"Mama? Do You Ever Hear Voices In Your Head, Telling You..."

My son, Zach. Zach-Attack. Who is awesome. He has major ADHD. He has obsessive thought patterns. And recently, he let me know that he hears voices in his head. Telling him to do bad things.

We were driving in the car when all of a sudden....

Zach: "Mama? Do you ever hear voices in your head, telling you to do bad things?"

Me (cautiously): "Um....Do you?"

Zach (enthusiastically): "Yeah! And they won't go away!"

Me: "Wow. That stinks. So...what do these voices say to you?"

Zach: "Well, mostly bad stuff. I try to ignore them, but they just keep getting louder and LOUDER!"

Me: "Huh. So...are these voices inside of your head or outside of your head?"

Zach: "Um...well, I think they're inside."

Good. That could just be you. If they were outside, you might be psychotic.

Me (carefully): "Wow. So are they boy voices or girl voices?"

Zach (exasperated): "I don't know Mommy! I can't see them. They're inside my head, remember?"


Me: "Oh, that's right. So...what bad stuff do they tell you to do?"

Zach: "Well...."

At this point, I'm picturing waking one night with Zach standing by my bed, crazed grin on his face and carving knife arcing downward.....

Zach: "It's pretty bad. Are you sure you want me to tell you?"

Me (hyperventilating): "I'm sure Zach. No matter what those voices tell you, you don't have to...."

Zach: "It mostly happens during Math. Or Spelling. They say, 'Hey Zach! Forget that stupid Math sheet! Look out the window! Don't you want to be outside instead? Come on, you know you want to be outside. Look at the birds! I see something shiny, do you see it too? Homework is stupid, let's PLAY!!!"

That was the point at which I realized Zach had personalized his ADHD, he'd given it a voice.

Me: "Ohhh.....Yes, absolutely. I have those voices too. Only mine say, 'Hey Mommy! Look at those shoes! You know you really want to buy those, right? And forget stupid work, let's eat cookies and take a nap!!"