Looking after ourselves
03-06-2020 12:00 PM
I'm a mental health support worker in Vic. I support someone with a Schizophrenia diagnosis. He firmly believes that the voices he hears are telepathic and becomes deeply involved with these voices on a regular basis. I've seen professionals attempt to tell him 'it's a part of the delusion' however this appears to cause more suffering because of his strong beliefs around this. Does anyone have any advice for me, the clients health is deteriorating and he is very untrusting and reluctant to engage with services such as psychologist or psychiatrist.
Any information, resources, life experience or advice would be greatly appreciated
03-06-2020 12:39 PM
Re: Hearing voices
Hey @James3 huge props to you for hearing your client's concerns and seeking support from peers. We are not a professional advice forum but totally can provide insight from a lived experience lens. I think always remembering the experience is real for him is valid, let him know that you hear him and trust what he is experiencing. We actually have a blog piece on this issue here as well, point three especially relevant! I know you mentioned he is not trusting to change Psych's, but perhaps a practitioner with a more humanistic approach to Schizophrenia would help. I wonder if you could gently encourage him to bring his concerns up with his Psych, or to have a look through APS and see if there is someone who holds space around the telepathy component for him a little better. We're all here to listen to you in the meantime, please keep us updated.
04-06-2020 12:16 AM
Re: Hearing voices
Welcome to the forum - I am glad you have reached out - hopefully people can help because it seems this young man is very confused and I am not surprised about that
From the film about Dr John Nash - "A Beautiful Mind" - a psychiatrist says a profound thing. How terrible it must be for a person to find that "the people within him hadn't just gone away or died but they never were" - what a hell that must be. What a terrible loss!
I really don't know much about schizophrenia but I do know that the imaginary people are very real and to transfer this to our own more realistic perception - we never want to be disabused of our friendships, loved ones, mediators even enemies. Of course this young man is defensive - I do understand that much.
What we understand as our truth is very fragile - how do we know we are right? What is truth? In fact - I think we are not in a position to interfer but then - if people live in a reality that is only true for them then they are extremely vulnerable - how lonely they must be
I hope this helps - I do hear your concern
04-06-2020 02:24 AM
Re: Hearing voices
I do hear voices too which I believe is telepathic or received on an intuitive level, but I have not been diagnosed as schizophrenic.
At some point of time, I would receive voices of people around me (friends, coworkers, clients, doctor, etc.) usually occuring early in the morning as I was about to wake up. So the voice was actually a transition between my dreaming and awakening state. The weird thing was these people would tell me in person the same exact thing later during the day or the next time we met.
Here's a few examples:
1. I would hear my housemate's voice saying she's planning to move out early in the morning and she would tell me in person later in the evening that she was planning to move out.
2. I would hear my client's voice saying a very detailed and personal affairs on his family in my awakening state, and 3 days later he wrote a lengthy email saying the same exact thing which left me stunned.
3. I would hear my doctor's voice saying a medical term again as I was waking up from my sleep and when I googled the words on my phone, there's actually such term on wikipedia. I just kept this to myself ignoring it, and months later the doctor would send me to see a psychologist who turned out to have researched and written a paper on the same medical issue years before. This medical issue does not fall under mental health and to find a psychologist who specialises in this area is even rarer.
And the list could go on and on as I was receiving this 3-5 times a week or maybe more. The voices would be uncontrollable and my initial response was to convince myself they were false only to have the very person telling it to my face after the very exact same thing.
So are voices mere delusion or intuition? I believe each to their own as everyone experiences this world differently. Nevertheless, I still choose to ignore the voices or shut them down whenever and in whatever ways possible. It's not easy as the voices are usually uncontrollabale and stopping them would have me end up in fits.
In regards to your client, have you had a conversation with him about how this voice started to begin with? You might want to ask him what happened in his life before the voice inteferred his life too and check if there ever was any event in his life that has left him scarred. Also, what does the voice say? Does the voice relate to his personal issue or traumas, or just some illogical nonsense or perhaps they hold some truths? Queried him further as to why would he need to keep these voices in his life and whether he would be able to let go and live without these voices.
I believe he would need lots of understanding and patience from your side. A good listening ear and someone who can walk with him out of the darkness.
Lastly, thank you for being a caring mental health support worker! Your client would have said the same when he gets better.
21-06-2020 06:34 PM
Re: Hearing voices
30-06-2020 10:45 PM