Media 2017



More experience hallucinations than previously thought – study Over 4% of people have experienced auditory and/or visual hallucinations, which is far more than had previously been thought, according to research by a psychiatrist at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. The research found that contrary to general belief, hallucinations occur less among those suffering from schizophrenia than among those who do not. In fact, the study found hallucinations more commonly occur across a range of mental illnesses and even among people who do not suffer from mental illness at all. Source: RTE (Ireland), 1st March 2017


Transformations to Liberation Transformation in my life truly began when I had the courage to voice for the first time my lived experiences of voices, visions, other “unusual” perceptions and extreme states. It was May of 2014 and the opportunity presented itself for me to attend the first Hearing Voices Network Facilitator Certification Training offered in Connecticut. During this three day training, I gave voice to the most profoundly secret, silenced part of my being. Never before had I shared my experiences, yet I felt safe to do so during this training with complete strangers. Source: Mad in America (USA), 27th February 2017

Richmond Wellbeing helps Cannington woman find solace from voices Two years ago Mrs Luckman found solace in group therapy at Richmond Wellbeing where their Hearing Voices program and group therapy sessions empower people in similar situations to integrate into society and accept that voices and related experiences, such as visions are valid human experiences. Source: Canning Times (Australia), 20th February 2017

The voices in your head: Nursing students walk a mile in the shoes of a mental health patient Nursing students at Algonquin College are learning to put themselves in the shoes of someone who hears voices. The students try do ordinary things while listening to a recording of the kinds of voices that plague people with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. Source: Ottowa Citizen (Canada), 17th February 2017

The point of the exercise is twofold: to increase the students’ empathy for people with mental illness, and to show them that those who hear voices often develop coping strategies to tune out or stop the voices, says nursing professor Carmen Hust.


Hallucinations Are Far More Common Than We’ve Been Led to Believe, Study Suggests New research has found that hallucinations are far more common among the general population than most people realise – and they aren’t limited to disorders commonly associated with psychosis, such as schizophrenia or borderline personality disorder. A study looking at more than 7,400 people in the UK found that 4.3 percent of participants had experienced either visual or auditory hallucinations in the past year – this included people with and without mental health issues, and showed that the phenomenon wasn’t limited to those with psychosis. Source: Science Alert (USA), 16th February 2017

The Road To Recovery  Claire Bien and Rebecca McCann spoke about their struggles and recovery from mental health conditions, during a presentation and discussion at the Unitarian Universalist Society, on Jan. 29. The talk, ‘In Our Own Voice,’ was sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), an organization committed to educating the public and removing the stigma of mental health. Bien’s and McCann’s presentation was supplemented by a video, which featured people who faced down their mental health diagnosis and fought to overcame them. Bien, the author of Hearing Voices, Living Fully, had been plagued with auditory hallucinations for years. At points, she contemplated suicide. The talk focused on five stages in dealing with mental health conditions: dark days, acceptance, treatment, coping skills, and successes. Source: Hartford Courant (USA), 16th February 2017

Fictional characters make ‘experiential crossings’ into real life, study finds Researchers at Durham University conducted a survey of more than 1,500 readers, with about 400 providing detailed descriptions of their experiences with book. Nineteen per cent of those respondents said the voices of fictional characters stayed with them even when they weren’t reading, influencing the style and tone of their thoughts – or even speaking to them directly. For some participants it was as if a character “had started to narrate my world”, while others heard characters talking, or imagined them reacting to things going on in everyday life. Source: The Guardian (UK), 14th Febraury 2017

“Active Minds” — What Conversation Are We Changing? Why do conversations about the difficulties behind the experience of living as a human being always have to turn to the medical model to find validity? Why not take pride in our humanity, extreme sadness and despair included? The medical model is so ingrained in our world that it is often difficult to fully take in this point of view, but at the very least, shouldn’t alternative resources be available? Shouldn’t Active Minds talk about the Hearing Voices Network, Alternatives to Suicide groups, the Icarus Project, and other alternative resources as well as traditional ones? Source: Mad in America (USA), 14th February 2017

Hearing the voice of Virginia Woolf It is fitting that in penning her goodbye, even in insanity, Virginia was poetically circular. It was voices in her head that first inspired her to write, and voices that carried her away again, out of temporal reality, and into the dark waters. Source: Palatinate (UK), 12th February 2017

Understanding Extreme States: An Interview with Lloyd Ross “What kind of hope do you have if someone tells you you have a brain disease called schizophrenia, and we can only give you this drug that can hold it down but can’t cure it? What kind of hope is that?” There are better, more hopeful ideas available for supporting people experiencing extreme states, and in this interview we go in search of them. Source: Mad in America (USA), 5th February 2017

Hearing voices and seeing things: The common hallucinations affecting 1.6 million people in England Hallucinations may be much more common in the general population that previously thought. More than one and a half million people may have experienced hallucinations at some point, whether they are diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder or not. The findings of a recent study suggest that hallucinations are not exclusively symptoms of psychosis. People who experience them may not necessarily be suffering from schizophrenia. “Hallucinations are more common than people realise. They can be frightening experiences, and few people openly talk about it. Our research is valuable because it can show them they are not alone and that having these symptoms is not necessarily associated with having a mental health disorder. It breaks the taboo that surrounds hallucinations”, Kelleher explained. The scientists say that although hallucinations don’t necessarily point to a pathology, but call for more research to be conducted to look at long-term outcomes for people who report these symptoms. The idea is to see who is more at risk of developing mental health problems in the long run, and whether these people can be helped before this happens. Source: International Business News, 2nd February 2017


