Media 2016

2016

December

Social workers experience hearing voices for a day TrueNorth Wellness employees participated in a hearing simulation to better understand living with mental illness. The participants wore headphones with a continuous voice track that played. Source: The Evening Sun (USA), 26th December 2016

Auditory Hallucinations and PTSD in Ex-Pows Literature has suggested that auditory hallucinations might be prevalent in the general population and could be linked to the experience of trauma. This prospective study examines the prevalence of auditory hallucinations in trauma survivors and its association with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, over time.  The findings suggest that auditory hallucinations might be a consequence of the post traumatic reaction among veterans. Source: ResearchGate (USA), 20th December 2016

The Song Of The Psyche The questions Fernyhough asks are fascinating. Having established the commonality and near universality of experiencing an inner voice, he asks: How and when did these voices first enter our heads? Moreover, do young children hear voices the same way adults do? And what distinguishes a normal inner voice from the auditory hallucinations of schizophrenia? There are no hard and fast answers, and the direction of travel for research in these areas is not clean and easy, but there is progress being made. Source: Huffington Post (USA), 16th November 2016

Mindfulness Intervention Effective for Distressing Voices in Psychosis Combined cognitive therapy and mindfulness can have lasting positive effects on behavior and mood.Combined cognitive therapy and mindfulness can have lasting positive effects on behavior and mood. Group person-based cognitive therapy (PBCT), which integrates cognitive therapy with mindfulness, is effective in alleviating distress in individuals with psychosis who are hearing voices, according to a study conducted by a UK-based research team. Source: Psychiatry Advisor (USA), 12th December 2016

Stigma May Increase Distress in Individuals Who Hear Voices Review finds that stigma around voice hearing is connected to isolation, secrecy, and poorer functioning. A new review, published in the International Journal of Social Psychiatry, explores the impact of stigma on individuals who hear voices. The existing literature suggests that stigma around voice hearing, perpetuated by negative portrayals in the media, may negatively affect individuals who hear voices. Internalized stigma may simultaneously create barriers to accessing services while increasing distress and, in turn, need for care. Source: Mad in America (USA), 7th December 2016

‘For 12 years, I was hallucinating and hearing voices, now I’m an author and proof you can get better from mental illness’ While enjoying a busy career as a translator, Bangor woman Rosemary Adams became unwell in her 40s. She tells Stephanie Bell how she recovered to establish a new career as a writer and about her fascinating discoveries as an astrologist. Source: Belfast Telegraph (UK), 5th December 2017

What Our Internal Voices Say About Ourselves What are you thinking? If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend much of your waking life busy with an internal stream of chatter—a silent dialogue that guides your actions, helps you to think through problems and sometimes chastises you for your mistakes. Is our “inner speech” (as psychologists term it) just mental chitchat, or does it serve some useful purposes? With new experimental methods, psychologists are lifting the hood on our internal conversations. And they’re showing us that our inner voices are far from a useless accompaniment to the tasks that our brains perform. Source: Time (USA), 2nd December 2016

November

Scientists identify microrna that provides clues for quieting auditory hallucinations of schizophrenia St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have identified a small RNA (microRNA) that may be essential to restoring normal function in a brain circuit associated with the “voices” and other hallucinations of schizophrenia. The microRNA provides a possible focus for antipsychotic drug development. The findings appear today in the journal Nature Medicine. Source: Medical Life Sciences News, 30th November 2016

Who is at Risk for Psychosis? Study finds higher rates of psychosis amongst marginalized populations In a report conducted by UK-based researchers, Jesus Perez and colleagues, the authors compiled literature from prior studies in order to understand the social epidemiology of psychosis to detect “high risk” individuals and make recommendations for improving services amongst this group. Their findings indicate that rates of psychosis tend to be higher in ethnic minority groups and in individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Source: Mad in America, 15th November 2016
Hearing voices? Then talk back, says the head of a global ‘hearing voices’ Ron Coleman has a tattoo on his left arm with the words, psychotic and proud. For a man who literally hears voices every now and again, it is as much a message to himself as it is the rest of the world. The Scotsman, a mental illness survivor and advocate, will visit Wellington as part of a national series of workshops about hearing voices, and the global movement to help people talk back to them. It is an approach that, at first glance, seems blindingly obvious and slightly risky. Don’t ignore the voices in your head, he says, sit down and talk to them. Source: Stuff (New Zealand), 4th November 2016

