Explains what it is like to hear voices, where to go for help if you need it, and what others can do to support someone who is struggling with hearing voices.
We might say someone is ‘hearing voices’ if you hear a voice when no-one is present with you, or which other people with you cannot hear.
People have many different experiences of hearing voices. Some people don't mind their voices or simply find them irritating or distracting, while others find them frightening or intrusive.
It's common to think that if you hear voices you must have a mental health problem.
But research shows that lots of people hear voices and many of them are not mentally unwell. It’s a relatively common human experience.
"I hear hundreds of voices. Partly relatives, friends and people in the media."
There are lots of different ways we all hear voices. For example, you might:
"I remember hearing this malicious whispering which I assumed was coming from other passengers on the train...it was like being able to hear people's thoughts and in my paranoid state these were always malevolent and critical."
There are lots of reasons why you might hear voices. Here are some of them:
"I started hearing voices when I was 16. It resulted from a traumatic event in my life that led to weeks of a manic period."
Watch Juno talk about his experience of hearing voices.
This information was published in October 2018. We will revise it in 2021.
References and bibliography available on request.
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