Hearing Voices Groups

Hearing Voices Groups are not rocket science. They are simply people with shared experiences coming together to support one another. They offer a safe haven where people who hear, see or sense things that other people don’t can feel accepted, valued and understood.

“I’d been living all these years in a strange isolated bubble, thinking I was unique, and then I realised there were all these other people just like me.” Ruth*

There are over 180 groups across the UK, including groups for young people, people in prison, women and people from BME communities. You can find Hearing Voices Groups across the world, in countries such as USA, Greece, Palestine, Japan, Australia and Denmark.

Core values

Purpose

Hearing Voices Groups are based firmly on an ethos of self help, mutual respect and empathy. They provide a safe space for people to share their experiences and support one another. They are peer support groups, involving social support and belonging, not therapy or treatment. However, groups do offer an opportunity for people to accept and live with their experiences in a way that helps them regain some power over their lives.

Respect

Hearing Voices Groups welcome the diversity of experiences and views of their members. Rather than seeing one belief system as more valid than another, all explanations for voice and visions are valued. There is no assumption of illness. Groups recognise that all members have expertise to contribute to the group, no one member is more important than another.

Flexibility

All Hearing Voices Groups are centred around the needs and aspirations of their members. Rather than being solely focused on voices and visions, group members are welcome to talk about any issue that is important to them.

Ownership

Hearing Voices Groups recognise the importance of being user-centred and are working towards being truly user-led. Each member has an important part to play in determining the direction of the group, keeping it healthy and upholding its ethos.

Confidentiality

All Hearing Voices Groups should be as confidential as possible, with members being fully aware of any limits to this. Wherever possible, what is discussed within the group should stay within the group.

Different types of groups

Whilst all groups in our network should hold to these basic values, our network includes a range of different types of groups. The differences include, but are not limited to:

Membership

The membership of most groups is purely made up of people with lived experience of voices, visions and other unusual sensory perceptions. Some groups have open sessions that welcome family members and/or supporters too. Some groups focus on a particular group (people from specific cultural groups, genders or ages, for example). Others are open to all.

Setting

Our network includes groups in a range of settings, including: independent community groups; voluntary sector organisations; mental health teams; inpatient units; secure mental health units; prisons.

Facilitation

Whilst some groups are 100% user-led, with all facilitators having personal experience of voice-hearing, others are facilitated by people a combination of personal and professional experience. In some settings, groups may be facilitated completely by people with professional, but not personal, experience. Whilst these groups are no less valuable than any other, we would always encourage them to find ways of more actively involving people with personal experience in their running and facilitation.

145 responses to “Hearing Voices Groups”

  1. Holly Barker

    I am a concerned parent – and have a small child that seems to hear voices past few months. I would like to get in touch with others or a group near me. to understand this and see best how I can help /support her – Holly

    1. HVN

      Hi Holly. Hearing voices in childhood is quite a common experience (some recent research in Ireland found that over 1 in 5 children aged 11-13 have experience of hearing voices – so it’s probably even more common in younger children). Whilst it’s often not a sign of a problem, it’s worth checking out whether there’s something troubling them (a recent change, for example). Voice Collective, a London-based project, supports children/young people who hear voice (as well as their parents). They run parents support workshops (where you can meet with other parents), and also do 1-2-1 phone/email support for people outside of London too. Check out their website (http://www.voicecollective.co.uk) for more information.

      Other resources worth checking out are:

      Don’t Panic if Your Child is Hearing Voices (Intervoice)

      Voice Collective Booklets for Parents/Carers

      Children Hearing Voices (a book by Dr Sandra Escher)

      Remember, you can always email us at nhvn@hotmail.co.uk if you’d like to speak more about this.

      1. Raquel

        I Have been hearing voices my whole life… It is a double edge sword … I can hear people’s inner dialogue sometimes and It’s scary because it can make me love you or hate you … Although I try not to judge… Sometimes my inner voice makes me very sucessful and moves me forward and and helps me move towards my dream with making me see what Ilack … And sometimes it knocks me down and makes me feel like I am less than and lowers my self esteem embarrasses me makes me say things to look stupid that I am not even thinking … Sometimes it is very loud and Racist(which if you know me that would make u laugh because I am the furthest from that . Sometimes it yells fat if I am having a conversation with someone who is over weight and it makes me really uncomfortable because it is consistant and loud in my head and i can’t even engange in the conversation I have and I don’t even know what I was told or talking about because i was focused on the FAT !!! yelling in my head. I have tried to make the best of it and made it a show in my head which keeps me entertained but sometimes it’s really hurtful and can make me very uncomforable and give me anxiety.

        1. HVN

          Hi Raquel. It’s good that sometimes the voices you hear can be helpful – and your strategy of making a show in your head sounds really creative. Finding a way of dealing with the difficult parts of the experience (the bits that leave you feeling bad or anxious) could really help. Some people find that they can find a way to turn down the voices when they need to concentrate on something else (imagining a volume switch). Others find that it helps to deal with the way they feel about what the voices are saying (especially when their voices are nasty about others). Hearing nasty things doesn’t make you a bad person (but it can make it difficult to talk to others about what the voices say). Do you have anyone you can talk to? If you’d like to check out some coping strategy ideas, see our Free Downloads page.

        2. Becky

          I know how it feels to be in mid conversation and not be able to engage because the voice is too loud or distracting, it’s very annoying!! It would be really interesting to hear someone’s inner dialog I think I’d like doing that. My voices ‘inside my head’ can be very motivating, it’s good to use that to your advantage. I hope things get easier for you 🙂 x

    2. Carol

      Hi,
      I am also a concerned parent and am constantly looking for ways to help. I have just found an article by Mercola.com who suggests that by using an alternative to milk helps, I would be interested if products anyone has tried this.

  2. candice tinch

    Hello. My name is Candice and I suffer from schizoaffective disorder. I have just recently begun to hear a voice who I have named Suzane. Normally like most when I start to hear voices I shut down or head straight to the doctor. I no longer want to be on medication so I looked and saw you all offering this new approach. It is very hard trying to communicate with my voice. It is constantly negative. When I try and talk to her she jeers and leers at me. It almost seems as though she has powers as well because during and after conversations its like she’ll send intense pressure and super random thoughts in head causing me to lose focus. I have just started the technique of talking with Suzane. This will be day three. I think a support group would be extremely beneficial to me and I was wondering if you all have one in the Kansas or Missouri area. If not what other support groups would you recommend that you are affiliated with that could give me some advice.

    1. HVN

      Hi Candice. Thanks for posting – I’m glad you’ve found our site. Talking with voices can take a lot of persistance, and getting the right support whilst you’re doing this is key. Whilst we’re UK based, we have a sister organisation in the US that you can find here: http://www.hearingvoicesusa.org. They’re lovely, so if you email them they should be able to tell you whether there’s anything local to you. If there isn’t a local group, you can get a lot of support on the internet too. We have a new forum here http://hvn.forumatic.com and there’s an active online international facebook community here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/intervoice/. Check out http://tiny.cc/rufus-voices for Rufus May’s sheet on changing your relationship with voices too.

      Changing your relationship with your voices takes time, so trying to make sure you have as much support as possible is important. Also, whilst talking to the voices can be very powerful – there are other ways of working that can help too. The important thing is to find something that works for you. Some people choose to use medication to help them cope, others find other ways to manage – again, it’s all about having enough information to make a choice. Good luck in your journey 🙂

    2. Adam

      Hello 🙂

      I was just curious, these random thoughts she puts into your head… Do you often find that after the voices, when you reflect on them, there is more to the incident than there actually was?… so like, at times, i was having very vivid memories of moments actually talking to these voices in human form, and they’d tell me things that would happen and things I should do… when really, nothing like that happened at all… it was just planted into my head… and often, time would be stretched when reflecting on these memories… so like, a 5 minute conversation would become a lot longer in my reflection… and it’d hold a lot of delusions, things I’d use to make sense of the journey or whatever. That was something I went through and still do now and then… But it’s just when you said about intense pressure and random thoughts, that I think relates to what I experienced.

      Take care,
      Adam.

  3. John Evans

    Does anyone know if there is a Hearing Voices group in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom, or one in the North-East of England?

    I’d be interested in setting one up somewhere down the line if there isn’t.

    1. HVN

      Hi John, I’ll check with the office and get back to you. The only ones we have details of on the site are in Morpeth & Hartlepool (http://www.hearing-voices.org/area/north-east/) – but I’m sure there are more. If you’re interested in setting up a group at some point in the future, get in touch with our office – we’d be very happy to support/advise you on it 🙂

    2. HVN

      Hi John, We’ve just found out that there is a Tyne Hearing Voices Gathering on Tuesday 19th June in Newcastle. It’s a great opportunity to find out what’s going on in the North East (and we’ll be getting an updated list of groups from the organisers afterwards, so will be able to give you some more specific info soon). See: the event page for more information.

