Making sense of ‘word salad’ and hearing voices


The easiest way to shut voices up is reconciliation, like if a voice is screaming at you try and trace back what you did that might have antagonised it, make amends, peace. It may be some religious idea that you have adapted and not thought out properly like once I got it into my head that the mind was like a computer program and the voices, malicious viruses. Or that the voices are artificial intelligence, that wound them up. And when I “corrected” they were friendlier.

Personally I get worried when I don’t hear them, if I devote myself to something or define myself as something they often go away. Like writing this article, I decided I was going to be a mental health champion and this made the mind active. I became. I was. “What is the harm in that?” one might ask. I just don’t like to be part of society or freely defined. It makes me think I’ve sold out and have much less insight into my own subconscious. Other things I’ve rejected are defining oneself as a sexuality, a profession or being a “famliest”. This is word salad, I’ll get back to this later. I think it’s common for voice hearers to reject society although another definition I rejected was to define myself as someone who hears voices – even though I do.

Or maybe I’ve swore or hexed a voice or someone in my life that did not deserve to be. No one ever really deserves it. There was a guy at school who didn’t like me and I think of him in pain, immediately I feel I’ve done wrong and psychically apologise even though he probably still hates me, doesn’t remember me or has even felt this attack. Did he feel it? I dunno. If I don’t rectify this slowly the voices start beating me and putting me in a place I find stressful. I look back see what I did and “aha” I feel OK.  I just beat the shit out of a guy, that’s why.

Perhaps a voice is laughing at me and I get annoyed, it’s in my subconscious and I’m in its. We can see and emotionally feel each other so I have a dream him having distress and I keep the dream going, like I keep the tab open while I make my dinner. Then I get attacked and think what did I do, why am I hurting? I stop and regret and I am OK once again. This is how I live my life, everyone messes up, but not everyone has the voices to show they’re messed up!

This involves admitting wrong and to admit you’re wrong takes to try to attempt to be a good or even righteous person. I find reflecting on Christ is the best thing to stay free but you have to love your neighbour as yourself and as I’ve told you I often slip. People see no incentive to be good, there are some nasty people out there and many people who only treat family and friends well and nobody else.

But from hearing voices for over 20 years, the most difficult schizophrenia concepts to understand is “word salad.”  Wikipedia defines word salad as a “confused or unintelligible mixture of seemingly random words and phrases.” It has been adopted by psychiatry to words used by psychotics that have no meaning and a symptom of a confusion while “high” on psychosis. Not all emotions have words or all actions have words as you are about to see. A better word for word salad would be “word generation.”

The most beautiful example of word salad I ever heard, being a voice hearer, was that I was “teasing my conscience.” Yes complete gibberish. But wait it could mean that the person is making small changes in the subconscious that effects how they feel guilt. It is all in context, without context it would make no sense.  

Word salad is a commentary or accusation the voices and I, lol, use to identify actions of the mind or psyche. The actions of the mind are in the metaphysical world as opposed to physical world which takes little reflection. Words in the mind describe fleeting moments and quickly become irrelevant because thoughts change or “die” every second. To attempt to define “word salad” takes you to recall the circumstances where the word occurred. I can say “run” for instance and I don’t have to say where or why I “ran” – it is understood. This is not the case in “word generation.”  It’s ten miles deeper.

Examples in common language that I think are word salad would be to describe someone as “sanguine or phlegmatic or choleric or melancholic.”  These words came from a bizarre medical theory called the four humours theory which was a thing that was claimed rubbish by the scientific community a hundred odd years ago. They were coined by Hippocrates and refer to four social temperaments, one of which everyone is one, like astrology.  But they are still used – does it still have relevance today? Are blanket words or ideas for the psyche “word salad?”

I must stress that word salad is not universal, being a voice hearer who has unusual beliefs like spirits and telepathy, I find this strange. Why haven’t we heard the same words? But maybe the voice generates the word on the spot and the voice is none the wiser when confronted with the word it maybe even used without the context. Or maybe each voice has its own vocabulary its made up itself.

