Sunday, 29 November 2009

Hearing Voices and Social Contexts

I recently read a couple of websites on the Internet, with supposedly new research on hearing voices, which stated a small fragment of what had previously occurred to me. These two websites, said that hearing voices, were caused by social isolation, and deprivation from actual social communication. These two websites also said, that if a person was isolated socially, then this would cause over activity inside the persons mind, and that there was also a lack of integration, between the thinking part of the person’s brain - which creates thoughts - and the part of the brain which receives and interprets, actual social verbal communication.

This doesn’t explain, why some voice hearer’s, such as myself, are aware on one level, that the voices are their own thoughts, and that they are aware of both the thinking and actual social communication parts of their brain, and the ways that they are connected, both inside their minds or brains, in actual reality, and in society.

This theory, model, and so-called new research, on the hearing voices websites I mention, also assumes, that actual present social communication, is satisfactory for most people - that it involves free and creative relationships - and that so-called sane society and people, don’t need or don’t have a strong wish and desire, to communicate with psychiatric diagnosed people and/or voice hearers.

There is obviously denial and defences, by so-called sane people and society, about communicating with psychiatric diagnosed people, but the wish and desire to do this is also very strong, both in terms of learning, and in terms of needing and wanting, a certain sounding board or muse. This tension, and inner and social conflict, can also cause mental health problems, in so-called sane people and society, and in psychiatric diagnosed people, as a secondary causal or influential factor.

Many social and mental health professionals, and psychiatric diagnosed people - especially those who regard themselves as psychiatric survivors - put a lot of emphasis, on individuals being responsible for their own thoughts, emotions, and actions, but particularly emphasis on being responsible for one’s own thoughts. What is never mentioned, in this context, and as a separate thing, is the way that society and others, sometimes believe that psychiatric diagnosed people, and other minorities and oppressed groups, are responsible for their own thoughts (and emotions and actions), which they then try to blame and punish psychiatric diagnosed people and others for.

It’s very important, to experiences hearing voices, in a way, to understand different aspects of reality, and different worlds, universes, and realities, but it’s also important to take responsibility for one’s own thoughts, as others see it, and to agree or go along with the consensus of reality, which is widely accepted and encouraged, and taught by most people.

I once did a mysticism course, and then a sociology course, at college, and I sometimes have both mystical and sociological experiences and knowledge, as well as psychological ones. The mystical experiences that I have are sort of inexplicable, but in time, I can explain, and articulate what I see and experience, and work out what is truth, and what is delusion. This applies to the sociological and psychological insights that I have too. What I do very much believe in, is sharing my insights and knowledge with others, but I often need some time, to explain, articulate, and work things out.

I think it’s important, in some ways, to realise, or understand hearing voices, as a social context in a way, which exists both inside the voice hearer’s head, and within and in society. The conventional psychiatric and mental health view, is that this social context, in the voice hearer's head, does not represent or correspond, in any way, to actual material and social reality. One thing that social isolation can cause, or can be seen to cause, is an intensified and supersensitive, awareness of others in society, and their verbal and non-verbal communication, body language, and behaviours, although some voices hearer’s already have this ability, which is sanctioned by the social and mental health theory and dogma.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Original Facebook Email on Recovery

Thank you for the facebook email and message, on recovery from so-called mental health problems. Recovery, is a reciprocal relationship, between both abstract and especially applied knowledge, data, and information, within both mental health services and society, and which involves shared learning between the service users, mental health systems, and society. This reciprocal relationship, is a democratic activity and process. On the matter or question, of whether recovery offers people false hopes, or whether we should fight and argue for better lives, this is all linked to how and what we learn from those psychiatric diagnosed people who have recovered, and those who haven't, and which discrepancies and links are provided between the two groups, within services, and society. If false hopes, are those hopes and needs, which are not recoginsed or integrated within society, then they may be considered as false. On the other hand, if these hopes are based upon thorough and objective practice, education, and research, and the continuing process of that, and applied and put into action within services and society, then they are according to that process, very achievable and realistic.


The user forum sent a message to the members of Rethink and the user Forum.

The Recovery Approach – Right or Wrong?

Opinion is divided into those who believe encouragement to recover is the way forward and some who say this approach gives false hope as the majority of service users do not recover.