  4. Margaret

    Hi, my son was diagnosed 15 years ago with schitzophrenia. I have found your sight so informative and helpful. I would love to find out if there is a group in Adelaide Australia, as I would love to get my son this type of help. I dont like seeing him distressed by the voices and taking medication like he has to. I will keep reading on your sight, so interesting.

    1. HVN

      Hi Margaret. Lovely to hear from you. Whilst we’re based in the UK, there are Hearing Voices Groups all over the world. The International Network is Intervoice. We know of local networks in New South Wales and Victoria. If you contact them they may know of a group around Adelaide. If not, they may be able to link you and your son up with others who are interested in getting a group going. We wish you both the very best in your journey.

  5. Dallana

    Hi, i have a teenager who is being dealing with this destructive voice since she was 11 and its devastating, thank you god i found dr, Rufus who has help us a great deal, she is now 15 and these voice its bothering her again, more destructive than before. we are from toronto canada and i don’t know about this gropus here. can you help!!

    1. HVN

      Hi Dallana, I’m sorry your daughter is having such a horrible time. There is now a Hearing Voices Network in Toronto that you can contact – they run a group for adults, but may be able to help you and your daughter (hvntoronto.wordpress.com/). Also, in the UK we have a project specifically for children, young people and their parents. Their website is http://www.voicecollective.co.uk. You might want to contact them to see if they can provide some extra support too.

  6. Melissa

    I have schizzoafective disorder and would like some people to talk to with the same condittion I have another 3 disorders including schizzoafective disorder been in and out of hospitals ect, would be great to hear off someon.
    Mel xx

    1. HVN

      Hi Melissa, Thanks for commenting. Whilst we can’t display personal contact details on this page (Skype etc), we are very happy to point you in the direction of our Forum. This is somewhere you’ll be able to get in contact with other people with similar experiences. You may also be interested in joining Intervoice’s facebook group.

  7. Joshua

    hey y’all. thanks for this website.

    is there anything in the Greenville area of South Carolina? Thanks

    1. HVN

      Hi Joshua. The best place to contact is our sister organisation in the US – Hearing Voices Network USA. They are busy helping people set up groups all over the US, and will know whether there’s anything happening in South Carolina. If not, they may be able to support you in getting something off the ground.

  8. Jane

    My daughter has been diagnosed with OCD and delusional disorder. She hears a negative and destructive voice and has threatened suicide. Our local CAHMS have prescribed medication but she is not happy to take it. I am also against the idea of medication unless essential. Would Hearing-Voices be able to offer an alternative, therapeutic based treatment and if so how would I find further details.

    1. HVN

      Hi Jane, I’m sorry your daughter is having such a difficult experience. We can’t offer therapeutic treatment, but we can point you in the direction of other forms of support to compliment whatever CAMHS can offer. As a starting point, check out: Voice Collective (young people’s hearing voices project who support children, young people and families) and the Critical Psychiatry Network (who can sometimes offer second opinions on treatment). It may also be worth finding an advocate for your daughter so that she can have her voice heard in relation to her treatment. CAMHS can often offer different forms of support (including art therapy and psychotherapy) that don’t involve medication – getting some support to explore these can really help. I hope you and your daughter find some good help – do email us if we can help further.

  9. Nell

    Where do I find local groups, in London or Kent. Thank you

    1. HVN

      Hi. To find groups in your area, just check out our Find A Group page. Groups in Greater London are listed here. Groups in South East London (including ones nearer to Kent) can be found here. We will update these pages whenever we get new information about groups, so keep checking back.

  10. Adam

    Hi there,

    Great site, very useful… I also hear voices, have done for a couple of years, they’re mostly harsh ones keeping tabs on me… it’s been a while since it all started, then it died down for a few months… but now they’re coming back again… and I’m thinking “just go away, you’re boring.” It’s hard to take a look outside to see if there is actually someone there… Sometimes I wonder do these voices come at a time when they KNOW you’re not going to look outside, on account of the paranoia that comes with the moment… once they’ve got you kept prisoner in your own home. I’d like to think it’s all in my head. I feel like a hostage. And what’s mad is last night it was raining – and it’s like the raindrops kind of became part of the abuse – my mind just began to expect everything had something say.

    Thanks again.

  11. Adam

    Hi me again,
    I was just curious, can a schizophrenic mind sort of manipulate people’s conversations to suit the paranoia of the person who has schizophrenia… two people could be speaking about something in particular, and the schizophrenic person would be taking it in differently, as if theyre talking about that person… bringing up things about that person.

    I have this experience, and I’m wondering how do these people know these things about me? I don’t know them, and they dont know anyone who knows me…

    Cheers,
    Adam.

    1. HVN

      Hi Adam,

      That’s an interesting question. I’m not sure it’s about whether someone has the diagnosis of schizophrenia or not – that’s a label rather than a person. It’s quite common to feel that things relate to you when others didn’t intend it to – but sometimes this can happen so often that people find it difficult to trust of be near others. Some people find that things in the newspaper, or snatches of conversations that they overhear as they walk down the road, seem to be about them (which, again, can be really overwhelming).

      There are lots of different ways of understanding this (and finding your own way is really important), but one way of seeing it is that people can be in a state of heightened awareness and read extra things into situations. For example, if someone’s had people talk about them in the past it makes sense for them to be on ‘red alert’ looking out for signs that others are about to hurt/betray them. This level of alert can get confusing, though. Others find that they are in a similar state through being very spiritually sensitive or open.

      No-one is able to say what it is that you’re experiencing, but I wondered whether you have anyone to talk to about it. It sounds like a really powerful (and difficult) thing to deal with. As well as a Hearing Voices Group and our Forum, I wondered if you’d heard of the National Paranoia Network (our sister organisation).

  12. Philip

    I could do with some friendly advice about these mental health problems on hearing things my second eldest sister is hearing voices repeating what she says she’s an ex drug user been clean for around three years now but she takes methadone to help we the withdrawal and pain symptoms and she still smokes cannabis but about four and half months ago she had pneumonia and was put into a coma and was on life support them they found a blood clot in her leg she’s on so many tablets and painkillers plus she has a lump on her head the size of an elbow that feel like a bone and liquid she’s been to the doctor and doctors look at it but nothing has been done plus we been having trouble with one of our neighbours giving my sister and verbal abuse since we went round and asked them to keep the noise down with the music then we found out that the granddaughter of the woman living there with her adult children is go out with a drug dealer so that more trouble she’s had verbal abuse at our house like you’ve got aids do you needs smack and that of the drug dealer boyfriend we have the police involved and they have not think yet but I’m trying to keep my sisters spirits up I’ve been housebound for years with this serious agoraphobia am just try to find out how to help my sister I know she see a drug work one a week and now she is seeing someone from the mental health services are l towed her to speak to them and tell them about voices she is hearing but she is afraid that they will section her lock her away some way I apologise for any spelling mistakes as I am dyslexic and using a voice dictation

    1. HVN

      Hi Philip. That sounds like an awful situation for your sister to be in (and also for you as her supporter). Voices can often be linked to really stressful times (and it sounds like your sister has had, and is continuing to have, more than her fair share of this). Whilst it’s understandable that your sister is worried to talk to someone about her voices for fear of being sectioned, it sounds like it would be important for her to find someone she can talk to about them so she can get some help. The mental health services have to be very concerned about her wellbeing to use the mental health act to take her into hospital – and hearing voices, in itself, doesn’t mean that she needs this. It’s more known, now, that hearing voices is really common. They are more likely to be interested in how it affects her and whether she feels able to manage it. Ringing Rethink’s advice line could give her some more information on what to expect – and some practice to talking to people about it (0300 5000 927).

      Does she have a good relationship with her drugs worker? As they already know her, they may be easier for her to talk to as a starting point. If she’s concerned that the worker will panic, your sister could advise her to check out our site or get in touch with us. She might feel more able to talk to her mental health team with the support of someone she knows. Finally, if she doesn’t get on well with the drugs worker she might also want to speak to an advocate. They are specially trained to help people get their views across (see: http://www.mind.org.uk/help/rights_and_legislation/mind_guide_to_advocacy for more info).

