85% of individuals with Schizophrenia, at some point, hear voices that no one else can hear. These imaginary voices sound 100% real. Usually these voices are persecutory, but sometimes they are pleasant (telling the person of his/her supernatural powers etc.).
Often an individual with Schizophrenia becomes convinced that others can read his/her mind by telepathy. Or they believe that their thoughts are broadcast out loud, so that others can hear their most secret thoughts.
Neurologically, these auditory hallucinations ("hearing voices") have been proven to be caused by abnormal firing of the neural circuits that process hearing. Thus there is a physical cause for these hallucinations.
The parallel to this is epilepsy.
In grand mal epilepsy, the abnormal firing of neural circuits is in the frontal
lobes of the brain - the part of the brain that controls muscle movement.
In hallucinations, the abnormal firing of neural circuits is in the temporal
lobes of the brain - the part of the brain that controls hearing and voice recognition.
The neurological cause of epilepsy, however, requires a different treatment than the treatment for hallucinations.
Epilepsy is usually treated by using anticonvulsant medication (which is ineffective for Schizophrenia). Hallucinations are treated using antipsychotic medication (which is ineffective for epilepsy).
Antipsychotic medication usually stops hallucinations. Thus it is a tragedy that years go by before a psychotic individual seeks help and is started on antipsychotic medication. Phil Long M.D.