Our expert says:
There are a variety of possible causes for the experience of hearing voices in ones head, voices which usually sound very real and believable to the person with this experience, but voices which no-one else can hear. Psychiatrists are experienced a dealing with these problems, and there are indeed treatments, including medicines, which can greatly help this problem. And, if one leaves the matter without treatment, the problems can become more complicated and more difficult to treat successfully, so it's a good idea to seek expert advice and treatment early.
It's not useful to get involved in worying about how "real" such voices are --- they're not real to anyone else, but are genuine experiences for the person who hears them, even if they do not arise in the usual way in which we hear the voices of other people who are near us. They're not usually caused by one's imaginaton in the sense of one making it up or pretending ; but one also ought to be very careful about the temptation to believe whatever the voices might say, as they are the result of a chemical imbalance interfering with one's brain function, and so, however convincing they might seem, they ae not genuine nor deserving to be believed.
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