Can hearing voices in your head be a good thing?

September 13, 2006 |

Psychologists have launched a study to find out why some people who hear voices in their head consider it a positive experience while others find it distressing.

The University of Manchester investigation – announced on World Hearing Voices Day (Thursday, 14th September) – comes after Dutch researchers found that many healthy members of the population there regularly hear voices.

Although hearing voices has traditionally been viewed as ‘abnormal’ and a symptom of mental illness, the Dutch findings suggest it is more widespread than previously thought, estimating that about 4% of the population could be affected.

Researcher Aylish Campbell said: “We know that many members of the general population hear voices but have never felt the need to access mental health services; some experts even claim that more people hear voices and don’t seek psychiatric help than those who do.

“In fact, many of those affected describe their voices as being a positive influence in their lives, comforting or inspiring them as they go about their daily business. We’re now keen to investigate why some people respond in this way while others are distressed and seek outside help.”

Although the voices heard by psychiatric patients and members of the general population seem to be of the same volume and frequency, the former group tend to interpret the voices as more distressing and negative.

The team believes that external factors such as a person’s life experiences and beliefs may be the key to these differences: for example, the presence of childhood trauma or negative beliefs about themselves could have an affect.

“If a person is struggling to overcome a trauma or views themselves as worthless or vulnerable, or other people as aggressive, they may be more likely to interpret their voices as harmful, hostile or powerful,” said Aylish.

“Conversely, a person who has had more positive life experiences and formed more healthy beliefs about themselves and other people might develop a more positive view of their voices.

“People being treated for hearing voices are usually given medication in an attempt to eliminate the problem. By investigating the factors influencing how voices are experienced we hope to contribute to the development of psychological therapies to help people better understand and cope with their voices.”

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1,193 Responses to Can hearing voices in your head be a good thing?

  1. Anon January 20, 2015 at 6:40 am #

    Not sure I hold with the theory that negative abusive voices are the result of childhood trauma, etc. We’ve supported a young family member through the most awful psychosis, all the head-voices were apparently abusive and threatening. Medication did not change any of that. Four years later, a minor relapse has brought them back again, very loudly. It makes daily life very difficult, hard to concentrate and listen to others.

    He was never abused nor had trauma in the early years; and in fact was given a first rate education, but was struck down by schizo in his second university year. The idea of engaging with those voices is, well, novel but quite frankly I dont think there’s any benefit. Keeping their volume down, so that some kind of normal life can be enjoyed, would be far better.

  2. nate g April 30, 2014 at 4:32 am #

    ive had this problem for about a year now and no medical attention despite the fact that there was an occasion or 2 that I could of used it but to be honest im afraid of being admitted into a psychiatric facility and didn’t know what else to do.nobody wanted to believe me because I wasn’t freaking out having a melt down 24 7 because all of my life it has been my normal reaction to continue to stay calm and collective through any situation till I knew it was either over or I was just flat out screwed with no chance of pullin myself out which is still what im doing to this day.the first 3 months were hell it would come in burst every so often and it started out with these erie noises that would startle me and cause me to focus on the sound because it would almost seem like somebody was sayin something or shouting from across the room through a door but couldn’t tell what they were sayin which for the first few times would cause me to run to the front door to see if anybody was there(for the record I lived alone in an apartment).this progressed into having full conversations with myself and also thinkin my neighbors upstairs who I didn’t get along with were up there trying to pick fights through the walls which at first I honestly did until I had a situation that made me realize It was in my head.after that was a few months of barely scraping by and try n to hold onto any last shred of mental health that I had and hold my composure at a job that I had excelled at prior to and no longer work at now.after about 6 months of which they became increasingly agrivating causing me to loose sleep for days at a time and constantly be on was shortly after that that I was let go from my job for my work performance not being what it was when I first started.after that I decided since nobody was going to help me because I wasn’t in a state to reach out to figure it out on my own because any doctor in their right mind would have handed me a straight jacket just for walking into their office the way I did and even my family proceeded to tell me to knock it off and grow up and stop using it as a cop out which I wish had been the was after that that I decided to cut everybody off and talk to no one unless there was an emergencey.i have a dog that I rescued so shes the only friend I really need right this was these last few months that ive learned to try to ignore them as much as I can and continue on with my day when it gets to intense I just go for a drive because its something that I am excellent at and relaxes me especially if I can find some dirt or mud where theres nobody else its to the point where its like having a group of angels on each shoulder where the evil ones are a bunch of smartasses attempting to distract me all the time where as the good ones check in once n awhile but leave shortly after.

