Most people don't go from living a happy life to wake up
one morning hearing voices. People who hear voices often deal with a mental illness that developed over years of abuse. Hearing voices terrifies a person because it feels like you are drowning in a sea of conflicting messages and emotions.
This third and final part of the series "I Hear Voices, Am I Crazy?" clarifies the different voices of mental illness, conscience, and demonic influence. Part One explained the reasons why people hear voices; Part Two explored what God says about hearing voices.
Scientific research shows that people with high intelligence tend to develop alters (other selves) as a defense mechanism to survive during horrific childhood experiences. In the last 12 years, brain scientists have discovered capabilities, structures, and functions of the brain through ground-breaking research using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) pictures of brain. Often when a person hears voices, the words of a child at different ages emerge. While hearing the voice, she also feels emotionally like the child speaking. The more brutal the abuse endured, increases the possibility that more stages of voices have formed within the hurting soul.
People whose brains improperly matured and developed, have different stages of inner child memories solidified into segments
around horrific abuse. The various stages of segmented "inner child" selves develop depending on both the severity of abuse and the length of time a victim is abused. These selves, also called alters, have specific voices, thoughts, feelings,
problems, experiences, and needs. The voices emerge when triggered, and are not caused by the adult suffering from the results of childhood violence. Often the
adult who hears voices will be diagnosed as bi-polar, dissociative identity disorder,
borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, and several others similar disorders.
Psychologist frequently refer to childhood voices as "the child within". In the case of Dissociative Personality Disorders, 'the children within' better describes the multiple alters. When I first
heard this years ago I dismissed it as psycho-babble of mental health
doctors that had no foundation in biblical truth. As I became more teachable, God showed me that even He said, "Unless we receive the kingdom of God like little children we will not enter it" (Mark 10:15 NKJV). We have the ability to think and act like a child because we all have once been children. Throughout childhood the brain has periods of rapid development. If trauma causes a child's brain to improperly grow, parts of the brain remain immature and underdeveloped.
Christian doctors help clients who suffer from
mental illnesses, including symptoms of hearing voices. God graciously allows a severely abused child to
be protected inside her soul. Later in life, the adult survivor of abuse can learn to face the hard reality of what happen, uncover needs that were not met, and work with a
trained therapist to nurture these "inner children" to maturity. The final goal of all therapy is to allow God to restore the client to be the person God created her to be.
The truth is we all hear voices. God speaks to us in a
still quiet voice of love. Demonic voices try to tear us down repeating
old negative comments from past people or experience that have been
heartbreaking. Our conscience is our own inner voice. In adults who have matured properly, as God intended, the conscience can draw from many positive memories. For example, a voice of encouragement from a mother
or coach replays when she needs to be lifted up. Most Christians learn to listen for their conscience after they are filled with Christ and start to pray. A new Christian finds prayer challenging as she learns to separate her conscience voice, God's voice, and a demonic voice.
Bible study helps Christians to discern voices and to purify the conscience. Thoughts become clearer when we permit His Word to transform us. Praying allows us to surrender our conscience to His sovereign authority. In obedience to God we experience the practical reality of His peace. When we learn to believe God and pray, demonic voices will be crystal clear, as condemning, non-biblical, and painfully piercing. God gives us the authority in Christ to tell demonic voices to leave 'in the Name of Jesus and by His Blood'. Demonic voices are not the same as voices of the "inner child". Well-meaning believers traumatize emotionally hurting women by trying to deliver the child abuse survivor from her inner child voices.
Mental illnesses that cause people to hear voices can be healed. For many years it has been a real embarrassment for
churches to deal with mentally ill people in their congregation.
Pastors struggled to separate demonic possession from mental illness. Fortunately, today many churches refer members to Christian counselors. Churches can help provide support, love, and stability to people with
mental illness, and their families. Methods of healing will often include medication from a psychiatrist and trauma therapy with a psychologist.
A relatively new field in mental health, trauma therapy, uses Eye Movement Desensitization Reprogramming (EMDR), Brainspotting and other therapies developed from current brain science research. Psychiatric medications treat
symptoms such as anxiety, depression, obsessive thinking, mental
splitting, and irregular sleeping habits. Allowing God to be our personal Healer is the key to healing. God helps us choose a therapist, to determine medications and to lead therapy sessions. No one wants to hear voices from trauma, but if you have voices, listening to the voices with a trained Christian therapist can provide wisdom to discern core needs. God can use the inner child voices for healing.