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Hearing voices is "a natural human experience," not symptom of disease, expert says

Sep 16, 2016

"Hearing voices" is known as an auditory hallucination. The Mental Health Foundation tells us that it may or may not be associated with a mental health problem.

It's the most common type of hallucination in people with disorders such as schizophrenia. 

Rebecca Hatton told us that the Hearing Voices Network looks at auditory hallucinations as "a natural human experience that happens to many people."
Credit CREDIT FLICKR USER MIC445 / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There's a stigma that follows such hallucinations. If you speak openly about hearing voices, you're likely to be labeled, medicated, even hospitalized. 

But the Hearing Voices Network thinks it has another way to help people understand and learn to live with those voices. 

The group was founded in the Netherlands in the 1980s. It has four chapters in Michigan.

Psychologist Rebecca Hatton started the Ann Arbor chapter of HVN. She joined us today. 

We also welcomed Anna, a trained facilitator for HVN. Anna began hearing voices in her late teens. She credits HVN for helping her feel like she was healing rather than hiding.

In our conversation above, Anna tells us about her experience hearing voices and Hatton explains why HVN is a better approach for people who hear voices. 

Minding Michigan is Stateside’s ongoing series that examines mental health issues in our state.

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