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Amnesia Essay

  • Submitted by: hlee0321
  • on March 22, 2012
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 708 words

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Below is an essay on "Amnesia" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Amnesics were considered untreatable for a very long time and according to the article, no one has any idea just how common amnesia really is.   Throughout the 20th century it was thought that memory was just a single entity, so it was believed that like a black box; ones memory either worked or did not work.   However, “Over the past two decades, neurologists and psychologists have come to understanding memory not as one unit at all, but as a fantastic network of systems in which all the fact, impressions and experiences that give us our sense of ourselves are processed, stored and retrieved by different mechanisms is different parts of the brain”(Abraham, 2004, p.2).   Before this realization, “no one attempted to rehabilitate or compensate for memory deficits, the way you might teach someone who is disabled to walk with crutches. Now, amnesia is no longer considered an untreatable condition; new technology, the Palm pilot offers those suffering from amnesia a “prosthetic” like memory.
The author, Carolyn Abraham, came to know and interviewed some of the most extraordinary people in the fall of 2004.   They were often brilliant, loved people; they weren't old, didn't suffer from dementia, or seem the least bit debilitated, but nonetheless suffered from severely limited memory.   Take Mike for example, a 56 year old who worked for Canadian Tire until 2002, when his amnesia triggered. He has a tendency to repeat his stories a couple of times in one afternoon or to walk his dog so many times a day that it hides when he rattles its leash. There is a Barb who worked 25 years as a customs clerk, but she forgot how to handle her job.   These amnesics have nearly all the same conditions but the triggers vary; Multiple Sclerosis, aneurysm, and brain injury. This group of people are practically “living in the moment” as they are not able to retain new information or memory. “It's not the past that haunts amnesics so much as the future. A new friend today is a stranger...

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