Invisible intruders – the voices in my head, ABC Radio Broadcast, December 2013


Invisible intruders – the voices in my head

This 30 minute radio documentary broadcast in Australia in 2013 provides a honest and wide ranging appraisal of people who say they hear “voices in my head”.

The programme is based around interviews with people who say “I hear voices”. It also considers what neuroscience can tell us about the experience of “hearing voices in my head”

Interviewees include well known voice hearers and members of the hearing voices movement: Will Hall from the USA, Indigo Daya from Australia and Rufus May from the UK. They all were able to show that it is possible to say “I hear voices” and be healthy and able to communicate in a coherent way what hearing voices in my head involves.

 The programme tackles issues such as the discrimination faced by people who hear voices and the mistaken belief that voices are associated with violent behaviour.

The programme also looks at recent research findings by neuro-scientists. Susan Russell, Professorial Research Fellow at the Swinburne University and Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre referred to the important recent research using brain imaging that show that when people say “I hear voices” the parts of the brain responsible for speech are active. This means that when people say they “I hear voices” they are not experiencing an hallucination.

For someone to say “I hear voices in my head” does not necessarily mean they have a psychotic disorder.

We would recommend this programme.

From the programme notes:

The programme considers how it is possible to deal with voices in your head?

We all have them to some extent – perhaps they’re just thoughts, comforting and easy to live with – but for some, they are menacingly real and reflect past trauma.

We hear what happens in the brain during “auditory hallucinations”, and how engaging with the voices can actually help to heal.

One voice hearer interviewed in the broadcast found relief by giving one of her voices his own Facebook page!

You can read the transcript of the programme here.

Invisible Intruders – “The Voices in my Head” Broadcast,  Sunday, on All in My Mind, ABC Radio, 1st December 2013

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