I support the Recovery Approach! I was told I’d need anti psychotic medication for life and I said, No Way! I reduced my medication and eventually came off it. That was 9 years ago. It wasn’t easy at first. I had several mini relapses before I stabilised and it’s now been over 3 years since I took any medication and I feel great.

Now we’d like to know what YOU think. Do you think we should just give up and think we will never recover? Or should we fight back and tell ourselves we will recover and lead full and happy lives, free of medication and mental health problems?

Please write in and let us know. If you have a recovery story and would like us to publish it in the next newsletter sent it in to us. If you feel strongly that the Recovery Approach does give false hope then do write in to us. We will publish a selection of your letters and stories in the next newsletter.

Recent Email Correspondence with a Liberal Democrat

Thank you for being honest about being "a true liberal", and the difficulty you refer to, related to compromise and agreement. This is a matter of authenticity, and which is slightly complex.

Yes, compromise and agreement for progress, is very important, and sometimes we have to deny our principles and true nature - up to a point - in order to achieve this. However, compromise doesn't have to involve blatant denial, personal and mutual deciet, and inauthenticity - as an extreme, totalistic approach and end result - and all too often bad and harmful compromise and agreement, is done by liberals and others, out of habit, or an excuse or false belief in the over-deterministic notion of the inevitable, and because people don't have the knowledge, wisdom, insight, courage, imagination, desire, political, interpersonal, and social skills, in order to achieve compromise, agreement, and progress in other ways.

You refer to extremism, but some people, do see liberals as extremists, and the problem is one of extreme and/or very one-sided libertarianism, and appeasing the outright evil, violence, and human rights abuses of extremism, and this is what a lot of people don't like about liberals, and which needs to be changed and corrected, through compromise, and agreement for progress.

It's one thing to compromise with extremists, in order to come to some agreement and make progress. It's another thing to merge with those people, to the point where it leads to loss of individual and social reality and identity, and to the point where other forms of compromise, agreement, differentness, and progress, are left out of this activity and process.

Liberals have very sadly, blindly, and coldly accepted and adopted various types of extreme so-called libertarianism, such as agreeing with the violent and abusive views of people like the Marquis De Sade, without having any concern for the most beautiful, loving, passionate, and socially imaginative and courageous nature of so-called masochism.

You talk about moderate agreement and compromise, but will you please tell me, why the local liberal democrats, are the only main local political party, who have blocked my articles, and won't reply or respond to them? Will you have the decency, authenticity, and courage, to email them, and tell them to remove the block, and will you comment on the vital and important issues I raise here?



Dear Peter,

Thank you for taking the trouble to pass your thoughts to me, thoughts which largely I go along with. You write interestingly on the word "liberal" but I doubt if you are correct in attributing it to the fascists or, for that matter the socialists.

The trouble is that "liberal" is a word with many meanings and uses, some of them abuses. I will not bore you with the vast list in the Oxford Dictionary, but you will see what I mean. For me the first three definitions are the ones that matter: "1. given freely, ample, abundant 2. generous, not sparing 3. open minded, not prejudiced." None of these fit the facists and extremists in politics. To be a true liberal in politics is difficult because of the inevitable need to compromise in order to come to agreement and make progress.

With best wishes,
Dick Perry

Friday, 13 November 2009

Facism and its Socialist and Liberal elements

As fascist, and similar racist political parties like the BNP, have gained some popularity, during these times of economic recession and unemployment, I thought it was important to write about fascism, and to understand why it has gained some popularity.

It’s sometimes assumed, by people of a liberal political persuasion, that fascism, is similar to socialism, and has a strong element of socialist thinking and polices behind it. Whilst there is some truth in this (evident by the fact that unions and socialist groups supported and joined the Nazi party, in 1930s Germany, that the British unions marched in the streets in the 1970s, supporting the racist right-wing conservative politician Enoch Powell, and that the unions complain about unemployed immigrants on benefits, and about the decreasing white British population in the country), there is also a strong element of liberalism in fascism. As well as incorporating racist socialist views and policies into Nazism, Hitler also had a strong popular belief, that the Nazi party, where a marginalised and oppressed minority, who had gained power, both as a socially integrated, and as a separate minority group.

