In Israel, a new five month scholarship program being offered to young aspiring athletes – one of them could be you.
Ms. S. is 31 years old and has been hearing voices for the past 10 years. The voices come almost every day and they tell her that she is a failure, will never amount to anything, no one likes her or respects her. Ms. S. was diagnosed with schizophrenia. At the age of 21 she was told she has a disease of the brain and will need to take medication for the rest of her life. She was a senior in college, studying psychology and hoping to go to graduate school and earn a PhD. She also dreamed of marrying and having her own family. With the diagnosis of schizophrenia her dreams were shattered.
She left school and went back home to live with her parents. Over the past ten years, she was hospitalized a few times, especially when the voices commanded that she kill herself. She described the voices as powerful; they have control over her life and as a result she cannot function, cannot have friends, cannot work nor go back to school. She reports that the “the voices are tormenting me.” She is taking medications, but nothing has changed. Yes, there are times when she feels calmer, but she continues to hear voices. She expressed feelings of loneliness and sham – shame at having been diagnosed with schizophrenia and shame at hearing voices. She has watched her younger siblings move on with their lives and this has reinforced her hopelessness and distress.
Most people who hear voices feel the way Ms. S. does: they are in distress, they feel hopeless and they believe the voices control their lives. People diagnosed with schizophrenia are told, just like Ms. S. was told, that this is a disease of the brain, and like a person with diabetes, they will have to take medication for the rest of their lives. Some are also told that they cannot go back to school, work or get married or do anything that might cause them stress. This is a message that causes helplessness and despair.
Fortunately for Ms. S. and others like her, new methods on how to cope with the voices are emerging, for the most part because of the efforts of the Hearing Voices Movement. That is name of organization founded in 1987 by Marius Romme, a psychiatrist in the Netherlands, and his wife Sandra Escher, a psychologist. The organization’s membership includes voice hearers who have recovered and lead meaningful lives – while continuing to hear voices. Countless voice hearers have gained ascendancy over the negative impact of their voice hearing experience. The organization has branches in many European countries, Australia, and more recently, here in the United States.
The Hearing Voices Movement espouses the theory that the voices people hear are real and should be treated like people. They believe that the problem is not the voices themselves, but the relationship to the voices, the power and influence that voices have in a person’s life. The voice hearer is taught to talk directly with the voices and negotiate with them: asking what they want, offering to set a time for talking if they leave them alone, and most important, to talk to the voices in a respectful manner. The movement is about changing the relationship with challenging voices so they do not dominate a person’s life. It does not banish the voices from the person’s life. The point is that by talking with the voices one can reduce their power, and calm them down so that they become quieter or even become friendly.
Initially, Ms. S. was not interested in therapy. “What is the point of therapy? My past life disappeared and I have no future, I am a schizophrenic,” she said. However, after hearing about the Hearing Voices Movement and reading stories of recovery, she had this to say: “This is the first time someone told me about recovery, about the possibility of leading a better quality life.”
Confronting and talking to the voices in a respectful manner seemed utterly novel for Ms. S. Over the past ten years she has been doing everything she could to escape them. She screamed at them, she pulled her hair until she lost most of it, and hit her head all in the hope that the voices would disappear.
About the Author: Leah Rokeach, LCSW has a private practice in Brooklyn, NY. She specializes in working with people who are diagnosed with a psychiatric disability. She uses the following psychological methods to help adults who have psychiatric disability start the journey to recovery: Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Recovery Oriented Approaches Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Psychosis. She has been trained in working with people who hear voices. She started a group for men who hear voices in Boro Park. Anyone interested in joining the group can contact her. She can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone 1-917-670-7148.
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Leah Katz, a TeenZone camper at Oorah’s TheZone summer camp and an 11th grader at Midwood High School, read her winning essay about how TheZone changed her views on Judaism at the Jewish Heritage Awards Ceremony held at Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’s office in April. The purpose of the Jewish Heritage Essay Contest is to acquaint public school students with Jewish history and customs and to help foster a deeper understanding of Jewish culture. The contest is open to students of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Leah’s essay is reproduced in full below.
Moshe Sharett, the head of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department, visited Egypt in 1945. In Cairo he met a most remarkable young woman, a beautiful journalist who was the darling of Egyptian high society – from high-ranking military brass, to culture icons and Muslim sheikhs, to the court of King Faruk.
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There is always a lot of confusion surrounding sensory processing disorder – mainly because there are many different diagnoses that fall under the catch-all phrase sensory processing disorder (SPD). Among them are three specific subcategories:
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The next chapter of the award-winning novel.
Jewish Press columnist Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, founder and president of Hineni, the international Torah outreach organization, recently addressed an overflowing audience at the Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine in southern California. Rebbetzin Jungreis’s address theme, “Making a Good Relationship Magical,” was apropos for the evening’s main mission: raising funds for the Irvine community’s mikveh.
You have probably been planning your marriage since you were about three. Let’s fast-forward to a big milestone– your twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. (Don’t worry, you don’t look a day over twenty one!) Now, would you appreciate your husband buying you a dozen roses that some florist recommended?
As I mentioned in my earlier articles about our family trip to Israel, our night flight went pretty smooth, thanks to my children’s willingness to sleep throughout the flight. I, on the other hand, didn’t sleep a wink and I wasn’t feeling too great by the time we landed. But we were finally in Israel, and just being in the beautifully renovated Ben Gurion airport and hearing all the Hebrew around us was exciting enough.
While all the flowers that grace your Shavuos table will surely be a delight to your eye, these will be a delight for your palette as well. Create them at any level, simple or sophisticated; any way you make them they’re sure to be a sensation.
Welcome back to “You’re Asking Me?” where we attempt to answer questions sent in by people who fortunately have fake names, so they won’t be embarrassed. I don’t know how they got through school, though.
Speechless wonder is the reaction to the beautiful vision seen though the Arch of the Keshet Cave at the Adamit Park in the Galilee. One of the most amazing natural wonders in Eretz Yisrael, the Me’arat Hakeshet — also known as the Rainbow Cave or Arch Cave — can be found up against the Israel-Lebanon border just a few kilometers from Rosh Hanikra and the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea. It is situated amid the wild scenery on the cliffs of Nachal Betzet and Nachal Namer, on the Adamit Ridge.
Ms. S. is 31 years old and has been hearing voices for the past 10 years. The voices come almost every day and they tell her that she is a failure, will never amount to anything, no one likes her or respects her. Ms. S. was diagnosed with schizophrenia. At the age of 21 she was told she has a disease of the brain and will need to take medication for the rest of her life.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/battling-addictions/living-with-hearing-voices/2012/12/28/
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