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).
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
- 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”
I hear voices but not really sure what it is and where they are coming from.
Hi. That sounds quite confusing. As you’ve probably gathered from our site, ‘hearing voices’ includes lots of different experiences that have lots of different understandings. Do you have someone you can talk to about it to try and make sense of what is happening for you? Someone you can maybe show this website to and talk with? Some people find it really helpful to go to a Hearing Voices Group to talk with other people who hear voices to try and understand their own experiences better – see our Hearing Voices Groups Page for more information on this). If you’re finding it difficult to cope with the voices, you might also want to speak to someone and get some help/support (see Getting Help & Support). For some people, it’s helpful to put the ‘why’ question to the side for a moment and look at ways of coping with any distress they feel from hearing voices. If that feels useful to you, you may want to read Intervoice’s guide to coping with voices (A Practical Guide to Coping With Voices). Most of all, it’s OK to talk to people about it and get support if you need it.
I’m 17 and I have been hearing, seeing, and feeling things for a long time. At first I kept these things to myself but I’ve told my family. They don’t know exactly how to deal with it and this website has helped me a lot knowing that I’m not alone. My family and friends try to help, but they don’t really understand what I am going through.
Hi Darian, It’s great to hear that this website has helped you. Many people find it hard to talk to their family about these experiences, so it’s great that you’ve been able to open up even though it doesn’t feel like they know how to deal with it. Have you seen Voice Collective’s site too (http://www.voicecollective.co.uk). They are a London-based project set up for young people who hear voices and their family (so if your family would like to talk to someone about it, or read a booklet for parents etc) it’s a great resource.
I’m 18, I’ve heard voices for a long time… Ever since I was just a kid. When I was a kid I would talk to the voices as I was playing, myself and family thought it was just normal for a kid to have imaginary friends, but it was more then a friend, and I realize it now. These voices got stronger once a friend attempted suicide, I missed about a week of school, things at home weren’t so great either, so the voices got mean and abusive about 3 years, She put me though a lot and made me feel horrible. she’s still mean and abusive but not as much. She’s mostly calm and happy and wants to have fun, but I’ve noticed I’m not me, and I think I’m acting like her… And that scares me, I’m taking
medication for depression as well.
Not only do I have voices, I have a whole septet world in my head, I live there sometimes
Hi Jess. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Do you have anyone you can talk to about this – especially about how you’re not feeling like you’re acting like yourself at the moment? It sounds like you’ve been through a lot and having someone to talk with might be useful.
I need advice on a issue that happened to me last night that I can not even really explain in words. I feel that whatever happened to me was something evil! I went to go to bed about 2am because I was up Christmas shopping online. I go to lay down and get some sleep. I started noticing voices in my head, I tried to ignore them but then they got louder. Then I started hearing really weird conversations in my head like I was in a room full of people. The contestations were weird, I can’t remember exactly what they were about, but it was really odd rambling of sentences that made no sense and deep voices. I even heard little kids laugh and giggle, and it really started to worry me. I shut my eyes and all a sudden I started seeing a vision of a face come out of the darkness of my eyes. I don’t even know how to say this, but the face was of something evil. As I had my eyes closed and I started seeing this face come out of the darkness of my eyes, I opened my eyes and the face was still there.I can even explain how scared I was, but I tried ignoring it . As I fell asleep I remember something screaming in my ear so loud it woke me up and I jumped. I’m so scared and confused right now because this isn’t normal. The only way I can explain this was I felt this was something evil. I was not drinking, I’m on no medications, I was 100% not dreaming, and I’m not crazy, or have any mental illnesses. The thing that scares me most is that my boyfriend says that in my sleep I was praying with my hands on my chest, my fingers were crossed, and he said that I kept grabbing my head and thrashing around. Please I need someone to help me, I’m not crazy at all. I feel like seriously something evil was with me last night and I don’t even know how to explain it, or what to do.