      Good luck (and do email or call us if you want to speak further)

  13. Ben

    Hi I hear voices as well but struggle to find groups to talk about it could you give me some

    1. HVN

      Hi Ben. I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling to find a group near you. Talking about experiences like these can be key to finding ways of living with them. We have a growing database of groups here. If there are no groups local to you on our lists, just let us know where abouts you are and we’ll see if we know of any in your area. You could also join our HVN Peer Support Forum to talk online with people. Hope this is useful

  14. steve petersen

    Hello, my name is Steve and I am 43 years old. I have been hearing voices for a little over a year now. I am currently on a medication called invega, because the voices wnen at full strenghth are too overwhelming to bear. There are at least 6 that are recognizable as male and female and some are children. Some sound mechanical and very dark. They belittle me and scrutinize me, threaten and constantly speak of my every move. These are definitly not positive voices in any way. I hate to have to take the meds because it slows my reaction time when engaged in a conversation, and it slows my brain period. But it’s that or the voices. One of the voices tells me i’m not gonna make it to heaven, one wants to kill me, another says satan has plans for me, these are just a few, They also comment on anything i do or think about. Anyway I could really use some positive feedback from anyone. I was told that usually younger people hear voices, and that it is rare that at my age of 43 I am hearing them. I feel that I am going to have this the rest of my life. I do not know anyone who has the same problem so pleasse again if someone could please respond. Thank you, steve [contact details edited out]

    1. HVN

      Hi Steve, I’m sorry you are struggling with such overwhelming voices. It makes sense that whilst you feel the medication dulls your brain, that it also helps you dull down the voices too. You’re not alone in hearing voices at your age, and voice-hearing certainly isn’t something that just children experience. Anyone of any age can hear voices. The good news is that people can, and do, find ways of making sense of and dealing with their experiences. Sometimes people find the voices stop, other times they become less intense (or even positive). Other times the voices stay the same, but the person themselves changes and their effect lessens. For many, finding people that they can talk to about their experiences is key – that’s one of the reasons peer support groups can be so powerful. If there are no groups near you, you can connect with others through the HVN Online Forum.

      I hope these links will be useful to you in trying to make sense of your experiences (and find a way through them).

      Intervoice’s Essential Facts about Voice Hearing
      Intervoice’s Practical Guide to Coping With Voices
      Rufus May & Eleanor Longden’s Hearing Voices & Self Help
      Voice Collective’s Coping & Recovery Section (aimed at young people, but suitable for all)

    2. Emanuel

      Wow almost everything you’ve mentioned is what I’m going through Steve. They’ve put me on Seroquel. I’m 40 years old and it just came out of the blue for me also. It’s going on a year & to no avail. I feel embarrassed, secluded & just down right out of touch when it first started. Religion I gave up on it because I cursed at God for not helping or hearing me & getting rid of the voices.I have my good days & bad one’s. I didn’t want anyone to know what was going on with me, but my family has told all of my friends & relatives what’s going on with me. I really wanted this to stay only with my immediate family but they have told so many that now I rarely want to come around anymore. I have two children that I try to keep this from it’s just hard. Lost two jobs in the last year one was a dream job I really wanted too. I can tell you that either you are going to do one of two things my friend, either you’re gonna give up or get to living. Giving up is not an option. I’ll share every story with you if it helps you to cope & vice versa. YOU ARE NOT ALONE with this. Use everything they tell you that is negative as fuel for yourself to push forward. We keep on sharing stories & one day we’ll all be able to help somebody else who has been given this experience to help them through it as well.

  15. Jo

    I just want to say a big ‘thank you’ to your site.
    When I feel really fed up with my ‘predicament’, insecure or fearful your site always helps me to feel ‘safe’ again.
    I’m so fed up with my sleepless nights and the ongoing worries and fear induced by these voices.
    Your sight helps to make me feel a bit ‘normal’ again.
    Thank you so much for being there for people like myself. ……
    Kind regards,
    Jo

    1. HVN

      Hi Jo. We’re really glad that this site helps you to feel safe again. That’s one of the best bits of feedback we could hope for. Thanks 🙂

  16. Rachel Van Den Bergen

    I hear voices in parts of my body with tactile sensation but not in my head. I hear voices in my legs but no one understands this. I used to take medication as there was no one to talk to but my GP but now I feel better about my voices. The only time when the voices were bad was when I was in supported accommodation when lots of bad things were going on, but since leaving it they improved.

    1. HVN

      Hi Rachel. I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better about your voices now, and that they’ve improved now you’re in a better situation.

      Having voices that aren’t the stereotype can be hard – but you’re not alone. People hear voices in different ways – inside their head, outside their head, in different part of their body or from other things in their environment. We’re all unique, but it’s good to share. If you’d like to explain what it’s like to hear voices in a different way – and help others to understand – maybe you’d like to write something down for our site and newsletter. We’d be interested to hear from you (and anyone else that wants to contribute). Just email nhvn@hotmail.co.uk

  17. Carol

    Hi,
    I would like to know if anyone has tried extra omega 3 in their diet as recommended by our Doctor. I have also read mainly on American websites that cutting down drastically on sugar intake helps. Also exercising daily is beneficial. I would like to hear from anyone who has any other ways of coping with voices.

    1. Adam

      Hi Carol,

      I include more omega 3 in my diet. I was having to take vitamin D supplements for a while because I don’t get out much, due to my condition. Obviously, lack of fresh air and sunlight has an affect on vitamin D, which is important for keeping your mood in order, so I’ve read.

      As far as I know, Omega 3 also benefits vitamin D (fish being the source of both).

      As you say, less sugar will benefit, same with caffiene – just anything keeping you on edge should be put aside really. Sufficient sleep at the right times will keep the mind functioning a little clearer as well… Obviously.

      In my case, the voices are worse when I’m on edge. I guess that’s the case for a lot of people?

      Regards.

  18. Krystine

    Cathrasis
    Age 26 Female
    Hearing 1-3 voices 3-4xweek for the past 6 months

    First off…I work 7pm-7am in a Level 1 Trauma ICU three times a week. I think that my broken sleep pattern has contributed to the fact that I am hearing voice(s) I’m trying to decide if it is my super ego, dead grandfather, telepathy, or total psychosis that I am hearing and at times conversating with. The voice is generally judgemental but seems to always demand things related to the activity I am engaged in. In the past I have suffered from clinical depression, I still feel the effects today. I recognize that I have made many mistakes and definitely have some mental/emotional issues. Regression has seemed effective to make moving forward possible however the Ebb and Flow of existance, this 3D life on planet earth as carbon based human beings seems to leave some emotional/spiritual stretch marks on me.

    Etc: While folding laundry in the basement I start hearing a voice yell at me to get upstairs and account for my messes and other abstract things(way of life, habits,priorities). I look for a source, call out “is anyone there?” Sometimes nothing, othertimes there is some nonsensical response, like I’m talking to an imagary friend who has gone to hide, fore when I look for someone at the top of the stairs or even out at the street I find no one but squirels, my cat and my fish. Sometimes the voice makes comments on my actions in a mocking way. “You fold a shirt that way?! Idiot”

    I have considered a spiritual source potentially. I have been told more than once that I am an old soul. Maybe I am in touch with Guides? Angels? Intution? I am around dead and dying people a lot. I have to admit that has forced me to harden my heart and embrace process per protocal. I feel my nature is to be accepting of the things that I am going through and sometimes that is being influenced by chao(ie:anything outside of my control). The few times the voices have provided a loving, positive sensation inspired imaginative outlets; like drawing, poetry, organization.

    I have yet to experience the voices in the presence of other human beings. I am always alone when these verbal demands start ringing in my ears. I also hear the beeps and alarms from the patient monitors at work well beyond my journey home after work. Like the sounds are echoing in my ears, deep inside. Makes me feel totally crazy!!!

    This seemed like a good place to unload. Any thoughts? Concerns? Comments?

    1. HVN

      Hi Krystine, Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you have a really stressful job – so your thinking that this and your broken sleep pattern could be contributing to your experiences. Whilst the voices sound very judgemental, it’s good to hear that there are times when they have also had a positive effect.

      It sounds like you’re on a journey to try and understand what your voices mean to you – no-one else can give you a definitive answer, but if you’re interested in finding information that might help here are a few links: Spiritual Crisis Network (as you mentioned a potential spiritual source) http://www.spiritualcrisisnetwork.org.uk and Intervoice’s Practical Guide to Coping With Voices http://www.intervoiceonline.org/support-recovery/a-practical-guide

      Working out all of this on your own is hard – getting some support from other people can really make this journey easier. You might like to try a Hearing Voices Group (peer support group), our HVN Online Forum, finding some counselling or speaking to someone you trust.

