else to try getting through to you. This is depressing.

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      • I am not paranoid and I don’t believe those voices are outside of my head. Like I said before, I control them. I can decide when they are mine and when they are from a spiritual realm. It depresses me that you do not believe in spirits. I use the term because there is good and bad energies. I may not believe in god or satan but I do believe there are good and bad energies. I have had visions and warnings from what I call my “friends” both sober and not sober. I knew when my brother committed suicide before I was told. I knew something had happened to my best friend before I was told. It wasn’t that I knew exactly what happened I just knew something bad happened when it happened. When my brother-in-law has a heart attack the message that came to me was the spirits are surrounding your sister which basically was because they were giving her the message about her husband. I have benn in a couple of violent situations where when you looked in the eyes of that person they were gone, a huge void like they checked out and something else took over. Every single thing I have come across or hear about I will extensively research. Some of it is true and some of it is not. The government is evil. They have no good intentions for the people they govern. Big pharm, the FDA, CDC, all of the government entities keep secrets, lie to us, allow poisonous chemicals to be sprayed over us on a daily basis almost. I am a very lucid thinker and I have an inquisitive mind. So do not be so closed off to your own belief system and at least be aware of your surroundings by researching the truth yourself.

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        • I arrived at my beliefs by doing research.

          So you believe in chemtrails? I have researched that quite extensively and concluded that chemtrails are not real. Research isn’t just about credulously accepting anything that confirms a conspiracy. I accept only that for which evidence exists.

          Oh, I have anecdotes about dreams that came true too, years later. But they don’t count as evidence. Memory is notoriously unreliable… every time you recollect such a thing, your brain rebuilds the narrative and alters it in the process. It’s also easy to count any dreams or experiences which confirm the narrative that we’d like to believe, and ignore everything else. Add a bit of false memory on top of the cherry picking and you have something that is only convincing to others who already believe in the conspiracy (or whatever).

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        • This article explains why we should not trust our memories…
          https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/false-memory-fundamental/

          It’s easy to test for false memory. Take a mutual experience that happened years ago, something that you and a significant other experienced together. Each of you write down your version of events… what was said, what happened, in the exact order in happened, in as much detail as you can recall…

          What you’ll find is, each of you have quite a different memory of the same events. Each one has a narrative more influenced by your emotions and your brains fill in the gaps you have with different details. Words that were said, the order of events, and all kind of things will be different. That happens with normal memory, before you involve meth. We simply can not rely on memories.

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          • Hi Jerome, I’m curious about the memory thing and I’ve been meaning to ask you something else too…but first….memories. I admittedly have shocking short term memory recall and I’ve learnt that if I am asked to remember something I can only do so if I can link it to something visual. I have been trying to convince my guy that his memories of what happened are partially real but they’ve also been mixed up with whatever was going through his head at the time. He absolutely swears his memories are right and they’re real, but I’ve been gradually pointing out how not all of what he recalls is logical or even possible in some instances.
            But… you’ve now just thrown a spanner in the works for me, by informing me that even my memories may not be right either !!!! Lol, that really sucks mate… 🤷‍♀️😂 All my hard work is going down the drain.
            That was a great lot of waffle wasn’t it? Sorry
            What if really like to ask you, if you don’t mind, is what did you do to help get you to realize that you’d been hearing voices and hallucinating? Where did you draw the line in the sand between reality, absolute hallucination and the ‘not entirely sure if it really happened that way or not’ bits?
            My guy is ever so slowly coming back to himself. He still has flashbacks (or actually goes back) to thinking the same way he was during the psychosis when he drinks too much, but stone cold sober he is a sweetie again. BUT his warped memories are the only memories he has, so how did you get through that part? Please and thank you. 👍

            Liked by 1 person

            • I only found this out recently myself. I think that what we can take out of this is that memory itself is always unreliable… always. (Even without drugs being involved.) It is a huge spanner in the works because we all trust our memories because… I mean they’re in our heads and we remember sights and sounds and feelings, etc… But we can’t trust them completely unless they were recorded in some external way. Like if we wrote them down.

              Having said that, we can never really know when looking back on meth addiction. We can mostly know, but not completely, so I suppose we have to compromise. (To be fair though, I always knew what was real and what wasn’t when I was using. I might think that shit I heard was real in the morning, but by afternoon I’d know. Then use all night and go to work high and delusional the next day and repeat the process.) In the end, maybe it doesn’t really matter. I mean, personal things that happened between you and your guy five years ago – what’s the diff who was wrong and who was right? If you love each other (yah – sorry this is cheesy as all fuck) then you can get by and focus on what’s important now. Fuck the past.

