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Hearing Voices

Different people have different experiences when hearing voices – some don’t mind hearing voices or some might find them irritating, but others can find them frightening or intrusive.

Research shows that lots of people hear voices and many people that do are not mentally unwell, sometimes the voices can just be our thoughts and this can be normal.

Why might you hear voices?

  • Some people hear voices as they fall asleep or wake up and this happens when your brain is partly in a dream state. This will usually stop once you are fully awake
  • Lack of sleep can cause some people to hear voices
  • Some people hear voices if they are very hungry or have a fever and are confused
  • You may hear or see things after taking or withdrawing from recreational drugs
  • Stress or worry can cause some people to hear voices
  • Bereavement can cause some people to hear the voice of someone they have lost particularly if they were very close
  • Trauma in response to experiences such as abuse or bullying can trigger voices
  • Spiritual experiences can include hearing voices and these can be either uplifting or frightening
  • Mental health problems such as psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder or severe depression can cause some people to hear voices

Tips for managing voices

  • Understanding the voices you hear can help you feel more in control. Think about whether you find your voices comforting, helpful or even funny.  Or do you find your voices frightening and want them to stop? 
  • Take control – it may help you to ignore the voices in a way that works for you –  block them out or distract yourself with music for example, exercising or cooking. Stand up to the voices and decide that they have no power over you or try to focus on the voices you find easier to listen to and ignore the voices you don’t like.
  • Talk to other people who hear voices. Do you worry that you are the only one who hears the sorts of voices that you hear?  There are support groups for people that hear voices and these can help you feel less alone and help you feel accepted and heard. 

Self referral

You can refer yourself to a clinician who will assess your request for support. Please also to take a look through self help resources below, which may be able to offer you additional support.

To send a self-referral, tap the button below to get started.  A self-referral will have the same result as asking your GP to refer you.

Do Self Referral

Self help resources

We have put together a list of specialist organisations that may be able to offer you additional support.

View self help resources