  19. John Evans

    I’m not a Bible Basher or anything, but if you have any notion of a greater force, mother nature, gods, whatever, even people who have passed away, talking to something, or someone is a great way to stay in control while the chaos of voices goes on around you. I use this all the time. You can do this in your head, or I sometimes allow myself the luxury of talking out loud(which apparently is quite normal). It really helps to focus on something greater and benevolent.

  20. Tee Morley

    Hi Carol, about 7 years ago the schizophrenia association of Great Britain gave out free omega 3 (maxepa) as part of a trial to check out if vitamins and minerals added to your diet had an influence on voices/visions. I was part of that trial and I concluded that the additives – not just the omega 3- seemed to have a positive effect on my voices. (I have also found out that the omega 3 has a very beneficial effect on your joints). The money for the trial ran out some time ago and I asked my doctor to prescribe the additives for me, which he did, Since then my GP has taken away some of the additives as he said there was no proof they made any difference but I have managed to keep the fish oils. I think it makes a difference but that is just my opinion. Tee Morley

  21. Paul Nosworthy

    Hi,

    I am a voice hearer with a little twist. I have schizoaffective disorder which means I get episodes of mania. The mania means the voices become very very “special” for me.

    Most of the time I am fine but I’m starting to realise just how busy it can be in my head, especially when I am stressed (and that’s with me in full recovery). It’s a bit of a turning point for me and it’s hard for me as I realise I have been in denial about it for years.

    I went back to uni after a long time out of education to study chemistry. I’m just starting my third year. I am going to do a MSc or PhD after this next eight months but regardless of which one I get to do, it’s a bit of a bloody miracle it’s happening at all.

    I started hearing people speak when they were not talking or mishearing very blatantly what people/passing people say, when I was 17.

    But the mania came in when I was 18. I converse too much in thought to the positive voices and get emotionally attached to them. They are usually people in the afterlife either now or in the future. I then get delusions of telepathy because of the conversations in thought with voices and the people who I mishear/misinterpret.

    I only have one voice who is nice and I haven’t dared tell a soul about her. She is a daemon (Pullman, P,. His Dark Materials,). She has no name because when I die, if there is anything after, she kinda will be there or there is no heaven. It’s embedded in my faith and I became such close friends with her when I was institutionalised that she never left (is always in the background).

    During psychosis I go into ‘book mode’ and don’t recognise my family for a few months. Fortunately this is only currently at a rate of once every ten years.

    I had a similar experience to many people in hospitals, but people always comment on how rare it is for me to be so normal and it’s because I don’t show it.

    Anyway (excuse the longwindedness)!

    Can this network help me find an outlet for talking openly in public. About voices? Can it direct me to appropriate training to enhance an already amazing recovery?

    1. HVN

      Hi Paul, Thanks for sharing 🙂 Yes – I hope we can help you find an outlet to talk openly about your experiences and voices. There are a number of hearing voices groups around the country, so it really depends on whether there’s a group near you. Even if there isn’t, we might be able to support you to link with other like minded people in your area to start something new. Our current list of groups is here: http://www.hearing-voices.org/hearing-voices-groups/find-a-group/, but you can also email us at nhvn@hotmail.co.uk. We post courses and workshops on our news page when they’re available, but you can also join our network and get our newsletter (http://www.hearing-voices.org/about-us/join-us/). Good luck in your continued journey to recovery (and with you studies too!)

  22. Mike Snow

    Today I’ve been re-diagnosed as having schizoaffective disorder, previously I was bipolar…I’ve been hearing voices and sensations for years and mostly took no notice of them as I thought that they were spirits therefore positive and helpful, but my doctor thought different and ordered a psychological re-assessment, of cause not being spiritually inclined they said it was psychosis…I would like to join the group. How do I go about it?

    Thanks
    Mike

    1. HVN

      Hi Mike. It’s difficult when you and your doctor have different perspectives, especially when these differences are about the origin of your voices/sensations. If you’d like to join a group, the first step is to find one near you. You can either check out our Find A Group page (www.hearing-voices.org/hearing-voices-groups/find-a-group/) or email us with your location. Then it’s just a matter of contacting the group and taking things from there. Some groups are drop ins, but most suggest you contact the facilitator first to find out a bit more about it. This gives you the chance to see whether or not you want to join. Every group is a little bit different, as they’re all based around their membership – so if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with a few groups near to you then it’s OK to try a few to see which one suits you. Also, if there are no groups near you do get in touch as we may be able to help link you with like minded people in your area who want to set something up. Unfortunately there are still far too many areas without a peer support group within easy reach.

  23. Lou Burton

    An elderly friend of mine has been hearing music and singing and some voices the past 2-3 years. Has anyone else experienced this? She is very concerned and it is very annoying to her. She says it is in her head and she can’t get rid of it. Most of the music is good; but lately some is not enjoyable. Please help. I have never heard of this either. Lou

    1. HVN

      Hi Lou. Thanks for getting in touch. Hearing music, especially later in life, is not uncommon. Oliver Sacks (a neurologist) has written about elderly people experiencing music (sometimes pleasant, sometimes less so) in his books, for example. One potential way forward is to find out whether there is any pattern to the times when the music is enjoyable or not enjoyable (whether there are any triggers for the less pleasant experiences or whether it’s related to any emotional state). Being unable to turn the music off sounds very stressful, so finding out more about what’s going on when the music isn’t present could be helpful too. Some people find that they can lower the volume of voices/music by engaging in other activities or visualising a volume control. Depending on what your friend wants to do, it may also be worth her consulting a GP in case there’s something neurological going on.

  24. Dan Aussey

    I hear voices that are real people, they have their motives, and it hasn’t stopped for a year and a half, even with strong doses of antipsychotics. Sometimes I drink to feel better cause it seems to be the only thing that works, all my family and friends want me to stop drinking and I’m trying. I don’t know if theirs been any other cases of mindreaders throughout history. I can’t hold a job, or keep up anything for long periods of time!

    1. HVN

      Hi Dan, that sounds really hard to deal with – especially if the only thing that helps you feel better at the moment is drinking. We’ve heard other people talk about hearing the voices of other people, and one thing that can sometimes help is to work out whether there is any pattern to it (are there times that the voices of these people are more active – or harder to deal with – and times when they are easier to deal with or quieter?). Sometimes, if you can identify a pattern it’s easier to find strategies to help increase the times when things are quiet. Also, some people find that they can, with support, develop strategies that seem to build a wall around their mind to reduce the interference from the voices. Have you got a group near you or somewhere you could explore some of these options?

