Only once in my life have I “heard voices.”  It was a very stressful time. I was walking down a sidewalk and I kept thinking someone was calling out my name. I would turn to look and no one was there.

Luckily for me I had read that this is considered normal. So I never worried about it or reported it to a doctor. (I had been told that even the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory ) considers a “yes” answer to hearing your name called as a normal experience.)

 I received and email from a friend with links to the new British Film

“The Doctor Who Hears Voices”

Also see Dr. Rufus May’s blog here.


Here is an inteview with Dr. Rufus May:

“Taking A Stand” Fergal Keane interview with Rufus May.
Produced by Jane Bersford 6/2/01 (winner of 2 mental health media awards)

To be a clinical psychologist who takes a stand against the wide-spread use of medication in treating mental illness isn’t perhaps all that unusual these days, but it is unusual to find a clinical psychologist who takes that stand as a result of their own experience.  Rufus May was eighteen years old when a psychiatrist told him he was a paranoid schizophrenic and would have to take medication for the rest of his life.  There followed seven months in a mental hospital and the traumatic experience of being forcibly administered drugs.  The man labelled “paranoid schizophrenic” sits in front of me now as someone who hasn’t taken any medication in thirteen years and who works with the mentally ill as a psychologist.  Rufus May, can I just start by asking you, was there a moment when you were in the mental hospital where you thought to yourself, “when I get out I’m going to change things?”

I think there was a specific moment when I went to a friend’s funeral and I thought that things could have been done differently and I felt a sense of outrage.  She had jumped off a building.  Her name was Celine, she was a young black lady and shortly before she jumped off a building her medication was increased to the degree that she had a constant tremble and shuffling movement and she was dribbling and I could tell that this wasn’t helping.  These effects were adding to her problems, they weren’t taking away from her distress and I just felt that other options hadn’t been tried and it gave me a tremendous sense of purpose that I wanted to try and change things.  But at the time I didn’t know exactly how I’d go about doing that.

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