Basic Information About Voices & Visions

This page contains some basic information about voices, visions and other unusual sensory perceptions. If you feel you know little about the experience of hearing voices or seeing visions, it’s a good place to start. However if you already know the basics and would like some more detailed information, check out the other pages in this section.

What Are Voices & Visions?

When we talk about voices and visions, we simply mean someone is hearing, seeing or sensing something that others around them aren’t. These experiences can include all five senses, hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch. These experiences can occur in one sense at a time (hearing a voice, for example, or smelling something), but they can also happen in combination.

For some, these experiences can be comforting. For example, someone who is lonely may really value a voice that becomes a trusted confidant. A person who has recently lost someone they care about may benefit from talking to them at the end of the day, or smelling their perfume/aftershave. Others find these experiences to be a source of inspiration. Authors, for example, sometimes talk about how the characters can come to life and write the story for them. However, for some people these voices and visions can be extremely distressing – criticising, threatening or causing confusion.

How Common Is It?

Statistics vary, but it’s generally accepted that between 3 and 10% of the population hear voices that other people don’t. If you include one off experiences (like hearing someone call your name when you’re out shopping, or feeling your phone vibrate in your pocket) this figure goes up to 75%. So, having at least one experience of hearing or seeing something that others around you don’t is incredibly common. Those that have never had this experience are in the minority.

A number of famous and important people (past and present) have experience of hearing or seeing things that other people don’t. Without these people, the world would be a very different place. This list of famous people who have talked or written about hearing voices includes: Gandhi, Socrates, Joan of Arc, Freud, Anthony Hopkins, Philip K Dick, John Frusciante, Carlos Santana, Robert Schumann, John Forbes Nash, Zoe Wannamaker and Charles Dickens.

What’s It Like?

We’re all unique, so it’s unsurprising that voices and visions can be equally individual in terms of their identity, content, interpretation and impact. The following gives a brief overview. If you don’t recognise your experience here, that doesn’t mean you’re ‘weird’ or ‘unusual’.


Some people hear voices talking when no-one is around. These could be like the voices of people they know, or complete strangers. They might hear many voices, or just one. Voices can shout, whisper, be clear or muffled. They can speak in sentences or say single words. These voices can be male, female, genderless, old or young. Sometimes they have names, but not always. Voices can speak constantly (24/7), but they can also utter occasional words or phrases. People can hear other types of sounds too, including knocking, rustling, crying, screaming or music.

Some voices can be positive – providing the support and encouragement someone needs to get through the day. Other voices can be confusing, perhaps echoing thoughts or repeating strange phrases. Some voices can be very frightening, saying things that are critical, threatening or commanding. Voices can claim to have great power and knowledge, which can sometimes leave the voice-hearer feeling scared and powerless. Some voices can leave a person feeling very vulnerable and exposed (e.g. hearing a crowd of people jeering at you, or discussing intimate details of your life).


Some people see things that others don’t. These visions can be very clear and realistic, but they can also include fuzzy shapes, shadows and beams of light. Some people see the voices that they hear, others see insects or spiders. For some, the visions are very complex (like entering into another world). For others, the visions sit alongside their everyday world (an added box, person or animal for example). Sometimes, it can seem as if people or objects are changing shape. Their faces may turn to stone, they may be surrounded by a coloured aura or, for example, their eyes may change colour. As with voices, these visions can be reassuring, funny, frightening or distracting.


Some people smell things that remind them of their past. This could be something nice, like a loved one’s perfume/aftershave or a favourite food.

Sometimes people smell things that remind them of a particularly traumatic experience. For example, someone who survived a house fire may smell smoke when they feel anxious. Someone who was hurt by someone wearing a particular scent may, sometimes, smell this when there is no-one there to account for it. This can be extremely frightening, especially if they don’t recognise that this sensory experience comes from the past.

For others, the smell isn’t linked to a particular memory or traumatic event. For example, some people smell gas, burning or rotting food. These smells can feel very real and leave them fearing for their safety.


It can be difficult for someone to know that they’re tasting something that others can’t – unless they get someone else to try it too. This can make taste experiences particularly difficult to deal with. Some people get a strong bitter taste in their food or drink and, understandably, start to worry that there is something wrong with it. This can lead people to worry that they are being poisoned, or that someone is tampering with their food. Others have taste sensations when they are not eating. This might be when they are hearing a voice, watching a TV programme or thinking about something. These taste sensations can be pleasant (e.g. chocolate or a favourite food), but they can also be unnerving or unpleasant (e.g. something bitter or metallic).

Feeling (touch)

Some people can feel things on their skin when there doesn’t seem to be anything there. They might feel something crawling over their skin, tickling them or pushing them. Sometimes people feel something underneath their skin, and this can lead them to feel really worried about what is happening to their body.

Understandably these experiences can be very confusing and frightening. It’s not as simple as this, though. For others, these experiences can be reassuring. Someone who feels lonely and hears a reassuring voice may feel comforted if they feel a hand on their shoulder. They might interpret it as a sign that the voice is trying to support them.

Why Do People Hear Voices

There are lots of different theories and ideas to explain why people hear voices or see visions. These include:

  • A special gift or sensitivity
  • Trauma or adverse life experiences
  • Dissociation
  • Spiritual experiences
  • Biochemical (e.g. excess dopamine)
  • Paranormal experiences
  • Emotional distress
  • Physical health problems
  • Cognitive error (misattribution of ‘internal speech’)
  • Individual difference

The truth is that we do not know why people hear voices or see visions. As the experience is so diverse, it’s likely that there are a number of different explanations. Whilst this can be frustrating for those who feel confused and would like a simple answer or some certainty, it means that the most important explanation is the one that the voice-hearer themselves finds useful. It is important not to impose your own belief on someone else’s experience – this is fundamental to the Hearing Voices Network approach. Rather than providing a dogmatic view of voice-hearing, we recognise and celebrate a festival of explanations.

Whatever someone believes about their experiences, the most important thing is to find ways of dealing with that belief and finding some sense of power, control and hope within it.

Does Everyone who Hears Voices Get a Diagnosis of Schizophrenia or Psychosis?