  25. Ascona

    Hello, i read all what was written by you, and it helped it’s not the first time that i made a research about hearing a voice or voices, i did it if i recall a year ago or maybe more any way thats not importand the important thing that made me do a research again and this site came up is that 2 days ago i was at work and i started to hear… i call it my consciousness because from my expiriance with this voice or voices that i hear did some experiments and from experimenting i came up with somethings this voice or voices sometimes is me but i the past when i used to use some words to explane or make a conversation but me when i did not hear a voice or voices (or maybe i heard but did not notice them) anyway thats the reason i call it a consciousness because it’s a part of me and has nothing to do with something super natural but is a plane and simple my foult that i hear even tho i think we shuld change this hearing into producing because it’s all in our heads we dont have a tiny persons or another spirit in us that is talking the brain is generating extra waves or something or we may call it a delay because when one person talkes to another person usualy it does not take more then 00.1 of a second to respond to other persosn question or conversation so this must be a delay in our brains like echo, anyway when i said it’s my foult i saw here that also children have it maybe it’s not my foult but i think it is and it must be with all due respect for the mom’s and dad’s what wrotte here i think their children were not treat good in childhood maybe not from family but from other in life so they sufered and did not talk to anyone about that because this is plane and simple a disorder in life as whole i’m not saying that i had a bad childhood but when i said earlier it’s my foult im going to explane why i think so, i had a good life as a child no abuse but i when i was 17 i witness a war in my country i’m from kosova others call it(kosovo) i had a lot of stress and very tough life in 1990 til 1999 as we where under serbian rule and you know what that nation was capable of doing they did it in bosnia so i was thinking and all my family and friend where thinking that.. but i dont know if they now hear voices or as i call it echo because it’s not a very easy thing to say to someone oi how you doing i hear voices do you?!!about echo thing– but sometimes you can comunicate with this vibration but never gives you more than 2-3 words so echo is like a tricky when it responds!! and from reading here the respond is negative, it’s same here negative when i was in the beginning of the career of hearing this voice like 2-3 years i’m now 31 i live in the 5-th floor it saw saying to me jump jump and i was getting back from the balkony this was really scary people this is no joke i’m with you voice hearers 100 percent and i wish i could take a microphone as for the hole world to hear me to say to people that hear voices people your not alone because i’m guessing many people lose their whole mind starting with this voice hearing so im thinking to know that they are not alone might save their life’s any way this is just a wish this is not possible,, im getting back to when i said it’s my fault .. i think it’s my fault because after the war i was 18 then 19 and i started a diferent life style a lot of money in my pocket’s and drinking night lifes girls and drugs. *one night I took drugs and* i went to bed next morning i had to work so i went to work but somehow i felt weak i started spiting all the time and the spit started to taste like my brain even tho i did not know how the brain tastes.. this spiting did not stop i guess i was losing liquid’s a lot it tasted like acid i dont know the spit was turning like white acid and i realised *the drugs were different*. When i came home from work that night was hell. i rushed down to buy some fruits and a pizza. i drank a lot of fluids because i could not stop spiting and then that night i experienced something like electrification of my brain, i had a lot of fear and i was having a feeling like my brain its beeing erased i started to count down numbers backwards and my dear family members nonstop in my mind and that’s when the electrification happened. i saw like bilion star’s it was like a computer reboot or i don’t know how to call it (but later i found out or maybe think that i found out i experienced nervous breakdown) but after that i was not me i lost most of the friend because my close family was not here some of the friends tryed to help i was suspicius that some one did something to me or the thing that i took that night was planted by some one in short words started to make movies in my head i went to doctors taking the medicine to calm down basiclly which in a way maybe helped but i dont know but the thing is i started hearing a voice or voices and i was speaking to my grand mothers grand fathers and dear dead uncle of mine wierd stuff and that voice saying jump and all the thing i dont know really how i am now alive and writting to you but i know one thing you need to belive in your self and family is a holy thing they helped me even tho they dont know about the voice or voices or as i call it consciousness or echo.. but they helped but you people that are hearing and for the first time are reading here at this site dont be afraid and dont listen what consciousness is saying never listen listen your real you and you can block those thing just by concentrating but that takes energy but main thing is to go out a live never stop living you need to belive in your self because we are all alone even tho we have all friend family and everything we are all alone you know the eric clapton song and sting when the bell is empty and the hunger so … i cant remember the whole song but that’s what im writting here we are alone and that is sometimes sad but we humans are stronger then rock we have a saying among my people so be strong and dont do something stupid and hope the voice or consciousness goes away.. and gather as much as you can info about this it makes you feel good and for me i hear all that negative saying from this voice belive me some times i wish i could take my brain and slap it 2-3 times to reboot it again 🙂 joking a bit sorry for gramar it’s late im tired and sorry that i wrotte this much but i wanted to leave a mark somewhere this is my first time that im writting about this so i want to help people and help myself

    By the way after all that i meet a girl and got married and i have a angel son i live for him now and i do everything for him so im 3 times stronger then i was alone i have what to care about now and i thank my wife for it and also god even tho i hear voices or consciousness or echo life is good and embrace it the way it is voice or no voice anyway sorry for writting this much i hope i did not bore you all and hope i’m helping some one with this Emanuel Adam and all of you take care i dont know wich one of you had the 2 kids but be strong man dont disappoint your kids your all they got qao from Prishtina…

    1. HVN

      Hi – thanks for sharing, and its great to hear that things are going really well for you now. At HVN, we believe that there are many different types of voices and many different ways of understanding them – so it’s important we all find something that works for us. Best wishes 🙂

  26. Calley

    I’m classed as a “mental health service user” because I am an identified sufferer of severe depression, anxiety disorder, OCD and I hear voices (not specifically labelled at this point!). I see a psychotherapist weekly and a psychologist monthly. I find the contact helpful as I have lost the majority of my friends since my mental health declined. I take anti-depressant medication and have been trialled on a couple of anti-psychotics but as yet have not found the one for me. My mental health issues date back to childhood, and there are many underlying, buried deep matters that have still not come to light through therapy.
    I consider myself extremely lucky as I feel I have a very positive relationship with my psychotherapist. Having persevered with several NHS and private therapists I know how fortunate I am to find someone I really connect with – some who I feel really “gets me”.
    Unfortunately, these appointments are my only social contact outside of my family as (having lost my friends) I feel too isolated and inhibited to venture anywhere new.
    In the past I have attended CBT style workshops at the local psychiatric hospital as an outpatient. However “there is no longer the funding” available to carry on offering such lifelines in my area.
    I know I can’t be alone in feeling sidelined by society. Contrary to how I feel most of the time; I am not a complete lunatic, I “look” normal, I don’t have three heads and I think I’m a reasonable person.
    I would love the opportunity to get together with other people in the same boat as me – the comfort of knowing that when you meet a new group of people they already know you’re finding it hard, as they’ve all been in your shoes. They know how you feel and you don’t need to excuse yourself for “feeling like a freak”.
    But sadly, “lack of funding” means that I (and others in the same boat) are left stranded – leading (in many other cases too I’m sure) to the worsening of our conditions.
    I doesn’t seem fair.
    Thank you for listening.

  27. alexis knee

    just yesterday night while i was laying in bed somethig happened, everything went quite (almost when your ears pop going down a steep hill) and i heard a ringing, then it all stoped and from both of my ears i heard a female and a male say ‘calculate’. what does this mean?

    1. HVN

      Hi, it’s hard to give a definite answer – as voices mean different things to different people. With that in mind, does ‘calculate’ mean anything to you? When people start hearing a voice, or voices, it’s often helpful to think about what was going on in their life at the time (and whether the voice could be related to that in some way). You might want to read Intervoice’s Practical Guide to Coping With Voices for some more ideas about what this could mean to you, or email us to talk more nhvn@hotmail.co.uk.

  28. l.k.

    hello, my dad said that all he has been seeing are the numbers 333. what does this mean?

    1. HVN

      Hi. It’s good you’ve picked up that visions often have meaning – that’s our experience too. The challenge is that the meaning isn’t always obvious – so it can take a bit of time to work it out. A good starting point is asking your dad what he thinks these numbers might mean, or whether they have any relevance to him. Another question is whether anything was happening when he started seeing the numbers. Some people keep a diary to check out whether there is any routine or pattern to it. Sometimes visions can be linked to thoughts, feelings, emotions or situations people find themselves in (or even times of the day!). Another thing to explore might be how he feels when he sees the numbers – is it reassuring, confusing, frightening ….? Going to a Hearing Voices Group, or talking to someone about these experiences, can help with the sense-making. If he’s interested in trying a group, check out our ‘Find A Group’ page to see if there is one nearby. Best wishes.

  29. gjia

    hi. I am a 23 years old and since I was a child like 5 years old I heard a voice everytime when I was alone.when i thought something a voice of a women repeated everything what I was thinking.I tried to speak and again I heard that voice in my head repeating my words faster. sometimes I heard that sound also in my dreams and I woke up crying and scary. the women voice scared me always and I was scared to stay alone and to hear it.
    Now I hear it sometimes and everytime when I hear I want to let the voice stay and to try to understand it but I am still scared and then I find myself going to talk with someone just to make the voice go.

    1. HVN

      Hi, thanks for sharing that. It sounds like you’re really working to change your relationship with the voice you hear and make sense of it. It’s not always an easy journey, though, and it’s OK to feel scared and need to be around people sometimes. Do you have anyone that can help you make sense of things? Going to a Hearing Voices Group can help give you somewhere safe to talk about these experiences and find ways of coping with them. Also, it might be helpful to keep a diary and see if you can make sense of when the voice is triggered – and whether there is anything you can do that helps to calm the voice a little. Check out http://www.voicecollective.co.uk/coping/coping_afraid3.html or http://www.voicecollective.co.uk/help/help_main.html if you want some ideas of ways to feel safer/calmer when you hear the voice.

  30. rich

    I get a voice or different voices in my head, it is usually negative and lie’s. I also get intrusive thoughts, It try’s to make me believe it is me thinking these thoughts but it is not.
    My christian faith helps me very much with this.

    1. HVN

      Hi. Thanks for sharing this. Its good to hear that your faith helps you.

  31. Rachel Van Den Bergen

    I hear voices and music. The voices accompany a physical sensation. I have accepted the voices and am now no longer diagnosed with a mental illness. I have had this since August 2002. The physical sensation occurred in November 1995. I see them as a safety valve as things were bad for me then and having to cope with the voices stopped me going back to the dangerous situation. Living in a bad supported housing triggered them, and being isolated in non supported housing brought on more. I see the anxiety behind them as part of survival.

