November 30th, 2010
02:37 PM ET

Is my 10-year-old hearing voices serious?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

My son is 10 and while he was home sick with a sinus/cold, he came out of the bathroom and looked very scared and sad. Later he told me he feels like a voice is telling him to take a knife and stab himself. He told me he would never do it because he is strong enough to overcome it. The only medication I gave him today was Sudafed PE and Advil - two each. He is a sweet, intelligent, funny child. Can this be serious?

Dear Bobby,

As often happens, I find myself having to tell you that I have no definitive answer to your question; first because no one can read the future with certainty and second because I don't know enough about your son's situation to make an educated guess. Given these constraints, let me talk to you in general about things that would make me feel more or less worried about the episode you describe.

It is not uncommon for children to report an isolated episode of hearing a voice or having a strange idea. I say this based on a discussion of the issue with several leaders in the field of child psychiatry. The content of the voice your son heard is a little more worrisome because it is violent. It worries me because I don't want him to do anything to hurt himself, and it worries me because encouraging self-harm is one of the most common things that genuine psychotic "voices" tell people.

If the episode is isolated and nothing else happens, I don't think you have much to worry about. The fact that you had given him medicine that can affect mental functioning (Sudafed in this case) is also encouraging, because that might be an explanation for his experience.

Here are things that would make me worry more. If there is a history of psychosis in your family, I would be more concerned about your son's experience. Most people with psychosis are diagnosed as either schizophrenic or bipolar, so if either of these runs extensively in your son's close blood relatives, I'd be more concerned. If your son has repeated episodes of reporting a voice or having other strange experiences, my level of concern would go way up. If your son is beginning to demonstrate other odd behaviors or is withdrawing from people, I'd also worry.

So, if any of these risk factors is relevant to your son's situation, I'd take him to a child psychiatrist for an evaluation. If, on the other hand, his experience is isolated and all is well otherwise, I wouldn't make a big deal out of it - especially given the Sudafed exposure. I'd just reassure your son and tell him to let you know if anything like that ever happens again. If he has a second episode, I'd take him for professional help, just to be on the safe side.

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soundoff (714 Responses)
  1. charity

    It is also important to know if he had a fever. High fevers can cause hallucinations.

    November 30, 2010 at 16:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rena

      Here is a thought. Dont blog about it on an internet site. Your child comes out and says he hears voices saying to stab himself? GO TO THE DOCTOR! TAKE HIM TO A PSYCHIATRIST! Dont write to an internet doctor in hopes he will some day get to your letter and post it and put it up with a response. Be a responsible parent and take your child to the Doctor! For the love of God.

      November 30, 2010 at 22:51 | Report abuse |
  2. zoe

    I was falsely diagnosed with skitzophrenia when I was a child because I had a combination of other smaller problems: A. I had PTSD from being abused. B. Senistesia, which is a cross wiring of the senses and though it runs in my family is extremely hard to diagnose and can be very disorienting. C. Vivid imagination. D. Morbid facination. Some say the morbid facination is a part of the PTSD, but I've always had it. I think about terribly morbid things that most people would find sick and twisted hundreds of times a day. And while I'm a very nice and ethical person and would NEVER do any of the things I think about its a constant presence and sometimes I'll say something off sounding, or I'll feel a strong inclination to something like disecting my own forearms for instance. Sometimes if a thought and a sense get wired wrong at the same time I'll hear someone telling me my own terrible thoughts and its very disturbing. I'm not on any medication and I have a fine career in non-profit and lots of friends. Most people don't notice it until they know me very well, but it does come up occassionally. I say, unless it becomes a chronic problem DON'T put him on meds.

    November 30, 2010 at 16:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kl650

      I am happy to hear your point of view and glad that your symptoms do not affect your work life. I have almost the exact same issues with invasive thoughts and morbid fascinations. In my case, I take Seroquel and it works well to restore my thoughts to more productive issues. I agree with you that a child's developing brain requires special consideration. I'm so happy the child in this instance has a relationship with the parent that allows for such sharing.

      November 30, 2010 at 22:22 | Report abuse |
  3. Dwe

    I think that is terrible advice. What you are experiencing is not normal. Schizophrenia affects 1% of the population and causes great subjective distress. What you are describing seems completely consistent with schizophrnia and taking medication for such things is not the end of the world.

