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Hearing voices

What’s happening to me? Worried about why you’re hearing voices and what it all means… We’re here to help.

Young girl surrounded by voices

Hearing voices doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you

We’ve talked with lots of young people who worry that hearing voices means they have a mental health issue. But it’s important to know that hearing voices can happen for all sorts of reasons.

  • People may hear things that others don’t during stressful times eg. after somebody has died and you are grieving
  • People may hear voices that are positive and comforting
  • Some people hear voices that are scary or angry
  • Hearing voices might be something that goes away over time

No matter what the reason, there are lots of ways to cope and get support.

Hearing voices is also known as a hallucination which may include seeing, hearing and smelling things that others don't

What’s it like to hear voices?

Voices can be heard in lots of different ways such as:  

Hearing speaking when no one is there

Hearing things when you’re falling asleep

Different noise levels - loud or quiet voices

Voices that argue or tell you to do things

Different types – nasty or kind, male or female

Voices that sound like music, animals or a phone ringing

Hearing other peoples' thoughts or thinking they can hear yours

Voices that come from anywhere outside or inside your mind

Why do people hear voices?

Some of the reasons for hearing voices can be caused by:  

  • Highly stressful event eg. bullying, death of a loved one
  • Lack of sleep
  • Physical illness
  • Drug use
  • Abuse or being hurt by someone
  • Mental health issue like psychosis or schizophrenia

What can I do?

It can be frightening and confusing to hear things that others don’t.  Here are some things that can help you:  

Focus on things you can touch and feel eg. cuddle a pet, take a shower
Talk to someone so you don’t have to go through it alone
Listen to music that relaxes you or makes you happy
Take your mind of it eg. play a game, go for a walk
Try relaxation techniques eg. deep breathing
Get an adult to take you to see a doctor or psychologist

Hearing voices was really scary. I could barely tell anyone – I was so scared. My dad took me to a counsellor and that really helped me feel in control again. – Brad, 16 years old

You don’t have to cope on your own

Telling someone and getting support can make a difference

You might be feeling scared or embarrassed to ask for help, but talking to someone about what you’re going through can really help.

We're here to talk about anything. Give us a call, start a WebChat or send us an email today.

If you are looking for more digital services and resources, check out Head to Health.

This content was last reviewed 13/07/2018

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