  32. Jason Bradley

    Voices have plagued me for 3 odd years and like to repeat themselves if I don’t respond.Was in hospital for few months and now on Olanzapine which does help a little with the paranoid thoughts and feelings although I attend a voices group feel alone and trapped with this.Previously there was know history with anything although I had depression as a kid,no drug or alcohol abuse doctors diagnosed me with dissasociative psychosis(a posh way of saying multiple personality)wondering how to get a handle on it all.

    1. HVN

      Hi Jason. It’s good to hear that you’re going to a group, but I’m sorry you’re feeling alone and trapped with all this. Hearing voices for the first time is a big deal, and it can take a while to get to grips with why the voices are there and what helps ease things. Many people in the network understand their voices as part of dissociation, even though it’s not talked about as often as ‘schizophrenia’ or spiritual experiences. Often, finding ways of feeling safe and grounded can help – as can working out what triggers the dissociation/voices. If you want to find out more about the dissociation side of things, we have links with PODS (Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Survivors) who have extra info on their site (www.pods-online.org.uk). You’re also welcome to join our forum which might give you an extra place to share your experiences and get support.

  33. David Coser

    If you have just experienced voices and are freaked out by your experience. Trust me your not alone and their is hope. I was diagnosed as a schitzophrenic back in March 2010. I suffered a severe episode of psychosis which included hallusinations such as voices, touch and visual. I was sectioned because I was so poorly in other words psychotic which just means your immagination and reality become blurred. I heard 100’s of voices ranging from friends, family, work colleagues and famous people. Their voices were clear and complex. I had indepth conversations and the voices I spoke to eventually had me convinced I lived in a parralel universe. I heard the voices all through the day and night. I tried to hide my experiences from people around me. I became paranoid, confused, delusional, anxious and scared. Whilst in hospital I was put on an anti psychotic ‘risperidone’. What caused this? Well it was trauma or stress. Ihad been subjected to a prologned period of stress due to the breakdown of the relationship to my wife and additional stress from work. I was 34 when I started to hear voices at work initially thinking it was people making comments at work. No history of mental health and would and still do consider myself as being normal. Anyway I used a variety of coping techniques whilst in hospital from distraction, meditation, rules of engagement and more creative ideas. As the medication worked its way into my system I battled for my life trying to stop the voices and get a grip of reality once again. People need to understand it can be the fight of your life but you must remain positive. Anyway after battling for weeks and admitting to a nurse about my voices I was eventually discharged. I was a little freaked out it was such a shock I felt like a freak, alone and scared. But with thanks to the support of my family and CPN I started to regain confidence. Returned to work after 2 months and tried to patch things up with my wife who I loved very much along with my 2 beautiful boys aged just 8 months and 3 years. Sadly my wife decided to end the marriage and I struggled to cope with work. Igot involved with a local art studio supporting people with mental health conditions. I loved it as I have an arts background and became a Director and assistant artist. Came off the risperidone for 8 months. Sadly the pressure of the divorce and arguments I had with my wife caused me to have a second episode of psychosis. It hit me so fast hardly any warning signs. I wondered around Hartlepool confused by my voices, my family very concerned and I was picked up by the Police and taken to hospital for the second time. Again I tried to hide my experiences but was psychotic. The voices convinced me
    this time I was Jesus and on a mission from God! Unless you have heard voices its hard to explain just how clear and complex they are. But I once described them “as better than digital” on radio, so I will stick to that. Such a profound experience I bought a cross which I wear to this day. Started on the anti psychotics again battled with the voices and after 6 weeks gained control. To be honest was left on my own for long periods without any interaction from staff. I remember one conversation with a nurse who threatened to hold me down and inject me as I was not taking my medication and I had deteiorated. I was actually fine during this conversation and felt really low after it happened. To be honest my CPN is fantastic so the support from the NHS overall has been great. Still so much stigma regarding voice hearer’s even though it affects 3% of the worlds population. Anyway I still take 2mg of risperidone but guess what no voices since May 2011. I am part of a voice hearing group in Hartlepool called Blueskyscanners. My two boys are now aged 6 and 3 and are amazing. I am happy with my life and are looking to start a course at college to become a mental health counseller. So their is hope for everyone from what I understand the reason for voices can be both biological and enviromental. But please don’t blame yourself and being positive is so important. Good luck with your recovery love David xxx

  34. Angela

    Just been reading some people’s experiences and am glad that its not just me.

    1. mary O sullivan

      Angela I don’t blame you

  35. Angela

    I have just moved to new ash green in long field are there any local groups near me that you could tell me about x

    1. HVN

      Dear Angela, Unfortunately I can’t find any details of groups in your area. The nearest group is in Bromley. You can find their details here. Do email us at nhvn@hotmail.co.uk if you’d like some support to launch a new group in your area – I’m sure there’s a need for it.

  36. eddy

    I hear voices. Not human voices and that is very scary. I am trying to find similar experiences. Usually, I hear these ‘voices’ when I am talking to a particular friend. Sometimes, it seems the voice comes from my friend, but it is just a vision. These voices are for me to describe because it doesn’t sound as nothing that I know. It is like a sound of a dragon, or trumpet, and every time that I hear it I get scared because I also feel an evil presence. I need to find information about this experiences that have been happening to me for almost 2 years now.

    1. HVN

      Hi Eddy. Thanks for your message. You’re not the only person we have met who hear voices that don’t sound human. Hearing Voices is an umbrella term, so it includes anything from hearing sounds (like whistles or footsteps) to hearing people’s voices to hearing voices that sound like something else entirely (this can include voices that sounds mechanical, alien, genderless or voices that are more like presences than voices – a felt sense). If you feel on your own, though, it can be very difficult. Have you seen the Intervoice facebook page? It’s an international community and lots of people use it – many set up a specific facebook account so that it preserves their anonymity. You may find people with similar experiences on this community. You may also want to join a Hearing Voices Group – although everyone’s experiences are a little different, it can really help to meet others who can help you make sense of what’s happening.

    2. Sheryl

      I can relate some. The difference is that my voices usually talk about the people. I had experience where I see images on people. Sometimes people appear to have black eyes. You know the kind of stuff you see on a sci fri channel. This frighten me. I pick up vibes of uncomfortable feeling. I would say just get another friend.

  37. Crystal

    I have gradually been introduced to hearing voices over the past year. I’m trying to figure out if people actually can speak to each other telepathically or if something from another realm is speaking to me. How can I sort this out. This seems to be a supernatural rather than a biological phenomenon. Also, I feel that it helps to be respectful of the voices, but politely tell them to go away.

    1. HVN

      Hi Crystal. It’s hard for anyone to say where voices come from for sure, as there are lots of different ideas. Some people find spiritual understanding helpful, others believe they are psychological – represent difficult life experiences/issues and others believe they can be triggered by biological means (brain chemicals, a reaction to drugs/medication or physical illness). In some part of the world, hearing voices is understood as a gift or ability (which can be difficult to manage at times). The important thing is to find an explanation that works for you – and find ways of dealing with the consequences of the voices you hear. Being respectful and firm seems like a really good strategy, whatever their root cause. If understanding more about the different ways of understanding voices is important to you, you might want to look at the Intervoice site (Positive and Spiritual Voices page). Hearing Voices Groups can be a good way of hearing different understandings of voices and making your own decisions about what you believe, yourself.

      1. Lisa

        Hello…I feel like I am going crazy…I hear voices almost all of the time…when I was pregnant I thought I heard my babies voice…I was concerned that she would end up like me and I heard her say “just because you are messed up doesn’t mean I will be”…her voice sounded as if she was an adult…I hear my mom , my bf, my grandmother, friends sometimes, and voices I don’t even recognize, sometimes I can hear what they are saying other times it is as if it is muffled and I can only describe it as being in a long tunnel and someone is yelling something but I can not make out what they are saying…sometimes the voices are positive, but then I have others saying negative things in response to the positive, this cant be real…it has to be my imagination…it is scary and overwhelming…sometimes I scream at them to leave me alone, to shut up and I feel as if it only makes it worse, other times I say calmly “I don’t know who you are or what your trying to say but please get out of my head”…it is a constant struggle, I have been diagnosed with bipolar and put on medication which I am not taking because I panic when I take it, I can not breath and it just scares me to even try to take it again on top of it the side affects are very scary, it just adds more anxiety…I can not talk to anyone about the voices, I feel like a freak, I used to think I was psychic, and knew what people were thinking but I can not control it, thoughts pop into my head that are not my own and it is hard to push them away, sometimes they are terrible thoughts, other times especially when talking to someone who needs advice my words flow from my lips like I know exactly what to say to them to make them feel better…it is a blessing and a curse…I find it hard to focus, hard to accept and hard to ignore…I don’t know what to do anymore…I just got over an episode of voices that made me panic and feel very down on myself…critical voices tormenting me…why does this happen….I don’t understand and the fear of the unknown scares the crap out of me,,,i don’t want it anymore….or want to think that other people can do it either…I don’t want anyone else in my mind…I am ashamed of a lot of my thoughts and would not want anyone to know my secrets…I am in the USA, new jersey actually and have not found a group to discuss this…please please someone help me….just so I know I am not alone and someone can relate…I have never met anyone else who heard voices and I am hiding it as best I can…I talk a little about it in therapy but then immediately feel judged and depressed when I leave like the therapist thinks I am crazy…I guess I am crazy…[personal details removed – HVN]…thanks Lisa