    November 30, 2010 at 17:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CT73

      Yes, but schizophrenia typically manifests itself between the ages of 18 and 35. There is no need to label a 10 year old child with something as damning as a schizophrenia diagnosis. There are also serious risks associated with the medicine taken for schizophrenia, such as tardive dyskinesia, which can cause permanent spasms and tics in the face and hands. Sudafed is pretty strong stuff... if it happens again, take him to to a psychiatrist. However, you probably won't find a licensed psychiatrist who will diagnose a child as schizophrenic before his 18th birthday, and barring serious psychotic outburst, the child probably won't receive the same kind of medication until then either.

      December 1, 2010 at 00:36 | Report abuse |
    • ME

      CT73 is correct. No real psychiatrist or psychologist will ever diagnose anyone under 18 with these types of mental illnesses. It's just bad practice. Schizophrenia doesn't show up that young anyway. (Yay, for psychology grad classes!)

      December 1, 2010 at 03:12 | Report abuse |
    • wooga

      When I was between five and eight, I would frequently hallucinate when I had fevers. It gradually went away and I have had no 'weird' issues in 25 years – except I still cannot take sudafed without it having serious "trippy" effects on me. There's a reason people use concentrated sudafed to make other drugs – it has mind-altering effects. Although unnoticeable in most people, others (like me and apparently this kid too) might as well be taking crystal meth instead of sudafed (I would probably die if I actually tried crystal meth). Dr. Raison sounds like he knows exactly what he is talking about.

      December 1, 2010 at 03:54 | Report abuse |
  4. PiP

    2000 years ago someone would have called this person a prophet lol

    November 30, 2010 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Flora

      This is a place to discuss certain health issues as they relate to the given article, not a soapbox for your atheist manifesto. Either say something relevant to the case or kindly go home.

      November 30, 2010 at 17:40 | Report abuse |
    • becks

      Flora: You're only replying to this because you think he might be atheist. Lots of people joke about articles on here.

      November 30, 2010 at 18:50 | Report abuse |
    • chris

      No, 2000 years ago they would have said "he has a demon."

      November 30, 2010 at 18:56 | Report abuse |
  5. Shirin

    I am a physician. When I was around 17, and under a lot of pre-med stress, I had episodes in which I would hear the sound of a whole group of angry people quarreling at night. I'd get up very quietly and check it out, and these were clearly auditory hallucinations. I said nothing and did nothing, and the symptoms – which occured about 3-4 times went away. (And no, it wasn't my parents or any of us kids.) I haven't had these symptoms since I got my acceptance into undergraduate college. That said, this is the age at which people often do begin to have signs of psychiatric disease, so I would inquire every couple of months – NOT more frequently unless he has worrisome behavioral changes – to see if the symptoms continue. In the absence of signs suggesting the kid is a danger to himself or others, I would plan on doing nothing for at least a year. Most of this adolescent crazyness goes away. I would also take a look at what he is reading/viewing/playing on his x-box, and consider censorship if necessary, as violent imaging is not helpful for people in this situation. In the meantime, and to help him deal with his problem, I suggest you say to the kid, "Well, this is what's known as an attack by the Enemy. The appropriate response is to say a quick prayer, {i.e an Our Father or something along those lines if you are Christian}, ask for God's help in dealing with it, and then go on about your business. Don't worry if you hear the voice again. Just say a quick prayer again. These attacks never last long, and this too will pass. However, sitting around worrying about what kind of person you are if you hear these voices is dumb. These voices are not you. The Enemy is playing head games with you, and it's kinda sad, really, when you consider that he was once an archangel, and his engaging in this behavior with mortals like you is equivalent to you torturing a bug out of malice and boredom."

    The beauty of the above, is that it gives the kid something to do other than to freeze like a rabbit thinking "Oh no! It's happening again!! Maybe I'm gonna be a serial killer or something. And my parents are all freaked out and upset, and I feel really bad about that, too." Instead, the kid has a concrete thing to do to help deal with the symptom, and sees that his parents regard this with the same sort of kindly, sympathetic competence that he had from them when he was a toddler with a nasty boo-boo, or that they would give to a daughter experiencing her first menses. This sort of patter is reassuring to the child. When the symptoms pass, which is the usual outcome, he will realize that bad things happen but they also end, which is a good thing to know when you are entering adolescence. If the symptoms don't pass after several months, well, that is the time medication should be considered.