Durham hosts first ever exhibition about hearing voices The world’s first major exhibition on hearing voices is taking place in Durham this week. Hearing Voices: suffering, inspiration and the everyday is the first exhibition of its kind to examine this experience from different cultural, clinical, historical, literary and spiritual perspectives. Rachel Waddingham, Chair of Intervoice, the International Hearing Voices Network, said: “Whilst hearing voices is a relatively common human experience, many voice-hearers live their lives feeling afraid to speak out in case they are discriminated against. “This exhibition invites us to step beyond the stereotypes and explore the multi-faceted experience of voice-hearing.” Source: Northern Echo (UK), 1st November 2016

October

Beach Boys music legend Brian Wilson has revealed his disturbing child abuse horror and admits he has been hearing voices ever since taking drugs Despite the fame and musical success that Brian Wilson experienced with the Beach Boys, he explained that he suffered from major anxiety and was tormented by voices he heard in his head. “For the past 40 years I’ve had auditory hallucinations in my head, all day every day, and I can’t get them out.” He says the voices started “about a week after I’d taken some psychedelic drugs.” Wilson also wrote about how he has intense fears and phobias that have severely affected his life. He once spent months in bed. Source: Inquisitr (USA), 31st October 2016

Hearing voices: Listening clearly to psychosis When someone “hears a voice” what is really happening? Can we all understand what it means to hear voices. Approaching the phenomenon of hearing voices from an anthropological perspective — rather than a traditional psychiatric point-of-view — offers a different take on the puzzling and alienating experience, said Nev Jones, PhD, director of research and evaluation at the Felton Institute in San Francisco, and a former postdoctoral fellow at Stanford. She spoke recently in the Stanford Department of Anthropology’s Cultures, Minds, and Medicine seminar series. Jones recounted an interview with a young adult with a recent onset of psychosis. His voices take the form of nanobots and terrorists, but he doesn’t convey this information to his treatment team. “Why should I?” he asked. “She [his psychiatrist] told me she didn’t know anything of computers or math, and that was the end of it.” The young man felt that his doctor wouldn’t understand, Jones said. That patient’s experience illustrates the importance of listening with an open mind, she pointed out. Source: Scope (USA), 28th October 2016

‘Hearing voices is like saying hello to your family’ Auditory hallucination is experienced by one in eight of the population and most commonly by those who are over the age of 60 and lose a life partner. There are many ways in which hearing voices varies, aside from frequency. Some people hear only bad voices. Others hear only good voices, supporting and reassuring them. Many hear both good and bad. For some the voices are of people they know. Some hear just the one voice, others hear many. For some the voices start as imaginary childhood friends and for others the first voice arrives much later in life. A common feature, however, is that most voice hearers, when asked, ascribe meaning to their voices, and reject the notion that they are meaningless expressions of a chemical imbalance or some other supposed biological dysfunction. Source: Independent (UK), 24th October 2016

Hearing voices is more common than you might think  Hearing voices that other people can’t is a meaningful experience. Like dreams, they can usually be understood in terms of one’s life experiences. Within mental health services, however, the prevailing medical model means some practitioners pay attention only to their presence, not their meaning. Psychiatry’s diagnostic bibles, the American DSM-5 and the World Health Organisation’s ICD-10, portray auditory hallucinations as symptoms of a mental disorder called schizophrenia, which most psychiatrists believe is caused by biochemical and genetic factors rather than a meaningful response to life events and circumstances. Although less than 1% of the population receive this diagnosis, international surveys, in different cultures, find that about one in eight people experience auditory hallucination at least once in their life. I am one of those who has only heard voices once in their life (so far). The day after my friend died in a car accident, years ago, he spoke to me. Despite many years of working as a clinical psychologist to help people make sense of their voices, my first thought was: I’m going crazy. Then I realised he had just come to say goodbye, and it didn’t matter whether he really was there or I was imagining it. Source: The Conversation (UK), 21st October 2016

