Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Responding helpfully to a child or young person who appears to be hearing voices

HandsOnScotland Toolkit

The HandsOnScotland Toolkit is an online resource for anybody working with children and young people.

Full article here

It is common for young people to hear voices under certain circumstances. For example, a high fever, problems with diet and hydration and experimenting with drugs might all lead to hearing voices. It is quite normal for all of us to occasionally hear sounds or voices around the time that we are falling asleep or waking up. This is the result of there being an overlap between dreaming and being awake and is normally nothing to worry about.

It is also common for younger children to report on conversations they are having with an imaginary friend. Relationships with imaginary friends become important to some children as a mechanism to support them through periods of uncertainty or simply when they are alone and want someone to play with or talk to, in the same way that they will talk to a teddy bear or doll.
There is some evidence suggesting that 2-3% of the adult population hear voices but only one in three ever become a psychiatric patient. Many people function well with their voices.

Hearing voices can sometimes occur as part of a coping mechanism in response to a traumatic event or severe emotional distress, for example, sudden bereavement or abuse.

Hearing voices as part of mental illness is less common and would only normally occur in older teenagers. On occasion, other senses can be involved such as seeing or smelling things that are not real. When mental illness is involved there will usually be other signs that the young person is troubled, for example:
  • The young person might talk or laugh aloud as if having a conversation with an invisible person.
  • They may become withdrawn and less inclined to mix socially.
  • They may have difficulty in concentrating on studies or TV programmes, etc.
  • They may lose interest in normal activities.
  • Their thoughts and ideas may appear to be all mixed up and sound like nonsense.
  • They may talk about or express unusual or even bizarre ideas that they are having which are not shared by any other people, for example, the feeling someone is directly inserting thoughts into their mind or they are being spied on by the Government. They will not be persuaded against these beliefs by facts and logical argument.
  • Care in their appearance and self care may deteriorate.
  • They may become lethargic and lose motivation or be agitated and overactive.
  • It might be that hearing voices is not disclosed by the young person but others notice that they appear to be distracted or are acting out of character.

Young people who are hearing voices and are suspected of having serious mental health problems should be considered as vulnerable and may be a risk to themselves. Psychiatric advice should be sought as soon as possible and they will always be treated as a high priority by the local mental health specialists.

Monday, October 13, 2008

They Drove Them Insane

The Daily Dish

11 October 2008

Full story

At the end of months of sleep deprivation and other forms of torture, Qahtani, according to an FBI letter, "was evidencing behavior consistent with extreme psychological trauma (talking to non existent people, reporting hearing voices, crouching in a cell covered with a sheet for hours on end)."

"However many you have going to Mars in a tin can, if someone has a major psychotic event they are going to have great difficulty handling that"

Nasa looks to Antarctica for solutions to strife on Mars

The Scotsman

Full story

12 October 2008

Lugg did a 25-year study of documented behavioural health problems in Antarctica and said the incidence rate was 4% of all primary consultations to the base doctor."You have sleep problems, but what you are looking for are the classic psychosis episodes,"

Lugg said."There was a guy one year who heard babies cry. He came to the doctor and he said: 'I'm hearing voices.' Fortunately, he was able to be got out because it was just before the close of winter."While such cases were rare, having just one episode in Antarctica or in space could be disastrous. "However many you have going to Mars in a tin can, if someone has a major psychotic event they are going to have great difficulty handling that."

Sailing, solitude and hearing voices

Jonny Malbon playing catch up

Vendee Globe, 13th October 2008

Full story

The prolonged solitude will also be a big challenge for him: " Three weeks is the longest I have been on my own on a boat. I did 12 days on the old boat and then 12 days on the new boat.

The first time I went out on my own I was hearing voices clearly which was eerie. I could hear key phrases constantly at the back of the boat, ‘Roger’ and ‘Ready’ and found myself talking to myself constantly, and responding out loud to things that I had not said, which was a bit disconcerting. And when I got back I was not any more mad.

This time I heard a lot less and said a lot less. But at one point I did say out load, unprompted ‘I don’t think so mate’. That was tiredness and stress. This time I was scared and more relaxed. Also this time I did not have the feeling there was someone with me the whole time which I did the last time. There was a point when I would go on deck and say ‘right we are going to gybe now’."

Taking a glimpse inside the mind

Full story

By JUDITH LACY - Manawatu Standard, Sunday, 05 October 2008

At first, the voices are just irritating.

And incessant.

You can't make out what they are saying, but by the tone you know they are not wishing you a nice day.

