Hearing voices is a common type of hallucination. A hallucination is the experience of perceiving something that other people do not. When a person is hearing voices they believe someone is talking when there is nobody actually there. This section aims to provide information on how voices occur and how to deal with them.
- Hearing voices is a common symptom of a severe mental illness, but not all people that hear voices are ill, and many people will have such an experience in their lives.
- Voices can be friendly and encouraging but also nasty and critical. Sometimes the voice can tell the hearer to carry out certain acts which can be harmful.
- The most common form of treatment is anti-psychotic medication.
- Talking therapies are also known to be effective, particularly CBT.
Some people manage their voices by learning to accept them as part of their lived experience.
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These pages are created by Rethink Mental Illness' Advice and Information Service in accordance with the Information Standard. Last reviewed in January 2012. Next review January 2014.
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