Hearing Voices?  

"Crazy" or Suffering From Hyperacusis?

Return To HOME Page

If you are told by a loved one that they are "hearing voices", for many, a first reaction is that of fear and a thought that the loved one may be going "crazy"... something I think many in the medical establishment probably also convey in their "treatment methods".   But, does "hearing voices" mean one is "crazy" or could it be something else... like hearing disorders that are becoming more and more prevalent - hyperacusis and tinnitus.  If someone has very, very sensitive hearing, surely, that would make them much more likely to be able to hear something the rest of us may be unable to perceive.

Particularly interesting was a comment once made to me by an older man - going deaf - as I tried to speak to him one day.   He told me that he could not hear me as I tried to speak to him because of all the background noise.   It was the background noise that was "magnified"... and this was true in spite of the hearing aid he had in his ear.   So, his "hearing loss" made is such that background noises were much more magnified - so much so - that he could not hear me as I sat there trying to talk to him less than 2 feet away from him.

Note that autism, schizophrenia, epilepsy, etc. have all been associated with hyperacusis and that indeed, certain drugs such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, anesthetics, or recreational drugs can all trigger hypersensitivity to sounds (http://www.audiologyonline.com/articles/arc_disp.asp?id=529&catid=6).  

Hyperacusis is when a person becomes extremely sensitive to everyday sounds... it is as though sounds are "stuck on high".   Tinnitus is often thought of as "ringing, buzzing, chirping, crickets, etc. in the ears".  

The following links provide more in depth explanations of these disorders.



Hyperacusis has certainly been well documented in autism:



I suspect those who suffer greatly from hyperacusis may be those we are now diagnosing as having "schizophrenia"... what I now very much see as just an "older autism" or "younger Alzheimer's".   Given the many parallels across these disorders - Autism-Schizophrenia-Alzheimer's and their very common history ... a history linking all three disorders with "age of onset" appearing to be the primary "classification criterion", there can, in my opinion, simply be no denying that this is the same disorder over the life spectrum. 

So, before you "trust blindly" and believe your loved one is "crazy" because s/he is "hearing voices", perhaps you need to look into issues of hyperacusis - because just maybe - your loved one really is hearing things you can't hear - and that is due to hyperacusis - not to "being crazy" - just my humble opinion of course as the mother of a child on the autism spectrum who has certainly exhibited signs of hyperacusis!

Note that those with Williams Syndrome are also often found to have autism traits.   Williams Syndrome is certainly a disorder associated with hyperacusis (95% with Williams Syndrome have hyperacusis - refer to: Klein, AJ, Armstong, BL, Greer, MK, Brown FR 3rd, Hyperacusis and otitis media in individuals with Williams syndrome., J Speech Hear Disord. 1990 May; 55 (2) 339-44., http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=2329796&dopt=Abstract ) ... and it can occur concurrently with autism and the "savant syndrome".   Refer to: http://www.autism.org/williams.html and http://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/savant/willsynd.cfm .   Not surprisingly, Williams Syndrome - like autism - is also considered "a mystery disorder"... funny how we have so many of these "mystery disorders" today - disorders that share so many "common threads"!

People with hyperacusis can hear whispers as yells:


If that is the case, could they not also hear conversations/voices that are further away - voices a person with "normal hearing" could not pick up?

Now, if your loved one is hearing voices telling him/her to kill himself/herself, etc.... that is of course a lot more serious...  40% of those with schizophrenia attempt suicide... 10-15% complete... not surprising though given they are so misunderstood.  When you are constantly told you are crazy by society, told you are hearing things that aren't there... when maybe they are... I guess there may come a time when you would contemplate suicide, perhaps because so many do not seem to understand what you are going through.

Let us not forget that many of us say phrases like...  "When will it ever end?"... "I wish I could just die"... "This is killing me"..."Calgon... take me away"...  "I just need to leave this all behind",  etc...  all messages that make one one to leave their current situation in some way... even if often said jokingly.

How many people don't speak phrases such as this at some time in their lives...  phrases that are now so casually spoken in society, and in my opinion, if heard by a person with schizophrenia can be taken very literally... because those suffering from autism-schizophrenia-Alzheimer's  do take things very, very, very literally.... and I think that is where one of the huge dangers comes in in terms of suicide. 

The other huge issue is that with brain damage as their is in these disorders, there is also "obsessive compulsive actions" but also "obsessive compulsive thoughts"... and so, I think that too becomes very, very dangerous as thoughts of "death" could easily become obsessive... just my humble opinion of course.

