Media Watch

Changing media perceptions about the meaning of hearing voices

News Archive

The Hearing Voices Movement seeks to change perceptions about the meaning of hearing voices. We challenge the view that they are either meaningless or dangerous.
A recently published study investigated media reports of the experience of hearing voices (1). The results were sobering. 84% of the articles contained no suggestion that voice-hearing can be ‘normal’. That positive view was contained in only 23 of the 181 articles Another ten of these more positive articles put voice-hearing in religious or spiritual context, for example considering the case of Joan of Arc. Most of the articles (81.8%) connected voice-hearing to mental illness. In some cases, auditory verbal hallucinations were simply equated with insanity.
We want to challenge this misinformation by giving positive and hopeful alternative information.
As Hywel Davies says below, there is another perspective that respects the meaningfulness of the experience:
“Voice hearers are, in my assessment, saints, prophets, shaman, gurus and/or geniuses. Or the potential for such.
If one takes on board, a belief in reincarnation, astrology and complementary therapies, then the spiritual significance of voice hearers throughout the world becomes stronger, clearer and more substantive.
We have, I believe, all lived before and in my previous lives I was Judas Iscariot, a Cathar (13th century French “heretic”) and James VI of Scotland/James 1 of England.
I was formally regressed into two of those previous lives in approximately the autumn of 1993. Since December 1985 I have intermittently believed myself to be Jesus in this present life. I have been a voice hearer since about 1965, the age of eleven. As my life shows it is possible to hear voices have what society may regard as unusual beliefs and to lead a “normal” and productive life.”
Hywel Davies (Chairman of Hearing Voices Network Cymru)

Therefore, in this section we monitor and archive news coverage about the hearing voices approach. We have included mostly English language articles and news items from newspapers, journals and the new media from around the world.
The news items below are archived according to the date of publication and are linked to the publication where the article appeared. We also provide a summary of the content.

We have collated over 430 articles to date (on 1st July 2018)
For regular updates on media coverage about the hearing voices approach and related issues you can “like” the Hearing Voices Media Watch FaceBook page here.

(1) Depictions of auditory verbal hallucinations in news media by Ruvanee P Vilhauer, International Journal of Social Psychiatry May 27, 2014

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