Taking a glimpse inside the mind
By JUDITH LACY – Manawatu Standard | Sunday, 05 October 2008
At first, the voices are just irritating.
You can’t make out what they are saying, but by the tone you know they are not wishing you a nice day.
In both ears, different voices, varying volumes.
Then you pick up the messages: repetitive, commanding, distressing.
“You are disgusting.”
I turn off the tape.
It’s part of the Hearing Voices That Are Distressing workshop, run in Palmerston North by Pathways to Wellbeing Huarahi Whakaoranga Inc.
The interactive, three-hour workshop gives participants insight into some of the challenges faced by people with experience of mental illness, MidCentral region co-ordinator Diana Oomen says.
But listening to the distressing voices is just part of the challenge for workshop participants.
Simultaneously, they have to perform tasks such as brain teasers, reading, asking for information and being interviewed by a health professional.
Ms Oomen says the voices are different to having an internal dialogue, hearing non-distressing voices or trying to tune out background noise while studying.
There’s also not knowing when the voices will start, stop and return, and the tiredness all of it brings.
Imagine, she says, going to the police station to report a break-in, while the voices are occurring.
Or going to Work and Income with a query about your benefit.
Read the full story from the Manawatu Standard here