Lost and Found: Memory, identity and who we are when we’re no longer ourselves
The concept of identity is something we perhaps don’t think about very often; yes, we think about what we identify with, but not how we actually identify as ourselves.
Of course, our self identity, when we stop and think about it, is a summation of our experiences, memories, emotions. Difficult to fully label,and describe, but something we know intuitively.
So what happens when illness strikes and, literally, we are not ourselves. Our actions, our behaviours, our speech, become distorted – but are these still us? In which case what is “us”.
This book explores these issues. Its written by a Consultant Neurologist, and considers how our identity is constructed in both our own minds and the minds of others, and the impact of this changing. Consideration of brain injury, dissatisfaction, tumours, dementia are considered. Its not a manual for professionals, more a readable exportation of these issues suitable, I would say, for both professionals in caring professions, and for individuals with an interest in this area. By its nature the content is in part technical, but the author, to her credit, also makes it readable.
I found the book useful in helping me consider issues around identity I had never really given thought to and it expanded my horizons in this area.
I’d recommend the book to those with an interest in mental health and psychology.