Avatars and Hearing Voices People with schizophrenia are volunteering for a European research project to help the control and perhaps even silence the tormenting voices in their heads by confronting a computer avatar of themselves. Source: EuroNews (France), 3rd October 2016

September

Hearing voices is “a natural human experience,” not symptom of disease, expert says Our conversation with Rebecca Hatton and Anna. Hatton is a psychologist who started the Ann Arbor chapter of the Hearing Voices Network. Anna was diagnosed with schizophrenia in her late teens and is a facilitator with HVN. “Hearing voices” is known as an auditory hallucination. The Mental Health Foundation tells us that it may or may not be associated with a mental health problem. It’s the most common type of hallucination in people with disorders such as schizophrenia. Rebecca Hatton told us that the Hearing Voices Network looks at auditory hallucinations as “a natural human experience that happens to many people.”There’s a stigma that follows such hallucinations. If you speak openly about hearing voices, you’re likely to be labeled, medicated, even hospitalized. But the Hearing Voices Network thinks it has another way to help people understand and learn to live with those voices. Source: Michigan Radio (USA), 16th September 2016

Sociologist Offers New Perspective on Voice Hearing In a new chapter published in The Sociological Review Monographs, Lisa Blackman explores how an interdisciplinary model and epigenetics can be helpful in understanding the impacts of trauma on voice hearing. Blackman uses the Hearing Voices Movement as an example of an organization that has challenged a biomedical perspective that pathologizes voice hearing. “It has the potential to finally destabilize the biomedical model from its privileged seat and to allow new models of the biopsychosocial to take form,” writes Blackman, a professor at Goldsmiths, University of London. Source: Mad in America (USA), 14th September 2016

August

New ‘Hearing Voices’ support group forming  A new support group for those who hear voices, see visions and have other unusual perceptions will host its first meeting from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church at 19 Jay St. The Rev. Lori Peach-Filban, pastor of the United Church of Stonington, said Friday that she decided to help organize the support group after becoming active in the local chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness, an advocacy group. She and her family moved to the area 17 months ago, and were looking for a support group for a family member, she said. “It’s for people who have that experience, just to talk with other people and find out that their experiences are not so frightening and unique, and address the stigma,” said Peach-Filban, who also works with mental health education programs in the community and churches through the Southeastern Mental Health Network, Sound Community Services and other groups.Statewide, there are 16 Hearing Voices support groups affiliated with the national Hearing Voices Network. Peach-Filban said the New London group will be led by two facilitators who’ve received training from the Connecticut Hearing Voices Network. Participation in the groups is free. According to information on the Connecticut Hearing Voices Network’s website, as many as one in 10 people hear voices, but many choose not to talk about them. At the support group, people can talk about their experiences without fear of judgment. All information shared in the group is kept confidential. The Day (USA), 28th August 2016

Hearing Voices in the UK For years, hearing voices served as a symbol of a fear we all share – losing our minds. But voice hearing is now known to be an experience of almost limitless range, from cruel distress to creativity and meaning. The UK is at the forefront of a movement that has changed the way patients and psychiatrists view the voices that some people hear. Christopher Harding is in his adopted homeland of Scotland to explore how our ideas about the mind, and about reality shape these experiences and what life is like for voice hearers in the UK today. BBC World Service (UK), 28th August 2016