That sounds like a really overwhelming experience. Aside from your boyfriend, have you spoken with anyone else about it. It makes sense that you’d feel it was something evil – but there are lots of different ways of understanding what happened to you. Having visions and hearing voices is a relatively common experience – even intense ones like yours – so it sounds like it would be a good idea to speak to someone about it to look at what might be happening. Our ‘Getting Helps and Support‘ includes everything from speaking to therapists etc (in case there’s any stress or issues that triggered this) to peer support and spiritual crisis.
I Just Heard in my head a creepy voice saying I’m a little whipersnapper and I say in but in a different voice so what shall i do…
Everyone is different – so it’s hard to say for sure. Hearing a voice or seeing a visions as a one of is actually pretty common. For most people, it only happens occasionally or it doesn’t particularly bother them. So, the key thing is whether you’re worried about this or whether the voices says things that are confusing or upsetting you. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to speak to someone to try and work out what’s happening and how to deal with it. Check out our ‘Getting Help and Support‘ page and the resources on our Free Downloads page for more info.
I have been hearing voices in my head for some time now. They sound like my friends and family members, but sometimes they sound like complete strangers, or people I may have heard on TV. I told one of my friends and they said the voices in their head always whisper. While the volume of the voices in my head vary. But no matter the volume they all always scream my name. Their screams sound as if I’m in trouble or in a life-or-death situation. Many sites said it happens when their falling asleep, but for me it can be at any time of the day. They sound as if I could be about to jump to my death, caught stealing from a cookie jar, or in a dire moment. You listed reasons of how people might be able to hear these voices. I went through a terrible trauma when i was 8. I don’t know if that helps any of your research. Thank you for your time, and for allowing me to share my experiences.
Thanks Emma – your experiences sound very similar to many of the people we meet. Whilst some people just hear whispers, others hear shouts or screams … and lots of people find that they hear voices that can be loud, soft or anywhere in between. Do you have anyone, apart from your friend, that you can talk to about it? Thanks for sharing that you’ve been through a terrible trauma too – whilst we don’t do research on voice-hearing, there is quite a lot of stuff out there that links some people’s voices to the difficult things that people go through in their lives. If you want to hear someone’s experience of this, you might want to check out Eleanor Longden’s TED talk for an example. Everyone’s different, though.
I have visions like the winning lottery numbers,suicides,murder,and other things…I have visions and they appear on the news…I also had a vision of the Paris attacks ….Do you think this sounds weurd,if i should try and stop it or tell people what I see to stop things….I’m confused I also hear voices and weird sounds please answer…I actually like it because I know what’s going to happen but I don’t cheat in the Lottery…BTW I’m 12
Hi, thanks for sending us a message. It doesn’t sound weird at all – but I can imagine that as well as feeling good sometimes, it could also be really huge to have to decide whether to tell people or not. They also sound like really huge things to see. Have you got anyone around you that will listen to you if you speak to them – someone who can help you make sense of things (maybe a parent, teacher or someone at a youth centre). If not, you might want to e-mail Voice Collective (a project in London that supports young people who hear voices or see visions). They support people by e-mail, so you can talk to someone about what’s happening. See http://www.voicecollective.co.uk
Hello, my name is Jessica. Have you thought about using this gift to help others. Does it come and go? Can you control it, for example can u see visions of people you come in contact with?
i heard a voice before it said my name and the 3rd time i forgot what it said. first it was a girls voice saying my name, then a mans, then another voice i forgot
You introduce many different reasons to why people hear voices, have visions, and experience all kinds of things with their senses due to either very great senses or tailored for them specificially, and you also say that “it is important not to impose your own belief on someone else’s experience.” I think it is great that you have a site like this where people can share their experiences, but I wonder where all the messages are from people that acually have the answers? Since I am one of those that do have the answers to everything regarding this site, then you will not post my message here, because then I would impose my own belief the way you look at it. To me it is not a belief, because I have experienced everything that people share here and lots of other things, and I can begin by saying that if all of you would have experienced everything that is said here and then suddenly one day you see a transparent sort of shining beautiful being appears out of the atmosphere that looks like a human being and talks like a human being and can almost touch you like a human being, and this individual explains to you all the reasons to why most people only experience a fragment of all the things that is said here, then why would you hinder my message regarding all of this? I can tell you, between you and I, that none of your reasons to why people experience what they experience here are on your list of reasons. Let us just say that I prove my point by building a really crappy version of the transparent highly intelligent being that I live with 24/7, then what do you think an eternity is capable of? I will stop here, because you will never post anything that comes out of my fingers, because you are not allowed to and mankind will never ever be able to see beyond a microscope or a telescope and if a transparent being that looks like a human being could manipulate me and play around with me without me knowing it, and I am the brighest human being ever lived on Earth, then what do you think beings like her, because she is a woman, could do for fun with the rest of the 7.2 billions of human beings?! Good luck with your site. If you need answers, which you won’t, but you might read in the newspapers one day about the oldest man on Earth that doesn’t age physically where scientists claim that an “age gene” has been mutated, because that is how mankind explains everything, right?
