As the mother of a beautiful young man who struggles with schizophrenia every day of his life, I am always tempted by magical thinking. What if Ben’s symptoms could be brought under his control without medication? What is he could somehow manage the hallucinations himself, if he only “understood” their origin?
Oh, how I wish.
There is a growing movement of those who are doing just that, they say. I have met a few of them, heard their theories, congratulate them on their success, and wish them every happiness.
My son, however, would be harmed by this “hearing voices” movement – or, in the US, something called Mad In America. I’m glad it has worked for some – but it is not for everyone.
Susan Inman talks about this in Huffington Post, Canada:
Many perfectly healthy people have auditory hallucinations. However, auditory hallucinations can also often be part of the chaos of a psychotic illness. In recent years, numerous groups have developed to assist “voice hearers,” as some wish to be called. Unfortunately, most of these groups don’t want to recognize the very different needs of people with severe mental illnesses. Continue reading “Hearing Voices” Movement…Not For All