 David’s Matchbox, a tale of psychosis and love – The Story podcast Michael was at medical school when he was gripped by paranoid schizophrenia which left him at the mercy of the voices in his head. He survived on the streets of New York for 10 years by believing he was part of a special intelligence force working to stop George Bush’s evil plot to take over the world, until he hears the voice of Britain’s Queen. Meanwhile, Chris was a retired art gallerist in England. One day, their eyes meet during a service at Westminster Abbey, and a story of friendship, love and survival unfolds.David’s Matchbox is the first of three stories under the title Camera Off, an audio documentary series by film-maker Rebecca Lloyd-Evans, dedicated to eclectic true stories better told without the camera. The Guardian (UK), 25th August 2016

We’re exploring inner space this weekend in a podcast that asks: what does it sound like inside your head The psychologist and novelist Charles Fernyhough has been studying the experience of thinking since he was a graduate student in the 1990s. He explores the auditory riches of our inner lives and suggests that the soundtrack to our deliberations is forged from the conversations we have with ourselves. But what does this private Babel mean to the writers of fiction? The Guardian (UK), 22nd August 2016

‘At least he doesn’t have to hear those wretched voices in his head again’ Alastair Campbell’s describes his pain as his schizophrenia-suffering older brother dies from respiratory collapse aged 62. Mr Campbell has already lifted the lid on his own battle with depression, now he says his brother was the real reason behind his mental health campaign. Daily Mail (UK), 21st August 2016

Holistic mental health tries to be alternative to psychiatry Like many of the other alternative models of care, Hearing Voices Network is not explicitly anti-medication. Many people who regularly attend have prescriptions, but many have reduced dosages.“I walked in the door on Thorazine and thought I couldn’t get better,” Marty Hadge said. “About all I could do is lie on the couch, and the doctors would say, ‘Hey, you’re doing great — you’re not getting in trouble!’” Hadge is now a group leader who trains others for that role. He no longer takes Thorazine or any other anti-psychosis medication.Not everyone benefits from airing their voices, therapists say. The pain and confusion those internal messages cause can overwhelm any effort to understand or engage “People will come to our program because they’re determined not to be on medication,” said Gordon, the medical director of Advocates. “But that’s not always possible. The idea is to give people as many options as we can, to allow them to come up with their own self-management program.” To do that, proponents of alternative care have much work to do. The programs are spread thin, and to scale up, they will probably have to set aside their native distrust of mainstream psychiatry to form alliances with clinics. In parts of Europe, including Britain and Denmark, such integration has occurred, with hearing voices groups and Open Dialogue-like programs widely available. The Bulletin (USA), 14th August 2016

“Alternatives to Psychiatry Are Here to Stay” The New York Times airs criticism of psychiatry, and offers alternatives to it, in an article by Benedict Carey in today’s Health section. An Alternative Form of Mental Health Care Gains a Foothold brings attention to the proliferation of the Hearing Voices Network, the increasing acceptance of the Open Dialogue approach, and the contribution of the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health care has made, saying “For the first time in this country, experts say, psychiatry’s critics are mounting a sustained, broadly based effort to provide people with practical options, rather than solely alleging abuses like overmedication and involuntary restraint.” New York Times (USA), 8th August 2016

July

The Mystery of Urban Psychosis: Why are paranoia and schizophrenia more common in cities?  The data shows that urban environments reliably increase the chances of being diagnosed with schizophrenia or having related experiences like paranoia and hallucinations. This is not the case for other mental health problems primarily caused, for example, by depression or mood instability. If it was a general effect on wellbeing, you would expect the chance of being diagnosed with any mental health problem to increase at an equal rate, but this isn’t the case. There are good reasons to think that city living might be the cause of some of these problems. The two big psychological negatives of city living, social isolation and social threat, are already well studied in mental health. They are risk factors for a range of psychological difficulties but have been particularly associated with misperceptions and paranoia. And for people who are already experiencing paranoid delusions, there is good evidence that urban environments amplify anxieties, increase the intensity of hallucinations, and weaken self-confidence. For those of us who live in cities, the cause of the urban psychosis effect remains comfortably unconfirmed, but the scientific interest is having wider reaching consequences. Des Fitzgerald, a sociologist at Cardiff University who studies the social impact of neuroscience, has described how this scientific question is motivating researchers to work across disciplinary boundaries with an intensity rarely seen before. Social scientists are turning to biology to understand the impact of cities, and neurobiologists are now becoming interested in the neuroscience of the urban environment. The Atlantic (USA), 15th July 2016

