I’m trying to figure out what’s happening to me and I’m not sure where to look.

For the last several years, whenever I listen to silence-filling noise (white, brown, pink, etc.) I tend to hear additional sounds. It’s like having your radio tuned to a MHz that’s just off a tiny bit, so you hear static but there’s just a slight edge of voices or something that you can’t quite make out but is definitely there. Sometimes, instead of voices, it’s also patterns in the noise or various pitches.

It happens in a variety of situations, like Youtube videos, audio tracks from meditation apps and noise generators, and even devices that have no audio input or antenna and are specifically for noise as you’d find in the waiting room of a massage clinic. It even happens when it’s a completely benign source like an air fan. And the sounds I hear match the volume of the source.

Do I have superpowers? A brain tumor? Am I just sensitive to imperfect wave form generation? Am I part-dog? Have I done damage to myself from listening to Metallica way too loud for too many years?

Where do I start looking into this? Does anyone have any possible explanations for what I’m experiencing that might lead me in the right direction?

  • @PerogiBoi@lemmy.ca
    link
    fedilink
    1314 months ago

    It is called Auditory Pareidoilia.

    Everyone is telling you that you are schizophrenic and it is very sad because they are absolutely wrong.

    It is normal and common to hear additional sounds that don’t exist in white noise.

    Read about it here:

    https://www.tmsoft.com/blog/why-you-may-be-hearing-phantom-sounds/amp/

    https://thedebrief.org/auditory-pareidolia-the-voices-in-your-head-may-have-a-rational-explanation/

    https://hearinglosshelp.com/blog/apophenia-audio-pareidolia-and-musical-ear-syndrome/

    • @Pulptastic@midwest.social
      link
      fedilink
      English
      124 months ago

      It is a totally normal function of a totally normal brain. What is NOT normal is for it to drastically change in adulthood. That could suggest a change to the part of the brain responsible which should be checked out.

      • @PerogiBoi@lemmy.ca
        link
        fedilink
        4
        edit-2
        4 months ago

        If you read the post carefully you’d see that OP says they have had this for several years. It is in the first sentence of the second paragraph.

    • Grayox
      link
      fedilink
      84 months ago

      Can confirm I have this with White Noise, especially when i combine it with another ambient sound, thought I was going crazy when I started sleeping with an air purifier in my room till i realized what was going on.

    • @CanadaPlus@lemmy.sdf.org
      link
      fedilink
      1
      edit-2
      4 months ago

      Yeah. Still see a doctor, because it’s new, but I’m guessing the doctor will just say “huh, keep an eye on that”.

      Schizophrenia can have early warning signs, but going there right away has “it’s always cancer” energy.

      • @PerogiBoi@lemmy.ca
        link
        fedilink
        04 months ago

        If you read the first sentence of OP’s second paragraph, you’ll see that they say they have had this for several years.

        • @CanadaPlus@lemmy.sdf.org
          link
          fedilink
          0
          edit-2
          4 months ago

          Sure. I meant new in the sense of it hasn’t always been this way, it changed in adulthood. I don’t know, I’d mention it to my doc.

  • mr_robot
    link
    fedilink
    English
    564 months ago

    See a doctor. Do it now. Not later. Nobody here will give you accurate medical advice. The underlying causes are diverse. You will not receive worthwhile medical advice without a proper diagnosis.

    • @SwingingTheLamp@midwest.social
      link
      fedilink
      English
      -54 months ago

      I would add that advising OP is the importance of seeing a doctor is also medical advice, subject to the same caveat about accuracy. A group of people telling them to see a doctor urgently could induce a harmful level of fear or anxiety. Anxiety is not warranted in this case, given that OP described the normal experience of auditory pareidolia to a T.

      • Buck
        link
        fedilink
        74 months ago

        Don’t listen to this guy, go see a doctor. It’s probably nothing, but only a doctor can help you get diagnosed.

  • @qooqie@lemmy.world
    link
    fedilink
    43
    edit-2
    4 months ago

    You should go see a psychiatrist if you can. This definitely sounds like early schizophrenia and a lot of people ignore the early signs before it’s too late. With medications a normal life is possible so don’t worry. But let a psychiatrist make the actual diagnosis

  • @z00s@lemmy.world
    link
    fedilink
    334 months ago

    Every medical question on social media ever:

    American: I have this problem

    Response: Have you seen a doctor?

    American: No.

      • @teawrecks
        link
        34 months ago

        I tried to make an appointment with a PCP in my area yesterday. The next open slot they had was March…of 2025.

    • @ProfessorProteus@lemmy.world
      link
      fedilink
      English
      44 months ago

      It’s impossible to tell if that’s an indictment of the people’s attitude or the “healthcare” system. Probably both. This country sucks rotten ass sometimes.

      • @intensely_human@lemm.ee
        link
        fedilink
        154 months ago

        It’s an indictment of of the health system.

        You need to be an idiot to avoid the doctor in a country with socialized healthcare. In a country without, you just need to be cautious.

  • @copymyjalopy@sh.itjust.works
    link
    fedilink
    274 months ago

    Hey there. I experience the same thing. The voices, the music, in the white noises around me.

    I’m not schizophrenic (or at least I hope not). It is a weird phenomenon that some of us experience that seems to be our brains trying to match important patterns, like speech, out of noise.