As far as "what causes" hyperacusis and other hearing damage/disorders, my guess would be it has to do with metal toxicity - from mercury, aluminum and perhaps most unrecognized - with iron toxicity - as well.   Note that prenatal vitamins and modern diets are absolutely loaded with iron.   Yet, the body can only absorb 1 mg/day and only excretes 1 mg/day.   We have no good mechanisms for excreting iron - a very toxic substance - where 600 mg can be a lethal dose to a small child according to even the FDA.   Why do I suspect iron toxicity?   The following is an excerpt from another section I had written on the issue of insulin as it relates to hearing loss:

Diabetes... The Insulin Link To Hearing And Vision Impairment...

And Possibly To Touch, Smell, And Taste Sensitivity As Well!

Recently, as I viewed a presentation by Dr. David Menton from Brown University entitled The Hearing Ear - a presentation filmed and produced by Answers In Genesis during the Creation 2003 conference May 22-26, 2003,  (contact: Answers in Genesis at Box 6330, Florence, KY 41022, 800-778-3390) http://www.answersingenesis.org) , something truly caught my ear as I listened.   I had already found research indicating that insulin impacted lung development in the unborn child and that in mothers with gestational diabetes, lung development in the unborn child was delayed.   As I watched this presentation by Dr. Menton on the mechanics of the human ear, what captivated me was a statement to the effect that cells in the ear - epithelial cells - were very similar to those found in the lungs.   Immediately, I wondered if this could be why children with autism experienced so many hearing problems... was insulin impacting ear development?   Well... again, a quick search on the Internet again confirmed my suspicions - insulin had indeed been tied to deafness in persons with type II diabetes.  Indeed, persons with type II diabetes were now shown in studies to have a higher incidence of hearing loss than the normal population.   Note again that gestational diabetes set one up for having "type II diabetes" later in life (see Book 3 for more on that issue). 

A little further research indicated that insulin was absolutely tied to the development/mechanics of the ear - in general - not only in those with diabetes.   I now very much suspected that this too was yet another critical piece of the puzzle - this time - one relating to issues with sound.     Amazingly, 1 in 1,000 children were now born deaf and 1 in 300 had a hearing impairment serious enough to impact language development, socialization, etc. (refer to 43 page presentation on this link for more on hearing loss at http://ocw.mit.edu/NR/rdonlyres/Health-Sciences-and-Technology/HST-730Molecular-Biology-for-the-Auditory-SystemFall2002/A224471E-3884-4347-A272-F223C0793A56/0/new_genetic_hearing_loss.pdf).

As indicated in Book 3, mercury was known to impact hormones and insulin was a hormone,  insulin was now known to have a bi-directional relationship with iron, prenatal vitamins were loaded with iron, mothers with gestational diabetes were known to have infants with delayed lung development, as well as a delay in the "globin type blood switch" - from 2 alpha+ 2 gamma to 2 alpha + 2 beta -  that normally occurred in the unborn child at week 28 of gestation - exactly the time when gestational diabetes was diagnosed - and now, insulin was also apparently involved in the development of the mechanical workings of the human ear.   Note that although Dr. Menton's presentation was entitled "The Hearing Ear", he also had taken the time to provide an excellent overview of the marvel that was the human eye also.   The human eye also involved epithelial cells - and clearly, insulin impacted epithelial cells - and hence, again, I wondered - was insulin playing a role in the problems with vision that were so clearly obvious in children with autism also?  

It was certainly a well-documented scientific fact that persons with diabetes went blind - and as such, I only suspected that vision - like hearing - was being impacted by improper insulin levels as well!  Note that "the skin" also consisted of epithelial cells - and children with autism certainly had sensitivities in that area as well!   The ears, the lungs, the skin... all having "hairs"... hairs  - known to impact "sensitivity" issues - hairs that also very much appeared to be impacted by insulin levels while the child may be still in the womb!   Insulin levels and hearing loss certainly were now associated diabetics who developed hearing loss with the progression of diabetes!   I could not help but think that mercury and/or iron levels played a role in all this!   "Hairs"... in the ears...  in the lungs... in the skin... in the nose... in the taste buds (gustatory cells)...  in the digestive tract... could some of the problems with digestion and smell in children with autism also be tied to this issue?   Again, I could not help but wonder - especially given hair loss was also very much associated with hemochromatosis!



http://web.uvic.ca/~esg02/ling482/ass3pages/smorrison3.html (diabetes and hearing loss, atrophy of outer hair cells in organ of Corti part of the ear).

http://www.earsurgery.org/glossary.html (glossary of terms as they relate to hearing)

Note that one of the articles I had found stated that "hearing loss" was something only recently being associated with diabetes.   How was it that with close to 200 million diabetics in the world, we were now only starting to associate hearing loss with diabetes?   Was that not a rather "odd" thing?   Perhaps it was because of something else that was considered a fairly recent find in the world of diabetes - a condition termed "INSULIN RESISTANT IRON OVERLOAD"... in other words, a condition very much linking IRON and INSULIN - and again, let us all remember that prenatal vitamins were loaded with iron, that the body had no good mechanism for riding itself of iron, and that insulin and iron modulated one another.  

