Media 2017

2017 (48 items)

May

Radiohead talk recording ‘OK Computer’ in a haunted house Frontman Thom Yorke: “Ghosts would talk to me while I was asleep. There was one point where I got up in the morning after a night of hearing voices and decided I had to cut my hair.” The singer described how he proceeded to attempt to cut his hair with “the little scissors on a penknife” and “cut myself a few times. It got messy. Elaborating on his psyche during the making of ‘OK Computer’, Yorke said: “I was basically catatonic. The claustrophobia – just having no sense of reality at all… I was getting into the sense of information overload, which is ironic, really, since it’s so much worse now.” “The paranoia I felt at the time was much more related to how people related to each other,” he added. “But I was using the terminology of technology to express it. Everything I was writing was actually a way of trying to reconnect with other human beings when you’re always in transit. That’s what I had to write about because that’s what was going on, which in itself instilled a kind of loneliness and disconnection.” Source: NME (UK), 31st May 2017

Do YOU live in a city? You’re more likely to hear voices inside your head due to the stress of urban-living Living in a city significantly increases the risk of psychotic experiences, such as hearing voices and paranoia, research has shown. Young people growing up in urban areas were 40 per cent more likely to have had such episodes than their countryside counterparts. For those living in areas with more crime, a whopping 62 per cent reported psychotic experiences. Source: Daily Mail (UK), 23rd May 2017

This mum’s mental health disorder causes her to have frightening hallucinations Unfortunately, I do believe there is still a stigma attached to mental health as I have experienced this first hand many times. For example, I have been asked if I am dangerous, which could not be further from the truth. I have also heard people talking about me and find that really hurtful. Although all this upsets me, I have come to realise that people need more education when it comes to mental health – both understanding what people are going through and learning how to cope when someone close to you suffers from a condition. It’s not our fault. Source: Wales Online (UK), 17th May 2017

 New computer game examines challenges of living with psychosis A company in Cambridge is developing a computer game based on the experiences of people living with psychosisNinja Theory has spent the last two years speaking to people about their hallucinations so they can translate them to the small screen. They have developed the game: ‘Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice’, which is now almost complete. The protagonist, Senua, is a celtic warrior whose lover was killed in a Viking invasion. The trauma has led her to develop psychosis – she sees visions and hears voices. Source: ITV News, 9th May 2017

Verdict On ‘Why Did I Go Mad?’ Nice Try, Could Do Better With Mental Health Awareness Week fast approaching, we have seen an explosion of mental health programmes on primetime TV. On Tuesday 2 May, BBC2 aired a ‘Horizon’ episode titled ‘Why Did I Go Mad?’ which looked at different experiences, different causes and different treatments for psychosis. Source: Huff Post (UK), 8th May 2017

 What causes psychosis? Horizon:  Why Did I Go Mad? tries to help us understand Trying to imagine such a thing is less than halfway to understanding it, but it’s a pretty good place to start.  In 1999, Dr David Strange, who was then studying for a PhD in epidemiology at Oxford, was with his supervisor when something horrible happened. Looking down, he saw that there were “rat-like things” all over his feet. Naturally, he was terrified: these creatures, he understood, were going to eat him alive from the inside. And yet his supervisor seemed not to have noticed them. Making his excuses, Strange ran all the way home and hid under his bed. Source: New Statesman (UK), 4th May 2017

Two simple questions that have changed the way people hear inner voices Once the province of prophets, “hearing voices” is still shorthand for madness. And yet  in the past 30 years, a new understanding has been created by voice-hearers themselves, as part of the Hearing Voices Movement. This suggests that uncovering the roots of the voice can potentially help the hearer. Source: The Conversation (UK), 3rd May, 2017

Spaceship’s Alex Taylor: How I made my first feature film After graduating in archaeology, I was working on an excavation when I started hearing voices. I was in the bottom of a pit on a Bronze Age settlement dig down in Southampton, and while I was used to unearthing people’s stories from the past, these voices seemed to be alive and from somewhere inside me. Source: The Independent (UK), 2nd May 2017

April

Why Did I Go Mad? Horizon (BBC) follows three people living with voices, hallucinations and paranoia, to explore what causes this kind of phenomena. Providing a rare first-hand insight into these experiences, they reveal just what it is like to live with them day to day. They examine the impact of social, biological and environmental influences on conditions traditionally associated with insanity, such as schizophrenia and psychosis, and within the film they look at how new ways of understanding the brain are leading to a dramatic change in treatments and approaches, and examine whether targeting the root causes of psychosis can lead to recovery. Above all, they try to uncover why it happened to them – and whether it could happen to you. Source: BBC (UK), April 27th, 2017

The hallucinations were 100% real to me. But people were telling me there was nothing there’ At times it felt like there was no hope of recovery at all, writes Brian Scallan. Source: The Journal (Ireland), April 25th, 2017

Speaking up on mental health to challenge the stigma of schizophrenia The voices, she explains, are a bit like sitting in a busy restaurant and hearing loads of people talking at the same time, There is still stigma around schizophrenia, she says: “I have been called “schizo” and have had remarks like “aw did she forget to take her crazy pills?” “I have lost many friends, been accused of being an attention-seeker, faking illness and I have been asked on numerous occasions if I have a split personality. Source: Irish Examiner (Ireland), 24th April 2017

Mental health in NZ: What’s it like to hear voices? Ever wondered what it’s like to hear voices in your head? For mental health workers in New Zealand, the experience is part of their training. For the last 20 years former mental health patient Arana Pearson has run a workshop for mental health clinicians, where they try to live an average day while wearing headphones that whisper voices into their minds. Source: News Hub (New Zealand), 22nd April 2017

