View Full Version : When a ADHD-PI reads, do they hear a 'voice in their head?'


Drawnout
01-13-15, 08:22 PM
If you’ve ADHD-PI, would you tell us if you use Visual Imagery, Inner Speech, or simply see the Words on the Page while you read. As reference, here's a short article of what I mean, The Experience of Reading (http://www.printfriendly.com/print/?source=homepage&url=http%3A%2F%2Fschwitzsplinters.blogspot.ca%2F20 13%2F08%2Fthe-experience-of-reading-imagery-inner.html). I’ve always used my inner speech when I read! I suspect neurotypicals (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Neurotypical) use visual imagery more so than I and others with ADHD-PI, but I could be wrong. I’m here to do a rudimentary survey on the subject, I guess.

Please, what happens while you’re reading?

Hathor
01-13-15, 08:51 PM
I have tried to analyze how I read and cannot. Sometimes I hear a voice, for example when shopping and seeing brand names and store logos - but when I am really into reading it is impossible for me to analyze.

Pilgrim
01-13-15, 11:22 PM
That's not a bad question. After medication it took me a while but I think I hear the voice but I also use imagery.

Batman55
01-14-15, 12:58 AM
I would imagine NTs do not use visual imagery much. As Temple Grandin has said, "normal folks think in words".. although that is maybe just a general guideline and does not apply to reading, specifically.

As for me I *almost always* hear my inner voice when reading, I think I've always done it this way. In fact I don't think I can shut it off. But then if you always hear your voice when reading, it effectively prevents you from reading quickly. Then.. learning to shut if off (if possible) could help..?

Greyhound1
01-14-15, 01:27 AM
I always use inner speech for everything. It's hard for me to develop a visual image of anything with my inner dialogue painting the picture in my head. It guides my mind into creating the image. Words are always first me before an image can be associated into action.

Certain images do trigger my inner words. When I see a stop sign for example my inner voice will say stop sign before I can react. The inner words are what trigger and dictate all my actions and determine my decisions. A stupid brain that never shuts up.

When I can sorta visualize something I can usually only hold the image long enough for just a glimpse. It seems to quickly morph into other images.

Malmark
01-14-15, 01:43 AM
Im ADHD PI and I think I use equal amounts of inner speech and imagery. Ive never told any one about it because I thought it was weird

In fact something I have found funny recently is I am reading the book Inferno. If you are unaware its a novel by Dan Brown who also wrote the Davinci code . Both Books have Robert Langon as the main character and he was played by Tom Hanks in the movie version of Davinci Code . Now as Im reading Inferno Im hearing and seeing Tom Hanks in my mind as if Im watching one of his movies.

dvdnvwls
01-14-15, 02:47 AM
I think it's different for me depending on distractions and fatigue and attention levels. When distraction and fatigue are high and attention is low, I struggle to process reading and I see words on a page (or, in extreme cases, funny shapes that turn out to be letters). In better situations, I capture the argument or the plot in diagrams, images, cartoon-like or movie-like sequences, etc. When reading "words on a page", I always have the feeling that I'm not getting it and I don't trust myself to have understood what I just read.

stef
01-14-15, 06:07 AM
Im ADHD PI and I think I use equal amounts of inner speech and imagery. Ive never told any one about it because I thought it was weird

In fact something I have found funny recently is I am reading the book Inferno. If you are unaware its a novel by Dan Brown who also wrote the Davinci code . Both Books have Robert Langon as the main character and he was played by Tom Hanks in the movie version of Davinci Code . Now as Im reading Inferno Im hearing and seeing Tom Hanks in my mind as if Im watching one of his movies.

same type of'experience with imagery and inner speech!
sometimes a character in a book reminds me of someone i know so i picture that person for the rest of the book, even if the character is described as looking physically different.

sarek
01-14-15, 08:13 AM
Drawnout, thank you so much for this thread, its quite the revelation.

I think I mainly use inner speech. But upon trying just now, I found that internal imagery works as well. It feels weird to type without words in my head though.

I will gladly use this discovery, because it comes in handy with my work on full brain development and integration.

lacaminante
01-14-15, 10:14 AM
I think a majority of people in general hear an inner voice when they read. Stopping this is something that is taught in speed-reading. I've never been able to stop it, but it's something I've tried to do. When I read fiction I also have internal imagery, but not as much for most non-fiction.

