9 responses to “Making Friends With Voices”

  1. Kate Campbell

    I was very moved by this account. I am someone who has been lost in the psychiatric system and labelled with Schizoaffective Disorder for many years. It is tragic to think of how many others there are like me who have been abused in childhood and then suffer further abuse by psychiatry.

    With the help of therapy I am trying to come to terms with my childhood and understanding ‘symptoms’ as natural responses to trauma and my ways of coping. I wish I had the right support 16 years ago, and had never ended up in the system.

    Slowly and painfully I’m rebuilding my life.

  2. erick

    i think hearing voices is telephaty

  3. Kiara

    I was very moved by Amy’s story because I too am one who hears voices due to dissociation, yet if I tell the psychiatric community that I hear voices I am labeled incorrectly as having schizophrenia.

  4. martin

    What’s the main difference that makes the diagnosis dissociation rather than schizophrenia, i hear voices but, don’t think it is schizophrenia as i hold down a job and can put on a facade and be believeable..When you talk to your voices should they answer you back ?.

  5. linda Hausman

    I too suffered molestation as a child, child, abuse from my mother, drugged and ganged raped while in a psyciatric hospital. I am labeled schizophrenia, bi-polar and depressive along with add. I’m stuck in a systym where nothing has helped me. I have no more faith in psyciatrists. I want to take myself off all medications but will talk to someone first. Voices have ruined my life. I don’t have a life.

  6. Mina

    this is beautiful I congratulate you

  7. Carol

    I was sexually abused as a child,and while I can look back now and see that I’ve had periods of dissociation and depression throughout my life as a result, it was only recently that this got so bad and one particular voice so loud, that it almost derailed my life and a chance at my dream career. I didn’t understand what was happening and eventually plucked up the courage to contact a counsellor who has been wonderful and patient in letting me work toward my own conclusions, although she knew all the while that I displayed all the symptoms of PTSD, triggered in my first year of teacher training.

    This has led to identifying, naming and getting to know a teenager, who was becoming a real bully through my ignoring her, and a shy seven year old with no self-worth or voice. They’ve always been with me but I’ve never acknowledged them for their part in protecting me from the emotional effects of the abuse. You would never know all this from my confident exterior either, Martin. I think once you start down that path of medication and fearing/trying to shut out your voices, the louder and more destructive they become. The teenager got to a point of wanting me to end it all. I believe that with the right support and understanding, many people wouldn’t reach that point, let alone become or be diagnosed with schizophrenia or bi-polar.

    I am determined to get to know my other selves, to acknowledge them, love and nurture them, and figure out how we can work together to survive and grow from our experiences without the numbing effects of medication.

  8. R

    Wouldn’t this be Dissociative Identity Disorder? Either way, good for Amy!

  9. Michael SW

    My too long comment-essay apparently killed all discussion ? But I will add another comment: Now reading Father-Daughter Incest by Judith Herman (1981,2000)and The Mosaic Mind by Goulding and Schwartz (1995) and learning that severe abuse can cause a child’s personality to split (schizoid) into a hurt inner child part, which carries the pain anger humiliation shame guilt, and a guardian/healer/defender part, who tries to help the child survive and endure and grow.
    In my case there was a wasp attack at age three which nearly killed me – sank me into allergic coma – then chronic emotional and physical abuse, with scoldings, criticisms, slapping and spanking by a terrible mother (probably a bipolar or borderline PD) resulting in (??) what Judithn Herman calls Complex PTSD…

    Then one evening I watched Rawhide on TV and decided that I wanted to grow up to be just like Clint Eastwood. My hurt inner child sub-personality-part got buried in my psyche’s basement, and the steel-eyed feel-no-pain Clint mask took over. I haven’t been able to cry in thirty years … until the hypno session:

    A few weeks ago during a hypnotherapy session, the swollen throbbing comatose body of the three year old was imaged and later drawn into a cartoon, and so my inner child has been rediscovered. The emotions welled up from that part of me. I felt, tears streaming down my face; the therapist handed me a towel. But a three year old has no words to describe being stung by thirty wasps.

    In Mosaic Mind they use a written internal dialogue process (Active Imagination) borrowed from the Jungians (many refs to Inner Work by Robert Johnson (1986)) … so for therapy, I need to give that inner child a name, and the a turn at the pen, and a chance to express his pain. And I need to convince the Clint mask/part to lighten up, back off, cease staring down the therapist, and allow my other parts to communicate. Put your guns away, Clint… I don’t need them anymore. Aha, this is Bob Dylan’s song: Take these guns off of me, I don’t need them anymore…I’m Knock Knock Knockin on Heaven’s Door.

    Its amazing that the human brain can form several personalities. Maybe that’s why we admire movie actors so much ?

    Look at all the movie and theater roles played by Meryl Streep during her long career – or Lawrence Olivier… does Streep have multiple personality disorder ? How could the same human actor play Margaret Thatcher and Julia Childs ? Does she hear ‘voices’ in the dark ? Do theatre actors wake up in the morning wondering who they are ? Who are YOU today ?

    Enough… This latest foray into “Internal Family Systems” via Dr Schwartz is most interesting. / Michael SW

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