Auditory hallucinations can be a symptom of schizophrenia, but they’re not required for diagnosis. Of the five main symptoms—delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, disorganized behavior, and “negative” symptoms (which include a decrease in the ability to make plans, speak, or express emotion)—only two have to be present for diagnosis.
Audio hallucinations are also present in other disorders and illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, meningitis, post-traumatic stress disorder, migraines, and Parkinson’s.These hallucinations can manifest not only as voices but also random sounds, music, singing, whispers, ticking, buzzing.
Many people assume schizophrenics hear hallucinations inside their head. But often they sound as if they’re coming from behind us, another room, from an object, or even a person. I can take the batteries out of every clock in the house, but I still hear a steady ticking as if someone is holding a wristwatch to my ear. I keep a dehumidifier running all night for white noise; it drowns out the ticks so I can sleep.