Hi, one of the key parts of the HVN ethos is that there are many different reasons people may come to hear voices or have the kinds of experiences that are described in these pages. Our list of possible reasons is definitely not conclusive, but we hope that it gives people a sense that it’s a diverse experience and that there is not one single answer that suits all.
I hear the static noise of an old tv at night. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, since I kinda like the sound, but sometimes it overwhelms me.
also sometimes the static noise is so loud that it makes me dizzy, and it makes my head feel really clear. I can also hear classical music if I listen carefully.
Thank you so much for creating a place like this! I’ve heard and seen things for as long as I can remember. During stress it can get very bad. But mostly it’s ok.
The lack of information and general “meh” attitude of many professionals left me confused and feeling alone. Especially when I appear “normal” if that makes sense.
My symptoms are random visual disturbances such as static spiders, static, lighy flashes, light boxes, waves and circles. I get crawlin sensations and I hear things. It used to be an almost constant thing, the voices I mean, and can become worsr when I’m stressed. Mostly they make little sense. But sometimes they say horrible things.
at the moment I don’t hear them often but when I do it scares me as the one I hear atm says mean things. I really hope it stops… my mood isn’t good at the moment which doesn’t help.
No one listens.
Hearing voices is making my life difficulT. They’re always negative and I can’t even do every day things anymore
I see this conversation wasn’t added to since Dec. 2015, but I’m hoping it’s still monitored now for new comments.
Over the past 2-3 months, I have heard constant singing – male voices, one lead male voice, and a few backup female voices here and there. They sing songs that I sang in church growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, and some songs I’ve never heard before. I’ll hear the same song over and over and over and….. and then another song. No breaks.
Fortunately, the music doesn’t scare me. The lyrics are very comforting. Style of music…not so much, but sounds like a church men’s chorus group. Very good, really, lol, but not a style I want to play in my head now 24/7 365!!!
This singing is not the same as if I were “singing” a song in my head, or getting an annoying commercial stuck in my head that won’t go away. This sounds like it’s actually coming from outside of my head, but of course, no one else hears it.
Couple things that maybe figure into this, possibly, are: Tinnitus – constant for 40 years and extremely loud now; hearing loss, Chronic Major Depression, Generalized Anxiety Dis. and Anxiety/Panic attacks. Occasional overuse of prescription painkiller(Tramadol) which I am weaning off of completely.
I was laid in bed with my husband and we both heard a female voice call my name through our bedroom window but there was none outside the house this went on for about 15 minutes and left us both feeling uneasy
I think i have heard voices for years now but i never took it seriously. Its just dat, they do not talk to me and everytime i try to listen, they stop.
I Just Heard A Woman Sighing In My Ear Falling Asleep
In a sea of iron-clad convictions this website was unexpected in the best way. I do not hear voices, but my experiences are touched on here in regards to visual hallucinations and sensations. Amongst a myriad of other “symptoms,” I see fleeting images of monster-esque figures and illusions which transform anything from faces to shadows to skylines.
My therapist gave me a suggested diagnosis (as a LMFT she would not say for sure) of Schizoaffective disorder. A medicine woman proclaimed I have a psychic sensitivity to another dimension. My sister believes I attract these experiences through the power of thought.
