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Our Most Troubling MadnessCase Studies in Schizophrenia Across Cultures$
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T.M. Luhrmann and Jocelyn Marrow

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520291089

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520291089.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Voices That Are More Benign

Voices That Are More Benign

The Experience of Auditory Hallucinations in Chennai

(p.99) Case 6 Voices That Are More Benign
Our Most Troubling Madness

T. M. Luhrmann

R. Padmavati

University of California Press

Persons with schizophrenia and other serious psychotic disorders often experience a wide range of auditory events. We call them “voices,” but in fact, people hear scratching, buzzing, bells. They hear voices inside their heads and voices that seem to come from outside, from the world. Sometimes the voices are clear; sometimes, indistinct. Sometimes they make kind and even admiring remarks (“You’re the one. You’re the one I came for.”) Sometimes they are horribly mean. Sometimes they command, and sometimes they comment. In general, on average, people with schizophrenia in India are more likely to experience their voices as people they know or as gods, and in general the voices are more benign than they are for many patients in the US. That may make it easier to live with them. This chapter considers the voice-hearing experience of a Chennai housewife with schizophrenia.

Keywords:   Hearing voices, Chennai, Hinduism, Psychiatry, Schizophrenia

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