Learning to live with the voices inside your head Kiko Ranawake has been hearing voices since her diagnosis of schizophrenia. Ranawake believes some of the voices she hears reflect trauma from earlier in her life.’I was sexually abused,’ she says. ‘Shortly after the onset of my psychosis, that voice very much represented the abuser.’ Kiko says her hallucinations manifested as a coping mechanism and survival strategy to deal with the abuse ‘It’s about putting together the pieces of my past and trying to reconcile those parts of myself that maybe have been lost or disconnected in some way,’ she says.Ranawake still hears voices but has strategies to manage them, namely a strong support network and minimal medication. ‘I embrace [my voices] now in a relationship with kindness and the dignity and respect that they deserve … as part of myself, as part of my whole being, as part of the whole experience that makes up me,’ she says.’I’ve come to accept that this is the way it’s going to be. ‘I really do believe that a person can change the relationship they have with their voices and actually own that experience and find meaning.’ All in the Mind, ABC (Australia), 11th July 2016

June

Protégée says Prince was ‘hearing voices from afar’ during flight blackout At the Trinity Moline Hospital, Prince was conscious and speaking, which relieved Hill — who “thought he was gone.” He eventually got back to his regular self at the hospital, not “dreary or drowsy,” she says. He told her he was alive “by God’s grace,” and said he “had to fight for my life.” “‘I remember hearing your voices from afar and saying to myself, ‘Follow the voices, follow the voices, get back in your body, you gotta to do this,’” Hill recalls him saying. “And he said it was the hardest thing he’d ever done, to get back into his body like that.” Mashable (UK), 22nd June, 2016

Important New Book— “Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness” It has become increasingly mainstream to criticize psychiatry for its corruption by drug companies, invalid diagnoses, lack of long-term treatment effectiveness, and other scientific failings. The recently published book Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness reminds us that perhaps the most pathetic aspect “inside mainstream mental health” is how simplistic, boring, and reductionist it is—when our natures are so very complex, fascinating, and non-reductionist. Outside Mental Health restores the full range of color to our humanity. Outside Mental Health is authored by radio host and therapist Will Hall, who as a young man had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. The central question Hall asks is: What does it mean to be called crazy in a crazy world? Mad in America (USA), 19th June 2016

Woman who killed herself after ‘voices told her to do terrible things’ was ‘let down’ by health professionals  The hearing was told Miss Robinson had been a voluntary patient in the unit numerous times, but had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act in September 2014 because of concerns about her escalating incidents of self-harm.Mr Robinson, of Flint, said her mental health started deteriorating at the age of 18. He told the hearing that she complained of bullying at work, had been sexually assaulted and was in an abusive relationship. The former Flint High School pupil took several overdoses of prescription drugs and self-harmed from the summer of 2013. Mr Robinson said Danielle phoned him on November 11 from the hospital and was very agitated. He said: “She said she was hearing voices and they were telling her to do terrible things – to kill herself. “I succeeded in calming her down and said I would speak to the nurses. “I thought at least she would be safe but unfortunately that was not the case.”Mr Robinson, a swimming pool manager, told the hearing that he immediately rang the nurses on the ward and was told it would be dealt with, but a few minutes later she was found hanging. Staff rushed to resuscitate her and managed to restart her heart but she had suffered from hypoxia – a lack of oxygen to the brain. With tears in his eyes, he read a statement in which he complained that procedures had not been followed and referred to a “lack of compassion, poor treatment and inadequate security”.“Despite being unable to bring my daughter back, I hope a number of lessons will be learned,” he said. Daily Mirror (UK), 19th June 2016

