Tag: hearing voices and distress
The voices were extraordinary; in a way, they were like ghosts. I could not see them, but only divine them by the turmoil they stirred up in Annie. They were not polite house ghosts who knew when to leave; they were ne’er-do-wells she could not get rid of. They were tormentors and torturers, testing the limits of her sanity, blackmailing her into submission.
My experience began when I heard two people talking about me when I was home alone. I needed a reasonable explanation, and concluded that it had to be my upstairs neighbors. Then I began to hear the voices outside of my apartment — this new presentation meant that my explanation no longer made sense.
My memoir, Hearing Voices, Living Fully: Living with the Voices in My Head, chronicles my journey through depression, psychosis, and an unmedicated recovery, and describes how I learned to challenge my demons and negotiate the conditions that allowed me to regain control over my mind and my life. Although I thought my story was very unusual, I thought it possible that many who have manifested the symptoms associated with schizophrenia could achieve a greater degree of recovery than is currently the norm. When I became involved with the Hearing Voices Network, I learned that my experience is not uncommon and that there are literally millions of people in the world who are living full lives, even while hearing voices.
A new study out of Kings College London found that twelve sessions of a group mindfulness-based therapy relieved distress associated with hearing voices while reducing depression over the long-term. The person-based cognitive therapy (PBCT) intervention had significant effects on depression, voice distress, voice controllability and overall recovery.
What are some tactics used by voices, and what can you do about it? I hope the suggestions in this piece can help desperate voice-hearers become more understanding of the forces behind their agony, and perhaps bring a more enlightened perspective to the chemically-lobotomizing tendencies of their psychiatrists who treat voices with more medication.