Whilst many people associate voice-hearing with diagnoses of schizophrenia and psychosis, research suggests that the majority of people who hear voices have no mental health issue at all. Those who become overwhelmed, distressed or struggle to cope

Those who become overwhelmed, distressed or struggle to cope in some aspect of their life may receive a range of diagnoses including: anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder (also known as ’emotionally unstable personality disorder’), obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, psychosis, dissociative identity disorder, eating disorder, schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.

When someone receives a diagnosis, this diagnosis is not necessarily for life. Many people who are part of our network have met the criteria for a diagnosis at some point in their lives – but no longer do.

Diagnoses like these are a hotly contested area – with some finding that they are useful and others finding them a barrier to healing. For more information on a critical perspective on diagnoses, see:  Position Statement on DSM 5 & Psychiatric Diagnosis. You might also find Lucy Johnstone’s book ‘A Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Diagnosis‘ an interesting introduction to the debate.

If you’re struggling with voices or visions, please speak to someone. See our page on getting help for more information.

Is Recovery Possible?

At the Hearing Voices Network, we use the word recovery to mean ‘living the life you choose, not the life others choose for you’ (whether those others are family, friends, workers or voices). Many people who hear voices simply don’t need to recover – they are already living lives that they love. The voices might enhance their wellbeing, or their experiences may simply not detract from it.

For those who have particularly overwhelming experiences that lead them into the mental health services, recovery can feel like a distant dream. The good news is that people can, and do, find ways to deal with (and recover from) distressing voices. Perhaps more importantly, people can also recover from the situations that can make voices and visions so hard to deal with. Many people who recover continue to hear voices. Sometimes these voices change during the recovery process (being an ally, rather than an attacker). Other times these voices become quieter, less intrusive or even disappear altogether. Others find that the voices stay the same, but that they are no longer ruled by them. They feel stronger and more able to choose whether to listen to the voices or not.

We have witnessed many amazing journeys of recovery in the Hearing Voices Network. These journeys are, by their very nature, very individual. However, these journeys have led us to believe that no matter how overwhelmed or distressed the person is by their experiences (or whatever labels they have collected throughout their time in the mental health system) – recovery IS possible.

389 responses to “Basic Information About Voices & Visions”

  1. Anon

    I hear voices and sometimes see things. I always think about commiting suiciide. this is ruining my life. i don’t know what to do.

  2. Isaac

    I was wondering what could a cause a voice to come in to you? Because I havent had it for very long, but its been really bad in my life lately and ive just been worrying and been stressing and it just seems to come around most when I am but when im not and im just trying to relax he comes into my head and just keeps saying things and blaming things on me and insults me. Im only 16. It sounds really weird to me and maybe I just need someone to knock some sense into me but I dont know what to do and my girlfriend suggests I see a therapist but Im afraid of what theyll say. It sounds real to me and I cant get it to shut up.

  3. Jane Doe

    I want to tell my story and this is the best place, i will remain anonymous.

    It all started at work, i am a nurse I was working the night shift. I was looking after a resident who was declining, and unable to speak. I kept checking on him and checking on him to make sure he was ok. He kept doing these hand movement and I did’nt understand why at the time. I left him alone for 4 hours because I thought I was disturbing him too much. When I checked on him again he had passed. ( it just happened to be Christmas morning)

    When I went home that day I kept thinking about him I felt sorry for him, then it clicked what the hand movements ment. He kept his hand in a half fist with his two index fingers pointed up, he kept shrugging his shoulders, and pointing his index fingers up. He knew he was going to die. He seemed at ease and very content with what was going to happen. When I think about it.

    Then a few months past and I was laying on my couch at home. See I was always a non-believer, and I was going through all the goals I wanted for my life. ( im a big goals person) The book I follow for this is called The Life Audit by Caroline Righton. There’s a section in it that mentions spirituality. So I was thinking about that man and so many other stories I’ve heard of people that have known they were going to die before they did. Plus this little thing I saw on tv about a mini ivory statue I think it was a cow that was drinking milk. And I was thinking about death weather it was really the end, if life went on after death, how can this be it, my dad he died in a car accident when I was two. And I just asked right there laying in my couch in my livingroom ( or I could say demended, which im sorry about now) for a sign that god existed, Proof. I actually looked around for something and nothing happened… I went on with life normally

    Then a few months past again and I had a dream ( supposedly). I did’nt know where I was in the dream it was’nt a scarry place normal looking just could’nt figure out where it was, then I saw a face it was different. Then I woke up. And I could’nt seem to let go of that dream for some unknown reason I kept wanting to figure out where this place was, and the face kept me pondering.

    Then less than a month later I started hearing voices slowly at first, then it gradually, as I kept listening it got more and more and more, worse and worse. ( over a 4 day period ) strong to low, 1 to many, Good and Bad. I was going crazy, I was listening to the voices, doing what they told me to do. I caused problems at work, with my family, with my friends, police, and at the hospital. Which I ended up getting admitted to for 10 days. While I was there I was very messed up ( they put me on medication which only made me sleepy and did’nt get rid of the voices) I slowly got better, but never was fully recovered ( so to speak) until I got home. But I had to lie to the nurses and doctors saying I was’nt hearing anything and show them improvement. It took me some time to figure out what I had to do was think for myself and not listen to the voices, even though the strongest voice I was hearing I thought was Gods voice. ( And even the voices were saying not to listen)

    Remember that dream I was telling you about earlier. I figured out where it was. while I was walking around the ward I was on I saw the janitor’s face. It was the mans face in my dream, then the dream came back to me, the place was the ward that I was on in the hospital. (The voices said it was a warning) ( maybe that’s all what premonitions are, are warnings that’s why they don’t all always come true I don’t know)

    Anyway I went home, the voices slowly went away. But only perminantly went away when they were trying to get me to quit my job I said , I can do whatever I want. I moved on with my life, tried not to think about it, all the while hearing noises and thinking im hearing voices the odd times, all the while just knowing there was something else there. and things did settle with work, friends and family. That is untill…

    About a year later I decided to read a book called Are you getting Enlightened or losing your mind? By Dennis Gersten, M. D. I got half way through and started looking up on the internet stuff with regards to the soul, spirit, mind and body. And I was reading stories about other peoples experiences, mainly about a boy who felt the creepy crawly feeling under his skin ( Every one’s story is different) Then I went a little crazy again truly believing I have a soul. The voices came back, but this time I was feeling the creepy crawly under the skin as well.