    November 30, 2010 at 18:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Julie

      I really like your idea, I have 2 daughters who claim to see and hear things. I'm not 100% sure they are telling the truth but the next time my youngest says that she hears things I'm going to suggest this. My daughters are 15 and 16 and have learned some very bad habits from the psyc hospitals they've been in. My 16 yo would just start a fight about that she doesn't believe in God.

      November 30, 2010 at 22:52 | Report abuse |
    • msteck

      Where are you going to medical school, Pat Robetson's University? this is terrible advice, if my doctor ever said anything like this to me I would never see him again.

      November 30, 2010 at 23:45 | Report abuse |
    • Patricia

      Pre-med stress at 17? Before being accepted to an "undergraduate college"? Living with your parents? If you're going to pretend to be a physician you should at least learn something about a medical education.

      November 30, 2010 at 23:54 | Report abuse |
    • fuyuko

      The last thing a person with mental illness needs to hear is that the devil is messing with their mind or tempting them. IF they hear voices they need to see a psychiatrist who can assist them in determining a proper diagnosis.

      December 1, 2010 at 01:31 | Report abuse |
    • Gretchna

      This person Shirin is clearly NOT a physician.
      Any physician who gave this advice would be guitly of malpractice. Seriously. Please, please don't trust him.

      December 1, 2010 at 01:39 | Report abuse |
    • ME

      There are several ignorant replies here. First of all, physician or not, this person is correct that you CANNOT diagnose a ten year old with schizophrenia. I am no physician but have taken enough Psychology grad classes to know this. No licensed psychologist or counselor will touch anyone under 18 with such a diagnosis specifically because it is almost always something that a kid will grow out of. No psychologist or counselor will diagnose anyone with schizophrenia without meeting them in person for multiple sessions and taking into consideration a lifetime of events. At this child's age, it definitely is a wait and see situation. Second of all, many physicians do have faith and many will recommend that their patients take solace in it. Studies have even proven it to have some effect–be it placebo or whatever. For a ten year old, giving him a "magical" charm to help something that cannot yet be treated any other way, might be very effective.

      December 1, 2010 at 03:20 | Report abuse |
    • Hope

      Shirin is correct. Shirin has been given great wisdom.
      Shirin is basing his/her knowledge off of absolute truth. @Every, I pray tonight the truth is revealed to you in a way that now millions of muslims are coming to Christ. The truth shall set you free. I am very excited for your salvation and new faith in Jesus, and a deep love that you have never experienced until now!

      December 2, 2010 at 12:37 | Report abuse |
    • DeAguaDulce

      You may be right, Shirin. I have experienced what you said here too. Not long after the death of my wife (by suicide). I had PTSD from it and I believe that the enemy took advantage of my grief to attack me in that way. I read in the Bible in 2 Tim 2:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" and held on to it with all my might. I reminded myself daily that because I had the Holy Spirit in me I had a sound mind. There were times when I could physically feel my mind departing from me and as soon as I said, "No! I have a sound mind because the Spirit of God is in me" my mind would return to me and the voices subside. God is good. I have recovered now and live, work, play normally. I may never be eactly the same as I was before, but I am sane, praise God!

      December 2, 2010 at 17:48 | Report abuse |
    • joann

      Excellent, and the best advice here. Stress, compiled by school bullying to my child, has caused us stress. My son heard hissing voice in his ears while in the yard..I saw it when it happened. Within 2 nights, I dreamed I was holding a light green cloth, and was lifted in the air by an evil force (demonic minions) In my dream I cried for Christ, I was immediately let go, and peace was restored. I was saved 8.5 yrs ago......Before my son was gifted upon me, I used to be a revel in debauchery, because I believed it as "normal", and was very successful as an effective tarot card reader and "seer" for the Enemy....I KNOW TRUTH, and He that is in me IS greater than he who is in the world. Casting out, in Jesus' name must be frequent, when being persecuted.....especially since we are digging deeper into Hid Word xoxoxo.
      I pray for those tormented by manifested troubles from all ailments...Suffering breaks my heart, and please be patient to those who suffer 🙂

      January 2, 2016 at 13:59 | Report abuse |
  6. Cieje Valentine

    Is it possible that the kid heard a tv or radio program whose volume was briefly on full blast? Had that happen to me as a kid, but the voice was just an expletive.

    November 30, 2010 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ME

      I have never heard a radio or TV program that told me to kill myself...

