By Oliver Sacks

Awakenings—which encouraged the key movement picture—is the outstanding tale of a gaggle of sufferers who shrunk sleeping-sickness in the course of the nice epidemic simply after global warfare I. Frozen for many years in a trance-like country, those women and men got up as hopeless till 1969, while Dr. Oliver Sacks gave them the then-new drug L-DOPA, which had an excellent, explosive, "awakening" influence. Dr. Sacks recounts the relocating case histories of his sufferers, their lives, and the intense differences which went with their reintroduction to a replaced world.

Case histories of sufferers of "sleeping sickness" & their restoration; foundation for the hot film.

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Extra resources for Awakenings

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However, the fact is that highly obese and morbidly obese patients who are troubled by their size and eating patterns, also generally demonstrate a deeper level of deficit and disintegration. The body has become the store of their real or perceived trauma. It is the repository of both the memory of traumatic or painful experience and of the ill-attuned caregiver and the repository of the anger against those experiences and caregiver. Their anger is turned inward and they experience self-loathing, which the patient then justifies by her size, which she experiences as repulsive.

For patients who present with shorter-term weight issues and less weight to lose, working with these family introjects may be all that is needed to effect significant change. For others they will be part of the ongoing programme of 30 / The Overweight Patient psychotherapy or counselling and will be used at different stages in the treatment flow, according to the needs of each individual patient. This will be demonstrated in the chapter on the Parent ego state. Family sayings and attitudes towards food and size reveal both the direct verbal and the indirect psychological messages given to the child.

It is possible that fat parents teach their children how to be fat, directly or indirectly by their words or by modelling fatness and of course, by feeding their children foods in quantities that will ensure weight gain. It is also true that psychological messages regarding size and food are transmitted from parent to child in both open and more subtle, out-of-awareness ways. These form the basis for the efficacy of working with obese patients psycotherapeutically. I believe the psychological or ulterior messages endemic in the patient’s relationships form the most significant component of her need and choice to be obese.

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