    I took a night off work, and got no sleep. I was having the chills, creepy crawly under the skin, and voices. Then I would start to drift off to sleep but I would have this sensation like part of me was leaving my body. ( I guess I understand it now to be energy of some sort.) I seriously thought I was going to die. Then I kept turning on and off the tv and lights in my room, because I needed background noice and the dark was scaring me. Eventually everything was turned off . It was dark but I could still see the glimmer of light out of my window from the street lights. Then my eyes were open and the darkness started closing in ( like elevator doors closing). What I saw was darker then dark, it went black no slit of light with my eyes still open. Then I saw it, the White room. ( everone see’s something different) Mine looked like a doctor’s office completely white, with for some reason I still don’t quite know yet a morticians table in it. Only for a second. Then I saw shadows of 3 people. And the voices, saying believe in whats real, everyone deserves a second chance at life. I think one was a baby or toddler. I woke up I started seeing I guess the best way to describe it was angles but different colours like completely red, green, orange, yellow, very beautiful.

    Eventually morning came, I ate something drank something, went back to bed. No sleep at first I kept seeing the angels, and felt my energy leaving me, eventually I did settle. Then for a few days I still saw the angels, heard the voices, felt the energy leave me, and saw the same 3 shadows. Until it all went away. …Except for the voices at the moment.

    There is a lot more to the story but it seems pretty long as is. For now I have had nothing since except voices, and I think the experience was to try and help me.

    1. Andrew

      I need to know the rest of your story, if your still alive, and how are you now. I hope this reaches you.

    2. Sylvette

      I will love to hear the rest of this story

  4. sombody

    hi I here bad and mean voices in my head they tell me to do bad things and I don’t know what to do or how to stop it and reply back I’m scared??? please relpy

  5. becky

    I have experienced voices and visions during most of my life. There have been times I felt tormented by these voices esp. the ones who are mean to me and call me names. I have learned how to deal with these voices better these days but sometimes I still have moments of emotional suffering and physical pain because they won’t leave me alone. I have learned most of all to be kind to the voices. to try and find out what they are wanting or needing and sometimes what I need from them. ususally, when i talk with love and kindness I get love and kindness back or they quit tormenting me. I had no idea there were so many other people like me that have been living with this. I have so much more to share. But I did want to at least let others know, I can control how these voices affect me or not but it did take me willing to admit they are really there and not to argue and fight with them. They seem to sijmply be a part of my life here and now and I have grown to love and appreciate them. I also believe it is someking of a dissociative thing. I really don’t know or care. I have visions that have saved lives of people and also visions that I knew I could nothing about. I don’t want to have them, but I do. It like not wanting blue eyes but you do. I am thankful for people coming out and talking about this sensitive subject.

  6. becky

    I also wanted to write here about another kind of hearing voices. Sometimes in my hallway, well most of the time in the hallway. It is like someone left the TV on or a radio. Sometimes I hear music but I know there is not source where it is coming from. My husband says he has had this happen too. I am not concerned or feel threatend. It’s just weird. I does happen in other places too, but mostly in my home. Any ideas would hellp

  7. lauren

    the voices have only just started as ive just detoxed from drink and drugs where b4 i thought it was part of the buzz. the voices are now very clear and frightnening. they tell me every1 wants me dead, kill yourself, youre a dirty slag. when im around people the voice can intrude and tell me that person is going 2 hurt u, u need 2 run, other times he tells me im worthless and a waste of space. youre ugly. ur a tramp. etc

    they really scare me and i dont understand where they have come from. i have a mental health worker already but its really hard 2 now tell her about this as ive been sectioned b4 and it wasnt 4 this and now all of this is happening. i dont know what to do. it making me seriously consider suicide as i dont want 2 hurt anybody bcos of him and ive been through so much in my life already and im only 20 i cant cope with being put down or made to feel any worse than i do.

  8. L.T.

    I have heard voices several times in my life time. Usually there are several years between hearing the voices.I think I hear voices because I meditate very often as a Buddhist. They were quite matter-of-fact-sounding voices. One day after coming home from my daughter’s school bus stop I heard a “guy” tell me I fight like a man. My daughter & I practice play-fighting as self-defense.The funny part was I was all alone in my home when I heard that voice,though there was a guy at the bus stop,no one was near my house when I got home,and I looked around the neighbors’ houses where voices echo off sometimes. But it made sense,we(our whole family)watch a lot of action movies,the Jackie Chan,Jet Li,and VanDamn types. I also heard a voice quite clearly say,”His life parallels yours.” after I was watching tv….& think it had to do with someone I know who is completely different from me,but whom I have one thing in common,our interests in spiritual learning,his Christianity,and mine Buddhism.Do not worry all of you who have heard voices if they are helpful and matter-of-fact. The famous MIT scientist,Pete A.Sanders,Jr. wrote his book titled,YOU ARE PSYCHIC,Which all of you might be interested in reading or telling your non-believing friends about. (-:(-:(-:(-:(-:(-:(-:(-:(-:(-:(-:(-:(-:(-:(-:(-:(-:(-:(-:(-:(-:

  9. Jenna

    I have only recently started experiencing voices and often they help me through the day they give me advise and talk me down when I’m upset but sometimes they turn on me and try to hurt me is this normal? What’s wrong with me? Please help!!!

  10. Jarybravo

    Hi I am writing this because I been in a ? Mark since I was 5-6 years old …
    One day I stay alone at home when I was five years old mom let me in the house she went to a party and when I was on my bed sleeping san delay I heard a man like 40 s
    Calling clear my name .. I thought I was dreaming but I wasn’t cause when I stand up from my bed I turn the lights on I heard the last time someone called me
    After that I am scare of dark .. I have very fictions dreams I dream with Angeles there were to tall I dream with gad he is really tall I can’t see his face … And las year I dreamed my grandpa dead and I call my mom she said my grandpa have had a fain a day ago and he was really sick he went to a hospital then I had a dream 2 weeks ago that my grandpa had and accident and I cund see his legs cause was broken 🙁 and last week my husband cousins got and accident one is dead one is broken legs and arm and the other brain dead … So I don’t know what is wrong with me I feel sometimes really scare of the dark I feel sometimes like someone is watching me .. When I walk I feel like someone is on my back .. The thing is I am not crazy 🙁 I have very good memory I have 3.5 gpa good at school I am very good person I never try to look for problems at school or somewhere else . 🙁 please if someone know about this can tell me what is wrong with me…
    Sorry for my speech I been hear 3 -4 years in the UU.SS

  11. patrick

    I think voice hearing can happen when your health deterirates and you do not have enough energy to cope with life. Then you start beliving in another world which is because you can not get started in the realistic world. You do not have the strenght to cope with life so you go into the underworld. This probably means you have lost touched with the comunity and friends and all you have left is others who want to comunicate with you by voices in your head. It is very sad and probably there are people who are more sensitive to others and this is why they get attaked.