      December 1, 2010 at 03:22 | Report abuse |
  7. chris

    I was expecting this to be more about an imaginary friend...and I was just thinking "no...probably nothing to worry about.." but then I read "the voice told him to stab himself"
    ......yes, I'd worry about it.

    November 30, 2010 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Jenya

    I agree with Shirin. The Enemy will often use negative voices to influence people to hurt themselves or others. The best thing to do is pray against those voices in Jesus name.

    November 30, 2010 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Edward Nashville, TN

    It could be a lot of things. It could be the medication he took, could be imagination, could be demonic if you please in that. It could be a hallucination induced by a fever or early stages of a more serious mental illness. I think if it happens again it needs to be addressed. I once had a very strange compulsion to jump from a sixth story window. It was the only that has happened in my life. If as you term it the "Enemy" is at work prayer can't hurt. I do think that Charity seems to have her issues investigated that is outside the norm.

    November 30, 2010 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ME

      Even if a person is not religious, you could see the "enemy" as personal depression, guilt, temptation, low self esteem, fear, etc... and certainly, saying an affirmation, again not necessarily religious, against such a psychological attack can be quite effective.

      December 1, 2010 at 03:23 | Report abuse |
  10. Vic

    This is demonic activity. You need spiritual guidance, not a doctor. Find a church that understands and believes in the power of prayer and the operation of spiritual gifts. Majority of the time when voices are being heard to kill yourself..it is definitely demonic

    November 30, 2010 at 20:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Good Grief...

      Andrea Yates killed her children partly because she believed demons were after them and it was the only way to save them. Do you think she was right? I say talk of demons isn't helpful to someone suffering from mental illness. They need a firm grasp of where reality is...and where it isn't.

      November 30, 2010 at 21:18 | Report abuse |
    • Greenie

      If yoh bellieve in demons you are the one that needs guidance, not this kid or his mother.

      December 1, 2010 at 01:21 | Report abuse |
    • fuyuko

      the child needs a doctor, not an exorcist.

      December 1, 2010 at 01:33 | Report abuse |
    • thor

      To put it mildly. Dimwitted people believe in things that aren't tangible, because the thought of mental illness is "scary". You and those like you do a disseervice to every child you contact. Never in the histroy of mankind has there ever been concrete evidence of demons or any life forms capable of putting thoughts into someones head. If you believe so, it is because you have been brainwashed into believe things that are improbable, ridiculous and dangerous (for exorcism just destroys a young mind) without helping them at all. You make me embarassed for the human race. No hell below us, above us only sky.

      December 1, 2010 at 04:11 | Report abuse |

      Hey Thor, you are a complete tool. I love you people try to pretend that you are so enlightened when YOU are the one living in the dark ages.. I myself have seen someone levitate and NO, I do not do drugs or drink or anything. I consider myself an intelligent person. I am currently going to college in the hopes of becoming an astrophysicist. There are MANY MANY things that happen in the world that cannot be measured in a test tube. You are extremely arrogant for thinking you know better. I would love to drop you off in the middle of Puerto Rico and witness some freaky things. You would be wetting yourself in the fetal position you arrogant little scab.

      December 1, 2010 at 17:26 | Report abuse |

      Hey Thor, you are a complete tool. I love you people try to pretend that you are so enlightened when YOU are the one living in the dark ages.. I myself have seen someone levitate and NO, I do not do drugs or drink or anything. I consider myself an intelligent person. I am currently going to college in the hopes of becoming an astrophysicist. There are MANY MANY things that happen in the world that cannot be measured in a test tube. You are extremely arrogant for thinking you know better. I would love to drop you off in the middle of Puerto Rico and witness some freaky things. You would be wetting yourself in the fetal position you arrogant little scab!!

      December 1, 2010 at 17:27 | Report abuse |
    • Zuly

      FRIST . why would you give two medication to a child, not known that when you mix this medication it can hurt him or make them see things. and ME is right cold is cold and takes time to go away, even that I learned in med school.. Just keep watch of what your son is doing, I am not saying that Wii or Xbox make you do this, there is no Fact to that.. I play games and WHAT that make me a killer ..Please tell your kids what is real and what is not.. I do I have three kids and they know all that is not real ... please not even my five year old believes in the Boogie Men.. like when we were kid. Just keep records of what he tell you and get help both church and medical field

      January 12, 2011 at 20:57 | Report abuse |
    • joann

      yes.Amen. Please, I share my 2016 post 1/2/16.
      EVERY time I scream for Christ in my dreams...the demon drops me like a hot potato,( he throws me across the room...or tries to hold me down)... and peace is restored....It is always when I am under much anxiety, mean lost people, child bullies against my son..(who are anti-God/Atheists) tresspassers, and vandalize our property. Certainly not a coincidence 🙂 xoxo

      January 2, 2016 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
  11. william wallace

    There is more good news than bad news the good news
    he did not hear a voice where in telling him to harm others.

