A central premise of HVN is that these voices frequently emerge following extreme stress or trauma. Research bears that out: at least 70 per cent of voice-hearers are thought to have experienced some form of trauma. The characteristics of voices vary widely from person to person, but they often mimic the sound and language of abusers or their victims: demonic and frightening, or angelic and friendly.
Waddingham, for instance, now hears 13 voices. Eleanor Longden tells a similar story. After leaving a psychiatric hospital with a diagnosis of schizophrenia at 18, she was assigned to work with a psychiatrist familiar with the hearing voices movement. He encouraged her to overcome her fear of her voices, which included both human and demonic-sounding ones. Traditional psychiatry discourages patients from engaging with voices, and prefers to silence them through medication.
But HVN members, like Longden, say that listening to voices is vital to calming them down. And by communicating back, Longden was able to test the boundaries of what these voices could actually do. She refused to obey. As she grew less afraid, Longden sought to unpack the messages they carried. Longden had suffered years of sexual and physical abuse as a child. Her memory is hazy, but she knows her abusers were men outside her family. When she heard a voice calling her weak for accepting the abuse, she began to read it as encouraging her to be strong and assertive.
Some voice-hearers speak to their voices, while others use internal dialogue.
Racing Thoughts and Bipolar Disorder
Still others communicate by writing things down. Since the voices can manifest at any time of day, voice-hearers must think of practical solutions to deal with them without alarming colleagues and passers-by. Some choose to wear Bluetooth headsets so they can speak aloud in public without causing alarm, while others simply talk into their mobile phones.
Standing by the pool at the Hotel Philippion in Thessaloniki, the venue for this symposium, are Marius Romme and his wife, Sandra Escher. The two have spent half a lifetime listening to the trauma suffered by so many voice-hearers. Yet Romme, now 80, and Escher, 69, remain warm, optimistic and almost evangelical in their beliefs, which gave rise to the hearing voices movement three decades ago.
What causes racing thoughts?
Starting in , he ran the social psychiatry department at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and saw patients at a community mental health clinic one day a week. He dismissed the voices as symptoms of mental illness. But a patient named Patsy Hage changed that. Hage started hearing voices as an eight-year-old, after being severely burned.
By the time she came to see Romme, she was 30 and her voices had forbidden her from socialising, leaving her isolated and severely depressed. In it, Jaynes argued that hearing voices was common until the development of written language. Attributing meaning to the voices gave Hage comfort, and Romme encouraged her to speak to other voice-hearers. With the help of Escher, a science journalist he had met years earlier, he placed a national advertisement asking voice-hearers to send in postcards with their stories. Around arrived, including more than from people who experienced auditory hallucinations — and got on with life just fine.
Russell Margolis, a professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University in the US, accepts that voices can result from trauma, but he points out that they can also be part of broader syndromes, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, which demand specific treatment. Yet for many, the hearing voices approach remains an important alternative to the dominant psychiatric model.
She now takes care of the voices that once tormented her. Years ago, I would have interpreted these feelings as evidence of me being watched. Now I have a way of making sense of them that gives me some autonomy and control.
"I thought the voices in my head were normal": What it’s like to live with psychosis
Waddingham is now helping others do the same. She runs the Voice Collective, a London-wide project that provides services to young voice-hearers and their parents.
In , she began establishing hearing voices groups inside English prisons, where, according to the Ministry of Justice, 15 per cent of women and 10 per cent of men demonstrate psychotic symptoms but are left to cope on their own. The challenges they face — alone in prison cells — make Waddingham even more thankful for how far she has come. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.
- dark thoughts book 1 hearing voices Manual.
- Schizophrenia: Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment;
- Can You Live With the Voices in Your Head?;
- Chandas Wars.
Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists? Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more.
mueputiliwi.ga Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment.
The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. I would hear screaming and shouting in my head. It was terrifying. I felt utterly lost and alone. I started to believe what these voices were telling me and I became suicidal.
I went to see my GP, but only mentioned the depression. I was young and had no experience or idea of what psychosis was. I never thought it would or could happen to me. It was something you saw in movies, or read in the tabloids that someone had done something terrible because of the voices they heard. The voices either made me feel fantastic and ready for anything - or the complete opposite; worthless, scared beyond belief. I felt like I was living in a constant state of alert. This went on for years.
Even though I was in denial, I often kept a journal of my experiences. I thought writing it all down would be the key to making it all stop. Thank you. I can breathe again. The cat has leapt up on the bed and has curled up next to me. Stroking her and listening to her gentle purr is calming me down. I feel really muddled and confused. Oh, here come the voices. I close my eyes and try and focus my mind. All I can hear is 'Disgusting! I sit down next to my partner on the sofa. I make myself listen to him intently, and the shouting starts to fade.
Is that banging from outside or in my head? Is that whispering in the background from the TV show or in my mind? Unknown noises set my teeth on edge. I remember clearly the moment I accepted I had psychosis. I was on the MIND website and stumbled upon the section on hearing voices. My body started shaking as I read more and more of the article. When I finished reading I broke down and sobbed. In the ancient world, auditory hallucinations were often viewed as either a gift or curse by God, or the gods depending on the specific culture.
According to the Greek historian Plutarch , during the reign of Tiberius A. When you reach Palodes , take care to proclaim that the great god Pan is dead.