A pastiche of a post, putting together ideas and research on inner voices:
-How to document the conversations we carry on with ourselves most everyday (in the West at least)
-The importance of inner voices for rebuilding our notion of mental illness
-The role hearing voices (and working with those voices) can play in therapy for schizophrenia
-What itís like to be without such an inner voice
-The inner voices in addiction.
The post points to how we might rethink clinical practice and laboratory tests in ways that reflect better the natural history of our own voices, and the power of language in our lives. That, in turn, would lead to both conceptual reworkings and applied impact.
I find myself increasingly concerned that people continue to take interdisciplinary efforts like neuroanthropology to mean that everything must be reduced to the biology, as if thatís somehow an explanation. Well, itís certainly a socially important one right now, but I have my doubts about its scientific validity for humans.
So this post is a reduction to language, it could be said. The overall theme is the conversation we carry on with ourselves, the voices we contain within our minds, and how that is central to how we are Ė and needs much more research.
Iíll start with the work of inner dialogues by anthropologist Andrew Irving, bring in a post about hearing voices and hallucinations from Ruminations on Madness, address Tanya Luhrmannís work on schizophrenia and working with inner voices, bring back some great work by Greg on language and neuroanthropology, and then speak about how language, particularly our inner voices, matters deeply in addiction.
Our Inner Voices | Neuroanthropology
Yet inside there is this perpetual nagging doubt;
the feeling we are possessed by a 'subtle lack of togetherness''.
If we really want to say what helps in mental health, thereís a straightforward mantra and it goes like this:
ďSome people find medication helpful. Some people find therapy helpful. Some people find medication and therapy helpful. Some people donít find either helpful.Ē