Although your experience of living with voices will be unique to you, this page explores some situations, questions and feelings you might recognise.
Your relationship with your voices
You may have different feelings about your voices at different times in your life - or even at different times of the day or week. You might:
- find your voices comforting, helpful or even funny
- find your voices frightening and want them to stop
- find you hear some voices that you like and other voices that cause you problems
- worry that you are the only one who hears the sort of voices that you hear
- not be sure whether other people have these experiences too.
Often voices are a problem because of your relationship with them rather than just because you hear them. Thinking about your relationship with your voices can help you work out what (if anything) you want to do about them.
See our pages on managing your voices and treatment for more information about the support available.
What if I like my voices?
Some people can find hearing voices a positive experience. Your voices might be friendly and supportive. You may welcome them and miss them if they stopped. They might make you feel better or encourage you during difficult times.
Can my voice be my friend?
It isn't always easy to work out whether your voices want the best for you or not. They might feel friendly but tell you to do things that make it harder for you to look after yourself or live the life you want. If your voice feels comforting it can be hard to recognise that they might be manipulative or harmful.
I first started hearing voices when I was developing my anorexia. My voices were my best friend. I thought she just wanted the best for me... she was extremely manipulative and whatever she said I would do.
Watch Lilith talk about how hearing voices lead them to commit arson and how a local paper's disclosure of their mental health problems made them confront their problems at a very difficult time and before they were ready.