My voices are bad tonight - I notice that I nearly always say "my" voices, not "the" voices. In my experience, patients who get voices mostly refer to them as personal. Saying "the" voices makes them disembodied, when actually, they are all too much a part of oneself. Some say voices are started by trauma, others that they are caused by the stress of illness. Whatever it is that produces them, when they are negative they are most distressing. I have two, as I've said before on these pages - both male and unidentifiable. Some trauma victims hear the voice of their abuser - I hear two well spoken males, and I don't know why I hear them.
The first voice says things like "you're a really bad person - die". I can mange to ignore him for most of the time when I'm well, and indeed I have periods when he goes away. The second voice gives me a running commentary in the third person - "she's typing on the computer", for example. He's more insistent and I find him more intrusive. They're both bad at times, however.
I also hallucinate, although I haven't during this episode - it's more likely to happen when I'm manic. It starts with jagged lines, very bright, running down the side of my vision, which I can still see when my eyes are closed. It's like the after image one gets when one has looked at a bright light. Then I see black figures in my peripheral vision - dark human shapes that disappear when I turn to look. When I first had these, I became paranoid, because I thought they were real people spying on me. I occasionally hallucinate other figures - usually dark men. My best hallucination was a Cardinal, dressed all in red robes, carrying a wooden bowl of green apples. I was in hospital at the time and asked my friend if she'd like an apple, because the man had lots. He gradually went away.
I teach mental health staff about unusual experiences, such as visions and voices, and I hope they find it useful I ran a hearing voices group for a while, which was interesting and fulfilling. But at the moment, I'm trying to keep my own head above water,
I spent 16 years in the RAF defending the Free World , then got bunged out unceremoniously for being bipolar. I and was subsequently diagnosed with PTSD. Funny old world, isn't it?