In fact, Doctor Romme believes that hearing voices is not always a mental sickness.
It does not always require medicine to cure it.
Instead, it often results from a person being unable to operate normally in society.
What does the doctor mean by this?
Well, we could use Ron’s story as an example.
His girlfriend had died.
And he had suffered a bad accident.
He was in a difficult mental and physical state.
He had not talked about his problems to anyone.
His company still expected him to perform his work duties as normal.
And it was then that the voices started.
Ron was sick for 10 years.
He felt hopeless.
But one day, he heard about Doctor Romme’s research.
He attended one of Doctor Romme’s ‘Hearing Voices’ groups.
The doctor had started these groups all over Europe.
People who suffered from hearing voices gathered together.
They shared their experiences.
They shared how they learned to accept their voices.
And they also talked about the ways that they controlled their voices.
Ron shared his story too.
And over time, his condition began to improve.
Since then, Ron has helped develop the ‘Hearing Voices Network’ in the United Kingdom.
This network is now part of an international ‘hearing voices’ movement.
Mental health workers in many different countries receive special training.
They learn how to help hearing voices patients manage and recover from their condition.
Firyal Qader Yassin is head nurse at Bethlehem Psychiatric hospital in Palestine. She says:
“We have received very interesting training on how to deal with the patients who hear voices.
For me, it was wonderful how the patients reacted to these new methods.
I feel that, for the first time, we entered their world.
We began to understand what was happening in their minds.
We are no longer standing there watching.
Now we are part of their world.”
For Ron Coleman, understanding and working together are the most important elements for recovery. He says:
“Recovery from hearing voices is no longer a gift from the doctors. We are all responsible for it.”