INSiDEEver wondered what it can be like hearing voices without actually hearing voices?

I can not and would not dream of attempting to pretend that I know what other people experience, nor would I lay any claims  to know some universal “The experience of hearing voices” but this short film does, I think, portray something of what it can be like, some aspect of what some people do struggle with – some thing  of what I have struggled with –  and does it in a way that might be as close to  experiencing for yourself how difficult hearing voices can be as you will want to get.

Watch it a couple of times if you can and you’ll start to get how it can be overwhelming, how being midst such an experience might overwhelm a person,  obscure and erase boundaries between what exists inside mind and outside the mind to the point that you may begin to question if indeed there is a boundary at all – besides the one we create in our mind.

It may take you a couple of watchings but you might begin to see through the chaos but you might also begin to get how  some of the voices are very difficult, aggressive, dominating and controlling, commanding even. You may even notice how some  mirror people you may have encountered, things that may have been said within your earshot. Depending on how such difficult encounters turned out for you in your life, watching may leave you feeling fearful and disempowered, triggering the same powerful and overwhelming emotions you experienced at a time you felt fearful and disempowered.

Then you may notice there are other voices portrayed that are pleasant, supportive, companionate – helpful even, and one in particular  who helps us, works with , helps us  get a handle on the chaos and helps us navigate a way through the experience and even negotiate the world outside all this experience.

You might even begging to get get how the voices and what they say, and how they behave mirrors the people round you, the situation you’re  in and what I can do. You might also get how once you learn to get a handle on it, decode it, understand it its not so scary after all and a rich source of insight. And like any adverse experience,  learning to deal with it, come through it, overcome it,  can become a source of power.

Its only five minutes of film  but its all there. A whole chorus, a team of adversaries competing noisily for attention.

Before you ask, no, this is not a depiction of my own experience – its a show reel  for the skills of the cast and writer Eric Gewirtz and writer/director Trevor Sands – but I’d say  its as close a portrayal of the kind of experience I can have without you needing to actually stick a camera inside my mind.

Welcome to my world, eh?


INSiDE won  “Short of the Week” and Film Of The Year” awards on Vimeo..


About recoverynetwork:Toronto

We believe people can and do recover from "mental illness" - because we are living it. We believe in the power of supporting each other: learning from and with each other. You are welcome to join us..
This entry was posted in The Mad Ones and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to INSiDE

  1. Loreen Lee says:

    And that I characterize as the negative reaction, which unfortunately I often find in such people, unfortunately not only towards others, but unbeknownst to them, towards themselves as well. The saying. Love your neighbour as yourself, for the love of God’. a saying that is found variously interpreted in all ‘faiths’ says it brilliantly. If we do not love ourselves we cannot love another. Thus the interior work is the most essential, (no matter what the psychiatrist, etc. etc. may say.) And God. Does not that ‘represent’ whether you are atheist or theist a recognition of the need to grow in understanding, whether your lack of ‘objectivity’ is recognized as a mental illness or not. Love your posts. Thank you. And yes, I do agree with you. Peace..


  2. Loreen Lee says:

    Thank you for this. It was a brilliant representation. I have always been aware that various memories of what different people have said in my life, are part and parcel of ongoing experiences that have not been resolved. It is when these voices are ‘dissociated’ I believe and cannot be ‘identified’ that there can be a serious problematic. In the course of life, I believe ‘all people’ experience voices. They recall daily experiences and replay what was said, and depending on the attitude towards the persons involved can come to a kind of acceptance or resolution, or can continue in a hostility towards the ‘other’ which unavoidable also entails a certain ‘hostility’ within oneself. An effort can be made not only to resolve these experiences ‘internally’ but also ‘externally’. However, confrontation with persons empirically can be difficult, especially when another individual is not open to criticism, and objectivity, in the sense of taking things personally. Internal resolution of the conflict is thus the better way in most cases. One can, for example, always ‘walk away’ from an argument or an association. The point I am attempting to make here is that ‘everyone hears voices’. Indeed, it is through our struggles to understand how these voices represent or can inform us in our growth spiritually, and practically, that they will no longer constitute a mental ‘illness’, but the seeds of growth.


    • Thanks Loreen
      I think you have it spot on, that inner conflict [whether heard as voices or otherwise experienced] can be-can certainly feel – very destructive till we begin to understand, figure out how we can use its energy to grow…
      As many many do, we might be able to figure that out alone, or we may need guidance from someone but we can.

      For me what gets called “mental illness” is simply many ways in which people can experience finding themselves overwhelmed and “stuck” or frozen in their life- perhaps a state of being unable to learn and grow – and could perhaps use some help getting “unstuck”.

      For the most part the help needed is far from being told “you’re broken, a danger to society, a freak, get thee to a hospital lest ye become a burden and a hazard and verily a pox upon on society”
      how’s that working out?

      The way that people can behave like this toward a person deemed to have “mental illness” is often way more sick than the person deemed “ill” ever was or ever will be.


Comments are closed.