Whilst the BNP are undoubtedly, in some ways fascist and very racist, it is also a form of fascism to superiorise any minorities, racially, socially, or culturally, and/or to give them unequal state power, over the same and other minorities with less money and power, and which again is a form of fascism.

The whole matter of marginalised and oppressed minorities and groups, and social integration, is a slightly complex one, which I feel needs to be further understood and addressed. Whilst I accept, that minorities or oppressed groups, such as people with diagnosed mental health problems, may have a higher awareness or abilities - as well as having some disabilities - I do not overall believe that anyone, is simply or overall superior, in that they deserve to have oppressive or unequal state power over others, and crush and destroy other people’s social potential, in terms of social integration, and in terms of other people’s individual and collective uniqueness.

On the matter of social integration, I do feel that integration of minorities and oppressed groups, into society - in terms of equal choices and opportunities - is very important, whilst it is also true, that some minorities or oppressed groups, disagree with the actual nature of present society, and don’t want to be a part of present society, or to be completely absorbed and utilised by society, in a way that limits or destroys their wider social integration, and/or their individual and collective uniqueness.

I also feel and think that, that it is important, in some ways, to challenge the view that all human beings are overall unimportant or inferior, and that it is also important to challenge the present mundane nature of society, which limits and tries to prevent us all from realising and achieving, all our importance and potential, to be a better human race, individuals, and people.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Syd Barrett Part IIII

In order to understand Syd Barrett’s so-called madness, we last but not least, need to have a fairly good understanding, of his visions - or his creative and innovative perceptions - and how he experienced them with his mind, and with other people.

His visions, were first and foremost visual, as before he became a musician and songwriter, he was an art student at university. These visions - or at least some of them - were assumed by others, that he assumed that others could see these visions, and experience them, in much the same way that he could experience and see them - visually - and in terms of different people, places, and conceptions of spatial meanings and time. He never made such an assumption though, although it’s easy in some ways to see, how and why some other people assumed this.

His visions, therefore developed into a form of autism, where he made his visions into symbols, and sign posts, to identify certain people, and places, which were either positive or negative for him, and conducive or not conducive to creativity.

His visions, were initially, communicated very well, with others, who were interested in his genuine work and creativity, but when his visions and their potential interaction, was unrequited, he then started to verbalise his visions socially, in a way that could not be understood by those around him.

His visions, where of shapes, and were like maps or various languages to him, and identifications of different types of love, power, and territory. The confusion between his visual mind, and his verbal faculties (and which is sometimes assumed to be a huge factor in hearing voices) - and his failure to integrate these socially - meant that he could only express his visions, in terms of identifications of present certain places, and events, which started off as timeless and overlapping, but which then became fixed and ordered, too much in his communication and awareness.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

The Australian Radio programme, All in the Mind, on Hearing Voices

I just listened to All in the Mind, on Hearing Voices. What first occurred to me, was that Ron Colman from The Hearing Voices Network, said that his voices, which initially controlled and overwhelmed him, didn’t understand him, but that some of his latter voices, did understand him, due to better activity and communication, and that this gave him more shared and/or more individual control over the voices.

Another voice hearer, said that her voices were an interpreter, but that they were very negative voices. It's important to realise or consider here, that this is all very much connected or related, to how much we are made to accept, deny, or otherwise have choices, over other people’s (including mental health professionals, and those with much more power than us) interpretations of our experiences, and especially of reality.

It’s important to listen to, or in some ways, to know, or be aware of different interpretations of reality, but this needs to be a collective and an individual or participatory choice, within either a static or changing life-context or process - albeit possibly some kind of objective choice - and both a realistic and a possible understanding, or consideration and interpretation, but it is detrimental to impose this in a way, where it limits our individual and shared potential and understanding.

Understanding, sharing some kind of understanding, and having better, or no hearing voices, is often in this respect, again, also a process of events and learning in one’s life and within other people’s. In order to achieve this, a voice hearer or carer, doesn’t have to immediately accept or believe either the reality, or unreality, of the voices, or to complicate, or oversimplify this too much.

I agree with the Radio programme, that an important part of that, might be learning what makes the voices worse, and especially normalising the voices experiences in some way, because a major problem, is related to other people’s fear, ignorance, and misunderstanding about the voices; and the denial or distortion of, the future and life-wishes of the voice hearer, to thrive, or be free, in some substantial way, from or with the voices.

