Videos on Mental Health Symptoms: Voices
Area of Emphasis: Applying critical thought and professional expertise to mental health symptoms.
There is typically very little taught to professionals on the topic of audio or visual hallucinations. It’s alarming how few prescribing professionals are educated on the topic of how to truly treat these symptoms–yet they are expected to ethically do so.
In the United States especially, the presentation or even accusation of a symptom of an audio or visual hallucination—even with no further diagnostic questions asked—is the criterion to establish inpatient status, even against the person’s will if the legal system is involved. Almost always, the symptom is “treated” with pharmacology which rarely touches on the root cause of why that symptom is present.
Pause the video at 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and 12 minutes and at intervals given to answer the questions/prompts below.
(Remember to pause the video in intervals to help with comprehension, reflection, and application)
List at least three things that stood out to you as you watched the video and/or where applicable to your new profession during the video:
- Appearances can be deceptive. For the first five minutes of the video, the speaker narrates a story of how she suffered greatly from auditory hallucination, which led to a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Despite seeking treatment, being judged greatly undermined her recovery process.
- Providing support to the patient, and building up hope and positive mindfulness which is crucial in the recovery process of patients with mental illness. For the next five minutes, the speaker elaborates on how many people who supported her including family members, and those who had recovered from the same condition positively influence her recovery.
- Advising the patient to acknowledge her symptoms such as auditory hallucination is a crucial step in developing resilience. The speaker reports that when she accepted that she was hearing voices about her emotions, she developed control over the voice, hence managing the symptom.
What did you feel emotional as the speaker told her story?
I felt empathetic for the speaker. She represents a true survivor of schizophrenia, and emotional torture not just by her peers, but also by the psychiatrist who discouraged her.
What methods of treatment did this speaker mention having throughout her life?
The speaker reports that when the voice got more intense and terrifying, she reported to the college G.P. and was later referred to a psychiatrist. She used both psychotherapy, support group, and pharmacological agents in the management of her symptoms.
Describe what, according to this speaker, brought her relief from the voices in her head?
Through acceptance after long-term psychotherapy, the patient was able to control and relieve the voice. She reports that only through courage, hope, integrity, and a strong belief that she was able to recover from the voices.
What does this speaker do professionally at this time?
The speaker use to work in mental health services with a master’s degree in psychology. But currently publishes books, chapter and academic articles, and public speaking.
What does the speaker say should be the question prescribing professionals should ask their patients instead of “what’s wrong with you?”
“What’s happened to you?”
What organization is the speaker a member of that involves voice hearing?
UK Hearing Voices Network
Voice hearing is a?
A sane reaction to insane circumstances.
What does the speaker suggest offering to people with symptoms fitting diagnoses such as schizophrenia as an alternative to their voices simply being endured?
A complex, significant, and meaningful experience to be explored.
Share at least three specific questions you should (and hopefully will!) ask a person who is in your office or exam room who has given indication that she/he is hearing voices that can better ensure more accurate and ethical treatment?
- How often do you hear the voices?
- What do the voices tell you?
- Do the voices affect your daily life in any kind of way?