Thursday, September 11, 2008

Schizophrenia patients denied talking therapies

Voice hearer, Jamal Ahmed commenting on the faliure of mental health services to provide appropriate support and how a hearing voices group helps...

Jamal Ahmed, 41, from West Yorkshire was diagnosed with schizophrenia five years ago but has never heard of the Nice guidance.

Mr Ahmed said: "I have been on an endless list of medications but my psychiatrist never discusses side effects and he doesn't like me asking questions. In his opinion, he's the doctor and so he knows best. What I think doesn't matter. He asks me the same set of questions and I tell him what he wants to hear. But I'd like him to sit down, listen to what I'm saying and come out of his box."

He added: "I found the Hearing Voices group from a poster, which is great because I get support from others in the same boat. Everyone in the group lies to their doctors because they are afraid what will happen if they are honest. There are no other choices."

Full article The Independent, 8th September 2008

Healing Voices

Will Hall talking about the Freedom Center, his voice hearing expereinces and alternative mental health ....

"Since I was a child I've struggled with extreme emotions, voices and powerful out of body experiences. I remember falling to the ground once in third grade, writhing in agony because I believed something was grabbing my back. I saw cartoons projected on the ceiling, and my fear was sometimes so strong I fell mute. I often hid away, alone, overwhelmed and unable to describe what was going on.

At age 26, I hit a breaking point and wandered the streets of San Francisco all night hearing angry voices telling me to kill myself. I ended up on a locked psychiatric ward. For the next year, I was in and out of hospitals and homeless shelters.

My diagnosis was schizoaffective schizophrenia, and the treatment was powerful anti-psychotic medications. What the doctors had to offer didn't help me, however. I left the hospital with more problems than I had going in, and I had to cope with the trauma of restraints, seclusion, plus a stigmatizing label that offered little hope for the future.

With nowhere to turn, I started to search for an answer on my own. In 2000, some friends in the Northampton, Mass., area let me stay with them, and I got a job in a local convenience store. Then I worked in a bookstore. The daily routine of a job, getting away from the memories in San Francisco, the small town tempo--it all helped. Step by step, over these difficult years, I learned a different way of responding to my madness. "

Full story, 29th August 2008

Virginia Woolf: "I was fascinated by her hearing voices ..." New Dance By Lynne Taylor-corbett

Not Afraid Of Virginia Woolf

Groundworks Premieres New Dance By Lynne Taylor-corbett
By Michael Gill

"I feel certain that I am going mad again," Virginia Woolf wrote in her oft-quoted suicide note to husband Leonard Woolf. "I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can't concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don't think two people could have been happier 'til this terrible disease came."

Suffering from what scholars have posthumously diagnosed as bipolar disorder, Woolf put an end to her own misery by filling her pockets with rocks and walking into a river. The final hours of the great English novelist and essayist's life have long fascinated the acclaimed choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett, who is best known for work on Broadway shows like Chess and Swing, and movies including Footloose and My Blue Heaven. She spoke with Scene by phone from New York, where she was casting the dance company for a touring production of the Disney musical Tarzan.

"Virginia Woolf is, for some reason, an author that affected me when I was in my 20s," she says. "She's so much in our culture. I was fascinated by her hearing voices as her depression was coming on." Taylor-Corbett is in town this week for GroundWorks Dancetheater's premiere of her yet-to-be-named work, a fantasy based on the imagined final hours of the writer in the room of her own - a time during which she decided she couldn't go on living and drag her husband through her depression, but had the presence of mind and awareness of their mutual love to write such a cogent and heartfelt letter.

Full article, Clevelend Free Times, September, 2008

"She was suffering," the choreographer says, "but this woman was not insane."