How I Tamed the Voices in my Head

Published in: The Independent, 6 March, 2007, By Kate Hilpburn

Eleanor Longden, 25, started hearing voices when she was a teenager. But, contrary to the usual perception of inner voices, Longden says hers weren’t destructive: “It was rather mundane, simply giving me a narration of some of the day-to-day things I was doing. In many ways, the voice was companionate because it was reminding me that I was carrying on with my responsibilities despite feeling so sad inside. There was something constructive about it.”

People like Longden who admit to hearing inner voices can generally expect two outcomes: a diagnosis of insanity, and potent medication. But a group of psychiatrists and psychologists believe it’s time we reconsidered labels such as schizophrenia and the drugs used as treatment. In fact, they believe we should get people to listen to, and actually engage with, the voices inside their heads.

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2 replies
  1. Paul Simon Norbert
    Paul Simon Norbert says:

    Hi, Thank you for what you wrote about engaging with the voice within my head. I have done numerous times before, but in a condemning way. But another approach would definitely be more helpful and maybe certainly more peaceful. I’ve always tried to deny the voice in my head, because I suffer from bi-polar. I started hearing voices from the age of 17 that was 25 years ago.

    • Jacqui
      Jacqui says:

      Hi Paul,

      I am really pleased that reading about approaching voices with more compassion made you thinkg about your relationship with your voices. I would be really interested to know how you get on with trying to be less condemning and more accepting.

      Good luck and best wishes,



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