Friday, April 17, 2009

Halucinations of the Auditory Kind

Some time ago I suffered from auditory halucinations, hearing sounds that had no existence in the real, material world. But that's not strictly true. I did not so much suffer as enjoy them. They would always follow, although not every time, a fit of coughing. I would cough hard enough that when I regained my breath my body felt as if it was throbbing. I'd watch my arm for movement but there was never anything visible; my wife never remarked on anything but my red face. That was the outside. The effects inside my head were different, usually a cacaphony of sounds that my mind struggled to translate. After the first frightening time, I decided that such "noises" were probably the result of the blood pressure in a vein or artery pressing against or into that part which deals with hearing and/or the translation of sound waves. I convinced myself of this rational explanation and decided I did not have a mental illness.However, a goood part of this noise I was "hearing" did come through as voices, normal human voices, not spectral ghostly whispers. It sounded like a cocktail party but the language or languages being spoken were totally unrecognizable to me. I don't know if it was my mind or my imagination, but I felt as if I was at a social gathering after a poetry reading (and this is, at last, the relevance) and if I would open my mouth to speak, the most wonderful and beautiful lines of poetry would resound through the room.

Wishful ideation? Perhaps. It never happened, not even in my mind. About the time I began to worry that high blood pressure and a bulging blood vessel might end in a stroke, the coughing and the throbbing and the sounds in my head faded away.

And sometimes I miss it. The unusual and unexpected can be such fun!

1 comment:

annaken said...

It is amazing what the human mind can do. It is so delicately balanced that anything can throw it off its normal course.

As a person who lived through 8 months of seeing everything lined up side by side, but doubled, I can somewhat understand. That was after an automobile accident in my case. It is interesting to note that your episode came after fits of coughing and that your face became very red - noticeable to your wife. That coughing perhaps set off a reaction in your body. Who can say?

The human mind is still a mystery in so many ways. There are those among he population who would not agree that hearing auditory voices is a good thing, especially when those voices are telling them to do bad things. I have dealt with people with that affliction and it is a frightening experience for them.

In your case, of course, it must have been due to an imbalance in your body chemestry or as you said, 'blood pressure in a vein or artery pressing against that part which deals with hearing.'

Whatever the reason, it was an experience in life which you can write about!