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Learning from the Voices in My Head

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  314 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Eleanor Longden was a college freshman when she started hearing voices in her head. Diagnosed with schizophrenia and checked into a psychiatric ward, Longden spent years trapped in a nightmare of hospitals and medications, pain and despair. Yet she survived. Her technique: to learn to listen to her internal narrators, not reject them. Now on the cusp of finishing her Ph.D. ...more
Kindle Edition, 107 pages
Published August 4th 2013 by TED Conferences
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Patricia Morais
Nov 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a truly inspiring story of someone who has learnt how to live with schizophrenia and who, after a dark period, rather than perceiving it as a mental disturbance, started accepting it as an emotional response to some traumatic events. Longden understood the difference between "hearing voices" and listening to them, and started believing they had compelling information that could answer some of her most dark emotions and unresolved issues.
The proof that our problems are only a sum of the
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
AMAZING book. I could not put it down. In fact, i woke up in the night last night and couldn't help but have a sneaky read until it was finished. I saw a TED talk by its author, Eleanor Longden, who hears voices herself. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, she went through a mental health system that essentially consigned her to the scrap heap and told her that her condition would only degenerate. Shunned by her friends and taunted by her peers, she isolated herself and resigned herself to a life with ...more
Rosaleen Brown
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a good read , my only reservation is that the author had enough social capital / education / family support / money etc to facilitate her recovery ( which i tKe my hat of to and would never wish to undermined) Having worked with one of the psychologists and one of the psychiatrists mentioned in the book, the realities of poor areas and Hearing Voice Networks are that they are often inaccessible to people in real need. Also I do think that social work and OT were left out a bit as I thin ...more
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
this sums up everything i believe about mental health -- coming from a psych major who decided not to pursue a phd because i couldn't see myself being happy there, if that holds any weight.

don't believe everyone with a phd remember our society is only as good as our flawed selves!!!

there's also a poignant TED talk you could watch in lieu of this book, but if i leave one iota of a legacy behind i want it to be that i believed wholeheartedly in the tenants contained herein.
Petisa García
Jan 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Es un libro corto, pero con un buen insight sobre la estigmatización de las alucionaciones auditivas y sobre cómo el acercamiento psiquiátrico tradicional sólo exacerba dañinamente los síntomas. Buen libro para repensar el concepto de enfermedad, con muchas fuentes. Se ve que la autora está acostumbrada a escribir académico así que hacia el final parece blogpost pero buena lectura de todos modos.
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved the quote " an important question in mental health shouldn't be "What's wrong with you?" But rather, "What's HAPPENED to you" ...more
Michael Labone
Mar 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
a dangerous book written by someone who is quite clearly still suffering from delusions
"The Jo"
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was an incredibly inspiring read that truly aims to promote understanding and empowerment to those who have struggled with hearing voices. The wisdom of finding healing through welcoming the voices and their wounded past... gives a tremendously powerful outlook for those that have been shunned or misunderstood for too long. The one main disagreement I had was with the seemingly segregated description of thought with biology. One cannot separate thought from biological function, it is a biol ...more
Ian Newey
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Inspirational humbling stuff. I use Eleanor’s TED talk in training frequently to challenge stereotypes, sigma and prejudice. She gives hope to people who have had theirs sapped by adversity. I use her ideas and account of her life in my work with voice hearers, survivors or abuse and trauma. I’m proud to be a part of bringing the ideas of the Power Threat Meaning Framework (that Eleanor co wrote) to bear in mental health systems in the UK.
Casara Clark
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is deep, thoughtful, and probably quite world-changing. It destigmatizes some major assumptions society encourages about mental health and makes us question our own perceptions in the face of neurodiversity. I highlighted more sentences than I didn’t... I practically painted the pages yellow with phrasings I thought so intelligent and summarizing ... I can not recommend this book enough.
Cass Danz
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've ever read. Changed my perspective on so much. ...more
Mark Baker
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very helpful

Learned so much by reading this book. Was inspired to do more with my life. Recommended this book to anyone.

Demi Purdy
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is the autobiography of a woman who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in college. She talks about how the voices originated and later went into psychiatry and then mental hospitals after making the mistake of telling her friend about it. She went as far as harming herself by burning her arms with cigarettes and lighters as well as pouting chemicals on her arm. Her condition with schizophrenia was very serious, but after meeting with Dr. Pat Bracken and his team, she learned to listen to ...more
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
This was a fantastic story. I purchased this book after seeing Ms. Longden's TED Talk and I'm really glad that I did. It's really a whole new way to look at voice hearing. Indeed, this book really blows apart the amorphous concept of "schizophrenia." I'd also said this book went far in restoring my faith in psychiatry and psychology. I did bog down a bit in the last half of the book mainly because it was talking about a whole lot of psychological theory that I really was blurring out on, but I'm ...more
Oct 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It's a short but potent read.
Through her early experience as a diagnosed 'schizophrenic' a Psychiatrist critiques the system she was once treated by, exploring some major problems with the current medical and societal perspective towards psychosis, trauma and 'auditory hallucinations'.
To name just a few; the over-reliance on medication as a treatment for psychosis to the neglect of understanding important psychological and social factors, the failure of the biological/genetic model to fully ac
D Lynn
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Life Changing Book for Sufferers

I am someone who has heard voices from the age of twelve. This book brought tears to my eyes with the knowledge that I was not alone, that I didn't have to think of myself as crazy, and that hearing voices was nothing to be ashamed of. It also empowered me to know that there is an entire movement dedicated to these unique and precious people.
Cynthia Sillitoe
Aug 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book amazed me. My voices are internal, positive, and protective, which I perceive as guides, not as a part of me. I find the concept of confronting and comforting negative voices absolutely brilliant. I also think the author makes important points as to how people can be better diagnosed /understood as well as how they can be taught to cope rather than expect cures.
Martha Lluch
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It is easy to read and understand. Helps immeasurably to those of us trying to understand the process of the mind and positives ways to treat, survive and believe that despite what we might have gone through, we are entitled to heal and save ourselves.
Eliza Genang
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
A fantastic introduction to the Hearing Voices Movement. Eleanor's personal story is painted with broad brush strokes and the resounding message is to other voice hearers - you are not alone, the shame and stigma that you feel is an historical aberration that is being slowly undone. ...more
Gareth Evans
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring stuff...I'm a psych. Nurse on a PICU. I'll recommend this to voice hearers.

An inspiring and eye opening read - utterly refreshing to hear. I'll be recommending this to voice hearers where I work.
tina shmidti
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
როგორც აუტისტებზეა ტენდენცია, რომ გენიოსები არიან, თითქოს ისევე მოელიან შიზოფრენიით დავადებულთაგან მაღალ შინაგან ლოგიკას (ინტუიციას).
Michael Katz
Aug 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book which mixes the challenges with hearing voices and the technical aspects of psychiatry.
Rachelle Sansing
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Eye opening

Simply amazing account and a revelation. Recommend for anyone who hears voices, their family and for healthcare providers. Her TED talk was captivating as well.
Geri Coleman
rated it it was amazing
Jun 27, 2014
Ellen Yarnell
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May 30, 2014
rated it liked it
Nov 22, 2017
Karen Madda
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Oct 26, 2018
Mike Imani
rated it it was amazing
Jan 14, 2016
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Aug 13, 2020
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Eleanor Longden, psychologist, was in her first year of university when she started hearing voices. Initially she dismissed this experience as harmless, simply an expression of her own thoughts, triggered by the loneliness and pressures experienced by many students on starting university. However having confided in a friend and, later, a GP this led to a swift diagnosis of schizophrenia, a mental ...more

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