Mind's Tricks Essay

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WORKS CITED: Sacks, Oliver. 2012. Hallucinations. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Print Pinchbeck, Oliver. 2002. Breaking Open the Head. New York: Random House. Print. Ellie Austin # 0536816 Mind’s Tricks The main idea of the book Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks is the concept of a neurological basis for many hallucinations rather than a mental illness. Sacks points out that the book is his attempt to combat the notion that visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile or other kinds of hallucinations, can occur to regular people in ordinary circumstances, and do not necessarily warrant a psychiatric diagnosis. Each instance of hallucination mentioned in the book has a neurological basis, from epilepsy to sleep deprivation to eyesight impairment. . "I think of this book, then, as a sort of natural history or anthology of hallucinations, describing the experiences and impact of hallucinations on those who have them, for the power of hallucinations is to be understood from first-person accounts." (p. xiv, “Introduction”) Sacks shares both personal and his patients’ accounts of the hallucinations that have occurred in various situations, and a neurological basis can be found in all mentioned cases. Yet, on several occasions, patients have been misdiagnosed as mentally ill. Oliver Sacks is a well-known author and scientist. He has worked with patients with encephalitis, migraine, phantom limbs, Charles Bonnet Syndrome, Parkinson's, and other diseases which can cause hallucinations. The author had experimented with hallucinogenic drugs in his younger years, allowing him a personal insight and experience. He supplements his own first-hand experiences with historical and modern cases of the diseases and symptoms

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