Yayoi Kusama exhibition in London includes three new mirror rooms Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is exhibiting a year’s worth of new sculptures, paintings and installations at London’s Victoria Miro galleries, including three mirrored rooms and plenty of pumpkins. The works are exhibited across Victoria Miro’s two locations at Wharf Road, Islington – including its waterside garden – and St George Street, Mayfair.  Yayoi Kusama installation. The exhibition also includes a trio of polished bronze pumpkin sculptures “Pumpkins have been a great comfort to me since my childhood,” said Kusama. “They speak to me of the joy of living. Kusama famously creates all of her work in a studio near the Tokyo psychiatric facility in which she has lived, voluntarily, since 1977, having reported experiencing visual and auditory hallucinations her whole life. Kusama has voluntarily lived in a Tokyo psychiatric facility in since 1977, having reported experiencing visual and auditory hallucinations her whole life. Prior to her admission, she spent a period of time living and working in New York City, where she was part of the avant-garde art scene. Dezeen (UK), 2nd June 2016

May

Nine Things Voice-Hearers Want You to Know A voice hearer is someone that hears voices or noises that other people do not. It may or may not be associated with a mental health problem. Voice hearing is still a very stigmatized experience largely because it is so misunderstood, as a voice hearer myself i hope this helps you to understand… Huffington Post (UK), 31st May 2016

Interview: Brian Wilson Wilson said that he “knew Pet Sounds would be a real special album – the voices made me feel that.” “The voices” – the frequent auditory hallucinations about which he has long spoken openly – are symptomatic of the bipolar and schizoaffective disorders from which he has suffered since 1965. Although his mental health has improved in recent years, he still hears “the voices”, and spoke of his tendency to use music as a coping mechanism when faced with his various problems. “When I was young, I used music as a tool for escapism,” he said. “I still use it in that way.” He went on to highlight the consoling quality of his own music: “’God Only Knows’ has always been there for me.” The Quietus (UK), 23rd May 2016

Are They “Symptoms” or “Strategies?” What exactly are “mental health problems”? In the mainstream, psychological difficulties are seen as “symptoms” of an “illness” or “mental disorder” and based on this the focus is put on suppressing them, either by using drugs, or shock, or by psychological interventions that also aim to “eliminate the problem.” Unfortunately, this mainstream approach often works poorly, and too often its main effect is to aggravate the problem, or to cause “collateral damage” as critically important parts of the person are suppressed along with the supposed “symptoms.” But if we want to replace the mainstream approach, we need a coherent alternative view, which realistically frames both the difficulties people experience and suggests better approaches to resolving those problems. One avenue to this needed reconceptualization was expressed by Jacqui Dillon, who wrote, “When you understand your own ‘symptoms’ as meaningful and essential survival strategies, a more respectful and loving acceptance of yourself begins to emerge.” Mad in America (USA), 22nd May 2016

Group helps people with mental illness cope by sharing struggles, strategies  Garcia founded the Minnesota chapter of the Hearing Voices Network in 2013. It’s a group of people with similar symptoms, who meet weekly to discuss strategies and coping mechanisms. The approach is meant to complement medicine traditionally prescribed to people with mental illness. For three years, Garcia has traveled across the state to give talks about what he does, how the group works and how it can help people with schizoaffective disorder. The condition causes auditory and visual hallucinations, depression, delusions and mood swings. Every Wednesday morning, Garcia meets a group of about eight people at People Incorporated in Minneapolis, a nonprofit organization that provides community-integrated support for people with mental illness. The people sitting around the table are experiencing a range of life events. Some are homeless, others struggling with chemical dependency. Two were recently incarcerated. They’re all struggling with various types of mental illness, but one symptom they all have in common: Hearing voices. MPR News (USA), 16th May 2016

Antipsychotics/Schizophrenia The long-term outcomes literature for antipsychotics, which has been compiled over a period of nearly 50 years, consistently tells of drugs that increase the likelihood that a person diagnosed with schizophrenia will become chronically ill. Mad in America (USA). May 2016

April

The Danish Hearing Voices Network The Danish Hearing Voices Network Olga Runciman on the Danish Hearing Voices Network, Psychology Today (UK), 12th April 2106