Batman55
01-15-15, 01:26 AM
When I can sorta visualize something I can usually only hold the image long enough for just a glimpse. It seems to quickly morph into other images.

My ability to visualize pictures I've seen before is very pronounced, almost legendary. However it is very 2-dimensional and flat.. I remember still images such as photos or pages or paintings/drawings, for example, better than any snapshot I can take of something in actual meatspace. No surprise there.. spatially my mind is absolutely horrific.

But because I can remember "pictures" so well, I have good visual memory. But spatial memory is the exact opposite, I have *none* of it.

Batman55
01-15-15, 01:27 AM
same type of'experience with imagery and inner speech!
sometimes a character in a book reminds me of someone i know so i picture that person for the rest of the book, even if the character is described as looking physically different.

I do the exact same thing, I would have to think this is common in general, not just limited to ADDers probably?

Corina86
01-15-15, 03:00 PM
Definitely inner speech. When reading things from different authors I read them in different voices. Then again, this is very normal. It's common knowledge on the Internet that if you post a quote by Morgan Freeman, pretty much everyone will read it in his voice- hence I assume they all hear one in their heads as well. Seeing things is common as well. If anyone mentions a pink elephant, you will have a visual image of one. It goes even for smells. Maybe not everyone thinks this way, maybe some do, but don't realize it or don't care, but it's definitely common.

MikhailTal
01-17-15, 03:01 PM
First of all: I rarely think in words. I sometimes have difficulty processing my thinking into words, while I perfectly understand the concepts that I hold in my mind. This is why I always have to think more and slow down when I'm speaking or writing (which is actually a good thing for the relevance of your chosen words). Of course, I'm not always able to slow down, and then I can be incomprihensible at times.

What happens often when I read out loud, that I articulate everything fine, but that I haven't processed anything I've read, so to me it's like I've read out loud some incoherent and random words; everybody who listened heard and understood what I said, except me.

This happens a lot when I read as well; I see and understand the words, but when I'm not interested, it is not processed. Therefore, I force myself to read the words out loud in my mind, which helps me process them. But for sure, this isn't natural to me.

OhLookABunny
01-17-15, 05:00 PM
Im ADHD PI and I think I use equal amounts of inner speech and imagery. Ive never told any one about it because I thought it was weird

In fact something I have found funny recently is I am reading the book Inferno. If you are unaware its a novel by Dan Brown who also wrote the Davinci code . Both Books have Robert Langon as the main character and he was played by Tom Hanks in the movie version of Davinci Code . Now as Im reading Inferno Im hearing and seeing Tom Hanks in my mind as if Im watching one of his movies.

:lol: I'm kind of like that. I do it with places in novels. My mind substitutes houses or apartments I've lived in for the places in the novels. Or it "composites" them from various things. Like when I was reading the Harry Potter series, my mental images of Hogwarts Castle were partly from the movies and partly from my own imaginings.

I'm surprised that I do often "hear" words as I read - or write - because I also have Auditory Processing Disorder of some sort (was shown in a preliminary round of tests and I didn't have the $$$ to get the tests that would pin down the specifics). For instance, spoken information is confusing to me since I'm trying to form a picture on my mental "screen" of what the speaker is saying, and if they give me a new piece of information before the picture forms, I'm completely befuddled and have to stop and give the tedious request to let me write/draw and to please feed me only one thing at a time. :o I need to see the "big picture" that the pieces fit into, also, to mentally organize the information.

I'm getting ready to sit for some friends' cats, and she was saying "The food is in the container, it's the green sack, the other cat gets the food in the blue sack, they're out in the breezeway" and I was all confused - my mind was like "so you're saying the blue cat gets the breezeway that's in the container and the green cat is on the sack food?" :scratch:

Little Missy
01-17-15, 07:14 PM
Whenever it is that I read what all of you write, each and everyone of you has a distinctly different voice.

Ing3nium
06-21-15, 02:14 PM
If you’ve ADHD-PI, would you tell us if you use Visual Imagery, Inner Speech, or simply see the Words on the Page while you read. As reference, here's a short article of what I mean, The Experience of Reading (http://www.printfriendly.com/print/?source=homepage&url=http%3A%2F%2Fschwitzsplinters.blogspot.ca%2F20 13%2F08%2Fthe-experience-of-reading-imagery-inner.html). I’ve always used my inner speech when I read! I suspect neurotypicals (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Neurotypical) use visual imagery more so than I and others with ADHD-PI, but I could be wrong. I’m here to do a rudimentary survey on the subject, I guess.