It is here that I have some disagreements with the programme, because whilst I agree that life-events or memories of that, are in some important ways, influential with voices, I also think that voices are much more to do with people’s future desires and wishes, for freedom, liberation, and equality in their lives, as Ron Colman has also often said and stated in his talks.

On Hearing Voices, and Counselling

I had a conversation recently, with a care worker, about my so-called hearing voices experiences. The care worker asked me, what I thought the voices actually were, to which I replied, that the voices, are a part of my own thoughts and feelings, that they are my (and others) social experiences of other people, and that they are actually other people - both in a spiritual - and in a real material, individual, and social sense. The care worker said that he agreed with me, and that this was common sense.

What also occurred to me, after speaking to the care worker, was that people who have passed on, or deceased, have one way or another, more of an influence materially, and as reflective, or regenerative in life, and that those people who are still alive in this world, have in some very relevant and significant ways, more of an influence spiritually.

This is a spiritual, psychological, and political truth and reality, which I share in some way, as the role of a good student and teacher, is to make knowledge accessible, and understandable, to as wide a range of different types of people as possible. An aspect, of the reality of hearing voices, is that they are the spirits of people who are still alive, in this world, and not only or purely the spirits of those who have passed on.

I also told the care worker, that I have been thinking lately, that I should or could shut the voices down, and that I have learnt how to do this, using a form of focusing, distraction, and a suspension of belief that the voices are in some way real.

The care worker then asked me, why I felt I needed to do that, as I am more than likely helping the voices, as well as them helping me in some ways. I replied to the care worker, that although I often have very good discussions with the voices, that they give a form of counselling, and ask me some very good basic or practical questions, that I also occasionally felt that sometimes the voices didn’t understand me, because they occasionally say this, although on their further thought and reflection, they probably do understand what I write and communicate. I said that this could perhaps, be a reflection on the fact, that others sometimes don’t understand me socially, or that there is possibly a part of myself, that sometimes doesn’t understand myself, although the former explanation is more than likely the case, because I and most people, do overall understand what I communicate and write.

I have been trying to receive counselling for quite a while now, but have been messed around a lot with it. My voices, offer me a form of counselling, as do some care workers. I’m not denying the professionalism, or expertise, necessary with some counselling, as I am very much aware of this, but I do also think that counselling, should be a skill applied in actual sexual-love and/or love relationships, also between friends, and actually between social relations, and integrated within free association and/or society.

What occurs to me about the bereavement counsellors Cruse, who have messed me around a lot on the offer counselling, is that they are supposedly people who have experienced grief themselves, but they are sort of taught or told, that they must only help others, and so what they then do, is impose a version of bereavement counselling upon others, to try to make people accept a false idea of death or loss, and a false idea of social and political injustice. Cruse don’t apply this learnt model, or method, to themselves, and so they are authoritarian, in some ways very misled by their training, and very hypocritical or hypocritically influenced in that way.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The Octopus Ride, by Syd Barrett

Trip to heave and ho, up down, to and fro'
you have no word (non communication)
trip, trip to a dream dragon
hide your wings in a ghost tower
sails cackling at every plate we break (visions, hallucinations, and so-called splits)
cracked by scattered needles (reference to the fact that he took heroin, although this is also generally unknown about him)
the little minute gong
coughs and clears his throat
madam you see before you stand
hey ho, never be still (desire for interaction and communication with women)
the old original favourite grand
grasshoppers green Herbarian band (his spiritual/wiccan/paganistic views, and the way this related to music and creativity)
and the tune they play is "In Us Confide" (the reference to people in general, the collective idea of the goddess in nature and human beings)
so trip to heave and ho, up down, to and fro'
you have no word
Please leave us here
close our eyes to the octopus ride! (the shutting off of creativity from it’s mad and sane social processes and functions)

