How anxiety induces verbal hallucinations

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Abstract

Verbal hallucinations are often associated with pronounced feelings of anxiety, and it has also been suggested that anxiety somehow triggers them. In this paper, we offer a phenomenological or 'personal-level' account of how it does so. We show how anxious anticipation of one's own thought contents can generate an experience of their being 'alien'. It does so by making an experience of thinking more like one of perceiving, resulting in an unfamiliar kind of intentional state. This accounts for a substantial subset of verbal hallucinations, which are experienced as falling within one's psychological boundaries and lacking in auditory qualities.

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APA

Ratcliffe, M., & Wilkinson, S. (2016). How anxiety induces verbal hallucinations. Consciousness and Cognition, 39, 48–58. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2015.11.009

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