The following information was sourced from www.intervoiceonline.org
The Startling Phase
- Most voice hearers describe the onset of the experience as being quite sudden, startling and anxiety provoking, and can vividly remember the precise moment they first heard a voice.
- The age of the onset of the initial experience of voices varies widely, as does the intensity of the startling phase, which appears to be most severe when it occurs during adolescence. The confusion seems to be less when voices are heard from an early age, or did not make an appearance until later in adulthood (In a survey 6% heard voices before the age of 6; 10% between 10 and 20; 74% after 20).
- Voices are often triggered by traumatic or emotional events such as accidents, divorce or bereavement, illnesses, psychotherapy sessions.
The impact of the voices fall into two main types:
Some people perceive the voices as helpful and they evoke a feeling of recognition. These people feel the purpose of the voices is strengthening them and raising their self-esteem. The voices are experienced as positive and as an understandable aspect of their internal selves.
Others experience the voices as aggressive and negative from the very beginning. For these people the voices are hostile and are not accepted as part of themselves. They suffer from negative voices that can cause chaos in their minds, demanding so much attention that communication with the outside world is extremely difficult.