Please, what happens while you’re reading?

I'm ADHD inattentive type AND SCT combined, and I typically daydream about what I'm studying or reading......... I get distracted by external environment and internal thoughts, so I eliminate external distractions but internal distractions still a problem......so I attempt to daydream whatever I'm reading or studying.

I daydream that I'm teaching the material that I'm studying to someone..........

And yeah, thats me, crazy...

RobboW
06-24-15, 06:21 AM
I use inner voice, if I don't, I don't take in what I read. If I really need to remember what I'm reading, I actually verbalise it.

Jenn1202
06-24-15, 11:45 AM
Inner speech and visual imaginary. Visual imagery helps me remember what I read. When I see words on a page it means that I'm not getting anything from the text (probably because I'm not focused enough).

Lunacie
06-24-15, 03:07 PM
Im ADHD PI and I think I use equal amounts of inner speech and imagery. Ive never told any one about it because I thought it was weird

In fact something I have found funny recently is I am reading the book Inferno. If you are unaware its a novel by Dan Brown who also wrote the Davinci code . Both Books have Robert Langon as the main character and he was played by Tom Hanks in the movie version of Davinci Code . Now as Im reading Inferno Im hearing and seeing Tom Hanks in my mind as if Im watching one of his movies.

That happens to me as well.

After reading several of the books in the Temperance Brennan series (Bones)
watching the tv series was very strange. The Temperance Brennan in the tv
show is very different, physically and behaviorally, from the one in the book.

I've found I can't reconnect with the books now because the dissonance is
too great. The voice and image of the tv actor is too different than the voice
and image projected by the books.

bluelephant
11-28-15, 11:37 PM
I am not sure yet what the P stands for, but I always have an inner voice when reading or writing. I also at times have it simultaneously with imagery. I thought everyone did?

Lunacie
11-29-15, 12:09 AM
I am not sure yet what the P stands for, but I always have an inner voice when reading or writing. I also at times have it simultaneously with imagery. I thought everyone did?

ADHD-PI means Primarily Inattentive (not primarily hyperactive or combined type)

dvdnvwls
11-29-15, 12:15 AM
ADHD P.I. is like Magnum P.I. :)
(showing my age, I guess :) )

qanda
11-29-15, 12:50 AM
When I think about it I use my inner voice. But I'm not sure what I do when not thinking about it. It seems I notice my inner voice when reading something complicated that I struggle to understand, most definitely. But I am a fast reader and don't think a voice would keep up with my reading when reading for pleasure. Not sure.

bluelephant
11-29-15, 01:09 AM
ADHD-PI means Primarily Inattentive (not primarily hyperactive or combined type)

Ah ok, then that's what I am also, ADHD-PI

bluelephant
11-29-15, 01:13 AM
Oh and where is the terminology coming from? When I was diagnosed it was as hypoactive ADD.

-brian-
12-08-15, 11:12 PM
Reading for me at least is like theactrical experiance to the point where I have read semi Massive books(game of thrones and other novels of the type) in days. I see, hear, and picture the characters with a voice and face. Usualy it ends up a face I have seen like someone I know or an actor that I relate to the charecter but rarely will I just make up a face to go with the character. when I orginaly read the novel Eragon I had each character painted out and voiced in my head so when the movie came out it shattered my perspective of their charecters causing me to mish mash while reading between movie and book Eragon, now I usualy watch a show before reading the book just so I dont have conflicting mental images of the Characters.

I used to think most people visualized their readings like this but I guess looking into it this is more of an ADHD-PI/Mindset thing that leads to the same style of interpretation. Mind=Blown

aeon
12-09-15, 04:50 AM
Always at least the voice.

Sometimes the voice plus visualization.

And sometimes all of that plus sound and music.

There is a voice for the narrator, and a voice for any and all characters.

stef
12-09-15, 04:56 AM
I already posted here, I had said inner speech but it's kind of my own voice I "hear". Or always the same "narrator voice".
It's a lot of images and I kind of see them "past the veil of words on the page".

I dont like when movie characters dont look like I had pictured them. but I can "adjust" them when the whole movie itself is well done (all of LOTR!)