The Voices Within: The History and Science of How We Talk to Ourselves by Charles Fernyhough Charles Fernyhough is a psychologist, a novelist and the director of Hearing the Voice, a project funded by the Wellcome Trust. In The Voices Within, he provides an elegantly written survey of contemporary scientific research into the inner dialogues we all conduct every day, and of the history of people hearing voices in their head.The Sunday Times (UK), 10th April 2016 

March

Mental illness mostly caused by life events not genetics, argue psychologistsMental illness is largely caused by social crises such as unemployment or childhood abuse and too much money is spent researching genetic and biological factors, psychologists have warned. Daily Telegraph, 27th March 2016

That voice you are hearing might be your ownWhat do the Prophet Isaiah, Socrates and Joan of Arc have in common? If you answered that they all came to a rather nasty end, you were right. Isaiah was (reportedly) sawn in half, Socrates was forced to drink poison and St. Joan was burned at the stake. Each of them, in different ways, had made themselves unpopular with the powers of the day. But if you answered that they heard mysterious voices in their heads, you were also correct. History records a catalogue of tormented figures who made bizarre claims, wandered in deserts, took to drink or became destitute. Some were revered, others executed, because of this mysterious power. Times Colonist (Canada), 13th March 2016

February

Suicide Awareness lecture coming soon In September of 2000, Kevin Hines began hearing voices. Those voices tormented him day and night, telling him that he had to take his own life in order to end the torment and depression that accompanied living. So Hines heeded their call. He caught a bus to the Golden Gate Bridge, crying the entire way there. The second he jumped, he knew he had made a grave mistake. Miraculously, Hines survived the jump. Only 33 other people have survived the 250-foot drop — less than one percent of those who attempt suicide off of the bridge. After his astonishing survival, Hines discovered his true calling. He now holds lectures around the nation, encouraging college students to address mental health problems and attain emotional wellness. The Cluster (USA), 10th February 2016

Unique mental health team in Quebec City treats psychotic patients at home Karine Paquet, the team’s psychiatrist, says like Tina-Maria Sirois, some of her patients have a history of psychotic episodes. Others are getting psychiatric care for the first time.bShe said the kind of home treatment her team offers is more “normalizing and non-stigmatizing” than hospital in-patient care. She said her patients are more likely to follow treatment plans during and after their time in the program. She’s found because patients have a more positive experience with the mental health care system, they are more likely to ask for help again if they need it. In addition, Paquet says, seeing her patients where they live helps her give them better care “You see them functioning in their environment, interacting with the people around them. So you get way more information that you wouldn’t have otherwise,” Paquet said. CBC/Radio-Canada, 9th February 2016

Can We Explain Hallucinations? Hallucination, what is it? Free wandering of the mind, the ability to see parallel universes, a soul’s flight through a continuum of variants, or just a brain malfunction? Is it a disease or a normal physiological reaction to a specific stimulus or set of stimuli? Science defines hallucination as a sensory experience of something that does not exist outside the mind. Hallucinations can affect any senses (vision, hearing, smell, taste, and tactile feelings) and bodily sensations.We think of hallucinations as something rare, but recent studies have shown that about 40% of people reported hallucinating at least once in their life, and about 7% reported them at least once a month, about 3% – once a week, and 2.4% – more than once a week. These numbers, more likely, are still underestimated because people are thinking of hallucinations as a bad thing and associate them with being mentally ill, so do not admit experiencing them. Just a single example: do you ever experience the sensation of crawling insects over your whole body after finding a tick on your dog? Do you count this as hallucinating? Apparently, you should. BrainBlogger (USA), 2nd February 2016


January

Hearing Ghost Voices: Scientific Studies When it comes to the phenomenon of purportedly hearing ghost voices, some studies have shown there’s a small chance there’s really something supernatural to it. Some other studies, however, have shown it’s most likely people subjectively hearing what they want or expect to hear in random noise. Some of the most stunning cases are hard to replicate in a lab, leaving the mystery open to speculation. Epoch Times (USA), 25th January 2016

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