Isn't it good to be lost in the wood
isn't it bad so quiet there, in the wood (another reference to others so-called non-communication, and his forced desire, to be made to accept and believe this)
meant even less to me than I thought
with a honey plough of yellow prickly seeds (this is a reference to crops, and nature, which he believed was related to the love and sexuality, between people, particularly, between men and women)
clover honey pots and mystic shining feed... (this is reference to the fact that he believed that crops and seasons were related to human sexual interaction, experience, behaviour, and love, and that food was an offering from the goddess. He believed that God was the Goddess, but the Goddess was not an entity, but was a general, or a collection idea or experience for him)
well, the madcap laughed at the man on the border (this is the men who tried to confuse him, or stop him from fully loving and understanding women, and the Goddess in all human beings)
hey ho, huff the Talbot
"Cheat" he cried shouting kangaroo (this is a reference to the fact that he realised that he was not cheated on by women, but that they wanted a new kind of spiritual, sexual, and social relationship with him, and that his visions and creativity, were very much a part of that in his lyrics and music)
it's true in their tree they cried (another reference, to nature, society, and sexuality, related to his and others idea of truth)
Please leave us here
close our eyes to the octopus ride!

The madcap laughed at the man on the border
hey ho, huff the Talbot
the winds they blew and the leaves did wag
they'll never put me in their bag (this was his very clear idea, that the Goddess, as he saw it, was potentially enclosed within human male and female genitalia, and again related to nature and society - as was the devil - but the devil was not considered by to be male or female, and was much more related to split and fragmented social meanings)
the seas will reach and always seep
so high you go, so low you creep
the wind it blows in tropical heat
the drones they throng on mossy seats (reference to the changing of the seasons, crops, and the well-being of human beings in society. Could be seen as ecological)
the squeaking door will always squeak
two up, two down we'll never meet (this describes the disconnections, and connections that he made, at the point at where he became insane)
so merrily trip forgo my side (this describes, what some people call the projection, or understanding he had, of the distorted and disconnected visions and language in others socially)
Please leave us here
close our eyes to the octopus ride!

Analysis and revelations by Peter H. Donnelly

My Dream about Syd Barrett Part III

With Syd Barrett, at some significant stage, there was a disconnection, between those who thought he was insane and who couldn’t love him - and in some ways who's language and communication he copied and mimicked socially (unlike myself who can differentiate about this, and can communicate socially, creatively, constructively, and flexibly) - and those who potentially loved him - whether he was regarded as sane or insane by them - but who did not communicate this with him, at least in a verbal or shared context or way; but which did not encourage or allow such a specific disconnection within him, although he also copied and mimicked this non-verbal way of understanding, interacting, and communicating socially with others.

This was also often how he communicated his visions socially with others, although again, these visions were communicated much better, and much more constructively, in his lyrics and music. This is not the case with myself, as I am very able, and often do, communicate my visions or findings very well and concisely, socially with others, as well communicating and teaching this very well and concisely, in my articles.

What did happen with Syd though - and which is the very central point here - was that after he disconnected between these two things, experiences, or languages, the stage at which he became insane, was when he then connected or fused the two things or experiences, and tried to communicate or verbalise this socially. This is one reason why the other members of his band, Pink Floyd, kicked him out of the band, because his social behaviour, and communication (for want of a better word) particularly live on stage, became increasingly awkward, non-communicative, and irrational.

Syd Barrett, was schizophrenic, in the modern psychiatric sense, in that he created a so-called split identity in himself, and he did have some visual and auditory hallucinations, but which were actually visions, and although this split was in some ways created socially, his perception and experiences of others was not potentially split or confused in any way, and socially he was not ignorant or misguided about the madness or so-called identity splits in other people.

Syd Barrett, even at the stage where he became very insane, could have been treated, and his insanity prevented, and I could have treated him effectively in this way, had I been around at the time, and was in a position where he could have received treatment from me.

I will write more on all of this very soon, or as soon as I am able.

More about my Sleep-Dream last night about Syd Barrett

I just heard my female friendly voices, early this evening, for about a minute, sort of plead with me, and ask me about Syd Barrett’s so-called madness, and the events and causes within and surrounding it, and I explained what I wanted or could tell them about it, for the time being, in about five minutes of conversation. I can’t at the moment, reveal everything about the knowledge and information from the dream, because I have other things on my mind and to prioritise and attend to, but I think it’s possibly wrong to keep other people in too much suspense about the dream, or to give the impression that I am misleading or teasing people.

I have now realised, that all the events, details, and factors in the dream, which describe everything about Syd’s life and so-called madness, are actually all enclosed in Syd’s song, The Octopus Ride, and there is no secret or mystery about this.

