When someone hears voices it can be linked to a mental health condition, such as psychosis, bipolar disorder, or depression.
But if someone hears voices it is not always a sign that they have a mental health problem.
Hearing voices is much more common than people think.
It can occur in lots of different situations including:
- Imaginary friends
- Bereavement after losing someone close
- Not sleeping properly for a very long time
- As part of spiritual or religious experience
Some young people hear voices as a normal part of their everyday life. Some can find their voices funny, and some feel like the voice keeps them company or supports them.
For others, it can be upsetting and sometimes hard to manage. It can cause problems at school or college, difficulties with their mental health, and badly affect their relationships with family and friends.
If you are hearing voices and feel worried, it’s important to speak to someone about it. You can choose someone you trust such as a relative, a teacher or a good friend and tell them how you are feeling so that they can help you to get support.
There is lots of information all about hearing voices and where to find more help on the Understanding Voices website.
"A Little Insight" - Young People who Hear Voices
In 2012, a group of 5 (aged 13-18) young people took part in an animation workshop to develop a short stigma-busting film about their experiences of hearing voices. You can watch the video on YouTube.
Laura: My voices and me
Read Laura's story about living with voices and her journey that lead her to help others through talking about her mental health on Mind's website here.
Real Life Experience
If you would like to share your real life experience, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.