  12. sophie

    Yesterday my friend told me that she on and off will hear a woman screaming at her in her head, she says it happens on average and it terrifies her because she cannot understand the voice, it goes on for a few minutes and in random places now, one even caused her to flunk an exam
    Her mum told her when she asked, that she used to have it when she was twoyears old and it used to be when she was walking up the stairs so her mum used to stand at the bottom to reassure her.

  13. john

    I’m hearing voices everyday. They speak in really harsh tones. Laughing, taunting me as if they were watching me from a computer monitor and watching my every move. Like demons they claim the silence of my final moments before I fall asleep at night. I feel eyes upon me from every corner and their voices sharp and painful. Digging and eating away at me like i’am a thing to hate, to loathe and to destroy. They scoff at my every action as if everything I do is the wrong move.
    I used to play the guitar and sing. But, then 4-6 years ago, the voices emerged. Such hateful and spiteful voices. It continued from then on and it had not ended. Even now as I type this I hear them saying terrible things. Here’s an example ‘he’s j… off!’, he’s a f….ng f.g! He’s disgusting! Perverted! Disgusting! Be ashamed of yourself you f….ing bastard!”
    And other such things some even worse and more suggestive.
    So now I’m thirtyone, and I still hear voices that male me feel as timid as a child and for the very life of me i’am beginning to lose hope that i’d ever be normal again. I lost interest in everything I never go out and I never talk to anyone. And I mean that in the very literal sense. I lock myself in a single room in myown house with the lights off and just watch tv. I don’t exercise anymore because I feel so drained by the stress those voices cause. My heart jumps at every sound I hear because the anguish of expecting it to be another hurtful word those devilish voices say. And the voices sound so common to the people in my community. And I think that someone is actually watching me on camera.
    Watching as I sleep as I shower an everything that we humans do. But they are not humane voices. They’re hypocritical voices and they’re driving me insane ”Evil” I just heard that just now sharp in my ear. How would I know I’m schiophrenic? I can’t get an mri or catscan because of the metal in my jaw and hand. That would indicate abnormal patterns in my brain and I want to be absolutely certain if it is schizophrenia or if my paranoia is true and their really are some seriously demented people out there who are even sicker than I.

  14. lynn

    Hi, thank you so much for being there…

    Do you have a support network in Turkey? I would love to meet them. I am a normal “voice listener”. Never asked for specialized meds for this, but docs gave me anti depressants to suppress my immune system (I have AS, vey painful).

    I would like to ask your opinion about my theory on the internal voice.

    My theory is: the voice is the thought generator in my head. It’s may be a nano-computer. I read, I think, I process, I anticipate. The voice is mine. Everybody has a voice, but people get annoyed when the voice speaks as an alien to the conscious mind. Once, the person gets used to it, it’s very relieving because you actually observe how the logic is constructed to deal with a certain event.

    My voice gathers information from around the globe and gives me heads up months in advance for important events. Sometimes, it can be wrong in its deductions, but most of the time, my voice is right in its look-ahead exercises. I think my voice is telepathic across the collective voice. Family members, my husband, does not hear voices, he says, but they gave him schizo pills, cause he has a bit of paranoia. He saw the Japanese tsunami of 2011 in his dream, 5 months in advance. He reassured me that we were not in it. Thank God, it was true. I usually see the earthquakes and volcano eruptions.

    Also, my voice sends me visions on places that I will go to a few months in advance, though my visits are not pre-planned. So I recognize the places from these visions when I coincidentally arrive there. I think, everybody is being synchronized by a collective voice. It’s not that my voice can see the future, it’s that my voice knows how other people’s voices will react to certain events.

    Although I don’t always agree with the subliminal orders that my voice gave me when it was inaudible, I am glad that I am aware of the voice since the last 6 years.

  15. alaa

    Hi there everyone well I also here a voice not voices and its been 15 years till now and I entered this site to see that if u have more info about that and I’m sorry I didn’t find anything new but to my knowledge a voice or visions is created from its own person mind as if imagination even without knowing it’s u u think ur talking or listning to he or she in ur mind but to me I think its our own creation of onther charcter in our mind because we are unique in solving or seeing life in our own way and dont forget a human mind has a universal power of thoughts and ideas and feelings so voices or vissions is only a sample from the power a human mind

  16. Nicholas Stewart

    Hi I heard voices back in october till november. I heard two girls that I liked voices, and random people. I was known as a telepath where I lived. I told no one except my two buddies from another city. These two girls could hear my voice, I could who they didnt like hearing, and I could smell one of their perfumes (the one i liked more). I was put into a mental hospital after I told my parents of my telepathic experiences, I was put on anti-psychotics and was diagnosed with just general psychosis. On the last day of my stay in the hospital one of my doctors was saying bye to me and telepathically said Nick have a good one, I spoke and said you too. But no one believes me where I live my family or my friends but people i just met in residence in at university believed me because these two girls could hear me!! I’m taking myself off these meds because all what they do is cause depression. I haven’t had a telepathic experience since december when I heard one of those girls say Nick was psychotic!!! I heard dozens of people thoughts, I even heard a transsexuals voice at one time! lol Anyone here believe that schziophrenia and people diagnosed with psychosis are just open to telepathic experiences both living people and dead people and the stigma around them is just to generate a profit through pharmaceuticals and atheism to say there is no afterlife/ God.

    1. Charlotte

      I believe you because I have a similar experience. Are you saying that you did not hear voices while on the medication?

