Hearing Voices, Living Fully: Living with the Voices in My Head by Claire Bien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 21st 2016 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Source: egalley via edelweiss
One cannot begin to review a person's memoir and give it a rating, especially one as intimate as Claire Bien's story of living with schizophrenia. I have personal experience with the topic of this book but won't go into any further details. At various points, I found Claire's story provocative, inspiring and scary. She tells us first-hand what it is like to live with hearing voices, both good and evil. Claire had two major psychotic events which landed her in the hospital, has lived a life filled with psychiatric care but has chosen to handle her disease without medications. This memoir tells how she conquered the voices and learned to live with them while not relying on medication. She explicitly states, though, that the non-medication route is categorically not for everybody but that it can indeed work for many. This book has ultimately given me major incite into what one person's life is like living with hearing voices and shown me many avenues to explore about this condition. I do find the non-medication route to be one I am leery of and even after her last chapter describing her rational thoughts now on her current state of living with her full potential, I do hesitate to wonder what her life would have been like had she had access to the medications available today rather than the ones she experienced in the early eighties. This book has left me with a sense of wanting to read other personal stories, which I've been hesitant to do before, and also leaves me with a desire to write, myself. I will be reflecting on her story and accomplishments for some time to come. Put aside any misconceptions you may have and read Claire's memoir to find out how one person can survive and even thrive whilst hearing voices within their own mind.