Eleanor Longden was a college freshman when she started hearing voices in her head. Diagnosed with schizophrenia and checked into a psychiatric ward, Longden spent the next decade trapped in a nightmare of hospitals and medications, pain and depression.
Yet she survived. Her technique: to learn to listen to her internal narrators, not reject them. Now on the cusp of finishing her Ph.D. in psychology, Longden still hears voices — and she says she wouldn’t live without them.
Part personal memoir and part medical argument, Learning from the Voices in My Head challenges society’s definition of crazy. Longden calls for a new, nuanced understanding of voice hearing and urges us to see madness not as a condition, but as a process — one through which those who struggle with mental health issues have the chance to emerge with their sanity intact. Longden’s story shows that there is, in the end, a message in the madness.