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What is it like to have schizophrenia and hear voices?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
Auditory hallucinations, in which a person hears things that are not really there, are the most common type of hallucination experienced by people with schizophrenia. Sometimes these voices provide a running commentary on the day's events. A person with schizophrenia may hear voices making commands or directing the individual to act in certain ways. These voices may be very frightening and even threatening to the individual.  On occasion, people with schizophrenia hear multiple voices talking to each other. Many people who have schizophrenia learn to live with these voices for quite some time before they tell anyone about it. They may not realize something is wrong, or they may be fearful of revealing their experience with the voices to others.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.