Auditory hallucinations are a form of hallucination that involves perceiving sounds without actual auditory stimulus and it is the main hallmark of schizophrenia. "Hearing voices" is the most common type of auditory hallucination, typically in one of three categories: an external entity voicing their own thoughts, one or more voices arguing, or a voice narrating the person's own actions.
Experiencing an auditory hallucination can be very intense. To illustrate this, grab 2 friends and try out this experiment.
Person A will be the person experiencing auditory hallucinations. They should sit across from Person B and begin to have a normal conversation, perhaps about sports or the movies or their favorite restaurant. Try to maintain the conversation, no matter what else is happening.
Person C should take a piece of regular paper, roll into a long tube and use it to speak into Person A's ear. While Person A and Person B are having their conversation, read these sentences to Person A (feel free to adjust pronouns as desired):
Switch it up so everyone has a chance to be in every role. How did it feel? What was it like experiencing an auditory hallucination? What was it like talking to someone who was experiencing an auditory hallucination?
I hope this experiment allowed you to experience what a person with auditory hallucinations is going through and gave you insight into someone else's mental health concern.