Now, for the true "nail in the coffin"... note that INSULIN RESISTANT IRON OVERLOAD was NOT associated with the "hereditary" marker for hemochromatosis... in other words... this does NOT appear to be the "inherited" type of hemochromatosis... something else was causing this... NOT an inherited gene!   For more on this issue, please refer to the following link:  http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m0922/8_51/90389345/p4/article.jhtml?term= , or at http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/content/full/51/8/2348  taken from an article by Jose Manuel Fernandez-Real, Abel Lopez-Bermejo, Wifredo Ricart, entitled Cross-talk between iron metabolism and diabetes (Perspectives in Diabetes), Diabetes, August, 2002 - I quote:

"Fourth, a novel syndrome of hepatic iron overload has been described that associates hyperferritinemia with normal transferrin saturation and is not linked to the HLA-A3 antigen, a common marker for hereditary hemochromatosis (39). This condition is known as insulin resistance-associated hepatic iron overload (IR-HIO) and combines abnormalities in iron metabolism (isolated hyperferritinemia with normal transferrin saturation), steatohepatitis, and the insulin resistance syndrome (obesity, hyperlipidemia, abnormal glucose metabolism, and hypertension) (39-41). In IR-HIO, iron overload occurs in both hepatocytes and sinusoid cells, being higher in the latter cells in 45% of cases, a finding seen in only 3% of subjects with hemochromatosis (42)." [end of quote, emphasis added, taken from an article by Jose Manuel Fernandez-Real, Abel Lopez-Bermejo, Wifredo Ricart, entitled Cross-talk between iron metabolism and diabetes (Perspectives in Diabetes), Diabetes, August, 2002, http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m0922/8_51/90389345/p4/article.jhtml?term=].

Note:  This was a rather extensive article.  In "Book 3" I had only provided a link to an abstract.   The link posted above had the entire article online and in my opinion, was a "must read" for all parents of children with autism.   The above quote was taken from the 3rd page of the article, as such, you will want to scroll to the bottom and go to link "1" to start reading this article that appeared in the August 2002 edition of the journal entitled "Diabetes"!

Note the words... "abnormal glucose metabolism"... again, my son Zachary was born "low on glucose" a clear sign of an insulin problem from DAY 1 and the reason for which he was given that "special little glucose bottle" that only masked the problem before he was even allowed to leave the hospital!  So, if this "new disorder" called insulin resistant iron overload was "not hereditary"... what was causing it?   Let us also remember that a dual diagnosis of autism and Down Syndrome (DS) was no longer rare and that DS was also not a "hereditary" disorder - a genetic mutation occurred - yes - but - it was not due to "inheritance".   DS was absolutely known - without a doubt - to be an iron overload disorder!   For more on that go to my link entitled Genetic Vs Hereditary:  The Critical Difference So Often So Misunderstood!

So, iron and insulin modulate each other... prenatal vitamins and modern diets are loaded with iron... and look at what just happened to be used to treat schizophrenia - dating as far back as the 1940s - clearly - an "insulin link" to schizophrenia had been recognized a long, long time ago as indicated in this very telling picture:  http://www.priory.com/homol/insulin.htm

Note also the following quote from this same August 2002 article in "Diabetes" journal: 

"Five additional pieces of scientific evidence favor the hypothesis that iron plays a role in type 2 diabetes"... [end of quote, emphasis added, taken from an article by Jose Manuel Fernandez-Real, Abel Lopez-Bermejo, Wifredo Ricart, entitled Cross-talk between iron metabolism and diabetes (Perspectives in Diabetes), Diabetes, August, 2002, http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m0922/8_51/90389345/p4/article.jhtml?term=].

Call me crazy, but if science had also shown that the development of gestational diabetes set one up for type 2 diabetes later in life (refer to book 3 for more on this), then, it stood to reason that iron also played a role in the development of gestational diabetes... and indeed, as stated earlier, prenatal vitamins were LOADED with iron... iron that very much was passed on to the unborn child!

Indeed, this same article indicated that - and I quote:

"In fact, iron deposition in islets, albeit variable, is restricted to [beta]-cells"[end of quote, emphasis added, taken from an article by Jose Manuel Fernandez-Real, Abel Lopez-Bermejo, Wifredo Ricart, entitled Cross-talk between iron metabolism and diabetes (Perspectives in Diabetes), Diabetes, August, 2002, http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m0922/8_51/90389345/p4/article.jhtml?term=].

