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“My son has a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. As his mum, I have discovered that some of our friends and even family members don’t understand or even want to try to understand his illness. I have felt so isolated.”

Anonymous

“My life changed irreversibly in the year 2000 when I found myself living on planet caring as an involuntary volunteer carer for my daughter.  ‘Planet caring’ may seem a strange expression; it comes from a friend who maintains that once there are mental health problems in a family, life alters completely. You are marooned on another planet – one you have probably never heard of or encountered before and in which everything is rather, or very, different than previously, where you and your family will be treated differently, one to which you will have to adapt quickly, possibly for the rest of your life and for which you have neither expectation nor preparation. I have found all that to be true.”

Judith Varley, ISPS UK

“I can never underestimate the sense of bereavement I experienced when my sister became ill.”

Your storiesRethink Mental Illness

“My closest friend hears voices. It’s not actually something we talk about that much.  When we have talked about her voices, it’s usually because they’re being particularly destructive or loud, and she’s finding it hard to cope. Once, I challenged what the voice was saying, which wasn’t very helpful! Now, I tend to focus more on how she is feeling, and what I can do that would feel helpful.”

Anonymous

“When my mother was given a diagnosis of schizophrenia, after I had left home, I felt huge relief- there was a name for it, and it hadn’t been me going mad. It wasn’t my fault. Now, I don’t feel the same way about it… I can see why she may have been having these experiences, and I can put them into more context. Those experiences are still kind of there for her, but they’re not who she is.”

Anonymous

“My son has a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. As his mum, I have discovered that some of our friends and even family members don’t understand or even want to try to understand his illness. I have felt so isolated.”

Anonymous

“I can never underestimate the sense of bereavement I experienced when my sister became ill.”

Your stories, Rethink Mental Illness

“My closest friend hears voices. It’s not actually something we talk about that much.  When we have talked about her voices, it’s usually because they’re being particularly destructive or loud, and she’s finding it hard to cope. Once, I challenged what the voice was saying, which wasn’t very helpful! Now, I tend to focus more on how she is feeling, and what I can do that would feel helpful.”

Anonymous

“When my mother was given a diagnosis of schizophrenia, after I had left home, I felt huge relief- there was a name for it, and it hadn’t been me going mad. It wasn’t my fault. Now, I don’t feel the same way about it… I can see why she may have been having these experiences, and I can put them into more context. Those experiences are still kind of there for her, but they’re not who she is.”

Anonymous

Being the parent, family member or friend of someone who hears voices can be a complex experience – in turns bewildering, worrying and painful, but also, for some, an affirmation of their own strength and resilience. In this module, we explore the personal perspectives of people whose loved ones hear voices. We cover a range of different topics, including what you can do to support someone when they are distressed by their voices, and what you can do to seek support for yourself.

 

What is it like?

How can you support someone?

How can you support yourself?

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