Well...For all it's growth and amidst some controversy regarding the fears about the increasing 'medicalisation" of human experience which has upset some and pleased others, there seems to be a growing consensus among psychiatrists that the hearing of voices should be dropped entirely from the 'symptoms" list of schizophrenic neurological "disorders".
In no small way, this has to be put down to the work and research of people like Professor Marius Romme , Ron Coleman, Paul Baker and and the efforts of the Hearing Voices Movement collectively over 20 years to raise awareness and share insights into hearing voices. After all, there IS plenty of research that indicates voice hearing is a prevalent and commonplace phenomena OUTSIDE of the medical model. Experiences that occur in diverse settings, for different people and more often than not for folk who show no signs whatsoever of any pathology or illness. of course, these kinds of voices are rarely reported on generally as the hearers require no help or assistance in coping.
Over time, this realisation will change the parameters of a diagnosis. The hearing of a voice that no one else can attest to indicates nothing relating to illness and perhaps everything relating to what a person needs to pay some attention to at a particular time in their life.
What they may be going through on their journey. Perhaps some aspect of healing and self development work is being hinted at or suggested by the onset of hearing voices. Maybe there are specific stresses at work in our lives, unresolved historical trauma or particular issues that need attending to. I feel it comes down to how we deal with and integrate these unusual experiences when they occur. This determines whether we see hearing voices as part of being unwell or not. And of course, what we are told by other "experts" who try to explain our experiences! Onwards and upwards....
Activist/ Health worker/ 20 years. Specific interests : wellness/ voice hearing/ coping/ exploring/ sharing/ stigma reduction.