Hearing voices is a very common symptom of mental illness.
I don’t suffer from this personally although I do get “auditory hallucinations” – hearing things that others don’t.
However I know a lot of people that do hear voices and have spoken with them about how it feels. Not all the voices are bad/evil. E,g, telling the sufferer to hurt themselves or others. Apparently some can be quite friendly and offer advice on subjects troubling them.
Unfortuanately, good or bad, the sufferer has no control over when the voices come and go. This is why so many turn to drink and/or drugs to try and suppress them. This obviously doesn’t aid the public perception of people with mental health issues.
Some of the voices that drive me (and others) mad ARE real and most of them belong to doctors and other health professionals.
Ironically, if someone drinks to calm the voices in their heads, the chances of getting professional assistance is reduced to zero. Nearly all doctors will refuse to help someone if they have been drinking or they believe they have not being making any effort not to drink. – Catch 22
As stated before – Mad does NOT equal stupid and does not require being spoken to as a child – here’s a conversation recounted to me by a very intelligent sufferer…
Doctor: Are the voices in your head telling you to kill yourself?
Doctor: Well that’s good, a definite sign of improvement. What are they saying now?
TO KILL YOU, YOU ARROGANT PRICK…
Doctor: Oh. I see…..