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Hearing voices is not as rare as you might think. Many of us will have heard noises or voices that others haven’t heard at some point in our lives. It’s estimated that as many as one in 10 people hear voices on a more regular basis. For some, this can be a scary experience, for others, it can be a comfort.

Here we’ll discuss why people hear voices, how to tell someone “I hear voices in my head” and when it may be worth seeking professional support. We’ll look at what therapies can help and offer advice for friends and family.

What does hearing voices feel like?

We’re all totally unique and experience the world differently, so it makes sense that those who hear voices will have different experiences. These voices may crop up when no one else is around, or when you’re in a room full of people. There could be just one voice or many. You may recognise the voice as someone you know or it could be the voice of a stranger.

For some, the voices can be positive, uplifting and even comforting. For others, what they hear can be confusing, frightening and commanding. It may sound like someone is standing next to you talking, or it may be more like a thought. Sometimes people have a combination of the two.

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