I have been wanting to keep an open mind about this, not wanting to say it’s any one thing because I can’t know for sure. Being functional in all areas of my life, my situation doesn’t exactly call for diagnosis or medication. However, I have clung to an assumption that being functional means it isn’t a real problem amd I can’t do anything to get better.
From what I have read so far on this site, there is hope. I don’t have to wait around for the other shoe to drop. I may not be psychotic or supernatural by an means because it is very possible I am just a normal person having an abnormal but explainable experience. I can and should negotiate a peace treated with my optical, non-auditory, extransensory “voices.” So thank you.
Hi my name is Squeaky and I hear spirits. And the spirits ask me to deliver messages all the time, I usually comply but if I don’t they won’t go away. I feel like it’s taken over my life . Sometimes people ask me to heal them from A sickness and it’s uncomfortable
I find using your imagination you can see or hear whatever you think off. Sort of like viewing your minds eye. Everyone hears & sees in their mind without external stimuli.
I hear voices and I am alone
I hear voices too. Sorry you are alone. Not all voices are bad, some are form God and meant to guide us. I think. Try praying.
I am asleep and I hear someone call my name, Terry,. I wake up and there’s no one there and there’s no one else in the house it’s not a loud voice are I mean voice and I have heard this before. And I Think about this all day long trying to think what and who it is because I answer back.
While in recovery at a church/turned recovery center, I woke up out of my bed (4 people shared this room)…hearing women laughing in the upper corner of my room. I did not feel threatened but I was in awe. I was a non believer of afterlife but now believe there is something to it for sure.
I have never had any voices aside from simple conscience s***. But yesterday as I was stuck in deep thought contemplating something an overwhming feeling struck me. It was a surreal experience, a moment within a moment, time almost stood still. I had an eerie feeling come over me and my thoughts emptied. Then I heard a booming female voice tell me that I was going to die soon. And I don’t recall her ever using the words ‘sooner’ or ‘later’ but the message felt that it would be soon. And I had a weird vibe like “the good die young” afterwards, that quote kept echoing in the back of my mind. Its not a voice I have ever heard before but it didn’t seem aggressive despite the message. It seemed more nurturing and motherly. Kind of felt at peace she had passed on that message. I didn’t proper know what a premonition was, how to spell it or even use it in a sentence. But I came out of the surrealism of that, kinda caught my breathe and instantly started puzzling myself if that was a premonition.
I have a crazy story about how my voice started. I don’t feel like typing it now, but someday maybe. It’s a 47 year old lady who I named Kathleen because of her personality and the sound of her voice. She says she’s in China and can see what I’m doing from a 3rd person perspective. She gives me tips as I’m doing normal daily stuff like “make sure you clean inside the nipple” when cleaning a baby bottle, for example. She has been super nice and overly helpful all except for the first day we met, which was rather mean. I don’t know what to make of it. I wouldn’t mind talking more about it via email, google hangouts or another means besides on here. Would prefer one on one conversations with people. Now that I have what I believe anyway, to have blocked her out, I actually miss her and would like any tips or thoughts on my “situation”. Thank you for reading.
So this is the second time I heard a little girl call my name at my job. To begin with, my name is Giovanni, but you can call me Gio. This started at my job and only happens at my job. The first time I heard my name called but in normal voice. The second time i heard my name again, however it was sorta a shout. I turned and looked around, but there was no one. My mananger looked at me strange. I hope I’m not going crazy. I am very calm, and chill individual.
Hi to all. Here’s my problem and it is going to sound corny but this is a serious problem for me.
Here’s the take. I live on the fifth floor. And four three straight days, I have been hearing a couple having sexual relationships on the apartment above. At some point it was non stop. I started reacting sunday night when it was getting really really annoying. Turns out the woman living upstairs was alone listening to music on her headphones. So I checked the other neighbors and zero couples. At some point I thought it was coming from the building right next to mine (they are joined) as I thought I heard a neighbor shout “Enough”
So I investigated and nobody has hear any couple having constant sex.