  3. Tyler Nelson September 27, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    You know what Lisa? The National Security Agency, or the NSA/CIA are able to talk to people telepathically using microwave energy that can transmit “voices”. People that are overly sensitive to people knowing what is going on with them think it is evil instead. I hope you understand that some people are so insecure that if anyone knows what they are thinking or doing, they feel threatened by truth and it really is quite the opposite. Is it evil for people to know what is wrong? Some people do and they lack the ability for truth to be what is important in life. Am I making any sense to you? People in denial of truth dislike me. Denial is an ignorant self defense mechanism designed out of lack of goodness. I am a good person so I give hoot if people know the truth about me. I am an Operating Officer for the United States Intelligence Community. Before you get psychologically devastated, ask your self if truth annoys you. Feel free to talk to me. If you do not, you are on your own by personal choice.

  4. Lisa September 27, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    I’ve learn by being Schizophrenic, that if you read alot of the bible, and spiritual books, helps me cope with the voices in my head, knowing that when you think about a problem over and over in your mind that’s called worring. When you read and think of God’s word over and over in your mind, that’s meditation. If you know how to worry then you already know how to meditate!
    So replace your negative voices with God’s Word (The Bible) over and over you will learn not to worry, you will be meditating. Because prayer is you talking to God, and when meditate its God talking to you. After a while you will be able to identify God, the Holy Spirit, and the negative voices. So by ready the Bible its God talking to you.
    God is the one who wrote the Bible with many people in the past and with the Holy Spirit so We Can know what He wants us to do, So there is a book that does guide us The Bible if we took the time to read, study and meditate on it we would find solutions to all of our problems. Then we would know that we can communicate with God. And by meditaiting God will replace the negitive voices with His cause God is good and anything that isn’t good can not defeat what is God’s, And any bad voices can not compete with God, so in life God gave us the gift of choice, If I were you I would choose God and believe in Him and His son, and eventually no negative forces will be able to do anything to you not if you don’t let it,

  5. Tyler Eugene Nelson March 8, 2013 at 3:25 am #

    I doubt the family thing. I’d say it’s the military doing it in co-op with the NSA/CIA. It’s their technology after all. Funny too is that this “artificial telepathy”, is Russian technology as well.

  6. Tyler Eugene Nelson March 6, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    Well… I called the number. Let’s see if anyone answers. Should be interesting. 1-763-280-4181. Someone who wants to talk about microwave hearing technology. We don’t have flying cars but we have “artificial telepathy”, of all things. Hmmm. That is something to think about.

  7. Anonymous February 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    There is a group of families in New Ulm,MN and surronding area that have messed with me for a year and a half utilizing short wave radios broadcasting at a frequency of 50-100khz. Which will give the effect of a neurophone which is a device that allows deaf people the ability to hear low frequency broadcasts via bone conduction. When this technique is aimed at a persons residence that person will expierience this and have the feeling that they are hearing voices in there head. They do this in the hopes of causing that person to commit suicide or go crazy. They are sick fucking people and there are other families that live throught america who practice this method. They include the Melcherts Vanderlouws, Sellners, Wielands, Postels, Bodes, Wellmans, Shavers, Waltzs, Griebles, Groebners, Bingers, Zimmermanns, Corbetts, Beckers, Johnson, Portners, Geyers,Harders, Petersens, Heinrichs, Whites, Akyers, Steffens and more. If you are expieriencing voices speaking to you and they sometimes seem to project themselves to an outside noise source this is probably what you are expieriencing. The Aclu has file a lawsuit requiring the FBI and FCC to investigate this. Please contact me at 763-280-4181 if you are expieriencing this as we can help eac h other get this prosecuted.

  8. Anonymous November 3, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    I hear a voice in my head but i think it’s a good thing! As a child i named her Lily and she has always comforted me when i need help and been there as a friend. I have always had a belief that they can be of any form in the real world and think of my voice in the form of my labrador retrievor ( also named Lily) I don’t think hearing voices is the sign of a mental illness but it is a source of comfort and that we all have them we just choose not to listen to them but if we did we would be in for a nice surprise.

