Hans used to be overwhelmed by the voices. He heard them for hours, yelling at him, cursing him, telling him he should be dragged off into the forest and tortured and left to die. The most difficult things to grasp about the voices people with psychotic illness hear are how loud and insistent they are, and how hard it is to function in a world where no one else can hear them. It’s not like wearing an iPod. It’s like being surrounded by a gang of bullies. You feel horrible, crazy, because the voices are real to no one else, yet also strangely special, and they wrap you like a cocoon. Hans found it impossible to concentrate on everyday things. He sat in his room and hid. But then the voices went away for good.
This is a fascinating article. While I wouldn’t conflate garden variety bad self-esteem/ self-hatred with schizophrenia, my experiences in learning how to overcome self-hatred, using psychoanalysis and meditation, have some interesting similarities to the methods described here. Basically, learning how to stop freaking out about whether one is “normal” or not, and replacing that action with compassionate listening and respect, brings about many wonderful possibilities.