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Sly Press…

So as we know the press/media in general used to write headlines that went something like, “Crazy person kills again for no reason”, and people complained, and those who were unwell were horrified.

But something new is now happening, and I have spotted it more and more in several articles. Instead of drawing you in with the crazy bit outright, they put it in a few lines down. The headline might refer to a murder, animal cruelty, child abuse etc, so it looks like any article about how the world is so violent, but then a few lines down it will use the words “patient”, “vulnerable”, “mental health”, you know the trigger words that the press uses to rile up the public.

I think since the scandal of the sun headline the press are been a lot more careful on what they say and how they say it. There are a lot of people with mental health problems and they don’t want to be shown up again.

So far this week I have seen at least three murders that were reportedly carried out by people who are not very well, and don’t forget the one case of animal cruelty, and the case of child cruelty that I have read about.

Governments here and in other developing countries seem to forget that is you deny people healthcare, whether that be medication, psychiatrists, or hospital, the cases of people hurting themselves, or others will go up.

I have been struggling of late as my community psychiatric nurse has been away, which has left me anxious, agitated, low in mood and suicidal, but if I was delusional, psychotic and maybe a little bit angry I could be a risk to someone other than myself. If the press really want to report on psychiatric patients running amok, then at least report on why, and use the clout that they have to change the way that the system is run. They could prevent the funding been cut, they could prevent the wards and hospitals closing, and most importantly raise awareness on psychiatric illness’.

I feel sorry for the people and animals that have been hurt, but I also feel sorry for the people that have been let down by the system.  

Abcense

Oops, I know a quiet spell right, well this is the thing with voice hearing. When you are trying to write with the voices at a “normal” sort of level it can be manageable but when they are unbearable it is so hard to even think of the right word to type in, especially when they insist on suggesting stupid things or reading out everything over and over.

I should of come on earlier and said something, but my head has been so loud and crazy it has not been a possibility.

My support for my mental health has not really been available of late, and this makes the voices go really crazy, suggesting that the care and support will be discharged completely, and I will be left to my own devices which is scary to hear, and at times is hard to argue back and keep a level head about the whole situation.

Of course one problem with the care system is that we rely on other people to help us through the tough times and of course people have lives and those lives have illness’ and emergences that are not foreseeable, and as a patient/client of the mental heath service you have to just sit back and wait for contact.

You do not really know what is happening other then your support is not available and nobody will tell you what is going on, or when that person is supposed to be back, or if they will be back.

I got a letter explaining that my care coordinator was away and that I would be contacted when he got back, and the only support available for this time would be the duty team, which for a lot of people is a no-go as they feel the duty team is not really helpful and at times can make things worse…Me included.

Of course you then get contacted about that person been back, but they have to catch up with all of the other patients and work so you wait even longer.

So here I am now stressed out and frustrated, not knowing when or if my care coordinator will be back, while contending with the voices telling me that I will be discharged, and that there will be no support for me.

So although this was meant to be a post about why I have been away, it has turned into a ramble.

Ever so sorry.

 

So people this one is for you, what does a voice hearer look like?

Do you think there is a look that you can equate with a voice hearer?

Do you think a gender is more prevalent?

What activities do people who hear voices undertake.

Long hair, short hair, beard, no beard, blue eyes, green eyes, pale skin, dark skin…let me know.

I am very interested in hearing what you think a typical voice hearer looks like, and how they act.

I will respond to this later on, with my views and opinions.

To Mourn

Writing a previous blog post about people losing their voice and how that could be a good thing, I forgot to mention the flip side to it.

To Mourn

I have talked to a fair few people online that have lost their voices, or met people in my hearing voices group that have lost their voices, and the facilitator of the group has told of clients that have lost their voices and it is not as happy as you might think it would be.

Imagine if you can that you have had someone follow you for years, through thick and thin, yes they may have being the worst piece of crap that you could imagine, but they were there, a constant, something to rely on.

Would you be happy that they went, or would you feel a loss?

A lot of people mourn their voice, they really miss it, and they can spiral into a deeper depression without the voice then they ever did with the voice there. You see even though they hated that voice and battled every day to counter what that voice was telling them, they were there, they were something that you could rely on to be there.

Flipping

Of course I am not saying that people like myself should have to live day in, day out, with these negative voices causing all sorts of grief, I am suggesting something else.

You see another solution is to flip them, not make them disappear, make them your friend not your enemy. People would not care about their voices being there if the voices were kind, loving, and supporting.

Of course this is easier said than done, but if people can research a new therapy to lose the voices, then why not make a therapy to twist the voices into a positive friend. A support network.

Myself

I know I am like loads of other voice hearers out there that state that if they could they would want the voices to go, would want the voices to be gone in the morning, but then I would have to deal with the loss of those voices and having already been through a lot of loss I doubt I could handle that.

I would so much like a friend to be with me and help me through those tough times, instead of these monsters that dwell within my cranium. I am not even saying that all ten of my voices have to be flipped into a friend, just one would be fine with me. The others could then vanish.

So right now the voices think this post is hilarious, and they are glad that I would miss them, even mourn them, this reaffirms to them that I need them.

Voices always miss then point eh?

New Hope?

Image

Who are these people you may be asking?

They are a new hope for schizophrenics, maybe all voice hearers.

Well I could not really ignore the story that has been around all week, and is the most obvious in reference to the hearing voices phenomenon, especially among schizophrenia patients.