The problem is once I got to work, in the bus I would here voices – of a woman orgasming and I started freaking out.
And it consumes me every day for weeks ! I don’t understand the only way to shut it out is to listen to music, having a conversation but when I’m on my own I keep hearing the voices.
It’s a nightmare.
Hi, that sounds really distressing … whilst it’s good that you’ve worked out that its voices rather than your neighbours (which is a difficult thing to work out sometimes), I can imagine that this doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. It’s good that you have some strategies to deal with it, but if you want to look for any extra ideas you might want to try our resource section that has coping strategy ideas. It’s often hard to know, initially, what’s causing these kinds of experiences – but often people can make sense of them with some support. Is there anyone you can talk to? You might want to read our page on getting support or try a Hearing Voices Group or a counsellor. You don’t have to go through this alone.
I’m 12 years old and I have visions of what happens the next day It doesn’t feel weird or anything but its always about other people I know is it normal
Normal is a complicated word. We’re all different and we all have different experiences. The key, to us, is whether it’s causing you any worry or concern … or whether the visions you have are ever worrying or confusing. It’s probably a good idea to talk this through with someone you can trust … it could be a parent, a teacher at school or someone from Voice Collective (a support project for young people with experiences like these).
I’m 14 years old and I’ve been hearing a little girl call my name once it a while…it only happens in my house, its been like this for a few year, when it first started I thought my mom would call me down and when I would go down to where my mom was and ask her what she needed, she would say “Raeanne I never called you, maybe you should get your ears checked.” Same thing with my sister… Every time I heard that little girls voice call my name I always thought I was going crazy…the little girl has to be like 6 to 7 years old, I don’t know what to do…I don’t know what’s wrong with me either…
Hi Rae, that sounds really confusing. I’m not sure if it’ll help to know this – but hearing your name being called sometimes is a really common experience … lots of people experience something similar to this. Often it’s just something that happens occasionally, but for others it’s something that happens over a longer time and it’s worth trying to make sense of why it’s happening. Is there anyone you can talk to about it? Voice Collective are a project that offers support to children and young people who have these experiences. They also have support for parents, and tips on how to tell other people about what’s going on. You don’t have to work this out alone, so being able to tell your parents (or another supportive adult) could be a good start.
When I first heard the voices in my head it was spontaneous and not purposely premeditated in any way by me. It inhabited the voice of a tv personality and was interviewing me while audience laughed at my confused echoed responses. Other familiar voices of family and friends chimed in and commented hurtful things. These voices, although negatively drilling lies leading to traps, have led me to insight on questioning why I do what I do. I believe these voices are a result of my personality which can be rather judgmental and mean towards others. That being said, these voices or other people//gods have no right to invade my privacy and thoughts even if they are “righteously” teaching me a lesson, which I doubt is the case in my situation. In conclusion I am fighting to find myself while achieving my goals as I show the negative cruel voices that they were not and never will be wanted or accepted by me. If you are experiencing something similar, stay strong and I wish you luck on your journey.
I can’t tell if the voice I hear is real or not. My experiences have been having a conversation with say..my boyfriend and then I’ll think he said something when in actuality he had already stopped talking. Also more often I keep seeing insects, spiders i think mostly, I’ll see something scurry by in my peripheral but when I actually look theres nothing there. It’s more or less getting unnerving and I have no idea what to think about it.
Hi. This is my first time actually hearing a voice. It at first seemed muffeld like as tho someone was outside. But then it seemed to get closer and i could make out what it said. It was a man. Older but not to old. It was saying hey. Then all of a sudden it was right in my ear and whispering hey. It scared me. I looked at my dog next to me who is sleepin like nothing is happening. Which is concering to me because i feel like he would have reacted if he felt a present near by. And i Dont want to hear voices that scare me..
I built up the courage to share my experience for help, why did you delete my comment ?
Hi, we didn’t delete your comment … it can just take a while for it to get approved (as we get a lot of spam comments it takes time to get through them all. Thanks for sharing, though, and your comment has been approved and others can see it and respond.