    That is the best news that you could hear. / It may it a sign
    of problems or just a one off / where it results from seeing
    a movie / or somthing that said by others to him / in real life
    or having heard said by others. / He seeking your reaction.

    It could be he is but trying to get your attention / where in
    saying such a thing he proves in being a very smart child.

    Why should he try to get your attention ?? it could be he's
    aware your in having problems that your in need of focus
    if such the case then again pretty smart for a ten year old.

    If he comes out with such remarks in the future then your
    going to have to seek help from the family doctor / as your
    son getting more skilled people in speaking to him in finding
    if its a more serious problem that needs some observation.

    It could be your son having said somthing which your have
    dramatized far beyond its meaning / as its you whom seeks
    attention / that your using your son as the means of getting
    such attention / then the problems not the son but with you.

    However / the good news he's not telling where hearing
    voices in an harming of others / that but the greater relief.

    Most children are watching far too much violence on TV
    in movies even cartoons / which in coming from the USA
    in the main // no plot or reason / for the brain in benefiting
    from / just endless mindless violence. If sons watching
    too much TV nonsense / then such can have bad resut
    thus if such nescessery cut the Tv hours / where play
    some board games / thus you will be able more to strike
    up a conversation / thus more abled into understand his
    personal thoughts as feelings / fears as present needs.

    Your son saying such a thing reveals a very bright child
    in having a brain development that be far beyond 10yrs.

    All people reach a stage in their life where there being no
    way for them to go but turn to that of meditation/ thus one
    turns the senses inwards where one starts to unfold the
    spiritual being / Through /Practical / Spiritual / Experience.

    On PC search put (words of peace) on the site you'll find
    many videos of Prem Rawat speak of meditation the art in
    turning the senses inward/ the unfolding in knowing self.
    Prem Rawat Not only a spiritual teacher / he being thee
    Teachers of Teachers. It an very young age he realized
    he was gifted with great spiritual knowledge thus from
    ( 9yrs) he has travelled the world in showing / teaching
    how one turns the senses inwards in knowing true self.

    I do not mean to over burden with facts yet it worth one
    knowing an individual has many lifes. Each life having a
    the oppertunity to gain in spiritual development ( it being
    only while in an human form that such possible) all such
    spiritual experience as undestanding gained in ones life
    is never lost it put into the individuals SPIRITUAL BANK
    ACCOUNT such account SPIRITUAL ACCOUNT can not
    be lost as stolen ( it's yours ) (to be carried life unto life.

    Thus an 9yrs old can be far more advanced in spiritual
    development that the adults caring for them / its but the
    way life is where ones caring for their children where
    feeling in heart as brain / that their children are in truth
    their spiritual superior / and the vast majority of cases
    such being the truth / in the material child be the child
    but in the spiritual realm / the child being one's master.


    PS . I dont beleive your child having such serious an
    problem / its more like your having a very bright child.

    I do not recommend medication for children ///// drugs
    can have serious physical side effects even unto an
    adult far less an child. The childs brain going through
    constant stages of development drugs BE a BIG NO
    more so when the drugs for mental illnes in the main
    are totally worthless/ and to boot bringing an wagon
    load of physical problems / which can be /long term.

    The idea that one always needs drugs for the cure
    but very misleading / more so the case of the brain
    the brain has its self // very strong healing powers.


    November 30, 2010 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Susan

    My son started hearing voices in 2nd grade and it took several years for doctors to realize that it was actually OCD intrusive thoughts rather than psychosis. He was on medication for anxiety, but I subsequently discovered that he had severe, undiagnosed food allergies. Once those allergens were identified and eliminated he calmed down to the point where I was able to wean him off his medications, which was good because they were inflaming his gut. I wish I´d known about his allergies years ago – it would´ve spared him and his family so much heartache.

    November 30, 2010 at 23:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Cleo

    Might be a partial seizure also, especially if the child had a fever.

