"Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called 'mad' and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.
My area of professional expertise is working with individuals who hear voices...some people like to call it schizophrenia. I have always called them: The Divine Ones.
I have never been one who works with a 'diagnosis', psychiatric or otherwise. I prefer, upon first meeting a client, to not ask them 'what they have' but 'who they are.
I am proud to say that I have published articles on my own style of 'treatment' when it comes to working with individuals in 'extreme states of mind.'
Mostly, I have found acceptance and for some, great relief, that I treat (psychotherapeutically), 'human beings' and not what some would characterize as a 'pathological disorder.'
We are all so much more than the labels that society dangerously doles out. This includes labels of stupid, unworthy, mongoloid, crazy, heartless, hopeless and the like. Had I believed all the labels that have come my way (about myself), I would certainly be caught in the net of no-return, insane. Am I eccentric? Yes. Am I left of center? Yes. I wear these labels like a 'badge of honor'. Not out of arrogance but from a profound belief that whether I fit in with the 'norm', I possess 'basic goodness and basic sanity.' The basics can carry me a long way-- I don't need to be 'extraordinary anything--basically human will suffice.
What I strive to be is alive in the world, compassionate, living in the moment with what the moment can bring...be that dark or light, difficult or easy. Do I always succeed in this endeavor? No. Am I able to forgive myself my down-falls? Yes.
As a writer, I do hear voices. They are the voices of the 'writing muse'... they are a literary divine intervention to my otherwise conditioned mind for what can be said, thought, or written down for the world to see and hear. There will always be a cacophony of less than kind voices (even those I spew to myself) but I am learning slowly to not indulge the full lexicon of notions about what or what does not make me, or anyone else, a divine one.