This article originally appeared in the South London Press on 17/10/16.
Lambeth and Southwark Mind have teamed up with local news teams South London Press and London Weekly News to launch the Change Is Possible mental health campaign. Reporter Jack Dixon meets mental health blogger Katie, who sometimes hears voices during periods of extreme mood, when she’s either very high – manic – or very low.
People have many different experiences of hearing voices. Some can learn to live quite comfortably but others find them distracting and possibly frightening.
There are lots of reasons why people might hear voices. Sometimes they can be heard immediately before or after sleep, when the brain is partly in a dream state. But other factors like tiredness, hunger or simply being ill can make people hear strange things.
In more complex cases, bereavement or abuse can lead to trauma-induced experiences, while those who have psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or severe depression may also hear voices.
It’s a common assumption that anyone who hears voices must have a mental health problem. But Mind research has shown that this is a normal human experience. Lots of people hear voices –and most of them are not mentally ill.