    December 1, 2010 at 00:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Shrink

    Common people, this woman is asking for a real advice, stop with your "demons and prayers " bulls$%t"! Some of us have progressed beyond that...

    December 1, 2010 at 01:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ME

      Being closed-minded about potentially finding relief through spiritual beliefs is "progressive?" It sounds like the opposite to me. Studies consistently show that having spirituality in one's life, even if not religious, can be extremely beneficial even if it's only due to a placebo effect.

      December 1, 2010 at 03:25 | Report abuse |
    • thor

      If a placebo works. You didn't have a real problem.

      December 1, 2010 at 04:12 | Report abuse |

      Hey Thor, you are a complete tool. I love you people try to pretend that you are so enlightened when YOU are the one living in the dark ages.. I myself have seen someone levitate and NO, I do not do drugs or drink or anything. I consider myself an intelligent person. I am currently going to college in the hopes of becoming an astrophysicist. There are MANY MANY things that happen in the world that cannot be measured in a test tube. You are extremely arrogant for thinking you know better. I would love to drop you off in the middle of Puerto Rico and witness some freaky things. You would be wetting yourself in the fetal position you arrogant little scab!!!!

      December 1, 2010 at 17:28 | Report abuse |
    • Shrink- GET BENT

      Who the frack are you to think you know what exactly happened to this child? You don't know squat about anything. I bet you believe everything they tell you on the science channel don't you? 'Oh boy, the guy was wearing glasses and white coat and holding up a rock so he MUST know everything' You idiots are so deluded you are doing the exact thing you accuse other people of doing: USING CRITICAL THINKING. Oh, and a reasonable person does not discount everything just because YOU PERSONALY have not witnessed it. Get bent and die.

      December 1, 2010 at 17:31 | Report abuse |
  15. Greenie

    It was the ghost of Michael Jackson. He wanted the kid to join him in Neverland.

    December 1, 2010 at 01:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Justina

    Go to church and get a Christian help. The name of Jesus overcomes all demonic works.

    December 1, 2010 at 02:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. ME

    Yikes. That is creepy, especially from a little child. The medications are definitely too strong and inappropriate, however. What kind of person combines those strong medications in a child? I wouldn't even take that as an adult! Furthermore it's proven that medication does NOT help a common cold and in fact, they make it last longer by supressing the symptoms that were created by the body to cleanse itself of the virus. I think the ten year old was overdosed.

    December 1, 2010 at 03:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Joan Isenberg

    Research into the criminal mind of serial killers supports the hunch of unscrupulous neighbors with psychotronic telepathic devices are the cause. A horrific homeland security problem you'll never hear about. Plenty of information available if Googled. Yahool Research Engine as well.

    December 1, 2010 at 04:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Sharon

    Hi, when I was a child I also heard voices, it scared me to death except back when i was a child, we did not have much help, my episodes started after I watched Carry the scary movie I do not know what triggered it or why but it did. I was so scared of the devil I cried all the time and was scared to go to school. All the help I had was my mom telling me 50 or more times a day that the devil cannot get me that God loved me and it would be allright. They( my parents) really did not know what to do). As I got older I still heard voices telling me to jump off a bridge etc, I fought the voices in my head as I got older and I prayed alot, but the damage had been done, I had panic attacks in high school could not finish had to go back and finish at a later date and all the while I never knew what was wrong I thought i was crazy, but now alot older I do not have episodes anymore but I still pray all the time for God to keep me in a good place, but please if your kid continues with the voices please get him help because it is a scary thing trust me I experienced it with no help. Except the Lord, I do function in society today fairly normal but I do remember my childhood, and it was sad what I had to go through, It does affect me today in alot of ways.

    December 1, 2010 at 06:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • misty

      did you also see people? if so were they always the same? sorry for all the questions but my 10 year old son has just told me he hears voices and they tell him to do bad things to himself. of course i,m having a complete brake down even know my husband seems to think he watches to much scarey movies etc. we do have an appt. with dr.

      January 24, 2011 at 20:16 | Report abuse |
  20. Sarah

    My husband experiences severe depression when he takes Sudafed. It's possible your son has a similar reaction. Our solution: he just toughs it out when he has a cold. When he was a kid, his sister found him crying for absolutely no reason, and he felt like the whole world was just wrong. Because of Sudafed. So. It's just a thought.

