Meaning-Making in the Voice-Hearing Experience: the Narratives of African-Caribbean Men who have Heard Voices
There is a paucity of literature into the first-person account of hearing voices (HV)1, particularly from diverse cultural groups. This research aimed to explore the meaning-making of African-Caribbean men who have heard voices, within a social constructionist framework. Five participants were recruited via community networks and individually interviewed. Narrative analysis was employed to illustrate both individual and collective stories of HV. Four emerging storylines were constructed: 'Storylines of the changing understandings of hearing voices over time', 'Recovery: Reformation, Redemption and Restoration', 'Storylines of family life and understandings of culture and race', and 'From Silence to Freedom: Speaking Out and Reaching Out'. Findings of this research suggest re-storying HV outside of a medical framework, with voice-hearers' meaning-making of the voices an integral part of understanding the phenomenon, in the context of psycho-social and cultural factors. Implications for de-mystifying voice-hearing, particularly in African-Caribbean communities, are considered in the context of promoting education and awareness of HV through community-based approaches, cross-cultural working and supporting the voice of expert by experience, in the hope of challenging dominant discourses attached to HV. Future research suggestions are discussed and researcher reflexivity concludes the study.