| Amnesia |
(mental health condition)
MK ULtra caused long term amnesia in some of its subjects.
Most amnesic conditions in films bear little relation to reality. Although clinically rare, profound amnesia is a common cinematic device. In the real world, most profound amnesic syndromes have a clear neurological or psychiatric basis. True dissociative amnesia or fugue states are rare. The most profound amnesic syndromes usually develop as a result of neurosurgery, brain infection, or a stroke. These factors are overlooked at the movies in favour of the much more dramatic head injury.
Amnesia not only frequently results in a loss of identity in the movies, it also commonly causes a complete personality change. This can just mean a character becomes more extroverted or introverted, but usually it involves a complete shift in values and behaviour. Thus a startling number of originally “bad” characters become “good” after the onset of their amnesia.
One of the most neurologically bizarre features of cinematic amnesia is the universal embrace of the “two is better than one” approach when it comes to head injury. In countless movies, the amnesic character is restored to full faculty, identity, and personality after a second bang on the head. The other popular mechanism for the return of memory function and identity is an encounter with familiar objects from the past.
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