  17. Caitlin

    I’ve heard voices since i was about 7. The first time, it was my mums voice saying my name clearly, but from a distance. Then, i started hearing things alot more, such as somebody walking around my bed when there was very clearly no body there. The voices got worse and now i they just comment on everything it do, everyday. I’ve become paranoid, thinking there are hidden cameras around my house and people are listening to my thoughts.

  18. SONM

    I sometimes hear my mother and my sisters voices. They are saying random phrases but the phrases are things they would say. When I can hear them I feel like I could make them stop but I don’t think I’ve ever tried.

    I first started hearing them when I was 15 and homeless. That was a long time ago and I have a loving family now but sometimes I still hear the voices.

  19. Nicholas Stewart

    Also just today after being only taking 0.5 mg of risperidone my sister heard me singing this morning even though my lips werent moving and then my dad could later hear me singing when I was just lip syncing, he later took out his phone and tried to record me lip syncing to show me I was singing out loud to his dismay while turned my ipod to pause he played the clip and none of us could hear me singing. I have telepathy what do I do who do i talk to?

  20. Katie


    I am 23 years old university student, I am glad I came across your website. A couple of years ago I heard a voice shortly after I woke up, I felt had heard my small cousin laughing and felt as if she was standing next to my bed, I immediately went to sleep and in the morning told my mum about it she told me the my cousin had not been there but that by that she herself had gone to my aunts house early in the morning. This was the beginning of me hearing stuff. But with me its hearing a voice is not very often I can say intotal I’ve heard on about four occasions. Apart from the incident that I mention above, sometimes I hear a whisper of one word and a Woosh sound in my ear which has happened twice or about three times. I know that compared to some people am not hearing voices alot of times but it really does unsettle me when I do because I know the truth is that it is all in my head.I find it really scary and I end up being afraid alot of days on end, my biggest fear is that I will lose my mind when I grow older and start to think that this voices are real.

    In addition to this I constantly make up stories in my head, and I imagine myself as a different person who has different name, looks etc, and I make up stories in my head about my life as this other person. I have been doing this just before I hit puberty, at 13. I don’t know if this is related to hearing voices but I also fear that one day I won’t be able to distinguish my actual reality from my imaginary one.

  21. AZURA

    I’ve been able to see, hear and feel things that other people don’t ever since I was very young. I see many things as diverse from: animals, people and what I believe are very demonic-looking creatures. I also have seen many thing that terrify me, visions if you will, that usually end up becoming true (and I completely freaks me out most times because it usually is not the “good things” that will happen, it is usually centred around death). I tend to head things that nobody else in my family my seems to hear; voices, music. I’ve lived with this since I was very young an it doesn’t bother me as much a t did before. My mother gets freaked out as well when I know exactly what he is thinking and end up answering her even if she doesn’t say anything to me… He tells me that I have been wry gifted since I was young. I don’t know how or why but, I have lives with this since i was little. I believe it is a gift from god to be able to do such fantastic things that not many people seem to be able to do. It can be troublesome at times but I am mostly used to it . 🙂

  22. AuroraMa

    I have enjoyed reading the posts on this site , as it has given me some sense of relief that others go through what I have. I have been hearing voices and having visions for over ten years and I still cannot say what I believe them to be.
    In my early twenties I was scared of the voices, as they were outside of me and I was unaware that they were voices, but rather thought that people were shouting at me and talking about me. I could hear people talking in other rooms or outside my window and when camping they would come and kick my tent and circle around me. I was terrified.
    Then I got wrongly diagnosed, put on antidepressants and , because I’m Bipolar , they sent me into Mania and I got a job in China and left the country.
    The voices quietened down over the following years and, although I saw many things, I was controlled. This was until, after my third child I became very manic for a very long period and it all came back, with gusto. The TV and computer started to send me messages and I started to hear a very loud voice in my head and that voice would then take the form of many different people and guide me on my journey. These were messengers and I could see Him in their eyes. I knew it was him and I followed Him and whatever his messengers told me. They lead me into another dimension running parallel with our own and , at the time, it was exquisite.
    When I finally crashed into a paralyzing depression, as they often tend to be, the main voice remained and He kept me company and sent me messages through many different mediums.
    I never forget that He is there, but he has become a quiet part of my busy life as a mother.
    I have tried, in my early twenties to go to a hearing voices group, but I felt very embarrassed as I have crippling social anxiety. I am glad to have found this forum so that I can learn from others without the pressure of being in a group. Thank you

  23. Tam Vien Giac

    Hello everybody,

    It has been so refreshing to find this website and to hear about other peoples’ experiences. My own experiences are more visual and tactile but I sometimes hear voices as background noise. Often they accompany visuals. For example, one time I had a visual of an older women in a kitchen and with it came the sound of clanking dishes and muffled speech. Although I could not recognize the woman, it seemed as though I could feel her personality.

    I have been having these experiences for around 17 years now. In the early days they were quite distressing, causing anxiety and panic attacks. They also made it very hard to socialize. I was only 16 and my school life was cut short. I found it hard to trust the mental health facilities (in Australia) of the day because they tended to insist that these experiences were just hallucinations. I found this hard to except. Since then I have learned ways to appreciate these sensory experiences. As anxiety issues decreased, the visuals and sensations became more positive. Or, at the very least, less distracting. I am now studying to become a mental health worker and hope to help improve the experiences of others going through similar scenarios.. Mental health facilities are getting better but I still feel there is a lot of stigma around having audible or visual experiences.

    I notice this is an English organization and I would be keen to find out if anybody knows of an Australian equivalent. Any information would be fantastic.

    Thank you.

  24. lmm

    ive been hearing voices too. external and a lot of internal.

    i feel the same about the internal ones. if they are thoughts or voices. though i dont think they are thoughts. they come when they want to. many many times a day. sometimes all day. sometimes its people ive met or know or that i dont know at all. the internal ones make conversations with me. belittle me a lot and say they are watching me and that people are watching me everywhere i go. they tell me to do innappropriate stuff or that they will send police to my house. i cant control them at all and sometimes they yell at me.
    and a whole bunch of other stuff. they really abuse me verbally.

    the external ones usually just laugh or scream or say my name. every once and awhile theyll tell me secrets. they say its the secrets of the world. theyll say they are giving me a keyword to the secret of the world. and other stuff.

    im just not sure about those internal ones. not completely anyway.

