Auditory hallucinations have always been defined in text books as a symptom of Schizophrenia. An aberration. An abnormal alteration of one’s mental state which needs to be corrected, quashed, cured.

However, in this inspiring talk by Eleanor Longden, she makes the case that hearing voices is not necessarily a departure from the norm. But instead, a sane reaction to insane life events. It is the mind’s coping mechanism for otherwise traumatic incidents that have been left to fester unobserved or unaddressed.

Regardless of their origin, the voices people hear in their heads should not dictate the initial diagnosis of schizophrenia as not all voices are malevolent in nature. Unless the existence of voices in someone’s mind threaten the person’s safety or those around him, why should we persecute or deem their condition as an immediate illness?

Is it not but a thin line between an auditory hallucination and a stroke of inspiration?

As rational human beings, it is not unsurprising that we tend to see any unusual behaviour as a threat to our existence. However it is then up to us to try and understand and qualify whether that odd behaviour is in fact a threat or just another feature of that human’s condition.

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