In both ears, different voices, varying volumes.

Then you pick up the messages: repetitive, commanding, distressing.

"You are disgusting."

I turn off the tape.

It's part of the Hearing Voices That Are Distressing workshop, run in Palmerston North by Pathways to Wellbeing Huarahi Whakaoranga Inc.

The interactive, three-hour workshop gives participants insight into some of the challenges faced by people with experience of mental illness, MidCentral region co-ordinator Diana Oomen says.
But listening to the distressing voices is just part of the challenge for workshop participants.

God Saved Carlos Santana Seven Times From Suicide

Source:One India

Full story

"I'm still hearing all this inner stuff, a thousand voices screaming at you, accusing you... but then I would just look at a picture of Jesus and say, 'Help me,' and then, very clearly, inwardly, I would hear this one voice that's softer and louder than all the others, and it would say, 'I'm sitting next to you. Isn't that enough?'"Once I heard that voice, something would shift, and I'd be able to find joy again in food and breathing," he added."

"Humour" and voices

Deaf Man Hears Voices In His Head - Doctors Baffled

The Spoof

Written by Duncan Whitehead

06 October 2008

"They wouldn't even let him take a shower in peace. Poor sod. A man from Newport Pagnell, believed to be suffering from schizophrenia reported hearing voices in his head - despite the fact he has been deaf since birth!

Christopher Worm, 23, tried to explain to Doctors that he heard voices commanding him to do something on Saturday night - but as Christopher can only lip read and do sign language he had no idea what those instructions were.

After an extensive search for a psychiatrist who could understand sign language Christopher was able to explain that he has been hearing the voices intermittently for five years - he also has feelings of paranoia.

Renowned fake psychiatrist Harold K Nutt told me "Why these spirits and ghosts are picking on a deaf kid who can't understand them is beyond me. These poltergeists or aliens or little people in your head need to jump into a normal persons head and make them mad" confirmed Nutt, who was chewing a turd."

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

Voices and "Violence": recent press coverage of court case involving people who hear voices

Jett Says Voices Tell Him To Act Out

San Antonio News, 10th September 2008

Full story

A convicted murder who acted out multiple times during his trial said Friday his actions were prompted by voices telling him what to do.

Richard Jett, sentenced to 99 years in prison this week for the June 2006 murder of 80-year-old Homer Daniels, said he suffers from a mental illness -- a claim court psychiatrists said the 50-year-old Jett faked.

During his trial, Jett wrote on his body and face with ink, showed up to court in boxer shorts after trying to flush clothes and smeared his own feces on himself.

Attorney says murder defendant 'hearing voices'

Bakersfield Californian
Full story

September 23, 2008

Saying his client was “hearing voices,” a defense attorney in a local murder trial made a last-minute request Monday for an evaluation to determine whether his client is mentally competent to stand trial.

The highly unusual request, coming just before opening statements were set to begin, was made by defense attorney James Faulkner on behalf of one of two defendants in the two-year-old murder case.

Superior Court Judge Michael Bush was clearly taken aback by the request. It’s been nearly two years since the defendant was arrested, and such requests are typically made well before trials begin.

Faulkner said the issue came up during a 90-minute talk he had with his client over the weekend.

Inmate Who Killed Cellmate "Was Hearing Voices"


Full story

19 September 2008

Jose Guadalupe Barrera-Rodrigu, a convicted double murderer at the Sacramento Main jail awaiting sentencing, has been rebooked after allegedly killing his cellmate, Demario Lavell Patterson. Both were being held in the protective custody unit.

According to Deputy DA Noah Phillips, Barrera-Rodrigu "was seen by the psych unit at the Main Jail and he had a complaint of auditory hallucinations. He said he was hearing voices ... telling him to hurt people and to kill himself."

When informed of Barrera-Rodrigu's psychiatric status, Patterson's mother cried "Oh my God. Why did they let Demario be in the same cell as him? Why?"

Officials have called the killing "just an unfortunate incident."

Voices told mom: baby was 'a demon'

The Reporter

8th October 2008

Full story

A young mother arrested for abandoning her baby at a Vacaville middle school informed police that voices had told her the baby was a demon, testimony revealed Tuesday in Solano County Superior Court.

At the conclusion of a 20-minute preliminary court hearing Tuesday afternoon, Judge Donna Stashyn ruled that sufficient evidence appeared to have been presented to hold 22-year-old defendant Brittaney Quewon-Owens for trial on charges of child endangerment and child abandonment.