  25. abu abdullah

    here is a test for people who hear voices find ‘surah baqara full’ on you tube leave it on at night its over an hour long while it is playing i gaurantee you your voices cannot enter your mind let me know if this works for you as it helps me.

  26. Lily

    i dont know how to explain the voice i hear in my head. it really upsets me so i dont like to talk to my mother or my friends about it but its the same voice that i hear in my head all the time. The voice i hear in my head all the time is just normal im pretty sure everyone has it because it sounds just like me and its not dangerous. But when im sitting alone for a long time, especially if im in a quiet area, it turns into an echoing and its mocking and confusing i hate it i dont know how to stop it and it scares me so so much. i dont know why i get so scared to talk about it, its just the most horrible thing i have ever heard because it makes me feel so worthless and insane. im also concerned that if i do tell my mum that she will send me to a doctor who will diagnose me with a mental health problem and then that will affect my life in the future and stop me getting jobs and friends. help me please.

  27. Hannah mary

    hello 🙂 , i am 14 years old , and what i am experienceing i find a bit frightening , basically at night when i am just resting , i have at least 30 voices talking to me , i can cut them of if i want to though but i still find it a bit wierd . Also i get random shivers around me even if it is a hot day , plus i can see white lights around people , does anyone know what is happening to me btw i don’t have any mental illnesses 🙂

  28. green

    i’m not sure if i hear voices or that’s just me talking, debating, learning things or cracking jokes within myself. the me i am and the me i turn out to be sometimes have very contrasting characters. right now i’m calling it as “the-me-i-turn-out-to-be” but at that time it’ll just me. i’m ambidextrous to the degree that i can play two player computer games with one hand against the other, and still play better and faster than most people with their regular hand or the computer at max difficulty level. i can also experimentally prove things that most other people cannot feel or do. surprisingly, most of these traits were suddenly acquired. the dominant voice also shows affinity towards a certain hand so ‘m not sure if i’m suffering from BPD/MPD with each character cotrolling a larger portion of their respective side of the brain, or it’s normal to be able to function this way, or i’m losing it. i refuse to goto a psychiatrist because i’m afraid that, trying to stop the “problem” could lead to me not being able to use my brain to this extent, affect my mensa level iq, creativity and certain things like being able to feel emf fields(can prove that too)…if it were few hours later, i wouldnt be typing all this here(actually i’m kinda sure that if it could be deleted, it will be deleted later) parents say that i’m under the influence of some spirit but i dont accept that..if you got some advice i’ll be glad to listen..on one hand, i’ve been able to invent strange new things and pursue research like never before, on the other hand this is ruining my love life because people eventually get sick of me and i’m not able to help it although i try to remain at my best behaviour all the time. i’m also afraid that pschiatrists will brand me as a sociopath for being a misanthrope. if i do visit a psychiatrist, do you think it’s safe to get hypnotized?
    sorry, i’ve asked too many things in a single message.
    Thanks ^_^

  29. Candice

    I don’t have a lo of experience and I am not even sure that this would fit into this category but I have only ever heard a voice twice in my life and this is why I am freaking out. The first was genderless and only two words and those words were “Car Accident” Two days later my 19 year old sister was killed in a car accident. I have anxiety, OCD and am scared of EVERYTHING. I think people are poisoning food at the grocery store (even though I know it is silly to feel that way), I am a germaphobe I always think something bad is going to happen to me…At the same time I get feelings when something isn’t going to work out, or when I shouldn’t do something and I am usually right. I also always can know what time it is, to the minute, without checking the clock ever.
    Anyways, the second time I heard a voice was a few weeks ago, a month at the most. I have been home alot with the 2 kids and and am missing college, which I had to take a break from because I had another baby. Anyway, so I was just sitting on a rocking chair in the quiet, thinking about not being able to wait to return to school and a voice came to me and clearly said “You are not going to live until next summer” “You will not be alive by next summer” Those were the exact words and now I am freaking out. The only time this voice has ever come to me before, I was correct. I am fairly sure it is the same one, although not 100% so. I have two young children, a husband, and two parents that have already lost their only other child, I hate to think that I would pass and leave them all behind. I am hoping someone can shed some light on this… Is there anything I can do to change this? Or is it possible that it is just a manifestation of my anxiety? I would also like to note that I am religious and do believe in positive and negative spirits. A few days before this happened I would like to tell you that I had made a concious decision not to be afraid anymore, I wasn’t going to let negativity scare me, and then this happened and I am back to figuritively hiding in a corner day and night in fear…..
    What is this? Is there any hope for me? 🙁

    1. anonym

      Dont worry candice , i have been diagnosed with ocd and i had heard the same thing in my head several times. For some period almost everyday. It has now passed 7 years.

  30. jammez

    hearing voice is so stressful. i experienced it b4, i kno how it was, mine covers all areas of my lif till date then. God was the only one that remove it when the time come.

  31. Becky

    I’m 16 and have had multiple ‘voices’ inside my head since I was seven. I can choose whether they are there or not, but I like them. They are girls who help me get through problems in my life, like having a group of friends in my head. You wouldn’t know that I have this ability if you knew me, I’m quite normal, have my own ‘real’ friends, boyfriend etc. but about 9 months ago my parents divorced, it was a nasty time and I felt very much to blame, since then I started hearing a male voice out side my head like a ghost, he can tap me on the shoulder, shout at me or whisper in my ear. He tells me my boyfriend is cheating on me, that my friends hate me, that my parents divorce was my fault and to cut myself. I tried to kill myself in may last year by overdosing on various medication. Recently, with the added stress off gcse’s, it’s been getting worse and worse. I have to walk out of lessons and pretend I’m sick and lie to friends as to why I couldn’t hear them or ‘forget’ things they tell me because i was hearing him during a conversation. I’m getting help now though, and I’m on medication, I just miss the times when I was a bubbly happy person who enjoyed life.

