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I hear voices

No, stop, don’t call the men in white suits. If I did (and for your information I don’t) I’d just be one of 100,000 people in Greater Manchester:

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, 14 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 hear voices. That would be equivalent to 100,000 people in Greater Manchester.

I almost glossed over this news, only to be reminded of it by a performance next week at Contact Theatre: I Hear Voices.

I hear you can support the cause by purchasing a World Hearing Voices Day tshirt for 6.99.

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I’ve definitely heard voices in the past and have never thought anything of it. There was a period of a few years during my adolescence when I would hear voices every night just before going to sleep; I always thought of them as auditory hallucinations working through all the things you’d heard during the day in an irrational, dream-like way.

These days I find it happens much more rarely.

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