Hi I’m a British man named Matthew and when I’m falling asleep I hear a young American women round my age who never even met say my name repeatedly like a whisper and i heard the same voice in a dream before and i don’t know what’s causing any advice will be helpful thanks
Hi Matthew. It sounds like you’re trying to make sense of what’s going on. You might find it useful to read Intervoice’s Practical Guide to Hearing Voices which has some ideas, or consider going to a peer support group so you can talk it through with other people.
I am 12 year olds and hear and see people that others cant.they tell me things to do but i tell them no. Everyone thinks im crazy except for my best friend. But she thinks its just from when my sister died 4 years ago.
Hi. It’s good that you have a best friend to talk with, but it sounds really hard that people think you’re crazy. Finding some other people to talk with sounds important … people that can help you work out why this is happening and, if it gets difficult, find ways of dealing with it. Voice Collective (www.voicecollective.co.uk) are a project that specifically support children and young people who hear voices. They offer e-mail support, as well as other things that could be useful. Losing your sister must have been really traumatic – I’m not sure if you got any support for this, or if you want to talk with someone – but this is a website that could be useful from Cruse Bereavement Care. It’s especially for young people. http://hopeagain.org.uk
Hey…. so lately I can’t sleep at night. For some reason I feel like something is about to happen. I walk around my home making sure everything is safe. Whenever I look outside, I pause for a little bit. That’s when I start to hear voices. There are a ton of them. I’ve tried to mediate to release my fear. I closed my eyes and sudden shock of fear hit me. I have an open mind about things…. I’m a coward. I’m not sure what to do. I’ve talk to Behavior Health before, and I’ve read on some things about Third Eyes. I don’t want to open it. I’m putting my spam email on here so no hacks my other one.
hello im 15 and i havent told my parents but im always hearing voices, they are whispering to me and just tell me stories out them and sometimes if im in friunt of the mirror i can see my nana that passed and shes talking to me like shes there with me and dont get me wrong i love it but i dont understand whats going on.!
the voices are all so telling me all they ways i should die then it feels like someones hands on my cheek, and i get really freaked out
Hi Emma, that sounds really confusing (and also – from what you posted below … sometimes frightening). Finding someone you can talk to about this so you can work out what’s going on could be really helpful. It’s a lot to go through alone. There’s a project called Voice Collective that work specifically with young people who have experiences like these. You might want to contact them to see if they can give you some support. They have a page on ‘Telling Other People‘ which can be really useful if you’re trying to work out what to say and who to talk to.
My brother hears voices in his head, and he was so mad at me for I don’t even know why before. He started throwing things at me, and I don’t feel safe around him anymore. He’s taking medication for this, I really wish it didn’t have to be this way. Is there any way that i can help? I can’t even stand to be around him anymore, all I do is break into tears, it’s getting so bad. 🙁
My mind is slowly slipping away and I’m worried I’m going to lose it completely. Recently, I’ve smoked a bit of cannabis. It’s not something I do normally but there’s been two recent smoking session to be social. I hallucinated, pretty badly, in what I’m thinking was a psychotic episode. I’m now perfectly fine health wise but the visions and mind altering things I was seeing are still in my mind. I’m basically thinking that I’m the only person in the world and that everybody around me is simply my imagination, that life is nothing more than a continuous loop, that i keep living the same thing over and overy again. I convinced myself that is life, it would even explain de ja vu and there’s other little things that it answers. My ex/best friend has psychosis, professionally diagnosed and he’s said similar things to what I’ve been seeing, he’s told me he’s lived in life’s loop for years. It might not sound it, but it’s terrifying. I keep getting a strong racing heartbeat each time my mind starts thinking that way. I don’t know what to do. I’m hoping that eventually it will go away. I want my normal mind back.
Wow!!! You described my experiences to a T! It is all so frightening!
I just want to know what happened when you hear a voice crying at night? It happened in just one night, I thought I am the only one wjo heard that crying voice but i found out that even my sister and my grandMother also heard that crying voice. It means what?
