My sister gifted me "musicophilia" when I was in seventh grade and it changed my life. I have struggled with my mental health for all of my life, no doctor seems to be able to pinpoint the cause. I was musical from an incredibly young age, it was a skill I developed to soothe how my nerves felt as though they were climbing out of my body. Your book validated what I knew about myself and the brain-body connection I was too young to properly describe. What you're work taught me is what gives me the strength and courage to pursue testing for genetic markers I now know run in our family. I've been able to discern for myself the path to recovery, and accepted that my reality may never match what I know others experience. I cannot thank you enough for your unique gift for presenting all of the information the reader needs to draw educated conclusions.
As an architect I observe people, all people without exception, I need to read a lot to make sense of my observations and that's why I discovered Dr Sacks's book on Seeing Voices, after that book I never stopped to read his books. I am currently researching how the built environment affects our perception. This week I identified some brushstrokes from Dr Sacks on the "Forewords Restorative Commons: Creating Health and Well-being through Urban Landscape", I would like to go deeper in the perspective of neuroscience and I believe Dr Sacks has written on this topic. I appreciate if you can give me some guidance in this regard. Thnak you alot
So I'm a synesthete and I just discovered it about two years ago, so I decided to research it. There's very little research on synesthesia but when I found Oliver Sacks wrote about it, it made my condition feel viewed.
I just learned of Charles Bonnet syndrome now, reading the wiki entry about Oliver. I had very messed-up eyes and a couple of eye operations when I was little. I used to, when going to sleep at night, stare at a dark place and I'd get little patterns like maps, and geometric stuff. Once, when I was learning the alphabet, alphabet letters came dancing out from under my blanket! I used to find these very entertaining and comforting. It ended when I'd made a huge pattern like a giant 3-d kaleidoscope or stained-glass window with the pieces of glass hanging there in space, and I ran out of my room and got my Mom up, saying "You've gotta see this!". It was still there, hanging over my bed, and my mom could just not see it. I decided that my pattern-making was kind of childish, so if I couldn't get Mom to see one, I'd give it up and be more grown-up. And Mom couldn't see it, and grumbled at me for getting her up in the night, and so I gave up my patterns. But this shows that someone can have this syndrome and find it to be not distressing but rather fun.
I heard about Oliver Sacks when I studied psychology in 2003. For me it was fantastic and amazing to read his literature on neurology. I had a great interest in neuropsychology. I am now a PhD in Neurosciences. I have read almost all of his books, but Gratitude and On The Move, they made me see that he was a generous, humble and intelligent person, exceeding his own expectations. When I read his book On The Move, I drew up a list of places as a visiting route for when I travel to New York. Oliver Sacks' books are a source of learning, inspiration and an encouragement to be a better person and professional. Thank you so much
I am a gifted autistic person who was misdiagnosed and sedated for more than 30 years. Finally correctly diagnosed in 2017, at 53, taken off the medications. Dr. Sacks's work has been a source of connection and identification with humans somewhat like me. I've always felt not only bizarre, but alone. Reading Dr. Sacks's work helped me with both, and gave me an island of safety in the bewildering language world of other human beings. I am so grateful.
Thank you for the New Yorker article. It encapsulates my thinking as well, but alas after of 10 years of focussed study of climate change, my thinking is it is our final hour.
I found Dr.Sacks an inspiration and, as a professional artist, always imagined one day to approach him with my big Fine Art idea. He was wonderful, wise and irreplaceable. Without Dr.Sacks I had no idea who might take an interest in it (it seemed like the sort of project he'd really enjoy). My wife is a Psychiatrist, my sister a Dean of a notable Canadian university and so on, but none have heard of this idea before or feel qualified to participate. At least it appears to be a unique and original concept. So, after some time working on, it I've decided to post an entry in this guest book in the hope that a reader or Foundation representative might respond and point me towards someone else. If anyone knows of a neurologist, psychologist or similar academic that might like to take a look at a project focussed in the Venn overlap between art, philosophy and the sciences of the mind please pass them my details. Thank you.