        1. HVN

          Hi Lisa – It’s great you found this site and managed to reach out. It sounds like you’ve really been through the mill and could do with people to talk to. I had a look and it seems like there’s a group in New Jersey – see: http://www.hearingvoicesusa.org/find-a-group.html?catid=35 for more details. That’s the USA HVN site. Hopefully meeting others will break down some of the stigma and isolation you’re feeling. You also may want to join Intervoice and their facebook group/forum to talk with others who experience voices too. You’re not alone, and hearing voices doesn’t mean you’re crazy. Is just sounds like you’re struggling with stuff and could do with some support.

  38. carlie

    plz help I’m hearing voices inside my head things that I would not think of doing and theirs a guy voice and other voices that say creepy and scary things but I don’t see things just here them and it started in the year 2011 and now its 2013 I don’t know what to do? plz help and I have been to a psychiatrist once in 2011 but the person didn’t help

    1. HVN

      Hi Carlie. I’m sorry that the voices you hear are so scary (and that the psychiatrist you saw back in 2011 wasn’t so helpful). The first thing to check is what kind of help you’d find useful – there are lots of different people you can talk to about voices that you’re struggling to cope with. These places of support include: a counsellor or therapist; your GP to get referred to a mental health team for extra support; talking to supportive friends/family; helplines (like the Samaritans or Childline, if you’re under 18); Hearing Voices Groups (if there’s one near you). If you email us at nhvn@hotmail.co.uk we’ll be able to ask a bit more about what’s going on for you and see what we can suggest. You’re not on your own in hearing scary voices – but, with support, you will be able to find a way of dealing with them.

  39. Adam

    Hello,

    I hear voices when I’m most anxious, but besides that…

    I was just wondering if it’s common for outside noise/conversation to be distorted in some way?… I keep hearing my neighbours gossip, and even other people, and I know I’m not important, but do you think the mind (when anxious & paranoid) can distort and exagerrate the way I perceive what they’re saying?

    It’s always negative things about me, and I can’t understand why, it makes me feel like a prisoner to be honest. I don’t leave my apartment, and I have a long history of being put down by people. So you can imagine my self esteem isn’t so great, and my frame of mind is obviously negative.

    1. anonymous

      sounds familiar.
      Not being ‘Popularity Champion’+ ‘hearing stuff’ can = self-esteem havoc.
      I know all about not leaving the apartment.
      Stay in touch with spirit world.
      I may be cliche, but faith = power.

    2. Sheryl

      My opinion you might want to go out of your apartment. Get a good feel of what they are saying to make sure. I myself live in apartment but I also have someone who live with me also. At first I felt like you. I was making up some where in my mind that they were talking about me. The truth is when it got silence at night, I could still hear the voices. Most of the time it is a male. I do take medicine for my schizoaffective disease. It has not help. Since I seen an angel. I know sound crazy. I think I am on another level. One day I was job hunting and I went into a department store. There is noise but the male voice goes your not going to get the job. Hold and behold they had no applications and was hiring any more. Over a year time I complain to my doctor about hearing that about a funeral. About year later my father passed away. That’s why I say step out of your apartment sometimes and try to get clear understanding of the words and see if it is the people talking. I am use of the male voice and the female that I hear I can tell.

  40. Katrina

    After being diagnosised with Bipolar one severe depression, I began to hear voices that no one else could hear and smell things that others couldn’t smell. Hearing voices can be imaginary friends or a deceased family member. To get to the core you would have to research your family’s geneology looking for members that have a mental illness. I have racing thoughts where I tend to jump from one subject to the next. I felt like I was the only one and what if my friends and society won’t accept me for who I am. Of course, having a mental illness may lead to other medical problems, and there may be many people that place a stigma that they are lower class individuals. I don’t have names for the voices I hear. The phases that I hear are very negative, self-defeat, self-centered,and affects the things I need to do in life. The pass from time to time, but I’m never on a limb where I can’t take it anymore. I have been hospitalized for talking to myself. After taking the meds, this is slowing decreasing. There so many influences that prevent people with disabilities to work. It’s hard finding who you, if you will make it, and family support. Some of us are very causious. Taking one day at a time, and helping them back into the real world would put a smile on their face.

  41. lisa

    Hi, my husband has had a very traumatic childhood and this has led to him being diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and also mild psychosis. This assessment was done by a mental health social worker who, to be honest, was useless at his job. My husband has been suffering with voices and visions on and off for years, but only got diagnosed in 2009. We spoke to my husbands social worker about accessing groups like this to give my husband support but the social worker put him off. I’ve been looking at different websites trying to find as much informantion about mental health, as my husbands now been discharged from the service he was using, as he could only be with them for 3 years. As i say the social worker didnt offer any practical help, information or support.
    It can be very scary and confusing for a partner/parent when they hear a loved 1 start talking about voices or visions that you cant see or hear. Esp when those voices can be degrading and make the victim suffer so much they want to comit suicide. My husband has a got a long way to go yet. but my faith in professionals has been greatly dented after the lack of proper support my husband recieved. Im hoping to find a group for him to join locally, in the meantime, has anybody got any ideas on how to get my husband properly diagnosed and the right support please?

    1. HVN

      Hi Lisa, it’s sad that your husband’s social worker put him off going to a group. Sometimes people have a misunderstanding about what the groups are like, and who they are for, so can be unnecessarily cautious. Lots of people who go to Hearing Voices Groups also have traumatic histories and PTSD, so your husband isn’t on his own. If he wants services, but doesn’t have access to them – it may be worth seeking out some advocacy (e.g. from a local Mind organisation) so he can get the help he needs. Some people find that therapy can be helpful too – either through the NHS or a voluntary agency. If your husband wants to speak to his local group, check out

  42. silvia

    Hi! I know that some voice hearers may have a biochemical problem, it could be a particular enzyme which does not work, or not enough, so that the lipid pathway in the metabolism is different. For this reason, the lipid membrane of cells are stressed, above all that ones which do not duplicate and renovate themselves, like muscle and nervous system. That’s why neurons may accumulate damages and could give rise to allucinations (verbal or visula). After a lipidomic test from a 3ml blood sample, a person can verify if there are some deficit in PUFA and DHA, then the person can take omega-3 fatty acids pills, or fish oil, reach in PUFA and DHA. there are many scientific papers about nutritional trials, and whether these findings are consequence of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) increase it is unclear. However, this study gives compelling evidence for larger clinical trials to confirm the use of omega-3 to prevent schizophrenia and for studies to reinforce the beneficial role of omega-3 in brain protection. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22954755 I sincerely hope you can have benefit from omega 3 supplementation, a person I know (voice hearer) had it in few months!!

    1. HVN

      Thanks Silvia, It’s good to hear about alternatives. There are many routes to voice-hearing, so there are probably many different things that help too.

  43. Terri

    Hi Adam I have the same feeling I hear people putting me down yes I see their mouths move & I know they run me down with IRS & hate I find it hard to go out as people in shops talk about me. I also hear a voice I do talk to her she had been with me since I was 8 when she was [hurt], I don’t take medication as I don’t wont to lose my best friend Molly, I do plot to kill her but also love her. I can talk to her for hours she is only 8, I know she will never leave me, she is nasty sometime blames me for her being [hurt], she doesn’t understand I couldn’t help as I was only 8 they were many.
    Yes I’m sorry for Molly but she’s now safe in my head.

  44. Bethany.

    I started hearing voices around about 2 months ago, there is about 2 voices i hear but they never actually say much they just make these really scary noises and say my name over and over again. I have never actually heard it during the day just at night time before i go to sleep. I havent told anybody about this as im not sure if im just over reacting.
    I panic alot about the littlest things, im always tired but have difficulty falling asleep. I get this feeling that im about to be sick but i never am, dizziness, pins and needles, frequent headaches. These are just a few symptoms that im having. I need advise about whether i should see a doctor about this or if i am just over reacting…

    1. HVN

      Hi Bethany. As you’re feeling worried – it makes sense to go and speak to someone about what’s happening. People hear voices for all kinds of reasons (anxiety is one of them, as well as physical issues), so seeing a doctor might help reassure you. Check out our Getting Help section for more info.