I want to thank you all for sharing, it had helped me tremendously with my own personal experiences. I have a question, I’ve noticed a ton of comments about hearing the voices, but no one has said anything about being able to converse with them. The ones I experience, taught me how to talk with them. I just wanted to know if anyone else experienced anything similar.
I hear voices sometimes when people are around or not and I see aurora’s and I see shadows or sometimes I see someone just standing there looking at me I’ve had my sister come to me and she would only show me her colour which was green now I only see blue when I do see one. And not to long ago I felt a hand on my shoulder while at work I wasn’t upset or anything but it was just a random touch after talking to a guy about God and stuff like that I don’t really believe in God is what we were talking about. Any ideas about what might be happening?
Many thanks to Clare, whose Oct 1 2016 comment may just as well have been written by me, except that 1) my ex/best friend has not been diagnosed with psychosis, but is still the only one I can talk to about it, 2) I have a voice, so benevolent, that I feel he is god or an angel protecting me, that helps me through it and 3) since menopause, a “deja vu” or loop voice that is “familiar” threatens it is going to take me back to hell when I die, where god and angels cannot help me. (I was not raised with religion) I don’t want drugs so I don’t want to talk to a doctor, and I love my benevolent voice that guides me…I just needed support, but didn’t know anybody else felt like this. Just knowing that makes me feel there might be hope out there. Thank you
Hi I’m 15 years old and I suffer from anxiety and depression. Here for the past three weeks I’ve been seeing a woman and she whispers to me but I can never understand her and sometimes she screams my name. I often see her when I’m alone. I’ve even seen her in public before. I’ve pointed it out to my friends but they never see her. I was beginning to think I was crazy until I read this. This lady visit me while I’m awake and she appears in my dreams. Sometimes I wake up with her on top of me holding me down and I can’t move. Please reply
Hi Hali, I’m really glad that reading this has helped you feel less crazy. As you’ve probably gathered from this site – seeing visions and hearing voices is a pretty common experience. Having the experience of feeling held down and being unable to move at night is something we hear quite a lot too. Even though it doesn’t mean you’re crazy, it’s really worth talking to someone about what’s happening – as it sounds pretty scary/confusing. Have you contacting Voice Collective (www.voicecollective.co.uk)? They’re a project for young people who have experiences like this and they can offer individual support (email or in person). Their site also has lots of coping strategies and ideas on it too. The big thing is that telling someone you trust about this can be a really good thing as it may help you figure out what’s happening and whether there’s anything that is triggering it.
I’ve heard voices before. Seen visions, smelled things, and felt things. Oddly enough I get visions that can be intertwined with creepypastas I barely know about. Other times I can hear people talking to me in a vision. I used to see a shadow of a husky that lead me to feel like my arms went numb. I could feel a tingling sensation from the sudden numbness. When I got a plushie of a husky the shadow disappeared. I taste metallic things like blood at times. Sometimes I smell like a corpse is rotting, not food, a corpse. There’s nothing these things can be linked to but it’s odd. Sometimes after a dream I’ll get visions. Sometimes I’ll hear voices telling me some negative things or just calling my name. My visions can seem realistic and sometimes I’m transported into another world. The only thing that bothers me is the smell of a rotting corpse…is that bad?
I don’t think there’s any right or wrong way to feel about voices, visions and other sensory experiences … and each of us may struggle with different parts of it. Yet, it sounds like you’re having some pretty intense sensory experiences and I’m wondering if you have anyone to talk to about this. You might want to try and Hearing Voices Group and speak to someone to help you understand your experiences. See: Getting Help & Support for some ideas on who you might talk with.
I’ve dealt with this ever since I was 3. I’ve been hearing bird noises and clapping noises. It makes me get scared and then it feels like theres something in my pants- it’s just scary!