A Contested Experience: The Multiple Meanings Of ‘Hearing Voices’ What do you think of when it is said that someone is ‘hearing voices’? For many people, nothing good comes to mind; mental illness, violence, a broken brain. Even in the wizarding world, J.K. Rowling tells us, hearing voices is not a good sign. But why do people, and wizards apparently, think this? Source: Huff Post (UK), 21st April 2017

‘Hearing voices’ good for writers In ‘Can’t You Hear Them? The Science and Significance of Hearing Voices’, Simon McCarthy explores new balanced ways to look at the phenomenon. He found that some fiction writers who experience the often stigmatised ‘voice-hearing’ may view their characters as “independent beings, whose presence is felt and whose voices are heard”. Their voices may even give plot points and storylines. Source: Independent.ie (Ireland), 21st April  2017

New Publication: ‘On Shame and Voice-hearing’ by Angela Woods Hearing voices in the absence of another speaker—what psychiatry terms an auditory verbal hallucination—is often associated with a wide range of negative emotions. Mainstream clinical research addressing the emotional dimensions of voice-hearing has tended to treat these as self-evident, undifferentiated and so effectively interchangeable. But what happens when a richer, more nuanced understanding of specific emotions is brought to bear on the analysis of distressing voices? Source: Hearing the Voice (UK), April 11th, 2017

Unusual Beliefs and Mental Well-Being A growing body of research and practice is showing that the most effective, humane and mutually transformative way to help someone deal with unusual beliefs and experiences is not to deny, argue, institutionalize or drug them out of their perceived reality. Rather, it is to invite the person to talk about their beliefs and experiences, and actively listen without judging them or trying to modify their beliefs. Find out about their reality, and then look for ways to help them cope more effectively with things as they perceive them. Source: Mad in America (USA), 9th April 2017

Danish Study Finds Better 10-year Outcomes in Patients Off Antipsychotics Study of 496 persons diagnosed with first-episode psychosis finds that 74% of patients off medication at end of 10 years were in remission. Source: Mad in America (USA), 7th April 2017

Mind Taunton and West Somerset’s Hearing Voices Group saved by Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust funding A charity-run group that supports people who hear voices in their heads has been saved from closure thanks to NHS funding. The Hearing Voices Group, run by mental health charity Mind Taunton and West Somerset since October, was threatened with closure until Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust stepped in with a year’s funding. Source: Somerset County Gazette, 4th April 2017

Tip of the Iceberg: How Professionals Cling to the Disease Model We should demand immediate changes to the harmful ways professionals label and make pessimistic assumptions around human distress, and we must do so loudly and unapologetically. Source: Mad in America (USA), 2nd April 2017

It didn’t start with you: How inherited family trauma shaped who we are  Emerging trends in psychotherapy are now beginning to point beyond the traumas of the individual to include traumatic events in the family and social history as a part of the whole picture. Source: Core Spirit (USA), 2nd April 2017


March

Living with schizophrenia: ‘I’m pretty much excluded from society’ There’s considerable misunderstanding about schizophrenia, as experienced by readers living with the disorder. As part of the MQ campaign Speak your Mind, they explain some of the issues they have faced. Source: The Guardian (UK), 31st March 2017

Professionals Push Back on Psychiatric Diagnostic Manual, Propose Alternatives As a response to shortcomings of the current mental health diagnostic system, professionals are developing alternative classification systems as well as uniting toward systemic reform. This article summarizes a recently proposed alternative system published earlier this month in The Journal of Abnormal Psychology alongside a historical overview of the larger reform movement, recently outlined in The Journal of Humanistic Psychology. Source: Mad in America (USA), 31st March 2017

Dear David Coleman: My 9-year-old is hearing voices – please help!  When children do report hearing voices it is important to take it seriously, but without panicking! Hearing voices does often indicate that a child has some kind of problem that isn’t resolving itself. Source: Independent Ireland (Ireland), 28th March 2017

Study Connects Environmental Risk Factors and Psychosis Study Connects Environmental Risk Factors and Psychosis  A meta-analysis of known risk factors for psychosis finds elevated risk with the presence of childhood trauma, adverse life events, and affective dysfunction. Source: Mad in America (USA), 30th March 2017

Shrines, shackles and schizophrenia There is a need to clarify the relevance of beliefs about mental illness and psychiatric treatment, and the deep connections between availability and cost of psychiatric treatment and care. Source: Daily Times (Pakistan), 27th March 2017

Crazy…or wise? The traditional wisdom of indigenous cultures often contradicts modern views about a mental health crisis. Is it a ‘calling’ to grow or just a ‘broken brain’? The documentary CRAZYWISE explores what can be learned from people around the world who have turned their psychological crisis into a positive transformative experience. Source: CrazyWise, 27th March 2017

The Door to a Revolution in Psychiatry Cracks Open Norway’s Health Ministry Orders Medication-Free Treatment … in this remote outpost, on a hospital floor that had been closed but was recently refurbished, that one can find a startling sign on the door to the ward: medikamentfritt behandlingstilbud. The translation to English: medication free treatment. And this is an initiative that the Norwegian Ministry of Health ordered its four regional health authorities to create. Source: Mad in America (USA), 25th March 2017

The People with Psychosis Embracing the Voices They Hear A growing movement of people with schizophrenia and other conditions argue that hearing voices shouldn’t necessarily be treated clinically—but many leading psychiatrists disagree. Source: Broadly Vice (USA), 21st March 2017

How friends and family can help those who at risk of psychosis The way you listen to someone claiming to have paranormal experiences makes a difference. Source: Independent (UK), 15th March 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


February

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. 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. Source: Ottowa Citizen (Canada), 17th February 2017

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


January

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

 

 

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