Viral TikTok Sparks Debate Over Whether People Hear Actual Voices For Inner Monologues

Kasia Mikolajczak
blurry picture of woman with her hands on her head
Unsplash | Uday Mittal

Let me ask you something. Do you ever visualize things when you think about them? I do that a lot. Apparently, not everyone can do it, though. But how about this one? Some people can actually hear voices in their heads. Oh, yeah! That's right.

No, they're not crazy. This one, TikToker found out that it's more common than she thought. Let's dive into this subject more. Shall we?

Check this out.

Woman in TikTok video talking about hearing voices in your mind
TikTok | @colleencarswell

Colleen Carswell (@colleencarswell), runs a family travel website Carswell Enterprise and she's often on TikTok. Recently she posted about a condition that she has called aphantasia. It's when a person can't visualize anything in their mind such as a face or a scene.

Oh, wow!

Steve Carrell from The Office saying "Oh, wow!"
Giphy | The Office

It's a rare condition that affects only about one to three percent of the population. Colleen also explained that this runs on a spectrum. So some people can't see anything while others can see faint images, and then, some can see very vivid images.

So this made her think of something else.

woman meditating
Unsplash | Katerina May

She was also curious if other people engage in inner monologue. At least, that's what she thought she could do until she ran the idea by some other folks. You see, Colleen has thoughts pop into her head, but that's about it. She doesn't actually hear any inner voice.

But guess what?

man turning around lookind perplexed
Giphy | One Chicago

Other people can! OMG, what? Yes, you heard that right. Colleen confirmed this when she talked to her husband. She asked him if he could hear an inner monologue in his head. His answer was quite shocking to her.

This is what the hubby said to her.

man in a red polo shirt looking shocked
Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio

"Oh yeah, I can hear. I can hear my mom's voice. I can hear your voice. I can hear the kids' voices. I can hear Kevin Hart's voice. Really any voice I want to hear, I can just hear it."

Needless to say, she was blown away.

Okay, let me get this straight.

man saying "No way."
Giphy | MasterChefAU

So people can hear actual voices in their heads? Apparently, yeah! Let me explain this further. As it turns out, some folks can hear different voices when they read a book. And they can also hear their own voice.

Isn't that wild or what?

man in a red shirt and cap with eyes closed under a cloudy sky
Pexels | Kelvin Valerio

Here's an even crazier-sounding thing. People commented on TikTok saying their mind argues with them in different voices.

"I 'see' things in full detail, 'hear' things almost as if they were really playing, and can also 'see' my words when I think or talk," one person commented.

"Yes I never knew people couldn’t hear and see in their minds. My mind never shuts up," wrote another.

I guess everybody is different.

plastic brain
Unsplash | Natasha Connell

Get this. According to LiveScience, the lack of inner monologue where you hear actual voices is linked to having aphantasia. That does explain things since that's the condition Coleen has. Hmm, that's so interesting, no?

Did you know about this?

Wow! I had no idea. I, too, like Coleen, can't hear any voices in my head. Instead, I have thoughts that go in and out. But that's not really an internal monologue, after all.

I don't know about you, but I find this whole subject quite fascinating. Let me know in the comments whether you can visualize things in your mind and/or hear voices. I would really love to know.