The BBC Radio 4 discussion programme Between Ourselves had a frank and insightful discussion with two people who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia about the experience of voices, delusions, mental health care and the reaction of others.
One of the people interviewed is Dolly Sen, London-based artist, writer, and film-maker who has been heavily involved in Creative Routes, the respected arts organisation run by mental health service users.
One thing that many people might find surprising is that both the guests note that their voices are often unpleasant, but they feel that there would be ‘something missing’ from their lives if they suddenly disappeared.
Both of the guests also talk about the low points and fears caused by the overwhealming delusions they have experienced, and the distress caused by some bad experiences of hospitalisation.
As well as the negative experiences, Sen also describes some of the positive experiences of psychosis, saying “The best part of my voices is that I feel sometimes that the stars are talking to me and their giving me their song and their poetry and their magic”.
All in all, the programme is a fantastic account of the kaleidoscopic experience of psychosis that can be both troubling and profound.
Link to webpage with realaudio archive of Between Ourselves.