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Eleanor Longden: The Voices In My Head *Ted Talks Video*

Observe

Observe

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My girlfriend at the time showed me this last year. Amazing how she doesn't take medication and still manages to live a normal life. Mayb it's not too severe

To all appearances, Eleanor Longden was just like every other student, heading to college full of promise and without a care in the world. That was until the voices in her head started talking. Initially innocuous, these internal narrators became increasingly antagonistic and dictatorial, turning her life into a living nightmare. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, hospitalized, drugged, Longden was discarded by a system that didn't know how to help her. Longden tells the moving tale of her years-long journey back to mental health, and makes the case that it was through learning to listen to her voices that she was able to survive.


Eleanor Longden: The voices in my head | Talk Video | TED.com

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=syjEN3peCJw
 
Per Ardua Ad Astra

Per Ardua Ad Astra

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The Dutch psychiatrist, Marius Romme, did a lot of pioneering work with voice-hearers.

He did a radio show, asking people who heard voices to phone in, and tell their stories. He expected that all of those who replied would be psychiatric patients with a MH diagnosis. To his surprise, many of the respondents had never been under a psychiatrist, and had no diagnosis applied to them. They managed their voices well without recourse to medical services.

Out of Romme's work, grew the Hearing Voices Network :)
 

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My girlfriend at the time showed me this last year. Amazing how she doesn't take medication and still manages to live a normal life. Mayb it's not too severe
Despite voice hearing being almost synonymous with what gets labelled as schizophrenia - there are other presentations of experience/symptomatology that come under a schizophrenia/psychosis diagnosis.

In no way negating anyone else's experiences, or levels of recovery - i do personally think there are great ranges within severity of experiences within mental health. There are great ranges within voice hearing, just as there is great range within what comes under non-ordinary/altered states. i think it can all be highly individual & unique - despite commonalities.
 
Observe

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Despite voice hearing being almost synonymous with what gets labelled as schizophrenia - there are other presentations of experience/symptomatology that come under a schizophrenia/psychosis diagnosis.

In no way negating anyone else's experiences, or levels of recovery - i do personally think there are great ranges within severity of experiences within mental health. There are great ranges within voice hearing, just as there is great range within what comes under non-ordinary/altered states. i think it can all be highly individual & unique - despite commonalities.

I agree. I think the most severe case would be hearing voices and responding back by yelling in the streets which I see people do quite often since I live in Oakland and SF is a city of homeless old mental patients. The reason is the Reagan Administration shut down all the mental hospitals in the 80s leaving those people without hope. I do feel sorry for them and it breaks my heart whilst others laugh and pretend not to notice.
 
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Callalily

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My girlfriend at the time showed me this last year. Amazing how she doesn't take medication and still manages to live a normal life. Mayb it's not too severe
Having taken an interest in her story, I think her experiences can indeed be classed as severe, she was tortured by psychiatry and her mind. She worked tirelessly and had some excellent support to get to where she is today. I think it's a shame for people's experiences to be seen as "not too severe" because they have managed to find ways to help them manage their difficulties.
 
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Deliah

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I agree Callalily, it's almost as though by people considering their own situation to be different or worse, that they will stop themselves changing. Stop themselves having that possibility. I am doing as Eleanor does, it's not an easy ride but worth doing. If is our beliefs which limit us. If we hold a belief that the person can't have been very unwell, then it's like we don't give ourselves that possibility. D x
 
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firemonkee57

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I think Longden like Saks is the exception rather than the rule. Certainly intellectually and perhaps otherwise(I don't know her social background) she had an advantage not afforded to many others. This is not to downplay the severity of her illness but to suggest she may have had relatively superior tools to overcome it.
 
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Callalily

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I think Longden like Saks is the exception rather than the rule. Certainly intellectually and perhaps otherwise(I don't know her social background) she had an advantage not afforded to many others. This is not to downplay the severity of her illness but to suggest she may have had relatively higher tools to overcome it.
I agree, she was very lucky that she had Pat Bracken as her psychiatrist, someone who took a kind and compassionate approach to her struggles. I think the fact she had the support of a loving family is also a benefit to her. There are a lot more in her position than we are aware of but I agree, most are parked on drugs and forgotten about, or they are harrassed by services.
 
Observe

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I believe in severity. Whether you believe in it being a disorder/disease/malfunction of the brain or elightened..enlightened, you could go from controlling voices to being in another dimension and astral plane. Disease wise it's like any other organ, from a scare of lung cancer, to respirator, to a iron lung..Her condition is schiztophrenia hearing voices. She doesn't have any dillusions like I did since I'm a paranoid schitzo but still made it back everytime leaving doctors in awe..her case is less severe than others..and if not than she's a Yogi or something similar..lol

You've guys seen "Beautiful Mind" it's not that easy
 
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LORD BURT

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I believed in severity. Whether you believe in it being a disorder/disease/malfunction of the brain or elightened..enlightened, you could go from controlling voices to being in another dimension and astral plane. Disease wise it's like any other organ, from a scare of lung cancer, to respirator, to a iron lung..Her condition is schiztophrenia hearing voices. She doesn't have any dillusions like I did since I'm a paranoid schitzo but still made it back everytime leaving doctors in awe..her case is less severe than others..and if not than she's a Yogi or something similar..lol

You've guys seen "Beautiful Mind" it's not that easy
Yeah I am with you.