Some people say that music isn’t socially, and psychologically important, and whilst there is a lot of seemingly banal, or meaningless, lyrics and music about these days, a lot of music is indeed very meaningful, relevant, and important. At first, Syd’s music and lyrics, seem rambling, somewhat disconnected, and fairly non-sensical, but in fact his lyrics and music - whilst very imaginative, metaphorical, and creative - are indeed very logical, and describe both what he and others around him, were both doing and experiencing, throughout his life.

The events and causes of his life and so-called madness, are in some ways very detailed and complex, but they can also be understood fairly easily, and as I promised, I will write soon about this fully, and to everyone’s understanding and satisfaction.

Firstly, it’s important to realise about Syd, that there was a disconnection, and a conflict set-up by others, between his artistic and creative receptivity, communication, and interaction, and his and others social receptivity, communication, and interaction, but there are certain other reasons for this, which I will now explain. (This isn’t the case with myself, as with me, no disconnection or inner conflict exists, between the two things, although others have at times tried to set-up a conflict about it, but my creative and social awareness and communication, remain connected, and more or less psychologically and socially intact and integrated. This article, contrary to some misguided professional opinion, is not purely about me, and there are some very important and definitive, differences between myself and Syd Barrett, as well as some similarities).

Firstly, Syd Barrett was assumed to be insane, before he actually went insane, and he himself at some stage actually believed, or was forced to believe this. If people think a person is insane, and the person is forced in some ways to believe this, or to conform to it, then it is in some ways, very likely that the person will at some stage soon after that, actually go insane, if this control or socially dysfunctional and conflicting situation continues. This is what the Hearing Voices network and Ron Colman, call The Maintenance Model, which keeps people as mentally unwell, in order to mystify and cover-up the real social and psychological processes, influences, or causes of it. In order to recover from mental health problems, you have to in some ways believe, that it’s possible to recover, in order to in some ways achieve it.

The other related matter to this, and which slightly complicates matters, is that he never received any treatment, actual community and social care, or therapy, for his and others social and so-called mental health problems, until it was too late, and then he spent the last stages of his life in many psychiatric hospitals as a patient. This is quite common, and has actually happened to me, at some stage of my life, and so in that way, I share a similarity with Syd, although again, I am a a survivor up to a point, as I have stayed out of psychiatric hospitals for nine years, and this is again, where myself and Syd’s experiences and lives significantly differ.

This is just the very basics, of what was revealed to me in the dream, which came from the song, The Octopus Ride, but I will explain the more complex or detailed aspects of it all soon.

My Dream About Syd Barrett

Last night, when I slept for a good ten hours, I had the most amazing and fantastic dream. I dreamt about the almost entire life-story and psychology, of the progressive rock band, Pink Floyd’s original singer/songwriter, Syd Barrett, which previous to this dream, I knew virtually nothing about.

This epic, detailed, and most revealing dream about Syd, may not have been a completely accurate, factual, life-story of things and events, in Syd’s life, but it was a version of that, which was fairly socially, psychologically, and factually accurate, and I learnt a tremendous amount from it. In time, I will write about all this, and other related matters, but for the time being, I need counselling, and to focus on my own well-being, which is both related to Syd’s, and completely different and separate.

I haven’t been interested in Syd Barrett, or listened to his very good solo music, for many years, and so I don’t know why I should dream about him to this significance, depth, and degree. I also don’t really know, where I am getting all this vast and precious information from, regarding things like Syd, and the influences or causes of his so-called madness.

I don’t really know whether this type of knowledge and information, comes from some spiritual/divine being or energy, or God/Goddess, because I’m not sure I really believe in those things as such (I tend to oscillate between spiritual views and humanism/atheism). Another explanation, which seems much more likely to me. Is that it all comes from a kind of sensitive receptivity, and a creative transformation/filtering, or greater understanding from society (the knowledge I uniquely experience, perceive, and/or receive socially and psychologically from other people).

I will now listen, to one of my favourite Syd Barrett songs, The Octopus Ride, from my favourite album of his, called Opel, and then forget about it all, until I have had some therapy, and dealt with the grief I have been experiencing, over the sad loss of my mum.