Hears someone singing

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by jes58, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. jes58

    jes58 Registered User

    Aug 27, 2007

    My Father has recently started hearing a man singing. This can last for most of that day. He asks my Mum (his carer) why she can't hear it. He gets quite upset over this.

    Is this a normal experience for sufferers?
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    #2 Grannie G, Aug 27, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2007
    Hello Jes, welcome to Talking Point.

    I wouldn`t say it`s a normal thing for sufferers, to hear singing, as everyone is so different, but I would say it`s very common with many sufferers.

    There have been many people on Talking Point who have posted about the visual and auditory hallucinations experienced by those they care for.

    As your father gets so upset that your mother dosn`t hear the same, could she possibly go along with it and `hear` it too. It`s just a thought, might not be practical or even possible if she doesn`t know what she is supposed to be hearing, it just depends on how he describes what he hears.

    Someone else might have a better suggestion. I hope so.

    Jess, can I suggest you look at this Thread. It might answer some of your questions.


    Take care xx
  3. jes58

    jes58 Registered User

    Aug 27, 2007
    To Sylvia/Grannie G

    Thank you so much for your post. It's so nice to find help and support and to know there are other people out there who understands what my family are experiencing. I just wish I had found this forum when my Father was first diagnosed.

  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Something else that perhaps should be pointed out: if you look at the available literature (on line or off) you'll find most advice states that you shouldn't enter into these delusions/hallucinations. However if you delve further you'll see that all of this info is based on dealing with people who have such diseases as schizophrenia NOT dementia or AD. When it comes to our loved ones, although I don't know whether any research has been done in this area, anecdotal reports (i.e. from here on TP) indicates that attempting to get the person to accept that what they are hearing isn't real is completely pointless: they do not, on the whole, have the ability to learn how to distinguish between what is real and what isn't, and attempting to convince them that something isn't real is fruitless.

    Personally, although it didn't happen very often for me, when it did I would say something like "well I can't hear anything, but you know I think I may be getting a little deaf (or short sighted or what ever was appropriate)". It seemed to be sufficient to acknowledge that they were hearing something without involving me in (anymore) white lies. And they may be hearing something: at one point shortly after moving into her new flat, my mother became increasingly distressed by what she characterized as "constant running water" to the point she was saying that she couldn't stay there and would have to move :eek: It took a while but finally I realised that it was the automatic kitchen fan: it didn't sound like running water to me, and as "white noise" I didn't even notice it, but because she had lost some of her hearing range it did to her. Disabling the fan solved that problem. Would that all problems were solved so easily.

    Best wishes

  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Jes

    Better late than never. Now you`ve found it, stay with it, it has been a life line for most of us.

    Love xx
  6. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Sussex
    Imagine you are your Dad and you can hear singing...............how would you feel if everyone else denied hearing it?

    Scared, upset or angry?

    Now hear that singing and know others can hear it too.........much better isn't it.

    That's how we dealt with Mum's hallucinations which included people speaking to her, the frightening "people" we told off until "they" went away.

    She still has little friends that only she can see, but they are apparently lovely ones as she points and smiles at them!

    As long as the hallucinations are not causing huge distress, I would be inclined to go along with them.

    Anything your Mum can do to help the him stay calm and relaxed will make life just a little bit easier for them both.

  7. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
  8. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    I believe that with anything other than dementia, the advice is not to collude with someone who is suffering hallucinations, because it can reinforce them and prolong the illness. Most illnesses that cause hallucinations can be treated very effectively, but the main difficulty is getting the patient to accept there is something wrong and that they need help.

    However, dementia is different; there is no real "cure" - although there are drugs to help with symptoms, the underlying cause is damage to the brain which is irreversible and progressive.

    In this case confronting someone with dementia is not only pointless, but can be counter-productive. They will likely cling like a limpet to their reality no matter what. Remember they really do hear the singing, it is a real to them as things are real to us. It would be horrible to hear things and have everyone else say they can't hear them and that the things are not real...

    I would say, if the hallucinations are harmless ie they are not causing distress then there is no point in confronting them. It might be better to avoid saying things like "I can hear them too" - just be vague and non-commital if you can. Perhaps you Mum can develop selective deafness and claim she wouldn't hear because of that...

    It might be worth you or Mum having a word with your Father's GP about them if you get a chance.