    December 1, 2010 at 09:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Susan

    To the demonic/pray in the name of Jesus camp – even if I´d prayed in the name of Jesus, my son still would´ve been allergic to milk, wheat, soy, and peanut butter.

    December 1, 2010 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Fuyuko

    Lets not go back to the stone age. for centuries people with mental illness were stigmatized as being possessed of demons. It is bad enough to be mentally ill, do you really need to tell them they are demonically possessed. This can be very traumatizing to anyone including a child. It is great to pray, but a person does not need the added alienation of being told they are filled with evil spirits, especially when this alienates and can cause them psychological harm.

    December 1, 2010 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DeAguaDulce

      It could be both, you know. The person could have have emotional difficulties that the enemy uses to take advantage of them. Perhaps they go over the edge because they simply don't know who their enemy is and are convinced that it's just them.

      December 2, 2010 at 18:04 | Report abuse |
  23. Normal

    This article spurred two memories for me... one was when I was about 8 years old I was in the kitchen and had a very strong urge to see what it would feel like if I cut my wrist with a sharp knife. Honestly, it was just to see what would happen. I didn't act on this urge, it kind of scared me, actually. Another time I was about 10 and part of our bathroom mirror was broken, I had strong urge to cut myself with it. I remember feeling such a strong feeling to do it that it almost "felt" like someone telling me to do it. As if someone was standing there with me waiting for me to do these things. I didnt "hear" a voice per se, but the compulsion felt so real. Again, I didn't act on these urges and haven't felt anything like that since. I am now a well adjusted, successful and independent adult woman who would never dream of doing something like that to herself, even in the darkest hour. I don't know why this happened to me. The only thing I can think of is that I know I had some anxiety issues as a child (nail biting, bedwetting, compulsive eating and stealing)that resolved themselves as I became a teenager. I was in the gifted classes at school when I was young and had many good friends and strong relationships. However, as an adult I've been diagnosed with pretty severe ADHD...come to find out I've had it since early childhood and it explains ALOT of things. I believe these "urges" or "voices" may echo what Susan mentioned about OCD/ADHD intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Anxiety often manifests itself in the form of thoughts "you just cannot get rid of", like a loop in your head...dwelling on one particular issue, etc.
    The thing is, my parents are very attentive, sensitive loving parents and they never had a clue that I was anxious about many of the things that I remember being anxious about. When I tell them now (in retrospect) they feel bad because they think they should have noticed it. I don't blame them for not noticing... because I internalized it all! How could they have known?
    It's worth a shot if you notice things like this going on with your son, just getting him to a really good child psychologist to possibly see if there are any underlying anxiety issues, etc...not necessarily placing him on meds..but just talk therapy.

    December 1, 2010 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Steff

    I say first of all keep him away from sudafed. When I was younger I used to experience visual hallucinations (specifically trails of light from objects and people in motion) while taking sudafed and benadryl. If it happens without sudafed then try to determine if it is a true auditory hallucination or a compulsive thought (these can sometimes seem like they are genuinely third party events to the person who experiences them depending on their underlying cause) . That will help when you take him to a ereal professional

    December 1, 2010 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. every

    Mental illness or the effect of drugs might be used to explain the voice. However, as you might learn from the Prophets of God, Allah – the final Prophet is Muhammad – and the Revealed Scripture, the final Revelation being the Quran, there is a creation known as the Jinn. Humans cannot see the Jinn in their original form, but they can see us. The Jinn can enter the human body and whisper suggestions to the human. The Jinn can also possess a human. The Jinn may also appear in any human's form (some people might mistaken them for ghosts of dead humans – might explain 'Mother Mary' sightings). Like humans, the Jinn have free will (unlike the angels, who cannot disobey God), and are obliged to believe in and obey the teachings of the Last Prophet in order to attain salvation. The Jinn may be Muslim, Christian, or Jewish, or they may be just plain ignorant – like the humans can be. There are good Jinn and there are evil Jinn – the evil Jinn are called Shayateen (singular – Shaitan) – devils/ demons. The most evil Jinn is Ash-Shaitaan (The Devil) – the Enemy, Iblees, or Lucifer, who caused our father Adam and our mother Hawwa (Eve) to disobey Allah (eat from the tree), and be stripped of their heavenly clothing and banished from Paradise. The Last Prophet told humanity that with every child of Adam, there is a Shaitaan chained to it. This Shaitaan, a Jinn, can whisper evil suggestions to the human. The human has the choice to follow the suggestions or reject them based on the knowledge of right and wrong. Sometimes, a Jinn may enter the human body and run through the body like blood, and this extra Jinn might also whisper the suggestions. My recommendation is to get a Muslim to recite the first surah and the last two surahs (113, 114) of the Quran to your son – the recitation would be in the original Arabic. The Quran is a cure for illnesses and a means of getting rid of devils. I wish you and your family Guidance, and all the best!

