Sunday, December 2, 2012


I have so much school work to do, but I am having trouble putting down Oliver Sacks' newest book, Hallucinations.  As only Sacks can, he shares stories and insights into this topic.

I suspect most of us keep the idea of hallucinations within the realm of schizophrenia symptoms and drug use, but there are so many other situations in which these occur.

I cannot possibly do justice to the writing or the stories, so I will simply list some topics he delves into.  If you want examples for class or answers to many of your student questions, you may want to check out this book.

  • references to many literature and historical examples
  • brain-induced hallucinations
  • Charles Bonnet Syndrome 
  • sensory deprivation 
  • wine and smells
  • hearing things, including voices
  • Parkinsons-induced
  • Altered States of Consciousness (including Sacks' own experiences)
  • Visual Migraines (migraines-another topic for another book on my shelf of Dr. Sacks)
  • Epilepsy
  • Hypnagogic imagery and hallucinations on the verge of sleeping/waking
  • Narcolepsy
  • Hallucinating oneself
  • Phantom-limb syndrome and other vestiges of parts gone
This book is just a fascinating journey through many stories about people who have had experiences with so many different types of hallucinations.  If you like questioning reality and examining how it can be different for others, this is definitely a book you will enjoy.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

1 comment:

Jennifer Collison said...

I agree, Chuck. It was a great read. I was fortunate to hear Dr. Sacks speak a few weeks ago in Santa Monica. He graciously fielded many questions from the armchair therapists (and psych teachers, like me) from the audience. I think it's the personal nature of his books, particularly these last two, that contributes so much to their accessibility.