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Out of mind

One body, one brain, one self, one mind

By Paul Broks   August 2003

Some years ago the British Journal of Psychiatry reported the case of a man who believed he had an extra head. It was an objectionable, hectoring presence that plagued him with abuse until, one day, he blew it away with a revolver. Unfortunately, the gun wasn’t seeing double. The face at the end of the barrel was his own.

I was working with psychotic patients at the time, and I particularly enjoyed my conversations with one of my patients, Ron, who would discourse at length on politics, art and science, and who gave cogent accounts of his brilliant, but curtailed,…

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