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.
Understanding more about voices in your life now and how they relate to your past may help you:
"I understand I don't have to give in to their demands. I can negotiate and wait before acting on instructions and try grounding techniques to distract myself."
These questions might help you think about how your voices relate to your past.
You may be able to identify voices as individuals from your past or as representing yourself at different ages.
They may be related more indirectly to a traumatic event.
These questions might help you think about voices in your life now.
You may start to recognise when your voices are causing problems and what makes them worse.
This could help you identify when you need to look for support or look after yourself. It may help you feel more in control.
Some people find that keeping a diary can help them answer some of these questions.
For example, you could record when you hear voices, what's happening when you hear them, what they say, their tone of voice and how they made you feel.
Looking back over what you've written could help you see any patterns to the voices and understand how they affect you over a longer period of time. You might also notice if particular things seem to trigger your voices.
"My voices were very prevalent around food times and times I was doing nothing."
You may not want to explore the story behind your voices in depth. But there are still things you could do to help you feel more in control. Here are some suggestions:
"We would write letters to my voice to ask what it was they wanted from me and how I didn't like what they were doing to me anymore."
A safe space to talk to other people who hear voices can help you to feel heard and understood.
Peer support groups for people who hear voices can:
You could also think about looking for online support. This can be a particularly good option if you don't want to attend a support group or can't find one locally. You might like to try:
See our pages on online support and staying safe online for more information.
"As soon as I began talking, I found my voice again and the fear slowly evaporated."
Watch James, who has experienced hearing voices and depression, talk about how his hobbies have helped him manage his mental health.
This information was published in October 2018. We will revise it in 2021.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.