Beset by a weird thought

Sydde

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 17, 2009
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I just had an odd thought. The refrigerator is gurgling, a fan is blowing behind the woodstove, and a pickup outside is thumping bass, it sounds vaguely like a distant conversation is happening.

So, can a congenitally deaf person be schizophrenic? How would that work?

I want to blame this kind of thinking on a poster who is notorious for this kind of thinking, but that would not be fair. It sounds more like what I might hear from a particular comedian,

I was sad, for I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet. I asked him, "Are you using these?", picking up his shoes ...

Can anyone source this thought for me, or am I just demented this evening?
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
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You're sticking too close to a literal definition of "hearing." At it's most basic level, hearing is just a brain process with the "hearing" label attached to it. A deaf person can certainly have a thought that they interpret as "hearing."
 

MorphingDragon

macrumors 603
Mar 27, 2009
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One of the ways schizophrenia often presents is that the subject hears voices in their head.
This is confusing Biology with English.

To hear something (To put it scientifically) is to process sound in your brain.

Ears work by Hairs in your Cochlea vibrating and sending the raw signal down the auditory nerve. Deafness occurs when the Cochlea's fine hairs degrade so much that no sound can be converted to a signal to be sent down the nerve. Parts of your brain responsible for Auditory halucinacions are still functioning (Imagination, Schizofrenia etc), hence Deaf people can have Schizofrenia.

It should be noted that Deaf people may hear a ringing sound or bells due to the nerve misfiring.
 
Nov 28, 2010
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Deaf people can become schizophrenic too, it just manifests differently depending on the type of deafness (some are born deaf, some become deaf and have experienced auditory signals before becoming deafness).
They can hear voices, sometimes it is described as being heard, but not in the auditory sense, but transmitted via signing or moving lips. That is what people, that have been born deaf, experience.
People who could hear before becoming deaf, can also hear clear voices in their head.
 

Sydde

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Deaf people can become schizophrenic too, it just manifests differently depending on the type of deafness (some are born deaf, some become deaf and have experienced auditory signals before becoming deafness).
I think I used the word "congenitally" in the OP: that means "born that way".
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
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I think I used the word "congenitally" in the OP: that means "born that way".
And he said "Deaf people can become schizophrenic," which implies he understood that you were talking about someone congenitally deaf who...wait for it... become schizophrenic.

Either way, your thought isn't that interesting now that it's clear you are basing your thinking off of a literal definition of "hear."
 
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I think I used the word "congenitally" in the OP: that means "born that way".
Sorry, totally missed that word, and even if, I would not have known, what it means, as I wasn't born with English, and sometimes just let unknown words slide.

Anyway, even congenitally deaf people can hear voices. See the rest of my post as providing more than a simple yes or no answer and throwing in some additional information.

There is a study out there, going into further detail, if you are interested, though I guess it is limited to paid access.
 

Mord

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Aug 24, 2003
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Schizophrenia is more than just auditory disturbance and hearing voices.

It's perfectly normal to occasionally hear voices, I do every now and then, schizophrenia is characterised by extreme paranoia and hallucination both auditory and visual.

http://www.psychminded.co.uk/news/news2005/May05/deafwhohearvoices.htm

It seems people who were not congenitally deaf do sometimes hear voices, though there's one guy who was deaf from birth who claims to "sense" shouting.
 

Designer Dale

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Mar 25, 2009
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My wife is a psychiatric nurse so I have a fair understanding of schizophrenia. It's a disorder of thought processes and isn't tied to "hearing voices" as much as the general public thinks. Think of those special effects scenes in films where the character is trapped in a burning building and can't find a way out. That's the kind of perception that someone with schizophrenia experiences when they go delusional. Pretty scary.

Hearing is just how hearing people communicate. Deaf people have developed other forms of communication. It's impossible to know what goes on in the minds of deaf people during sign language conversations, but if you ever have the chance to watch these people hang out together, you will realize that it's quite a bit. Deaf people perceive a lot through vibrations. They have dances at schools for the deaf. They turn kick-ass speakers to the floor and take their shoes and socks off to feel the rhythm. Perception of sound by vibrations may make up a big part of a psychotic episode for a deaf person.

Dale
 

fireshot91

macrumors 601
Jul 31, 2008
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On a somewhat related note:

How, without the assistance of a medical professional (as in, solely by himself), can a person find out that he is color blind?

All through childhood, when his parents pointed to a color on a piece of paper and said "This is red", he saw a color that wasn't actually red, but rather his own eyes' interpretation of red, and for the rest of his life called that color red. Now, he is colorblind (Since what he's seeing isn't actually red, but rather another shade which he perceives to be red), but how would one ever know that they are? :confused::confused:


The things I wonder...
 

snberk103

macrumors 603
Oct 22, 2007
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On a somewhat related note:

How, without the assistance of a medical professional (as in, solely by himself), can a person find out that he is color blind?

All through childhood, when his parents pointed to a color on a piece of paper and said "This is red", he saw a color that wasn't actually red, but rather his own eyes' interpretation of red, and for the rest of his life called that color red. Now, he is colorblind (Since what he's seeing isn't actually red, but rather another shade which he perceives to be red), but how would one ever know that they are? :confused::confused:


The things I wonder...
That one is easy... there are colour-blindness tests which put a number of coloured spots on a page. If you have 'normal' colour vision, the spots of a particular colour will form a pattern.... typically a number. If your colour vision is off, then you can't discern the pattern .... it just looks like a random collection of coloured dots.

I was in an intermediate level class, for learning to print colour photographs in a dark-room. For fun, the instructor gave us this test. Turned out one of the better colour printers in the class was also colour blind. Go figure, eh?

ps If you can get the colour blindness test pages, you can test yourself... hence no medical professional needed....
 
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yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
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Slightly related, to people who have been blind from birth and never seen anything in their life see anything in dreams? Can they imagine what something looks like? We can form a picture in our head of something looks like. Can blind people, who don't even know what "seeing" is, do the same?
 
Nov 28, 2010
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Slightly related, to people who have been blind from birth and never seen anything in their life see anything in dreams? Can they imagine what something looks like? We can form a picture in our head of something looks like. Can blind people, who don't even know what "seeing" is, do the same?
Congenitally blind people don't dream visually, but their dreams have gustatory, olfactory and tactual sensory.
People, who become blind after the age of seven, keep visual imagery in their dreams.
People, who become blind before the age of seven, sometimes keep visual stimuli in their dreams, sometimes they don't.