Voices inside A groundbreaking and innovative approach to supporting people who hear voices in prisons and secure units is about to be launched in the North East of England Mind in Camden’s Voices Unlocked project was set up in 2010. It has supported over a thousand people who hear voices, see visions or experience unusual sensations and beliefs, and who are in prisons or secure units. Its aim is to set up a network of Hearing Voices peer support groups in forensic settings. With the support of Hearing the Voice, a large interdisciplinary voice-hearing research project based at Durham University, Mind in Camden will be travelling to Durham in February to deliver training to staff from prisons and secure units in the North East. Voices Unlocked hopes to launch a North East Prisons and Secure Units Hearing Voices network in the second half of 2017. Source: Inside Time (UK), 31st January 2016

It’s important to listen to imaginary voices – just ask Virginia Woolf Woolf’s private agonies of soul lay behind the glamorous iconic image: between the ages of 13 (when her mother died), and 33 (when her first novel was published), she suffered a series of major psychotic breakdowns, involving, most famously, birds singing in ancient Greek. But she learned to manage the public image, accepting the hereditary-genius stereotype as the daughter of the irascible and often brilliant Leslie Stephen and using the infamous rest cure for “neurasthenia” as an opportunity to withdraw into creative mind-wandering.She also learned to manage the voices and had no further complete breakdown until the end of her life. Populists, feminists, literary critics, gay activists, have since claimed her as their own. But her archive can be seen as a serious resource for research into the experience of hearing voices. In a 1919 essay, Woolf exhorted her reader to scientifically “examine an ordinary mind on an ordinary day”. She saw no contradiction in describing the mind as a visionary “luminous halo” in the very next sentence. Her voices were at once mystical experiences and objects of her own scientific investigation. Source: The Conversation (USA), 24th January 2017

Kate Beckinsale reflects on her first sleep paralysis incident Kate Beckinsale revealed she was left terrified after experiencing a seemingly bizarre incident while sleeping. The star, who feared she’d suffered a stroke in her sleep, was momentarily unable to move and experienced a series of odd hallucinations.It turns out she was merely going through an episode of sleep paralysis, as she later came to learn. She told Total Film magazine: “I had one crazy episode of sleep paralysis. I had actual auditory hallucination”. Source: Morning Ticker (USA), 22nd January 2017

Westworld and the Meaning of Life Westworld’s creators base their definitions on the work of Julian Jaynes, a psychologist who, in the 1970s, wrote a controversial book entitled The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (say that five times fast). In the book, Jaynes lays out a theory known as Bicameralism, which claims that human beings did not experience self-awareness until roughly the time of Homer. Up until that point, according to Jaynes, human beings instead heard “divine commands,” in the form of auditory hallucinations, transmitted from the right hemisphere to the left. Source: Film School Rejects (USA), 20th January 2017

The Radical Movement Redefining Schizophrenia People with unquiet minds are locked up, medicated, and stigmatized. Now an international support network is telling them they might not be sick at all. Source: Foreign Policy (USA), 16th January 2017

What It’s Like to Hear Voices in Your Head Every Day People who hear voices often instill suspicion in the imaginations of those who don’t, but it’s more common than you’d think: Between 4 to 8 percent of the population experience what’s known as “auditory verbal hallucinations.” That’s potentially 600 million people worldwide. And while 40 percent of us will hear voices at some point in our lives, many affected, like Waddingham, lead fulfilling, healthy lives. A common misconception, perhaps fed by the kind of “drug-crazed schizophrenic” headlines you see in the Mail, is that people who hear voices have a form of psychosis. It’s one of the most common features, granted, but the majority of voice hearers aren’t diagnosed with schizophrenia. For them, voice hearing is an everyday experience that isn’t associated with being unwell. Source: Vice (USA), 12th January 2017

How I cope with the three unwanted voices that live inside my head Recognizing that my own mind was the best tool for owning my response was a breakthrough. It’s also fortunate that I knew NLP principles, and that I’m naturally stubborn and confident and have a strong support network of family and friends. 300 million people hear voices worldwide and many aren’t so blessed. I count myself lucky. Source: The Telegraph (UK), 11th January 2016

Yale Team Studies Psychics To Learn About Schizophrenia One of the major symptoms of schizophrenia is hearing voices – but people who believe they’re psychic also hear voices. A team of Yale psychologists thinks there’s a connection. Their new study takes an unorthodox approach to understanding mental illness. Source: NPR News (USA), 12th January 2017

Why do people talk to themselves, and when does it become a problem? Charles Fernyhough, a British professor of psychology at Durham University, in England, studies such “inner speech.” At the start of “The Voices Within” (Basic), he also identifies himself as a voluble self-speaker, relating an incident where, in a crowded train on the London Underground, he suddenly became self-conscious at having just laughed out loud at a nonsensical sentence that was playing in his mind. He goes through life hearing a wide variety of voices: “My ‘voices’ often have accent and pitch; they are private and only audible to me, and yet they frequently sound like real people.” Source: New Yorker (USA), 9th January 2017

Heal Thy Self | Hearing Voices? A majority of people perceive those who “hear voices” as being unstable and dangerous, and even believe that they should be locked away. Source: manoramaonline (India), 4th January 2017