Why Are Auditory Hallucinations Usually Derogatory in Schizophrenia?

Definition

Auditory hallucinations are the false perception of voices and sounds. Voices may be perceived as coming from inside or outside of the head.

Features

Auditory hallucinations may manifest as derogatory voices providing commentary and criticism on a person's thoughts, or suggesting violence and suicide. Such voices may be vulgar and highly emotional in a person diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Cause

Auditory hallucinations may be caused by neurological dysfunction and social isolation or be reflective of an extreme emotional state, such as fear, paranoia, or depression. Researchers at Yale University suggest that derogatory hallucinations may be caused by a combination of theses factors.

Environment

Research published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica in 1996 indicates that culture may be one factor of derogatory content in auditory hallucinations. Research published in the 20005, Psychiatric Quarterly finds that the content of auditory hallucinations among prisoners frequently relates to fear, anxiety, insecurity and apprehension.

Uncertain

According to research published in the Schizophrenia Bulletin in 2004, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that derogatory auditory hallucinations are caused by environmental or psychological distress. A common symptom of schizophrenia is auditory hallucinations that are derogatory and frightening. The nature of an auditory hallucination may be caused by a number of factors.