In 1993, in an interview in the News of the World, the Hollywood actor Anthony Hopkins made a remarkable admission, he claimed he heard strange voices in his head,
“I’ve always had a little voice in my head, particularly when I was younger and less assured”, he said. “While onstage, during classical theatre the voice would suddenly say, “Oh, you think you can do Shakespeare, do you?” and he added; “Recently, I was being interviewed on television and the voice inside my head said to me, “Who the hell do you think you are. You’re just an actor, what the hell do you know about anything”.
Anthony Hopkins locates the root of his voice hearing experience in the insecurity he felt as a child, he says
I’ve always had a little voice in my head pulling me down, particularly when I was younger and less grounded…My school days were not always happy and I wanted to get away from Wales and be someone else. I was stupid at school, I just didn’t know what was going on. I thought I was on Mars, I didn’t know what they were talking about.
Many voice hearers share this description of the trigger for the voice experience and a recent survey showed that Hopkins is by no means alone. Social circumstances are related to the onset of the voices and examples of this include unbearable living situations, recent or childhood traumas, conflicts between the ideal and reality of people’s lives and the person’s overall emotional development.