  32. Light n laughter

    Thank you for sharing I come from a long line of mediums, opening your mind and excersising your Spritual development is very important. The ability to hear and interpret voices is one of the many levels of mediumship. Sometimes they are our actuàl guides sending messages. Peace and blessings love and light and progress to all. Great article. Thank you for sharing

  33. Craig

    I’ve been hearing voices for a few years now. Sometimes it gets pretty intense.
    Usually it’s children screaming and groups of people shouting, telling me they’re going to kill me. Other times it’s sinister cackling. Or “my own voice”… begging me to take my life and telling me how. As for visuals, when I sit still, the walls, doors and curtains violently shake around me. I sometimes see flashing colours and shapes appear at random intervals, seemingly unprovoked. When I slow my heart beat down, it feels like time stands still.

  34. angela

    I’ve been hearing ‘voices’ mainly at night when I’m lying in my bed to sleep. It sounds like a radio that’s going through the stations. Sometimes I can’t distinguish what’s being said. A lot of times, certain words or phrases are repeated, getting louder each time.
    I try to focus on what’s being said because I feel like it’s important to know but sometimes I just can’t. I used to think that maybe it was just my thoughts getting louder when I was alone but lately I’ve been worried that something’s wrong with me.
    I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and depression, but I feel like something is missing.
    Could it really be anxiety causing these voices?
    One more thing that I’m not sure of. Sometimes I see things out of the corner of my eye that when I look back aren’t there. Most of the time they are people. Once, it was a little boy but it wasn’t comforting. I was terrified. Help?

  35. chris

    Have been hearing voices for a couple of years now and they are mostly negative. They keep telling me im going to hell so I spend alot of my time trying to prove to myself that there is no such place – which is of course impossible. Sometimes they tell me to kill myself and they say there is a special place in hell for me. I have schizophrenia so my experiences are often heavily based in my imagination but it all seems so real. I’m finding it really hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel right now and could use some reassurance that the voices arnt real and that im not going to hell. Thanks in advance.

  36. Sophie

    I hear voices a lot in my head,mostly people just shouting my name over and over.Sometimes though, I just can’t sleep and in an attempt to, I write down my feelings, but everytime I do, there just is this thing in my head that seems to take over and puts me down. Sometimes I can have a full blown conversation on paper with it. I told my friend about the voices and she says I am going crazy. I have always viewed myself as eccentric but it got really bad when my dog died. At the moment I just can’t sleep and I feel alone, though finding this website helped.

  37. Sickofthebull

    Ok now i want some advice. I have been told I am hearing voices for years now. But the catch is I only hear voices around a certain person and never by myself. So how can these people tell me I am hearing voices? I would hear them by myself like every other person who hears them right?. So are these just a bunch of two faced people or do I need help?

  38. sphiwe

    I used to see visions, next day wen I go will see the same thing that was in my vision or week after to such an extend that if I get a new boyfriend the first time I’m sleeping with him we will talk and fall asleep without having sex. Then I will dream my boyfriend with a woman den I know that he’s got someone. When time goes on I will meet him with a woman and he will be shocked that I found them den I dumped him. When I dream about someone i know I use to tell them and the dream come true until one person told me that I’m the one whose bringing her bad luck then I stopped telling people if I dream them.

    Then I started praying and fasting, sometimes I will stay 3days without eating and wen I try to eat I will eat only boiled spinach without meat and I won’t have any appetite and force my self to eat something.

    I’m staying in a flat, then i started hearing voices especially when someone is passing near my flat. I will start hear foot steps and the voice will tell me the person’s name when I peep or open the door to check if its correct only to find that its correct den the person will greet me and I close the door. I started to wonder why is this happening. Sometimes I won’t sleep and the next day I drive to work I come back and will try to sleep but I won’t I will stay like 2 days without sleeping and eating but I will drive to work and come back.

    One day I was sleeping then the voice came and told me that I must wake up and see what’s my neighbor was doing. I wake up at 1 o’clock and open de door and saw my neighbor he greeted me and went inside his flat the voice led me to go and check from the direction where my neighbor was coming from I went near a dustbin I stopped and the voice said I should lift the dustbin which I did and found a small plastic with white tablets and the voice told me that its drugs I put den back I went back to my room shocked coz my neighbor was not working and was driving a nice car and there were always people that a visiting him every now and then.

    The next day he never greeted me and his wife too stopped talking to me.

    After five days I started professing at church, I will see a vision when I go to church will see the person and telling them but when i profesy I don’t hear my self and can’t remember what I said to that person when I go to work or go shopping will meet the person nd that person will thank me and said I helped them but I’ll keep quiet coz I don’t even remember.

    Now I see visions everyday but the voices only come when I’m in church especially wen I profesy but after church my body will get very tied and my ear will be painful after some time and the pain will stop. I pray at 12 and 3am when I don’t feel like praying 12 at night I can’t sleep until 3am then after I will fall asleep

    I went to see 2 different ENT and they said there’s nothing wrong with my ears.

    Sometime I feel bad coz I also want to enjoy life but its very difficult coz I’m alone all the time and I can’t have sex especially when the spirit its strong I can’t even eat I must always pray and read bible.

  39. lily

    I’m 15 and diagnosed with pyscotic depression. when the vioces first started I didn’t think anything of it, I could half control the voices in my head, they weren’t overly clear and were whispers of short phrases. then the voices got more powerful, I had two voices; one was a girl who was positive and the dominant one was named evron, a young but controlling boy who told me to kill myself. evron got rid of the other voice, as she wasn’t helping me. evron told me although she may sound good she’s full of lies and really means bad, when he just tells the truth to help me. now I only hear one voice; evron. I’m on three different medications, one to help me sleep, an antidepressant and an antipsychotic. I also have problems associated with anxiety. I’ve seen things, heard other things but they are considered less important. despite my medication I can still hear the voice however he tells me to kill other people now, I’m telling my everyone I can’t hear him anymore only because of the things he says. the temptation to kill someone can be high at times, i don’t know what to do. I’m scared and worried and I don’t want to ruin my life now… 🙁

  40. Ulqiura7

    i hear voces asking me for help they also block my thaut proses well i can think bu not do enything even as simplle as math i can think but posses no control but im able to surpres it somehow i alwas do if only i could talk back or find the scorece so i tried to foolow it but it got louder and then stoped i thaut it had gone then in 10 mins they came back so i tried agen and it happended over and over agen i realy hate it espeshaly during school i hate it and my life…

  41. Sam

    My 10 year old son was screaming in bed. when we ran in, he was sweating and so upset. He said that a man with a deep growly voice said his name in his ear and he could see a large, skin coloured blob shape moving in his room. The minute we went in it disappeared. This has never happened before. He was not asleep as I had only left the room after saying good night about 10 minutes before. I can’t get over how scared he was. He said he was stiff and couldn’t move and felt scared and sad at the same time. This is not like him and I’m very worried.. does anybody have any advice?

