Then Ms. S. started to slowly accept her voices as real and talk with them. She is learning how to listen to them and trying to understand what they mean. It has taken her a long time to get to the point where she is hopeful about her future, more motivated and in general feels more positive about her life.
Today she is less frightened by the voices and has started to take some control over them. Her psychiatrist, who was impressed with her progress and is not opposed to the methods of the Hearing Voices Movement, reduced some of her medications, so she is able to focus better and is more alert. As part of learning to live with the voices, she also started to take responsibility for her physical health, and with the help of a nutritionist, is eating healthier foods and walking every day. She has joined a voice-hearing group so that she is able to share her experiences with others while getting peer support and exchanging coping strategies. And Ms. S. is finally coming close to returning to school and pursuing her dream of obtaining a PhD in psychology.
People who are given a diagnosis of a psychiatric disability due to hearing voices, should also be given a message of hope – that recovery from the distress of hearing voices is possible. Medications play an important role, but in addition, it is most important for mental health professionals to be open to new approaches.
The Hearing Voices proponents believe that if we do not see schizophrenia as a life sentence, we will all increase the chance that patients will be able to discover their own resilience. This is a profound insight, and it offers hope to those who face the horrors of hearing voices