Auditory Hallucinations


The experience of auditory hallucinations, sometimes described as hearing voices, are some of the most common symptoms of schizophrenia, usually characterized by the person hearing one or more voice, talking directly to or about them. (Nayani, and David, 1996)

Hallucinations are a hallmark symptom of schizophrenia and may effect the five senses, with auditory hallucinations being the most common, effecting 70 percent of patients with schizophrenia
Although hearing voices is most frequently associated with schizophrenia, the two are not mutually exclusive. Schizophrenia is thought to effect roughly 1% of the population, whereas those experiencing voices could be anything up to 20% of the population according to various research. Auditory hallucinations can occur in healthy individuals who are under intense physiological stress, such as sleep deprivation, and may also occur as a result of using drugs with hallucenogenic properties.

Many individuals are able to cope with this phenomenom without intervention, however numerous sufferers find it difficult, and as a result suffer huge distress in their everyday lives. This may be especially dangerous if sufferers lack effective self-management skills, and think the only way they can manage them is to obey them. (Buccheri, Trygstad, Kanas, and Dowling, 2007).

It is therefore of paramount importance to develop effective strategies and coping mechanisms, to enable sufferers to lead healthy lives and attempt to realise their true potential.

Historically those who experienced voices or auditory hallucinations may have either been described as the local village idiot, or indeed may also have spent their lives in the large psychiatric hospitals, which were prevalent up until recently.
Following the closure of these hospitals and since the development of community based services, the majority of people no longer require long term inpatient care. However a significant number experience relapses of...