So if I was trying to explain to a non voice hearer the intelligence that “auditory hallucinations” and the voices in my head commented that I was “ponging” earlier.  If I was to say to a psychiatrist that I had been “ponging” the other day he would nod his head condescendingly think – “word salad, typical.” But all the voice meant was I was trying to explain my bizarre but real experiences to someone who wasn’t there at the time when the word was formed.

Another example is not taking your tablets for a couple of nights because I want hear voices and let them dream with me. I told a clinical psychologist I knew socially that I do this and she said this was crazy. I dunno. Anyway the voices in my head would call this act “plonking.”  I will repeat, I tell the psychiatrist I was plonking and he nods his head and says “word salad, typical.”  It’s just a thing I do but my voices have a word, the editor asked me to elaborate, do I use these words ever, myself?  I have no inner monologue in my thought process but if I did yes I might say, “I will do some plonking tonight.”  (I will write an article soon about having and not having an internal monologue.)

And again another example which I’ve never heard anyone else experience is being “sectioned.” The voices do this to punish me if I use my voices for self gain or gratification.  I get the sensation of a couple of hours in a fraction of a second. An aside, they have developed a pill that does this google “pill that makes you live a thousand years.”  This example is easier to explain to a non voice hearer but none the less could be “word salad” as one could reflect they’d just been “sectioned” instead of thinking – “I felt distressed there as if I’d just been out of my body for an instant.” 

“Sectioned” has association with previous times and I feel more comfortable than using exact aforementioned terms that make it sound “painful.”  But the word is meaningless to everyone else. I guess it comes from the term we use in Northern Ireland of being detained in a mental health unit without ones say so, “sectioned.”  But used in my context meaningless to others.

What about believing a lie to confuse a voice (this is to do with word salad so stick with me).  I do it often, especially when they give me intrusive thoughts, I believe them, that they happened and they go away, although these thoughts are challenging as they’re often graphic in nature. This shuts them up, they believe they have been victorious and go away laughing, then I turn around and say, “this didn’t happen.”  Like it will send me the thought, “Veer across the road and crash.”  Or, “Go and pull that girl’s dress off her.”  I believe it had happened, although they get annoyed when they realise they saw a lie! So a voice might all this act “dishing.”  So if you say “dishing”  to a psychiatrist, yes he will nod his head and say “typical word salad.”  But all you were doing was “dishing” having a false belief to fool the voices into thinking something has happened.

One last one for your entertainment – “parking” yourself. This means if you are swamped by voices and you won’t move but sit still in your mind refusing to engage or reply to them, you are “parking.”  What I mean is that I sit mentally not reflecting to any of the signals or messages the voices are sending me. Yes “typical word salad.”  I had to “park” myself last night I might ponder.

The really depressing thing about word salad is that a lot of voice hearers have the same view as the psychiatrists, that the voices are talking gibberish. It is sad there is so much context and meaning in word salad if you stop and look. I do not see word salad as a symptom of psychosis, I think its really interesting. There are 170,000 words in English language some are obsolete but there are even more things that don’t have words or some languages have words that don’t translate, I’ve just googled here are some. “Truno” is Iceland for talking about yourself overly in a conversation. The Japanese word “tsundoku” means a book hoarder when you don’t actually read them. I’m guilty of this. But “word generation” meaning can often disappear as quickly in our memory as what you may have dreamt once sleeping depending on how esoteric they are.

And what is a “famliest?” Some one who lives with the certainty that they will sometime have a family.  Some people aren’t famliests and it can have a influence on your psychology.  Some aren’t and intend never to have a family.  I was a famliest for about half an hour once. Ha ha.

And what is a “ming-doo?”  It’s just the seemingly unconnected digressions that link together in the end.  I made the word up using word generation.