• Welcome! It’s great to see you.

    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

schizophrenia need not be impossible to live with

A

Apotheosis

Guest
A first-class recovery: From hopeless case to graduate

Eleanor Longden was a diagnosed schizophrenic and heard menacing voices in her head for 10 years. Now, she has fought back and has graduated with a brilliant honours degree in psychology

Eleanor Longden was revising for her final university exams in May when she was interrupted by a hostile middle-aged man, who barked: "Stop! You can't do this; you're going to fail. You're not good enough to get a degree." Nine other people joined his tirade in a chorus of noisy abuse as Ms Longden, 27, tried to concentrate on studying.

"You know what?" she replied. "You're right: I do need to stop for a break. Thanks for reminding me."

Ms Longden has been hearing the same critical, often menacing, internal voices for about 10 years. Every day, the dominant male speaks to her in an authoritative tone. The others back him up and the messages are always the same: you're not good enough; why bother with anything when you're such a failure? Except that she is not. She recently graduated from Leeds University with a first-class honours degree in psychology, the highest ever awarded by the department. She now works part-time with people who are hearing voices and is preparing for her PhD next year.

But it has been a long, hard struggle to where she is now. The psychiatrists and mental health nurses Ms Longden first encountered agreed with her voices. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia, forced to take high doses of powerful medication and written off as a hopeless case.

"My family mourned me as if I were dead," said Ms Longden, from Bradford. "They were told that I had a degenerative brain disease and they should prepare themselves for the worst as I might end up in a care home. I was told there was no hope, that there was nothing I could do apart from take medication." How did she go from a hopeless, mentally ill patient to a brilliant academic? A new wonder drug? A lobotomy? Years of therapy?

It was much simpler than that. She was referred to a consultant psychiatrist, Dr Pat Bracken, who encouraged her to listen to her voices and try to understand what they meant. He helped her to reduce her medication so that she could think more clearly. Slowly she worked out the connection between previous traumatic experiences and the messages the voices communicate. She also discovered her voices were worse when she was stressed. "This was the first time anyone in the psychiatric system had talked about recovery. Before that I'd been labelled, medicated and left; my past didn't matter and I had no future."

Yet between 4 and 10 per cent of the population hear voices and fewer than half of these people ever see a psychiatrist, according to research by the Hearing Voices Network. Between 70 to 90 per cent of voice-hearers do so after traumatic experiences.

Voices can be heard in the head, through the ears or through the environment. Conventional psychiatry tries to eradicate them using medication. But a growing number of critical psychiatrists, psychologists and voice-hearers try to listen, understand and accept them.

Dr Bracken, the director of mental health services in West Cork, Ireland, said: "As professionals we need to help people who are depressed or dominated by voices to find a path out of that state. That could be through medication, therapy, religion or creativity. It is completely wrong to try to use one template for everyone."

Ms Longden now has an agreement with her voices to listen and respond to them at 8pm for half an hour. If they come earlier she reminds them of the agreement. It works. She hears menacing voices every day, but fits them into her busy life. Talking to them hasn't made them worse. Stopping her medication hasn't made her dangerous. Yet some psychiatrists would section her and force her to take medication.

She said: "My original psychiatrist told me I would have been better off with cancer because it was easier to cure. She still says that to people. What happened to me was catastrophic, and I survived only because of luck. If I had lived one street to the right, I wouldn't have been referred to Pat Bracken. That can't be how people's lives are determined. I'm not anti-medication; I'm pro-choice. Hearing voices is like left-handedness; it's a human variation, not open to cure, just coping."

Source - http://www.independent.co.uk/news/p...y-from-hopeless-case-to-graduate-1808991.html
 
snuggle muggle

snuggle muggle

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
48
Location
oxford
ive just read this and i feel so uplifted ! it is so good to know that someones walked the path im trying to walk and achieved something they feel is tangible despite all the hurdles - which im sure everyone knows can sometimes be the tallest mountain in the world put there by the world! thankyou for posting this xx:clap:
 
A

Apotheosis

Guest
Glad that you got something from it lizzieloula.

:welcome: to the site.
 
I

IntrospectionFtw!