If you wish to read the story yourself then here is the link >>> http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/may/29/schizophrenia-mental-health

Simply Put…

Sixteen patients underwent up to seven 30-minute sessions in a pilot study conducted by researchers at University College London (UCL), these patients created a computer generated face for their voice (see picture inserted) based on how they imagine the voice to look, they also give them a voice. The therapist then talks to the patient through the avatar, synching the lips to what is being said.

The result is a physical representation of the voice that says things that their voice would never say to them, countering the effect the voice in the head has, thus lowering the power they have.

All conversations are recorded on MP3, so the patients have something with them at all times to play when the voices may get bad again.

So far results are good, three patients have already stopped hearing voices completely.

A larger study, will be conducted at the King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry, and will begin enrolling patients in early July. The first results are expected towards the end of 2015.

My Opinion…

So far this looks good for people who have been living with this experience for a number of years and are really fed up of the grinding down and problems the voices cause.

However like all new therapies there are downsides and people who have been in the mental health system know all too well to be wary of the new miracle cure, or magic therapy that comes along. Especially as most are pushed by drug companies or people with ulterior motives.

Plus if the therapy become available in say, 2017 it will only be available to private patients first or a select few NHS trusts. Therapists will have to be trained, and policies put in place, meaning the general mental health patient will not be seeing this available until about 2020.

The waiting list will then be so long that you will have to wait a year or so to get the therapy, but there will be strict guidelines to access it.

Three out of sixteen

You might be thinking, well, three people out of sixteen stopped hearing voices completely.

However, they do not mention that it is common for people to stop hearing voices, for the voices to become a whisper, for new voices to appear and even for voices to become nice, that is the nature of voice hearing. Their voices may have stopped anyway, even without the therapy, and this is what needs further research.

I started with seven voices, then it went up to ten, I had one nice voice once, but the others turned it bad again. Some times they are whispering, some days they are screaming.

Voice hearing is not linear, and that is why it is hard to treat. There are no general rules when it comes to hearing voices, so yes, those patients may not be hearing voices now, but to presume that they never will again and this therapy is the reason why, is setting these patients up for a fall if this research turns out not to be such a reason for optimism as first hoped.

Conclusion

I am happy that there is a positive news story about hearing voices out in the mainstream media.

It is great that there are people out there still doing research into helping people with the experience, and not just looking into medications.

Of course I am sceptical, but hopefully some good will come from this research.

(Picture via The Guardian)

I want to share a secret with you guys and gals. Maybe you already know it, maybe you don’t.

O.K., so here it goes, *big breath*…

I am NOT schizophrenic!

Shocking, eh? You might be sitting there after spitting cereal or coffee all over your keyboard, saying, “But you lied! You said you hear voices, and now you’re telling me you don’t!…How can that be?”

Well, I’m sorry to burst the bubble that has been floating around for quite a while now, but despite what many people believe, not everyone who hears voices is schizophrenic.

Hearing Voices = Madness?

EVERYBODY hears a voice at some point in their life. Now, I know you might be thinking I’m losing the plot, but stick with me for a second…

When a loved one dies, it’s very common to hear them talk to you. Or when you’re in bed and half asleep, you might think you hear a voice. Two very common occurrences that most people have experienced, yet nobody ever admits to because they don’t want people to think they’re losing their marbles.

Hearing voices is NOT a distinct psychiatric illness by itself, however it may be considered one if the voices are negatively affecting your day-to-day living. But believe it or not, there are a lot of people who hear voices that work full-time, have children and live a “regular” life.

 

NOT ALL VOICES ARE BAD, mine happen to be very nasty and derogatory, but a lot of people have kind, helpful and encouraging voices that help them with difficult decisions and bolster them through tough times.

If a religious leader told you he heard the voice of God, would you bat an eyelid? Probably not, because religious leaders are considered within most of western society as ‘acceptable voice hearers’. We just need to change that general point of view so that everyone who hears voices is accepted.

Famous people throughout history and even contemporary celebrities have heard voices, some of them you would never guess.

I hear voices, I am a patient in the mental health system, however I have several other mental health problems rooted in trauma and the voices are just another symptom of that trauma and isolation I felt growing up. I have never had a psychotic episode, and have known at all times my own thoughts, feelings and actions. I have full control over what I do and what I say, I just happen to have ten people screaming at me at all times!

In another blog post I will tell you about some specific misconceptions around the voice hearing experience and try to explain why they aren’t true.

You can go back to eating your cereal or drinking your coffee now!

Coping Techniques

This is a video about coping techniques. As I say in the video not everything woks for everybody but hopefully one of these will help deal with the struggle of dealing with voices. I also hope that people will feel free to share some of their technique as well.

My Plea

In this video I appeal to the general public to understand the voice hearing experience from the point of view of a real voice hearer and not what the media tells you.
Yes it is long, but that is because I was passionate and there was a lot to say about how voice hearers are treated.

So here we are. For those who joined the forum I apologize for the adverts and the constant struggle to get those bots away from the forum. I will now be here instead blogging and pointing out things about mental health or voice hearers.

For those new to Voice On Voices, or VOV has it has become known as. Firstly welcome and secondly feel free to let me know how you feel about voice hearing, your experience, or any questions you have.

I am a voice hearer and have been for about eight years now. I currently hear ten voices at all times, male, female, young, old. I am not on any medication as I have too many side effects, coping can be tough, but I tend to take one day at a time. I do have other mental health problems that might appear on here from time to time, but the main point of this is to bring voice hearers together and provide somewhere safe to talk.

I really want voice hearing to be understand better by both the media and the general public, and even some nurses, doctors and even police officers.

Thank you for reading, and visiting. 

 

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