  9. Tyler Eugene Nelson September 27, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    Hi Alice. You can try and apply, but if your Irish you’ll have to get into G2 intelligence. You will also, most likely, have to sign an “Oath Of Secrecy”. In that case, you would go to jail if you broke your oath. You need to be trusted well if you were to do “Overt Activities”. Really, it means to divert and protect the entity that is misunderstood, even when things are going poorly. Providing security for all, even though you may not personally agree on the protocol, is key. People by design are predisposed to fight or flight syndrom. Keep that in mind when you discover a situation that most are uncertain about. How an individual “reacts to” and “counteracts in return”, to problems is what intelligence wants to know. I am predictable because I should be and desire to be. So in turn, that provides security for those who cooperate. “That’s the way Tyler is”!
    See? It’s not so hard.

  10. AliceinWonderland August 26, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

    Hi Tyler, there are many nosey people out there. It’s not just the CIA. It’s normal people. The internet has something to do with it. Because it isn’t policed, hacking and spying is encouraged.. People know they are being hacked and spied upon, so they want to learn how this is done. Look at all the spyware out there nowadays. Enough to arrouse anyone’s suspicions. Programs like Bib Brother are so popular. There are many nosey people out there, not just the CIA. I have had evidence of my computer being hacked, and of people deleting my posts. I actually have the physical evidence, so it does happen. And I think that is what is going on here too behind the scenes, someone is hacking to stop people from posting on this board. This text box and the Captcha code box are usually fixxed with other writing, so I can’t post. When I delete cookies, the problem is rectified, but the hacker got smarter and that stopped.

  11. Tyler Eugene Nelson August 26, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

    Hi Alice. Well. I am not very superstitious and I am certainly not interested in any type of paranoia. I pretty much only believe in technology, but spirituality is important. I think people feel much better about things when they are in the right place or around people who understand their situation. I think you are an interesting person so I don’t want you to feel typecasted or shunned. As for people messing with emails ect, I don’t know. I would think me a target for that more than you. I don’t think you asked that upon yourself. Here’s the thing. I wanted the government to investigate my intentions and I have no fear of such things anyways. So, I don’t mind people knowing little details about me as long as they are mature and confident enough to understand that we are all human. Despite all that, I know there are people out there that would love to get a piece of me. But confidence keeps me focused. You are taking time for me, so I shall do the same. If you are interested, there is a gentleman by the name Barrie Trower who is a microwave energy specialist who has given some interviews and they are posted on YouTube that you might find interesting. He is accurate on many levels, especially in his historic references. I felt he was giving a book report of all things. Very interesting indeed. You just have to remember that microwave energy is the classified issue here. It has been kept secret all this time since radar was introduced in the latter part of WW2 that microwave energy effects brain activity. Invisible effects. Take care K? And thanks Alice for staying strong. :)

  12. AliceinWonderland August 26, 2012 at 1:02 am #

    I agree with much of what you are saying enlightened, but a couple of things I’m not sure about so was hoping you would come back to explain that further if I am missing something. You seem to know a fair bit, so I was hoping to have some interesting discussion. I don’t think it is physically possible to walk through walls for instance, but maybe you have experienced otherwise, or perhaps you mean something more like astral projection or remote viewing, not physical? I do believe in mind over matter though, but not sure about certain things, such as shape shifting or teleporting. Do you think they are possible? I have wondered how this guy came to where i was so fast once or twice. Teleporting? Not referring to him next, but someone stalks me on the internet and if i’m going to post something they aren’t in favour of, my post gets deleted. This happens on another board I post on also, posts get deleted, and maybe someone is preventing you and others from posting here or replying. Someone keeps putting stuff in my reply fields/boxes here to try prevent me from posting. There is a way around it if you look hard. I think private messages i send and receive are also deleted on other boards I go to. Some people should get a life of their own and not be such control freaks of others.

  13. AliceinWonderland August 25, 2012 at 12:35 am #

    I do think the voices are coming from an outside source in any case, such as another person or spirit, rather than created by me. They aren’t like me, not even like an alter ego. They are completely different people, with their own knowledge, style, vocabulary, way of talking etc. Like they would use words that I don’t normally use, know things I didn’t know, or talk about things I hadn’t been thinking about. Someone said to me that there was an imbalance in my brain. Maybe there is, but having this imbalance gives you more sensitivity to be telepathic. Feel free to reply. Don’t be shy. This is the internet. I don’t bite.

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