              I’m glad to hear that your guy is improving… and must admit for full disclosure, I’m writing this while my ex wants to come back (again), so maybe my “fuck the past” attitude is a little off these days. I know her coming back is a bad idea because I’m already looking after myself, my mother and my son, and another adult and child is probably not something I can afford. But still, I miss her little girl. I managed to clean up for her when she was a baby, so my feelings are all mixed up right now.

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  5. I have this damn prob as well , fucked up and smoke tht shet now regret everything hopefully this fucking voices in my head will go away anybody know how tohelp

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s different for everybody. Before I stopped for good, I stopped many times… a week clean here, a week clean there, and so on… It was always the same for me, the voices always faded after around 2 days. I wouldn’t even notice exactly when it happened – I’d just suddenly realize that I wasn’t hearing them any more.

      But I have read comments by people who said the voices never went away, and met someone who was in a psych ward and heard voices for six months after he stopped.

      I hope the voices fade quickly for you.

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  6. My bf overdosed on adderal years ago, then used other drugs for a short amount of time then was off and on meth. As far as I know he used meth for 6mo like 2 years ago and heard voices, like words fag, gay, but not directed towards him but hidden in sentences, like instead of tv it was tgay and instead of i love you it was I love gay, then in october he used meth for like 2 month and the voices came back and now hes sober but there still there. Theyve changed into me not sounding out my p, s, ch right or i say brilliant and he thinks i say brat, or he complains about everyone repeating. And hes going crazy but he doesnt believe its the drugs. He believes its everyone really saying things trying to get him to kill himself. Plz help or email me at ash95marie1995@gmail.com
    Im pregnant and cant loose him now.

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  7. Hi
    My brother got the same problem but worse. He had been using meth for over 8 years I guess. And don’t know since when he started to hear the voices.
    He believes that someone controls his mind, meth helps him to stop hearing voices. Even how hard we tried to show him, but he never believes it is caused by meth.
    We locked him away from meth almost 2 years now. We force him to go to the sparta school. So he has community environment and always been under supervised.
    But still nothing gets better 😦 He seems like normal mostly like day time when he has to communicate with people around and studying. But then at night time, he is still like talking, swearing back to the voices in his mind.

    Is there any thing I can do to help him? Or anyone has any suggestions on jow to help him “lives” with this?
    My mum had diagnosed with breast cancer and just gets clear after 2.5 years fighting. Believing my brother getting better is helping my mum look forward and be beter. So I don’t want her to feel down again and will be sick again 😦
    Please help!
    Thanks

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    • Recently I noticed, via a search string actually… that there is such a thing as a hearing voices network. It’s in the UK though and I don’t know where you are, and it seems to be useful. I don’t know though… if your brother thinks mind control is real he seems to be delusional. I’ve noticed people in the comments who believe in such strange things and maybe they are mentally ill, and need help from a professional.

      The hearing voices network URL I found: https://www.hearing-voices.org/

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  8. […] But pareidolia is also when we think we hear voices or recognizable sounds through white noise. An example of the less well known auditory pareidolia is when you’re taking a shower or hear really loud rain falling on your roof, and you think you hear voices or your phone ringing through the noise. That was how my meth voices started. At first it was just ordinary pareidolia, where there was loud rain or wind and I thought I heard voices, but would realize immediately that it was my imagination.  more […]

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  9. Thank you for this. I am embarrassed to admit that my landlord kicked me out of my last office after complaining about people living in attic too many times. Unfortunately, the last time I called to complain awakened him and his sleeping wife at 6am on a Saturday morning. That was the last straw.)

    Now the idea of “government mind control” directed towards the primarily-non-contributing, stimulant using, dregs of society is absolutely ludicrous. There’s nothing more ridiculously self centered or Narcissistic than a tweaker who assumes that auditory hallucinations are actually huge entities with unlimited resources that are seriously willing to invest their time and energy into hacking the inner workings of some meth-head’s mind. No one would waste their time or money to spy on you while you’re taking apart that microwave, with your headlamp on, in your driveway, at 3am. I could be wrong here, but I highly doubt it..

    Liked by 1 person

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