Below, you can find downloadable PDF fact sheets or ‘quick reads’ about hearing voices that summarise some of the key topics covered by Understanding Voices.
What is hearing voices?
Voice-hearing is associated with a range of psychiatric diagnoses, including schizophrenia, psychosis, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, dissociative identity disorder, PTSD, anorexia and severe depression. But hearing voices is not a sign that someone has a mental health problem. Some voice-hearers live well with their experiences without ever needing psychiatric help.
To learn more about this experience, download the ‘What is hearing voices?’ PDF here.
A spectrum of experience
It is increasingly recognised that voice-hearing exists on the end of a ‘continuum’ or ‘spectrum’ that includes ordinary verbal thinking, day-dreaming and intrusive thoughts. We all have the capacity for hearing voices, it’s just that some of us are more likely than others to hear more intense voices, or to hear them more often.
To learn more about this, and why voice-hearing is distressing for some and not for others, download the ‘A spectrum of experience’ PDF here.
Why do people hear voices?
To read about some of these theories, download the ‘Why do people hear voices’ PDF here.
LIVING WITH VOICES:
Coping with voices
To learn more about these strategies, download the ‘Coping with voices’ PDF here.
Talking about voices: Suggestions for voice-hearers
For some ideas and suggestions around how to plan for a conversation about voices, download the ‘Talking about voices: Suggestions for voice-hearers’ here.
Talking about voices: Suggestions for supporters toggle
Sometimes it’s difficult for people to know what to say when someone confides that they are hearing voices, especially if their voices are overwhelming. It’s OK to worry about not knowing how to react or saying ‘the wrong thing’. If you support someone who hears voices, you might find these suggestions helpful when it comes to talking about their experiences.
If you support someone who hears voices, you can find some helpful suggestions for talking about their experiences in our ‘Talking about voices: Suggestions for supporters’ PDF here.
WORKING WITH VOICES:
Many people find it helpful to talk abut their voices in some way. For people with distressing voices, talking therapies can sometimes make the experience easier to manage and less upsetting. Others would rather not discuss their voices and that is OK. There are a range of therapies on offer and it is important to remember that there is no ‘one size fits all’.
For some first person reflections on different types of talking therapies, and information about what they are and how they work, download the ‘Talking therapies’ PDF here.