Living With Voices

From The American Scholar:

A new way to deal with disturbing voices offers hope for those with other forms of psychosis

The common sense understanding that accompanied this wisdom was that nonpharmacological treatments for schizophrenia were useless. But recently a new grassroots movement has emerged. It argues that if patients learn to address their voices directly and appropriately, as if each voice had intention and agency, the voices will become less hostile and eventually go away. From the perspective of modern psychiatry, this assertion is radical, even dangerous. But it is being taken seriously by an increasing number of patients and psychiatrists. (continue reading)

h/t Holistic Recovery from Schizophrenia

The above article is long and detailed. I only clipped a wee bit. It’s well worth reading, especially if you’re not familiar with the fact that many people learn to thrive having lived with psychosis of various kinds.

As Rossa at the Holistic Recovery from Schizophrenia points out, suggesting almost all psychosis has its roots in childhood sexual abuse is a bit extreme. I do not believe it’s extreme, however, to make that sort of generalization about there being some sort of childhood trauma. This would of course include sexual abuse but it’s not limited to only sexual abuse. Trauma can be a myriad of things in our culture which is abusive in so many ways that often remain unconscious on the part of the perpetrators. Sometimes abuse seems benign to the unaware.  Seemingly ordinary dysfunction within a family can qualify and most people just don’t realize that. All families deal with dysfunction.  We all inherit by being human. And of course some is more detrimental than others. This is something we must all work together to eradicate and that happens by fearlessly looking at how we ourselves are adding to the problem.

And to be clear, not everyone who experiences similar trauma will end up with some manifestation of psychosis. What is important to understand is that for those who do there is hope for integration and healing. There is hope for a healthy life when the appropriate supports are provided at the right time. The tragedy right now is that there are very few places for people to heal in safety. Here are two programs that have worked very well: Soteria and Open Dialogue. Other similar models have also been successful.

In any case, the article in the American Scholar is rather exciting as the idea of treating psychosis with non-pharmaceutical methods slowly gains steam. Beyond Meds has shared many stories of such successes and I know and have communicated or networked with 1000s of people now that have learned to heal and thrive without medications after getting life-long damning diagnosis metered out by psychiatry. Here is a catalog of some of them: Psychosis Recovery

Recently I shared a lovely video with a psychologist speaking about her own healing: UK psychologist now thrives after the damning diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia

One more piece that comes to mind that I really love is: An open letter to Oprah regarding Jani the seven yr old “schizophrenic”

That article written to Oprah helps one consider how to approach children who are hearing voices. It’s truly a lovely letter.

Also see: 

●  “Rethinking Madness: Towards a Paradigm Shift in our Understanding and Treatment of Psychosis”

●  Loren Mosher speaks about Soteria house

●  Drug-free treatment for those labeled schizophrenic

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters