When Hearing Voices is a Good Thing


The Atlantic reports on Tanya Luhrmann‘s recent research, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry “That suggests that the way people pay attention to their voices alters what they hear their voices say.”

More from the article:

” . . . The way schizophrenia sufferers experience those voices depends on their cultural context. Surprisingly, schizophrenic people from certain other countries don’t hear the same vicious, dark voices that Holt and other Americans do. Some of them, in fact, think their hallucinations are good—and sometimes even magical.

“Doctors “sometimes treat the voices heard by people with psychosis as if they are the uninteresting neurological byproducts of disease which should be ignored,” Stanford anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann says. ‘Our work found that people with serious psychotic disorders in different cultures have different voice-hearing experiences. That suggests that the way people pay attention to their voices alters what they hear their voices say.'”


  1. I’m an American who got evil “voices” from the psychiatric drugs. But once I was weaned off them, I experienced a drug withdrawal induced manic “psychosis” that was really quite magical and amazing.

    My experience is that the psychotropic drugs cause incessant, “vicious, dark voices.” But once one is weaned off these drugs, (s)he may continue on his / her spiritual journey, and this can be a good and even magical experience.

    Perhaps the US psychiatrists should stop forcing people to take toxic drugs and drug cocktails that induce “vicious, dark voices”? How long will it take for American psychiatry to overcome their delusions the atypical antipsychotics are “new wonder drugs,” and realize they’re just the same old toxic drugs the Russian dissidents claimed were torture drugs in the 1970’s?

    But we’ve found the unrepentant hypocrites Dante claimed belong in the lowest depths of hell, I guess.

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