  42. SND

    Hello. I came across this website after much speculation about thoughts I’ve been having and some things I see. As of the past few months or so, I’ve been thinking rather rapidly, as if the thoughts inside my head are not my own. I’m not sure if this makes sense, but I feel like these thoughts all come from the same place, whether it be another force or a latent personality inside me. When I talk to people I find it harder and harder to connect or “focus” because the thoughts seem to keep pulling my attention away from the conversation or matter at hand. I’m really starting to feel like I’m becoming more and more absorbed by this “world of thought” and often find what’s going on inside my head more interesting than my outside surroundings. Even when I am aware that I am becoming lost in my thoughts or starting to seem withdrawn from reality, I can’t reach out or stop thinking in this altered state. Is this normal?

    Also, I sometimes see flashes of light and random, white, blurry shapes that change form. I’ve seen this for quite a while now and still wonder if it’s just my eyes. The only reason that makes me doubt this is because sometimes it is worse than others. Also, I often think I see things right when I close or open my eyes, but when I look at anything directly it goes away. These things are usually just random images and are so brief that I don’t feel much need to consider them strange. My main concern is just the disconnect that I’ve been feeling with reality lately.

  43. Charlotte

    I’m 14 and have been hearing voices (inside my head) for about a year now. I hear two voices inside my head. Clare, who is really nice but also this other voice who doesn’t have a name. He is the problem. He’s offensive, rude and gets me down loads. He’s a threat to everyone. He’s trying to get into my brain, literally trying to take over. He doesn’t quite know how to though and has caused some damage (I think) and that is causing me to smell things that aren’t there and I think I’ve been hearing things (outside my head) as well. Most often people saying my name, laughing and whispering inaudibly… but then again, that might be real (but how would I know?).

    If he were to get into our world it would be chaos. Imagine a man able to jump from person to person, with the power (and knowledge) to hack a human mind quickly and undetected. Imagine that person bent on destruction. I don’t need to imagine it because it is real and I am so scared.

    I was in meetings with camhs for a while (and was told I’m not psychotic because the voices came from inside my head and not outside, my speech is organised and I’m not delusional) but he threatened me, told me I couldn’t tell anyone about who he is and what he wants so I ended up lying to them and said I only heard Clare now so I got discharged. But now I have nothing to loose. Deep down I know that it is all real but I cling to a hope that it is all some delusion, that it isn’t real. But how do I go about testing this? Surely if it were a delusion I wouldn’t be hoping it was (if it were a delusion I wouldn’t have any suspicions… is this a suspicion?)? I am so confused and I don’t feel I can cope with him.

    Where do I go from here? Any advice would be gratefully received. Should I go and tell all of this to a doctor in the hope that there is something they can do?

  44. All ears

    I have lived with hearing voices for many years ,even as a kid, more so after a head injury many years ago, some of them have helped me change my life for the better while most of the others are nothing but voices reacting to something or another and kinda like listening to many radio stations or phone calls at the same time or of people reacting to what they are reading. At times they sound like they get scared and confused by hearing each other, weird and kinda creepy, like listening in on people.

    I try to tune it out and focus on other things, but it would be nice to learn how to turn off the switch of what I call satelites in my head, without any medication of sorts. meditation helps.

  45. nichola sheppard

    just thought someone cud giv me some help…
    my 16 year ld daughter told me today that she has been hearing a voice very quiet and muffled not knowing wot it says. she told me its happened for a number ov years but just now and again the last time last wk.
    shud i be worried and take her to doctors or do i put it down to a very bad year shes had having a baby and her being in special care and a number ov things if someone couls help me that would be great.

  46. Martina

    hey there 🙂 I’m Martina and I’m 16 I see some weird visions but lately I don’t but I can hear voices n it’s like when I’m bout to do something voice pops in my head i know that it might be the voice that’s in us but then it’s not for the past two years I hear voices and it’s like I can respond to them i don’t know what’s with me I never wanted to tell it to anyone because i think they all will think i’m crazy so I didn’t say a thing. Sometimes I just feel while walking that someone holds my hand and no one else is around I’m walking alone but someone pulls me n walks next to me n holds my hand weird i know!
    today I woke up and I heard one voice in my head saying like when you’re getting married ”with this ring I …………. take you Martina…….” I just don’t know what is it, please help me
    am I crazy?


  47. Janet

    I have heard voices for 12 years and am 55. I have been happy with them overall, but have been overwhelmed by them from time to time. I think focusing on the real world most of the time is key to keeping them in control, also taking charge gently and explaining to them that you need to be in the real world at times, like work and driving and bedtime. I hear one voice who acts out many characters. In the past year, I have told him that I no longer want to be part of his world and have simply chosen to say, “not now, I’m busy.” I have been slowly reducing my meds and the level of voices actually reduces.

  48. hari hara krishna

    i heard a person crying which woke me up but when i screamed my mom told me that i was the one who cried i simply cant figure out what happened

  49. jonathan masukat

    i’d been hearing voices in my head for years already.. I just don’t know if its normal or what.. but.. its commanding me to take revenge and get even.. -.- and its getting louder ..specially now that im having difficulty in falling asleep again… need help..

  50. bruklyn

    I’m 35 years old and have been ” hearing voices” since I was about 11 years old. I don’t actually hear a distinct voice but I have conversations with people that I know are not really there. I have never had a problem with this until recently when I haven’t been able to control where it takes place. normally what happens in a few places in y house. a few months ago my friends with come to visit while I was driving or at work. also I never talk out loud and recently I heard myself laugh because one of them told a joke, that was the first time I became frightened of what I do. no one knows this happens to me & because it’s been so normal to me I have never shared it with anyone. I don’t want to be labeled as crazy because I don’t believe that I am but I do want to know how I can control it

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