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Ever Wonder What It’s Like To Hear Voices?

On your own

Have you ever been on your own somewhere and for no apparent reason started hearing someone talking to you even though no one else was around? I’m sure if you told anyone about this they would probably think you were crazy and say you needed psychiatric help, but on RTE One’s Documentaries on One ‘Sounds Mad’ yesterday afternoon I heard a different perspective.

The program focused on Jackie Dillon , who is a renowned speaker and trainer in dealing with removing the stigma surrounding  hearing voices, which otherwise known as auditory hallucinations. She has lived with several voices in her head for most of her life and set up an organization, National Hearing Voices Network, which is now established in twenty countries worldwide, to provide support and training for people who hear voices or have to care for people who hear voices.

The main message I got from the documentary was if you are in a situation where you hear voices, treat the voices as if they are real people and if possible make sure the voices are settled like you would with a child.  Jackie hears many voices but it wasn’t until she worked with a sympathetic therapist who helped her engage with the voices that she was able to get the help she needed as opposed to being labelled mentally disturbed and given medication.

Thanks to Jackie’s work, people can now admit to hearing voices and get help as opposed to fearing the judgement of others and the risk of being put away in a mental institution.


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