IDENTIFYING PATTERNS AND CYCLES
Trying to sort through their voices can be an important, if challenging, process for many people. This could involve identifying their voices, or seeing if there are times or places where they are lounder or quieter. Working out if some voices have triggers, and what they might be, can help some people avoid those situations (where that’s possible), prepare themselves for them (where it’s not), and open up different ways of relating to their voices.
Places have major impacts for me. There are cities I struggle being in and have had to leave because of traumas in my life that massively heighten the negative experience of hearing voices for me. The content and character of voices I hear in those places can be much more dark and harder to ignore.
I also stopped using social media and listening to the news as it was very triggering at the time
My main triggers are: being shouted at, feeling physically threatened by others, crowded places, high pressure situations, travelling under time pressure, tv/books/film of a sexually violent nature.
Triggers which make the angry voices worse are mentioning of childhood sexual abuse, certain smells and certain tastes.
I find night time is the worst when voices feed on the silence and vulnerability after a hard tiring day.
I have learned that my voices are connected to my emotions and my environment. Negative emotions bring on negative voices. When I’m stressed I hear voices that say derogatory things , e.g fool, stab her, evil. When I’m happy and relaxed I hear voices laugh happy , say words like ‘happy’ ‘we watch you, ‘God is with her.’, ‘you’re in love’ ‘singing’ ‘star’ ‘very clever’. When I’m unhappy they talk more as well. So I avoid feeling negative emotions. Always trying to be happy, relaxed, optimistic and positive. An environment I feel unsafe, bored in, unhappy in, stressed in e.g a job I don’t like, will make me hear more voices as I’m not happy in that environment.
Find out more
Dirk Corstens, Sandra Escher and Marius Romme (2008). Accepting and working with voices: The Maastricht approach. In Moskowitz (ed). Psychosis, trauma and dissociation: Emerging perspectives on severe psychopathology, Wiley & Sons.