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Hearing Voices, Living Fully

Hearing Voices, Living Fully

Living with the Voices in My Head

Claire Bien. Foreword by Larry Davidson

Quick Overview

Hearing voices - a symptom of schizophrenia, a religious experience, or something else entirely? Claire Bien's riveting memoir provides a fascinating personal perspective on this often-misunderstood condition. Claire's tumultuous journey will help you to understand why auditory hallucinations are not necessarily an indicator of mental illness.
Details Price Qty
Paperback / softback
2016, 7.72in x 5.12in / 196mm x 130mm, 272pp
ISBN: 9781785927188
£9.99
Ebook
2016, ePUB, 272pp
ISBN: 978-1-78450-322-2
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£9.99

Description

When Claire Bien first began hearing voices, they were infrequent, benign and seemingly just curious about her life and the world around her. But the more attention Claire paid, the more frequently they began to speak, and the darker their intentions became...

Despite escalating paranoia, an initial diagnosis of Schizophreniform Disorder and taking medication with debilitating side effects, Claire learned to face her demons and manage her condition without the need for long-term medication. In this gripping memoir, Claire recounts with eloquence her most troubled times. She explains how she managed to regain control over her mind and her life even while intermittently hearing voices, through self-guided and professional therapy and with the support of family and friends. Challenging a purely medical understanding of hearing voices, Claire advocates for an end to the stigma of those who experience auditory verbal hallucinations, and a change of thinking from the professionals who treat the condition.

Reviews

'Bien's memoir witnesses to the resilience of the human spirit and her determination to live a full life, thus illustrating that a person is more than a diagnosis. Therapy, medication, relationships and work are all critical components that enable a person to regain a life despite debilitating symptoms. She is a woman of courage.'
- Nancy Kehoe RSCJ, PhD, Author of Wrestling with Our Inner Angels: Faith, Mental Illness and the Journey to Wholeness

'Remarkable and inspiring. In a clear and resonant narrative voice, Claire Bien tells how she struggled and eventually surmounted auditory hallucinations and severe emotional turmoil while living a full life: maturing in the first generation of a Chinese-American family, marrying, working full-time, and nurturing a son in a supportive family and community.'
- Selby C. Jacobs, MD, MPH, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Public Health, Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry

'This is a revolutionary book, written by Claire Bien, who has experienced and dealt with auditory hallucinations-latterly without medication. Now living with a son and successful career, it tells of her determination not to let the disease beat her. ...Some of the book can be graphic, as Claire provides a full picture of the 'degree of horror' such a condition can engender; however, she also provides hope of recovery, 'even the most horrifying and bizarre beliefs are not sign and symptom of an irreparably broken mind.''
- New York Journal of Books

'In this candid, informative memoir, Bien, a trained facilitator for the Hearing Voices Network, describes experiencing auditory verbal hallucinations throughout much of her adult life. Having eventually learned to manage this condition, she aims to bring hope to others in the same circumstances. Bien details the most difficult and embarrassing periods of her life, including the deaths of close family members and her two troubled marriages, both which ended in divorce. The book chronologically documents Bien's life from her early years, through college, to her struggle to find a vocational calling, alongside the time line of her voices: their first appearance, her first hospitalization, and her subsequent recoveries. Bien's tone is matter-of-fact and often rings flat throughout her comprehensive accounts; the sentences are mostly declarative and devoid of much emotion. Bien is lucid and calm in looking back at her life and battles, displaying an admirably unflinching self-awareness. She's able to understand how she "was primed to hear voices" by biological and life triggers associated with her condition, and her journey will appeal to others struggling to overcome or better understand the same affliction.'
- Publishers Weekly

Authors

By (author): Claire Bien
Foreword by: Larry Davidson