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2009
Messages
383
Location
Buried under a sand castle.
yh alot more of these stories are coming out now...i noticed something weird last night i was paranoid and hearing voices and i got caught in that im losing my mind its hopeless state yet the minute i resolved to take my medication the voices went away almost instantly only a minute after i took them... its almost like a placebo affect you know i allow myself to relax because ive got the security of a pill...you know we're taught that hearing voices is wrong and that we're f***** and we're gonna lose the plot and the insanity kind of feeds of this insecurity you send yourself mad because ur reacting to it with fear.
 
S

sgates

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2010
Messages
13
Location
London
Great article. Thankyou.
 
Last edited:
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Louizard To anyone who suffers from schizophrenia, I need advice Schizophrenia Forum 8
T He gave the whole world schizophrenia Schizophrenia Forum 7
P Is this schizophrenia ? Schizophrenia Forum 7
lavenderfire The Best Med: What Is The Best Antipsychotic For Schizophrenia? Schizophrenia Forum 7
J I feel you all have schizophrenia, because of me, is this right view? Schizophrenia Forum 11
L autism and schizophrenia Schizophrenia Forum 5
J How do you cope with schizophrenia? Schizophrenia Forum 28
C I think I have Schizophrenia Schizophrenia Forum 15
Amelia2020 My Grandmother was diagnosed with schizophrenia Schizophrenia Forum 2
L Autism and Schizophrenia Schizophrenia Forum 11
T I believe i have a camera implanted in me and i know its not schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Forum 3
T Is this real or schizophrenia? Schizophrenia Forum 12
M Does my Mother have schizophrenia? Schizophrenia Forum 7
TDCI1994 When did your schizophrenia first start and was there any previous mental health issues before? Schizophrenia Forum 58
R How do you describe schizophrenia Schizophrenia Forum 85
R Dating, schizophrenia and coping. Schizophrenia Forum 10
S Dating with schizophrenia Schizophrenia Forum 41
M is that schizophrenia or not ?? Schizophrenia Forum 3
LORD BURT Schizophrenia Deniers. Schizophrenia Forum 11
K what is the difference between psychosis and schizophrenia Schizophrenia Forum 7
F cure for schizophrenia? Schizophrenia Forum 63
gt86 Is this really Schizophrenia? Schizophrenia Forum 16
C A Beautiful Mind: How do you feel about this portray of schizophrenia? Schizophrenia Forum 4
HLon99 Hey! Bipolar guy here, want to learn more about schizophrenia Schizophrenia Forum 7
LORD BURT Five different types of Schizophrenia. Which are you? Schizophrenia Forum 20
A When did you realise you had Schizophrenia? Schizophrenia Forum 26
S How bad are your schizophrenia episodes? Schizophrenia Forum 10
K are schizoid and schizotypal on the schizophrenia spectrum Schizophrenia Forum 2
K Does my roommate have schizophrenia? Schizophrenia Forum 5
T Do you think my uncle has schizophrenia Schizophrenia Forum 10
S Covering the bridge (not the tip) of the nose and symptoms of schizophrenia Schizophrenia Forum 15
G risperidone schizophrenia side effects with ginkgo biloba Schizophrenia Forum 11
C Can a CT scan help diagnose schizophrenia Schizophrenia Forum 5
R Schizophrenia Schizophrenia Forum 3
S Silence and symptoms of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Forum 2
Funnyday Got Schizophrenia then get off of a murder charge Schizophrenia Forum 45
O Schizophrenia and discharged to GP Schizophrenia Forum 34
S Work and Schizophrenia Schizophrenia Forum 7
F how many of you believe in God? anybody lost God to schizophrenia? Schizophrenia Forum 31
T Worried that I have Schizophrenia Schizophrenia Forum 10
S Difficulty swallowing and schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Forum 10
S Paranoid schizophrenia continued Schizophrenia Forum 3
S Paranoid Schizophrenia Schizophrenia Forum 10
J anyone have tinnitus with their schizophrenia? Schizophrenia Forum 7
T Maybe it is schizophrenia Schizophrenia Forum 37
S friend with schizophrenia question Schizophrenia Forum 2
A My strange experiences and how come being mistaken as schizophrenia Schizophrenia Forum 5
AlwaysinCrown Can be schizophrenia caused by things that happen in my life? Schizophrenia Forum 5
Riah3 Does schizophrenia cause violence Schizophrenia Forum 32
F anybody here studying and doing well in life despite having schizophrenia? Schizophrenia Forum 14

Similar threads

Top