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How to learn to metaphorically interpret voices, not literally

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Ginny

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Apr 15, 2015
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1
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USA
Hi - I'm from the U.S. and have recently been introduced to the hearing voices movement. My adult daughter has been hearing voices for years, and through involvement with HVN embraced the idea that her "schizophrenia" is rooted in trauma. But then her voices started telling her specific things which her various family members did to cause her trauma but which we didn't do. We family members agree that we have responded to her illlness in ways that have undoubtedly contributed to her trauma, and have asked forgiveness of her, and have sought to change our ways, but she now insists that unless we "confess" to the specific crimes her voices claim that we have committed, she can't recover. We can see how to metaphorically interpret what the voices are saying to her, to get at the real root of the trauma, but she is still insisting that she must take the voices literally. Her psychiatrist, who is slowly understanding that voices have meaning which must be taken seriously, suggests increasing her meds(clozaril) with the hope that increased meds will increase her ability to be more objective about her experiences, and learn how to interpret them more metaphorically. Any insights, experiences or suggestions as to how we should best respond are most welcome. So far we have had to simply agree to disagree on the nature of the trauma causing the distressing experiences, as those specific things did not happen, though we can understand that we are being blamed perhaps because we were not able to prevent them from happening.
 
Kerome

Kerome

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Sep 29, 2013
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Europe
Hi Ginny and :welcome: to the forums!

First of all I applaud your stance towards your daughters voices. Going to the hearing voices network and learning their stance and not being taken in by psychiatry's medicalisation of the condition must have taken considerable courage and fortitude. Well done!

Before I try to formulate a longer reply, can I ask how old your daughter is? From the sound of it she is not an adult. That is going to have a major effect on the kind of strategies you might adopt.

Further there are bound to be forum members who have some experience either as parents or as children themselves, it's a friendly place here and hopefully you will get some suggestions.

All the best ;)
 
*autumn*

*autumn*

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Welcome to the forum Ginny.

Much respect to you.

Autumn
 
Kerome

Kerome

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My bad, I just noticed you said she was your "adult daughter".

It's a really brave approach to try to metaphorically give meaning to your daughters voices. Certainly if I think back to my voices they would come up with a wide range of stories over the course of a few days, and retrospectively I'd say that quite a few of them didn't have anything to do in an immediate or metaphorical way with the source of my episode. They were more an expression of distress, based on what I had been reading or hearing, certainly in about half the cases. Some stories the voices came up with were more spiritual in nature, and so on.

I think the first step in any voice hearers education is to try to get away from orders being given by the voices, or other strongly negative interactions such as being shouted at. There are posts in the hearing voices section of the forums which are about forming a compassionate, mature relationship with people's voices which you should try and have a look at. Also I'd advise you to have a look at Eleanor Longden's TED talk on YouTube, many people found it very inspirational how she managed to go from full-time voices to occasional ones.

To come back to the idea of trauma as having caused the voices, I'd cautiously agree, certainly in my case they were a response to a series of stressful events coming at the same time as a spiritual crisis. But I think once you are there, you need to treat the voices as a nearly separate phenomenon, there is no guarantee that reaching the source of the trauma will ease the voices.

I'll have a think about this, maybe write more tomorrow. ;)
 
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wellness

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Aug 11, 2010
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448
Location
UK
But then her voices started telling her specific things which her various family members did to cause her trauma but which we didn't do. We family members agree that we have responded to her illlness in ways that have undoubtedly contributed to her trauma, and have asked forgiveness of her, and have sought to change our ways, but she now insists that unless we "confess" to the specific crimes her voices claim that we have committed, she can't recover. We can see how to metaphorically interpret what the voices are saying to her, to get at the real root of the trauma, but she is still insisting that she must take the voices literally.
This is very stereotypical behavior of "The Voices" or "Auditory Hallucinators" ... you will find a number of different posts on this forum that have reported very similar behavior ... understand or get insight into the Voices that bottom line they claim their purpose in life is to cause us Humanity a bother and pain ... so once you have established that perspective about them .... you will be able to relate to all of their specific actions all intended to cause a bother ... but very little Benefits ...
Cheerio!!
 
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