chapter  8
17 Pages

Command hallucinations

Theory and psychological interventions
WithMaria Michail, Max Birchwood

Schizophrenia affects 0.8 per cent of the UK population, usually starts in early adult life and leads to persistent disability in most cases. It carries a high risk of suicide and deliberate self harm and, on a population basis, people with schizophrenia are more likely to perpetrate acts of aggression than their peers. Command hallucinations are very prevalent in people who experience schizophrenia. A review of eight studies by F. Shawyer et al. reported median prevalence rate of 53 per cent with a wide range in a sample of adult psychiatric patients. The relationship between command hallucinations and compliance is very complex. It is often assumed that the presence of such symptoms will inevitably trigger emotional and behavioural responses. Research has provided empirical support for the relationship between power beliefs and affective and behavioural responses to voices. The powerlessness and inferiority that voice hearers experience in their relationships with others in general is strongly linked to the power of voices.