    December 2, 2010 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hope

      @ Every Tonight expect a dream that will change your life. Jesus is the truth and the life and the way. You will be set free from your tyrannical God. Millioins of Muslims are experiencing Christ in magnificent ways and giving their lives over to Him. I am excited about your new faith. You are feafully and wonderfully made and precious in God's sight. You are loved by a God who sent His son to die for you to pay the price of all your sins. I pray for salvation and joy for you and your family. Looking forward to seeing you in heaven one day:)

      December 2, 2010 at 12:49 | Report abuse |
    • Zuly

      I heard about the Jinn's, and the good one are genies, and the possession of humans, not many know about this ...They have the ability to change their shape but also be good or just so evil, considered to be spiritual beings naked to the human eye, like Sura Al-Jinn,Shayṭan the devil,he has no power other than the power to cast evil suggestions into the heart of men, women, and jinn.Iblis was proud and arrogant and considered himself superior to Adam, since Adam was made from clay and Iblis was created from smokeless fire. For this act of disobedience, God cursed him to Hell for eternity, but gave him respite until the Day of Judgment. and no am not a Muslims, Arabic person. but I have read Qur'an and the bible also .. Mormon book ..

      January 12, 2011 at 21:19 | Report abuse |
  26. man

    I would say make the appointment but also burn some sage in your home and open some windows..maybe negative enegry got in and children are especially sensative to it. There are other things out there besides us being crazy too. I would look at all avenues. Good Luck

    December 2, 2010 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DeAguaDulce

      The pratices you describe are apt to invite more demonic influence in and compound the problem. The enemy of your soul doesn't care how you get deceived - as long as you are. They may go away after you burn the sage, but that doesn't bring you any closer to Christ. It just leaves you believing that you can overcome the devil on your own, which you cannot.

      December 2, 2010 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
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  29. Shelley


    I now have custody of my adopted brother, he was born with Spina Bifida,drug addicted, fetal alcohol symdrome, retardation and a host of other issues. He is now 15 and was adopted by my parents when he was 18 mos. old. 4 days ago he dropped a bomb on me and his pediatrician. He told us he has a voice in his head that tells him to murder us by us I mean me, my husband and my 2 sons, the voice also tells him to kill our preacher and his PE coach! When asked he said he has has this voice as far back as he can remember and it always told him to kill our dad as well. He said he tells it no. He said this voice is with him 24//7 even in his sleep. He said he sees himself killing each of us several times a day. I took him immediately to the ER to seek help.

    I am torn. How do I bring him back into my home? How will I ever rest knowing he has these thoughts and urges? It took him all of these years to tell it so how do i trust him if he tells me the voice is gone? My kids are terrified and have told me point blank that i better not bring him back into our home.

    He also told the preachers daughter while at school that he was going to get the coach and when she asked him what he meant by GET he said "I am going to kill him with a knife or a gun". He is banned from school now. i have some tough choices ahead of me.

    Now to the mother that posted the 1st time YES it is schizophrenia! It is actually called Child Onset Schizophrenia. It affects 1 in 40,000 and it is rare but very real. Find a psych doc that specializes in children, to be properly diagnosed with this there are a few tests that are required before it can be a legal diagnosis. You will need an MRI or CT, a CBC and an EEG not to mention some in depth monitoring. I do not envy you because this is the hardest thing i have EVER had to deal with. I wish you the very best and with this you have to make all of your choices using your HEAD and NOT your heart because that is my biggest struggle but you have to separate the two, you have to weigh everything that is a factor.

    I am looking at long term placement at this point because my children are having such a hard time with this but my situation unique because we are also dealing with mental retardation on top of the schizophrenia. I an dying inside because I consider him to be my son i do not introduce him as my brother i introduce him a my son when asked I have 3 not just the 2 I gave birth to.

    February 5, 2013 at 01:23 | Report abuse | Reply
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