    Heck, Devin Townsend even wrote a song about it “Voices in the Fan.”

    If it’s really bothering you or scaring you then, yeah, you could seek help, but if you’re not experiencing auditory hallucinations outside of this context then my completely unqualified opinion is you’re probably fine.

  • @Paragone@lemmy.ml
    link
    fedilink
    244 months ago

    If it’s changing, you might want to get a brain-scan, immediately.

    No, it isn’t normal ( not for me, anyhow ), to the guy who said it is normal.

    It’s not an ear thing, it is an auditory-processing thing, so it’s your brain that’s doing it.

    The question is why it is doing it.

    Perhaps it’s just fuzzy wiring, as most such cases likely are.

    ( synaesthesia is a case of weird wiring, and I’ve got that, but not in the normal way, not senses blurring into each-other, but rather my non-visual cognition being a kind of “blur” to those senses, so they mesh oddly )

    But if it begins changing in either intensity or character, get a scan.

    ( I’m a braindamage survivor, and it takes decades to adapt to braindamage: prevention/avoidance is better than hating one’s life for decades, while being bullied by all who reject that it could still validly be a problem, and hold that one ought either force oneself into being an “acceptable” drugged psychiatric-zombie, and not “pretend” to be getting better, or one ought be able to be acceptable-pretence, just like Valid People™ are. )

    _ /\ _

  • rigatti
    link
    fedilink
    English
    214 months ago

    This is not something for Lemmy to solve. This is something for a psychiatrist to solve.

  • kaosof
    link
    fedilink
    144 months ago

    As said by others; see a physician, then a psychiatrist (in that order).

    Auditory pseudo-hallucinations may be completely benign, especially if you’ve partaken in psychedelic substances recent or long since past, but they may also be an early warning sign of (like you said) potential pressure on the brain or abnormality in brain functioning.

    And even that might be fine.

    Either way, why gamble? Go see a doctor.

  • @weeeeum@lemmy.world
    link
    fedilink
    English
    134 months ago

    It’s pretty normal, brains try to meaning or something in its senses. Sometimes if you hear tapping you may start believing it’s the beat to a certain song. There is also of course that viral video that makes you hear “brainstorm” or “green needle” depending on which option you are mentally choosing.

    If you expect to hear something you will hear it. There have been funny moments where I removed my earbuds, put them down, and I kept listening to the faintly playing music. I put them back in 30 seconds later and I realized they were muted the whole time

  • @teawrecks
    link
    104 months ago

    This is normal, I hear it too sometimes. Particularly when I’m laying with one ear covered so I’m hearing white noise while trying to fall asleep. Something about the mix of frequencies, part of them traveling through/bouncing off the walls and the pillow, and just getting older sometimes creates an illusion that a TV is on in the other room or someone is talking outside. Sometimes I’ll think my phone alarm is going off (I use internet radio for the alarm, so I never know specifically how it will sound), but then lift my head and my brain has enough info to determine it’s just noise.

    Mild hallucinations are normal. It’s impossible for your brain to gather 100% accurate data, let alone process everything it is handed, so it hallucinates all the time in ways you don’t notice to fill in the gaps (ex. the large blind spot in your vision that your brain has learned to ignore). It’s only if it’s starting to cause you distress or cognitive dissonance that you should seek help. Ex. it’s one thing to hear a TV in the other room that’s not there, it’s another to conclude that your long-deceased grandfather must be watching TV and think that’s normal.

  • @BreakDecks@lemmy.ml
    link
    fedilink
    English
    84 months ago

    Repeating what everyone else has said, and strongly recommending that you see your doctor.

    But if it eases your mind a little, I had a similar experience that was ultimately diagnosed as tinnitus, and treated effectively with behavioral therapy. It’s scary thinking something is wrong with you, but getting diagnosed is great because you get to know more than you did before about what is wrong.

  • @SwingingTheLamp@midwest.social
    link
    fedilink
    English
    84 months ago

    Seriously, it’s never a bad idea to have a check-in with your doctor, but this is totally normal. Our brains are pattern-matching machines that try to make coherent sense of our sensory input, and do so overzealously. After all, we evolved this way because it’s better for survival to mistakenly hear a lion in the brush than to ignore the sounds of a lion that’s really there. That’s why we see a face in the moon, and Jesus on slices of toast.

    It’s also the phenomenon behind those ghost-hunting shows. They put a recording device in an empty building, and our brains pick out “voices” from random static that it records.

    It’s called auditory pareidolia, and here’s an article about it.

    • @intensely_human@lemm.ee
      link
      fedilink
      24 months ago

      it’s never a bad idea to have a check-in with your doctor

      Assuming medical visits are free and your doctor cannot make mistakes.

      I knew a woman who went in for a colonoscopy, and then had a cascade of complications resulting from poor skill and bad decisions. She never left the hospital. She died in there, because the medical staff sucked at their jobs.

      • @SwingingTheLamp@midwest.social
        link
        fedilink
        English
        14 months ago

        Well, if a neurologist orders a colonoscopy, the OP has big problems! Joking aside, sorry about your acquaintance, that stinks. In any case, “never hurts to” is a figure of speech, at least in my part of the world, which roughly implies, “you could do that, but in my estimation, it won’t help.”