Note that beta cells were the cells in the pancreas that secrete insulin and these were damaged and/or dysfunctional in gestational diabetes and indeed - all diabetes!

According to this article, an easy way to help prevent problems associated with iron overload was via the letting of blood (i.e., blood donations) or via the use of iron chelators.

Let us also remember that one of the mechanisms the body had for riding itself of iron and/or other toxins (i.e., mercury, etc.) had to do with HAIR!   Iron was absolutely a toxin when found in excess.   Could it be that too much iron was leading to hair loss and/or damage - as in the ear for example - and that this somehow played a role in "deafness" now being associated with diabetes!   Certainly, just looking at a chemotherapy patient told us that hair had something to do with the immune system.   Persons undergoing chemo usually lost all their hair - but then, it grew back.   Was that because toxins in chemotherapy killed the hairs?   Studies were also starting to indicate that iron overload could result in hair loss (i.e., balding in men having hemochromatosis).  Thus, clearly, iron and hair were also tied to one another as were insulin and hair - not surprising of course given that iron and insulin modulated one another!   Thus, if "hair loss" was associated with excess iron, could atrophy of hair in say the Organ of Corti (in the ear) also be associated not only with insulin but excess iron levels - perhaps from prenatal vitamins while the infant was still in the womb.   It certainly seemed to me that hearing impairment in 1 of 300 children serious enough to cause language delays and learning disabilities and 1 in 1,000 children being born deaf was a rather high percentage!   Again, note that "deafness" was very much associated with damage to or loss of hairs in the Organ of Corti (in the ear) - and once those hairs were destroyed - it was believed they did not "grow back" and as such - hearing impairment or deafness was permanent! 

Was "hair loss or impairment" due to iron overload also at play in problems with "touch" in children with autism?  What about hair in the digestive tract?   Just what exactly were the impacts of iron on hairs found throughout the body?   A study I had found on iron and the issue of iron supplementation in women during gestation clearly indicated that studies looking at the impact of iron supplementation during pregnancy were virtually non-existent (see Book 3 bibliography - search for iron supplementation).  

Again, for much more on all this, I strongly encouraged you to read "Book 3", a book I had entitled "Breaking The Code:  Putting Pieces In Place!" - posted in full on this website!

For a whole lot more on this issue, I encourage you to read this paper - I think you'll find it most enlightening: Redefining The Role Of Insulin:  Could It Play A Major Role In Metal Detoxification?   and I think it only further illustrates how much we may be being lied to by those who control "information flow" as it relates to textbooks because clearly, the association between insulin and iron as it relates to diabetes is NOT a recent discovery, as some of these articles above would have us believe... a little further research revealed for me that the iron/insulin link has been known about for close to 200 years by the medical community... yet it has completely disappeared from the Merck Manual section on "diabetes"... now, I wonder why that is?

"Let me control the textbook, and I will control the state" [Adolf Hitler]

Return To HOME Page


Copyright 2002-2008 All materials I provide on this site including several key words and phrases are copyrighted materials.  All rights reserved.  Please see Use of Materials for more on this issue.  For general comments/questions, contact me at jbrohart@hotmail.com 

Things have a tendency to disappear on the Internet, but I can often find where the information has been moved or find replacement links addressing the same issue.  There is a lot of information provided on this site and any assistance with broken links is most appreciated.   My site has now been hacked twice.   If you get bounced to sites for online drugs, etc., report this to me at once using the above email as this is a result of hacking on my site.  This had nothing to do with me and/or my site.  Read more on hacking issue.

DISCLAIMER - The statements here mentioned and/or found in my materials have not been evaluated by the FDA or any other government agency or person in the medical field or in behavior therapy and are not meant to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any illness/disorder and/or behavior.  This information is not intended as medical advice or to replace the care of a qualified healthcare physician or behavior therapist.  Always consult your medical doctor or behavior therapist.  All information provided by Jeanne A. Brohart on her website is for INFORMATION PURPOSES and to GENERATE DISCUSSION ONLY and should not be taken as medical advice or any other type of "advice".  Information put forth represents the EXTENSIVE RESEARCH and OPINIONS of a mother based on her experiences and research and provides information as it relates to one family's journey with autism in hopes that other families may benefit from this experience and/or research.  The creator of this site is not responsible for content on other sites.

DISCLAIMER - PART II - Now... for those of you who think "mother at home researching" means "uneducated person with unfounded information"... I have 10 years of university... 3 degrees... and over 30,000 hours of research into these areas.   For anyone who thinks my research is "unfounded"...  read the RESEARCH FILE posted on my home page... with its over 1,000 references ... for your reading pleasure... because... quite clearly... you haven't read it yet!    

Autismhelpforyou.com   Breaking The Code - Putting Pieces In Place!