Is it common to hear a running dialog, like back and forth talking that progresses every day, i started hearing voices of my neighbors simply talking it progressed into talking about what I was doing in the back yard, then trash talking, then progressed to accusations of things I didn’t do and some I had done. It is only in my house or right by the house, realistic hearing distance. It has moved on to feeling like cops or something is there and I’m being watched inside my house when clearly no one can see inside, feels though I’m on survalance camera and they constantly talk among each other about everything I do from pick my nose to shower, eat, anything. But it is progressing as a real investigation would getting closer to the end. My logical thinking says I’m hearing things but it feels so real, they speak as people watching someone in a cage monitoring them would. I’m extremely confused and never had anything like this before.
It sounds really confusing – hearing voices talking sound feel so real, yet beginning to question things. It’s hard to know what’s happening when you don’t have someone to talk it through with. Many people we meet in the network talk about similar experiences and have different ways of understanding it. Sometimes it can be useful to think of whether there was anything going on in your life when they started, or if there’s anything that you’ve been struggling with aside from these experiences. If you can, it would be good to talk with someone you trust about this (especially if you’re not sure whether it’s really your neighbours/the police or not). They might be able to help you work this out, and find a way forward. Check out our Getting Help & Support page for some ideas of people you can talk with. You don’t need to struggle on your own with this.
What does it mean when you hear someone’s voice clearly saying something and they aren’t even beside you and it wakes you up? It’s someone who’s alive and the voice is very clear, a couple of times they said my name and other random everyday things. I also had dreams of spiders, bugs and caterpillars and of my deceased father.
Hi Mary, It’s hard to know what this means as – in our experience – everyone who has these experience finds their own way of making sense of it. Making sense of things on your own isn’t easy, though, so often people find it helpful to connect with someone who will listen to them and help them figure things out. This might be by trying a Hearing Voices Group and meeting other people who hear voices/see visions, or it might be speaking to a counsellor, a mental health professional or someone in your life that you trust. See our ‘getting help & support‘ page for more ideas on who you might talk with. You also might like to read other people’s experiences or view some of our videos/resources that feature people who have heard voices to see if any of these experiences ring true for you. We’re all different, though – so if you don’t recognise anyone else’s experiences it doesn’t mean you’re weird … we just don’t have a big enough range on here.
I have terrible anxiety and get suicidal bouts of depression and panic on and off. I’ve recently been hearing voices, there’s only a couple, normally one, like a conversation but no one’s there. I went swimming with a friend yesterday and I had to get out early because I had a voice telling me everyone wanted me to leave and that it was silly for me to be there. I had a panic attack in the changing cubicle. It seems things can be generally okay and normal but then when I get really stressed or worried, voices emerge. They tell me I’m stupid and that people hate me and just loads of negative stuff. If I’m happier I don’t hear them as much or I can at least stay rational and say like ‘shut up’. But when I get too anxious I can’t stop the voices and that’s when I can’t get out of bed/ get suicidal feelings etc. What on earth is happening? Why?
Hi Heather. That experience sounds really difficult – but it also sounds really helpful that you’ve worked out that certain emotions and feelings seem to trigger or worsen the voices. I can imagine, though, that working that out doesn’t necessarily help because the things the voices say can really make your mood/anxious feelings worse. It can feel like being trapped in a cycle and not knowing how to get out. Have you told anyone about the voices you hear? Speaking about it might help you make sense of what’s going on and feel more able to manage when/if it gets difficult. Check out our Getting Help & Support page. You also might like to look at some coping strategies on here: Free downloads, or on the Voice Collective site (it’s for young people – but I find the strategies useful for all) – Voice Collective.
I’m 16 turning 17 in 4 months and I hear screaming in my ear. It’s stops and then it continues. I also feel like each time I turn off the light something or someone is watching me. I keep hearing banging on doors and foot steps. Why am I hearing this?
That sounds really frightening. It’s hard to say why these experiences are happening to you (there are lots of different ideas about voice-hearing, and lots of different possible reasons – as you can see from the article above). One thing we can say is that experiences like yours are much more common than many people think. To try and make sense of it, it’s important to speak with someone. Have a look at our Getting Help & Support page for some ideas about where to go. You could also try Voice Collective’s website – http://www.voicecollective.co.uk – a UK-wide project that supports children and young people with experiences like yours. They have a support forum as well as some good information on telling people about your voices and coping with voices.