Delphine
12-09-15, 10:29 PM
I've just realised now, this minute, that I have a vague enough 'voice' for each one of you posters here. (Sorry if that's creepy!) Most people anyway. Ones I imagine I know a bit, or am somewhat familiar with!

While I accept that this cannot possibly be true, I certainly experience this as a kind of personal reality while reading.

I can imagine the intonation, the humour or inflection behind the words or phrasing...... (and sometimes, if a poster is unfamiliar to me, I read over once or twice until I get a sense of that.)

Seeing as this can't possibly be accurate (having not ever met anyone here), then I have to own that as a personal trait or imagining of mine.

It's not cast in stone or anything.... but I do have a vague sense of intonation, or a personified/ characterisation of the voice of the poster..... and I didn't even realise this until now.

Fairshare
12-12-15, 01:41 PM
I experience text mostly as a voice in my head, not a particular voice, just reading the voice aloud. I tried a speed reading course when I was around 13 where they made you look at the words instead of reading them aloud, but that idea didn't stick to my brain.
The worst that can happen to me is an earworm song that plays in a loop in my head while I read.
It's happening as I type this too. It's not as bad when I don't have to focus, but it's a curse when I read something work related like a code and articles and paragraphs of regulations get Lorde's Royals as a background. If I'm not fond of a song, to say the least, I get it stuck in my head. No medication can shut this down. Probably some anxiety, OCD-ish thing mixed with my musical ear (not musical ear syndrome though ;)).

When I want to memorise and understand a concept I try to visualise it. When trying to absorb a legal regulation for example I imagine a case where it could be relevant and make a whole scene out of it.

When it comes to reading fiction it's mostly words read aloud in my head accompanied by some imagery if the author's depiction is vivid enough.

I think most people suffer the same fate with their book characters once they see a movie - they just get replaced.
I remember reading "The Shining" and then after watching the movie my character was replaced by Jack Nicholson forever and ever. I loved the book BTW, the movie not so much.

Toss4n
12-12-15, 01:44 PM
Yes, but I usually have very little recollection of what I read just because I'm always in a hurry to finish the book, because I have no patience to get to the end and because I know I won't get to the end otherwise.

DJ Bill
12-12-15, 02:22 PM
"What happens often when I read out loud, that I articulate everything fine, but that I haven't processed anything I've read, so to me it's like I've read out loud some incoherent and random words; everybody who listened heard and understood what I said, except me."



That is one of the problems that has drawn me to investigate the ADHD in my own life. I am having a lot of problems comprehending and remembering what I read lately. Or maybe I am just more aware of it.
I always hear a voice in my head when I read silently to myself. .. and I also have to follow what I read with a finger when reading out loud. If not.....I lose my place easily.

Interesting topic. Thanks to the OP for bringing it up much earlier this year.

loverainbow
12-30-15, 02:06 PM
Yes. Loud and clear. Auditory memory. The thing speaks to me. Hell it even sings and tell stories on their own.

badwolf616
06-02-16, 11:42 AM
Interesting question! i believe i do both, depending on the book/subject matter. if its a descriptive novel i tend to visualize what the author is describing, if its say a technical article ill just hear the words in my head.

one experience with visual reading i recall is when i read the book "IT" by stephen king. King is a very descriptive writer and i always visualize his stories (the movies usually disappoint me because nothing matches!!) anyways when i read this story i happened to be listening to a particular music album at the same time. i had the album on repeat and would just sit and read while the album played over and over.

fast forward a couple years later i go to play this particular album again and my mind gets flooded with all this imagery from the book i had read several years before. it was like my mind made a audio/visual connection to the book and record and stored it away in my subconscious.

Impromptu_DTour
06-02-16, 03:05 PM
I hear myself reading in my head because i force myself to hear myself read.. but when i do read i also manage to hear myself narrate the cacophony of thoughts and hypothetical conversations in my head too. Unless its regarding subject matter that is easy to emotionally engage myself in.

Reading is terribly challenging.

Cyllya
06-05-16, 01:14 AM
I hear a voice when reading. I tend to visualize things too.

I think most people hear a voice when reading. The main group which is an exception to this are people who are born deaf. I've heard that deaf people are usually able to read faster than most hearing people, for exactly this reason.

mrh235
06-05-16, 03:35 AM
No, honestly I never had a "voice in my head" and didn't really have thoughts before meds (basically like I couldn't think) like I couldn't follow or think through examples on the board. That changed after I was put on meds (vyvanse) thank god.