    There are medications which can be used if the hallucinations become a problem.
  9. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    #9 BeckyJan, Aug 27, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2007

    I had never related this to the dementia problem before. It is making me wonder about my husband's 'hearing' noise of running water' and occasionally he thinks I am'calling' him.

    Sometimes I have been running around the house at night looking for causes of running water!!! - nothing.

    He also gets vibration feelings in his feet - thinks there are underground workings!!!! He is ex Notts coalfields -not sure if that has anything to do with it.

    He sometimes hears me calling him!!! - that is no so as I always wait for a reply.

    I have never thought of these as hallucinatory, but maybe we are bordering on it.

    Best wishes all Beckyjan
  10. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #10 Margarita, Aug 27, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2007
    your right jennifer I found this link helpful to understand delusion hallucinations, when I started caring for my brother who has schizophrenia, then when my mother got AZ it also come in helpful
    even thought the two disease are not the same like Nebiroth says
    If you read this link your read thing thing that are similar to symptoms that are been posted in this thread


    they more as you read on
  11. jes58

    jes58 Registered User

    Aug 27, 2007

    Hello to everyone

    Wow!!! My mum has just read through all the helpful posts and can't believe - as I couldn't - just how many people are out their with similar experiences and that we are not on our own in wondering what's the best thing to do.

    At first she felt guilty lying to him, she said it was like betraying him, but when he said "thank goodness Joan. I thought I was going mad" it did make her smile. He then seemed perfectly at ease and carried on pottering about in the garden. Just like old times!

    Being able to communicate with like minded folk who have "been there, read the book" so to speak has lifted our spirits to say the least. I just hope that one day I will be able to return the favour.

    That said. My dad has just had a letter from the local hospital to go for a CT scan. He did have a scan when first diagnosed and I understand that this is routine to see the extent of brain damage - if that's the correct terminology. But am a little concerned because we keep hearing stories in our area about day centres are closing and sufferers being taken off their medication. Is this a routine procedure?

    Although we have a great consultant and GP, my mum finds it difficult to ask.

    best wishes

  12. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    I also find it hard to ask but I do think it is important to do so - show that you need to know and I think a good medic will respond.

    I think in some areas day centre places are hard to find - but you must not keep quiet if you need help. Medication depends on the consultant. Ours will prescribe if she wants to (I am not sure that she takes notice of NICE guidelines). Having said that she will only give it if she believes it is worthwhile. I trust her enough that when the time comes and my husband has to come off Aricept - then that is because it will no longer be effective.

    I am pleased your Mum has been lifted by our experiences - but it is sad that you are both in this situation to need us at all.

    Take care Beckyjan
  13. diddyb

    diddyb Registered User

    Aug 25, 2007
    My Mum 85 has been hearing people singing and music playing for months now. Thing is she is as deaf as a post and wouldnt hear a brass band playing at the end of her bed!! Still it keeps her happy, though I have to say i'm sick of hearing her humming Sailor Boy and Here We Go Again, Happy as can be.
    She got really cross when we told her it wasnt the neighbours keeping her awake with their music, and that no one else can hear it. - shes right - we're all Stupid!! ha ha
  14. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    Well "medication" is a very generalised category. It may well be that patients stop being treated with a drug because the clinical situation demands it; they may no longer benefit from it, for example, or have side-effects, or their condition changes in such a way that it is no longer appropriate.

    If it;s the NICE ruling that concerns you, then AFAIK anyone who is already receiving the drugs in question will not stop getting them simply because of the new rules. That only affects newly diagnosed patients.

    But a drug will be stopped if the prescriber feels that clinically, that is the best option.

    I don't know about day centres, but it is true that mental health tends to be the Cinderella of the NHS. If there are going to be cuts, that's where it will happen. That's because the stigma involved in mental health and widespread ignorance about it ensures that a lot of the public think that these illnesses are not as "real" as (say) cancer, and are therefore not as "deserving". Appalling, but true.
  15. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Hearing things

    Mum has only been in the care home for 3 weeks, we thought she was reasonably okay. She now hears people shouting for her. Marian, come here, Marian go there, she says they are doing it all day but they are not.

    Sad eh? How do we know when action is needed and when to just accept things?

  16. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005

    Dear Margaret,
    Have you told the care home staff? And does her docot know? There are medications which may help with this.

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