When I first read Dr. Sachs I came upon a paragraph where he described people who are born with perfect pitch. I am now researching this, but cannot find where in his books he talks about it. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who can lead me to this discussion. VKn
I first heard of Oliver Sacks in my AP Biology class for an extra credit assignment in high school. I chose to read Island of the Colorblind and I have been infatuated with him since. Here I am, a junior in college studying psychology, still just as starstruck with him as I was almost 3 years ago. This man has been such a driving force of motivation for me. He inspires me to be curious, ask questions beyond course expectations, and take my education into my own hands. God bless this man and may he rest in peace.
You are the man responsible for my own "Awakenings" in the 90s, and Robin portrayed the soul of a sensitive heart. We are so very lucky to have had you both, I hope you are having a good laugh in Heaven together. You are 2 expressions of God the World will never see again, we miss you greatly...
Now I go back to sleep again.
Thank you Oliver and Robin!
“There is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great.”
So said G K Chesterton, and there is no doubt that Dr Sacks was a great man who made every man feel great. We will all miss his wisdom, compassion and sheer enthusiasm for life. His insight into the way the brain works was miraculous.
He leaves a great legacy behind him and is irreplaceable.
I watched him on Youtube at a TED talk, "What hallucination reveals about our mind", and from the first word, i was hooked...by his voice, by the way he is telling the story of his patient, by his sincerity and his smile, by his profound expertise ...i wished i was a doctor like him...i wished i was a student of him or his grandchild.
I decided i should send him an e-mail and tell him how i felt about him....
In the meantime, Youtube automatically moved to the next Ted talk but i returned back to his page and started reading the comments...Then, i learnt he passed away already...i felt like i lost my grandfather...He seemed so sweet i wish i knew him before...i am so sorry :( God bless you Oliver Sacks and thank you for spending some time on this planet and being such a good example....Lots of love...
I have followed Dr Sacks for many many years. I owe much of my understanding and work ethic to him. A true hero and inspiration in Neurological rehabilitation, sadly missed. My best wishes Shirley
I met Oliver Sacks's books very late. Thank you for touching my life! Every case seems to open new horizons in my mind. Moreover, the endless learning and teaching energy in Oliver Sacks has impressed me a lot. I cannot wait to read more books.
Your site is a template for those who want content of quality and relevance, I am already a reader.
I was so moved when reading On the Move I often closed the book, put it down, and turned to my partner absorbed in her knitting,and with eyes moist, told her how wonderful this book was. She gave me a huge smile every time.
I have only read Hallucinations of Oliver's collection because I was looking for answers for some of my own experiences that 'clinicians' wrote off as 'delusional' and other psychiatric jargon. Oliver is one of those writers who, by fortune of having grown up with a wonderful caring Jewish family and followed in his parents footsteps--GETS IT- and allows himself to be fully human and present for those he seeks to help, regardless of whether the 'good old boys club' approve or not. I believe in Judaism is is called 'TIKKUN OLAM" which translates 'to repair the world'and a man like Oliver Sacks surely asked himself every day 'what good to I do in the world?" I am now more pumped to write a book myself perhaps in Oliver's style if I can about my own personal experiences in my treatment since being diagnosed with bipolar illness (which I do not necessarily agree with). My experience of trying to resolve a conflict with a mental health support society where I am a member that borders on stupidity, arrogance, condescension and much personal bias by people I trusted. I think when I read in On the Move about Oliver's father and his insistence of 'shem tov' (good solid character) this is the perspective I am going to write my book from.
Thank you so much for your books and being a fine human being, bless your soul, Oliver Sacks. I will be sure to read the rest of your books in future.
Being a medical student, i only reads course books because of lack of time. But your books and the comments below shows that i should read one of your book. looking for them at amazon to purchase one.
in the 60s oliver was doing his residency at ucla--I was in the grad program at usc--our common social and exercise place was the muscle beach weight lifting club--a place of many laughs and many pounds of iron lifted--I benched 440lbs--sacks squatted over 600lbs.--I THINK he approached an 800-but am not sure. when he finished his studies and went east a lot of us missed him. a few years back I had an exhibit at marlborough and tried to get him to the opening but no luck; UNFORTUNATELY I forgot olivers discomfort around crowded events
Hi, I've currently learned about Oliver Sacks due getting hallucinations of which no one has any clue how to treat. Life w/a killer whale rolling in 10 inches next to me in tide isn't fun. On the other hand I didn't know I could still run that fast. I know these things I see are not real, but the terror (or other) they can evoke is. Anyone with info links is appreciated. (Am seeing neurologists, going to see a opthamologist next week.}