HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HEAR VOICES?
There's no right or wrong way to feel if you’re hearing voices. Voices may call your name, give you advice, argue with you or threaten you. They can start suddenly and get louder over time. It can be difficult to tell your friends or family about voices for fear of being judged or misunderstood. This can be really isolating, but support is available.
If you hear voices or have other auditory hallucinations you may feel some or all of the following:
- Confusion, uncertainty or nervousness
- Questioning yourself or your experiences
- Distress, distrust or paranoia
- Low self-esteem or worthlessness
- Feeling annoyed, distracted or overwhelmed
- These voices may be familiar or comforting
- Some people may feel creative or excited.
It’s important to remember that there’s no right way to feel if you or someone you care about is hearing voices. You can find out more about it at the Mental Health Foundation, or if you think you are experiencing auditory hallucinations, your GP can help.
In movies or TV programmes, a character who sees or hears something that isn’t there is often depicted as dangerous, unstable or laughable. These stereotypes can be damaging for those who deal with hearing voices on a daily basis. In fact, seeing, hearing or sensing things that aren’t there is actually quite common. As many as 1 in 10 people under 19 hear voices, which makes it almost as common as dyslexia or asthma.