  45. Sheryl

    Growing up every once in a while I would hear things and see things. After so many changes in my life in just small amount of time and things happening to me made me hear things on normal bases and I was seeing things as well. I sort the doctor and have medicines to take but it doesn’t cure it. I first started out hearing things like people calling me a stalker. I never wanted to stalk anyone before. Soon I experience an event at my sister house where I felt something was done to me by two strange men. I start feeling people was stalking me. It only grew. I start thinking my songwriting lyrics that was in an old computer that became missing was sung by a superstar. I start seeing thing more after becoming a prison guard for high maximum prison. The male that seen to be a black male turn into angel that is not a black male but a different race. It continue to go on until one night I wanted to end my life and was put in hospital. Now I get treatment but I still hear voices and see things every once in a while. The medicine has help with seeing things everyday. It’s hard to figure out my future or what kind of job I can have to take care of myself if I can’t learn to manage the voices. Do anyone have any opinion? It’s hard for me to have relationships with a male without thinking they are present. What can I do?

    1. HVN

      Hi Sheryl, it’s great that you’ve been getting some support – but it sounds like you realise you need to find ways of dealing with the voices so you can live the life you want to live. Everyone’s different, so it’s hard to give specific advice, but you may want to read the book ‘Living With Voices: 50 Stories of Recovery‘ and other stories of people who have found ways of living with voices to give you some inspiration. People do find a way of coping – some go on to get jobs, others work voluntarily or enter supported work arrangements.

  46. William

    I sometimes hear my voice or my sisters/mums telling me to either harm or kill myself and was just wondering if this was normal or … I don’t know what to do.

    1. HVN

      Hi William, lots of people hear voices – so you’re not on your own with this. As the voices you hear are saying such difficult things, though, it’s a good idea to talk to someone about it. This might be a member of your family, a friend, a GP, a mental health charity or by going to a Hearing Voices Group. It can help to work with someone to understand why you’re hearing voices that say these things and find ways of dealing with it. The most important thing is to not act on what they are saying, and keep yourself safe.

  47. Richard

    Greetings everyone;

    If i’m not mistaken; i’ve been listening voices since i was born (i guess).
    Never paid much attention; until some years ago. Since the very first day i paid attention; each day i can “listen” to it better, and clear.
    It’s not that i can always listen; or understand (crystal clear).
    As far as i understand for my experience; it talks to me. As a friend.
    Advises me; answers to me; and 90% accurate when i understand it. It kinda predicts what will happen or what will be at certain time or place.
    When i was a little boy; i used to have few cognitive dreams; flashes of what happened with dostorted sound “trying to / telling me” what happened. The feeling was like a sensation of having a thought injected into my brain instantainiously.
    Then in denial; i tried to “mute”/Disable/Ignore it from my life. Since what i felt inside was painfull; and the things i saw and felt did really happened.
    Not good things as you can already guess.
    While growing and repressing those feelings through my journey in this life; i had a few years without any of these “sympthoms”.
    As i turned 18. I started to smoke pot.
    All i can say about that is that my brain suffered a huge evolution. (Why do people say that it is bad?)
    I got smarter; creative. Opened myself to new things.
    I dedicated myself to loads of things. Making music; developing simple windows applications; and a lot more without having no one to teach me…
    (Ok… i was a dumb guy before… LoL.)
    In the way i started reading about budism; my beliefs went “outer space” or else.
    I believe my brain entered a new performance state.

    Somewhere in the way of Budhism; i’ve read that everyone has their “Angel Guards”; who can talk to us and help us in our way. Another interesting reading is that with meditation you can actually talk / project ideas or thought with your mind through distance.
    And actually comunicate to people who recently died.
    As i couldnt explain how my dreams really happened; as well premonitions; and the premonition feelings.
    6 years ago; after all the stuff i lived; and in agony of living; i THEN started to believe that maybe there is someone somewhere; to help me.
    Personally i could say that there are some important beings that are no longer in this life; that i want to believe they protect me and live through me.

    And then it was when i started to “Hear” a inner voice that as time passed my i’ve been listening and talking to it, sometimes clearly.
    It doesnt happen to listen so clear when i want though…. Its kinda sad. Because it helps and It protects me. Sometimes also prevents me from saying crap; offend someone; do something wrong… So on…
    When its there I ask; and “it” answers. If i am receptive to it; its usually accurate.
    I wish i could understand it; know who or whats behind “it”; know that “it” really listens and its really there.

    I dont like the idea that it makes me heremith in some sort of way. Although i see that i dont have many friends; and that i dont go out much; unless i go to work.
    I dont believe it is so.
    In the days that it happens; i usually suffer a little bit dislexy when talking; and also seem to repeat myself (the same word; or the same answer). 2,3,4 or 5 times (max).
    Can also repeat pictures / “video” in my mind.
    Returning to the “drug” part; smoking pot.
    Its not that i can listen or talk to the voice… But feels like it amplifies the communication.
    And for a few time i felt like comunicating with my grandpa that i never met (he died before i was even born).
    This comunication went like:
    I was making music in my PC; with my headphones (hearplugs) (at the time i was still learning how to do music); and with sound on i heard on my head; “why dont you try this way?” and he instantly showed me how to do it. It happened several times with 2 projects. It also happened when i made some sketches/draws. (sometimes still do).
    I experienced it also a little drunk with wine; and even in normal state.
    But things came to my mind faster and clearly with wine and pot. But both seemed to have different results.
    At the present day i dont drink or smoke often. But i still listen to the voice. That i could believe its my Mother; that passed in 2007 ans my Cat that passed in 2005
    Yes sounds crazy. Its just what i feel about it. Im not afferaid to talk about it. Not to everyone ofcourse.
    I know im not crazy; just because “IT” proved me it is right.
    It only gets wrong when i dont listen to it correctly.
    Anyways; please feel free to comment; repply; answer; make any questions; etc.
    I really would like to discuss more about this.
    As this is only a resume part of the entire process of my life listening, feeling and watching events.
    ——————————————————————————————————-
    This reminds me:

    “Yesterday, upon the stair,
    I met a man who wasn’t there
    He wasn’t there again today
    I wish, I wish he’d go away…”

  48. Nicholas Stewart

    I heard voices back in october and november, those voices ruined my life and tried getting me to kill myself. To anyone that thinks they are telepathic go see a psychiatrist this is coming from personal experience.

    1. HVN

      Thanks for sharing Nicholas. At HVN we are open to lots of different ways of seeing, and dealing with, voices. Still, if someone is hearing a voice that is telling them to hurt themselves, others or is making life really difficult for them – it’s really important to get help and support. For anyone reading this not sure what to do, check out our Getting Help & Support Page. Most of all, take care and stay safe.

  49. Nicholas Stewart

    Also I took meds they worked voices went away by mid november and I was on the meds until early february and it hasn’t come back I can go back to living my life.

  50. SP

    Hello,

    I do believe I’m experiencing auditory hallucinations but not only. I’m just trying to diagnose myself what exactly is the thing that I have. I do hear angry voices very rare (more often as a child) they scream in an angry fashion stuff like ‘you useless, stupid’ and stuff like that. The strange thing at least I haven’t read that anyone experience it at the same time is like slowing down of the time and motions around me and the thing that i’m doing at this moment when the voices start becomes completely emotionless and like i don’t care anymore for what i’m doing at this particular moment.

    They don’t happen very often anymore, sometimes I don’t experience them with years.

    I’ve always had a very strong and imaginative brain since early ages. Everything that I start doing is extremely easy and I’m very good at. I’ve been to a doctor few years ago for nonstopping headaches for weeks, after some examination he told me that I have a a tension in my brain cells or blood vessels in my brain or something like that.

    Am I experiencing auditory hallucinations or there’s something more to it with that lack of emotion and slowing down of the things around me during the voices?

    1. HVN

      Hi, what you describe sounds familiar – we have met others who talk about things either slowing down or speeding up around them, so you’re not alone. Without knowing you, we can’t say exactly what’s happening, so its a good idea to talk with someone around you to try and make sense of it (especially as it sounds quite intense at times). Some people find it helps to keep a diary of when these experiences happen to find patterns and triggers. If you’ve been to the doctor with a physical issue, it may also be helpful to go back and get checked out. There are lots of different reasons to hear voices and have unusual sensations, and for some people their physical health plays a part too.

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