I am not going to list my struggles, but I have experienced psychosis - she just seemed to talk about voices.
 

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Yeah I am with you.

I am not going to list my struggles, but I have experienced psychosis - she just seemed to talk about voices.
i think there is a vast range of experience that comes under the psychoses. Voices has never really been my thing - & i don't hear a lot of people describe what i've experienced. It's Not all the same, & i think severity does vary - Not to compare, but to acknowledge the great variety in what goes on.

i think it does also make a massive & critical difference as to what support & understanding people receive.
 
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Agreed that there is a very wide range of experience under the psychosis label. It's an area ripe for wider research, in my opinion. Severity and impact certainly varies, some people take a long time to recover and some never do.

But voices are not really the lightweight experience it seems, if you are hearing them fulltime 12 hours a day you are likely to start slipping into semi psychosis, with some things that border on the edge of delusion as you try and puzzle your way through what you are being told. That's my experience anyway. Voices and experiences that are less intense are easier to cope with.
 
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Deliah

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You've guys seen "Beautiful Mind" it's not that easy
Observe, no it's not easy. I don't think Eleanor ever claimed that her journey to wellness had been easy. It's not an easy thing to do, but does that mean to you that it's not worth exploring? I see it this way. A sapling looks about it as it sways in the breeze, getting carried with every gust, it's roots are very shallow and not yet secure. It sees about it strong trees which barely move in the wind and have deep roots. In nature does it think they must have had an easier time than me, which allowed them to grow and survive the storm. I won't bother to try. Of course not. We don't get any where by comparing our experiences, with a view that this or that person must have been able to come to the experience they have because it was never as bad as ours. Or, that they are in a better situation. We don't know another persons experience. We have to find out for ourselves and then we can grow into that tree that survives it's experience of weathers, grounded firmly to in the earth. Nothing was ever easy that was worth doing. She is communicating possibility for people. You can't know what is possible for you unless you take a chance. I 'm singing a song at the moment, it has a beautiful lyric 'If you're too proud to follow rivers, how you ever gonna find the sea'. love D xx
 

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You can't know what is possible for you unless you take a chance. I 'm singing a song at the moment, it has a beautiful lyric 'If you're too proud to follow rivers, how you ever gonna find the sea'. love D xx
i'd see a lot of variables, we're all on our own individual path, with our own unique circumstances.

Some people are able to make a fuller healing/recovery, & others aren't - some people can live with things medication free, & others can't. i don't think these differences are always about lack of trying. & i wouldn't necessarily measure success solely on such things.

i have observed in many cases of fuller/medication free recovery (the higher profile cases), to generalise - less severe experiences & better support/circumstances - how much that is down to the individual i think is debatable?

i think it is pointless to compare lives, experiences, suffering & circumstances - What matters imo is more people getting more in the way of proper understanding, care & support, & i think those are the pivotal & critical factors in all 'this'.

i can see both sides to all this - with better support i'd think a majority currently under the mental health umbrella, with a more ideal system/society, focused on genuine healing, could be helped to longer term medication free recovery - i also think some people would probably need & be best helped with some form of medication, it is very individual. i'm all for far better psychological/social support approaches for people & a far more humane system/society & general treatment approach. But however ideal things are, i also think some people are going to experience grave mental & emotional problems - some recover/heal better than others - in this society for many reasons - i don't like any inference of blame in all this - yes there is a lot in an individual taking personal responsibility - But there is also a lot in what understanding & support someone can access; within their individual life circumstances.

i do slightly resent people saying, that may have had things easier & had more in the way of understanding & support to then blame those for their position, who may have had things far harder in ways & a lack of more appropriate understanding & support. It does however seem complex, & i'm in no way negating those that have made a fuller 'perceived' recovery.

It's all life - people experience stuff, get ill & die in various ways, sooner or later - we're all just passing through, whatever this existence is.
 

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But voices are not really the lightweight experience it seems
It depends on the nature of them. Many people have good experiences of voice hearing & never come into contact with the mental health system, many people don't even see such experiences as pathological to begin with (think psychics). Some people have absolutely horrendous voice hearing experiences - & everything in-between.

i think same with non-ordinary/altered states, there is great variability, not all psychosis is the same - there is massive range within mental/emotional experiences.

We also hear more & more about voice hearing & support for it all, & more & more focus on that 'symptom' - which is great. 'Schizophrenia' appears to have become synonymous with voice hearing. Where is the understanding & support for severely altered states of non-ordinary consciousness - for more visionary (or delusional) states? We don't hear anywhere near as much on all that, but that can be the primary 'symptomatology' for some people.

On occasion i've heard voices - very rarely - i have been in near catatonic states of psychosis - & severely altered states that are very hard to explain - If people haven't experienced such things, i honestly don't think they really understand. It can be very hard to find understanding & commonality/identification within such experiences, & personally it does make me wonder just what a lot of other people are actually experiencing?
 
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