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I would like to prelude my review by saying that I was happy Dr. Lipska was able to survive the melanoma, keep the career that she loves, and still participate in athletic competitions.
This being said, I felt that her comments on her experiences were incomplete and did not reveal anything that others haven't said before. For an example, she claims that her experience has heightened her empathy with other neurodivergent people, but never elaborates with real world examples/interactions.
In fact, she spends the majority of the book talking about her family and exercise hobbies and these eclipse the "madness" almost completely.
The highlight for me was Emma Powell's narration. Her pitch and expressiveness kept me listening even when I lost interest in the content.
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After all, Emma Powell narrates this with such brilliance that you will writhe and cringe as Lipska navigates her newly unsound world, her deeply unsound mind and traumatized brain. She seethes, she snipes, she shrieks at times at those who love her and see only that she has become the worst version of herself. They have no idea it's because the part of her brain that controls empathy, controls impulses, has been damaged by tumors.
Lipska is frustrated by sounds that are interpreted as too loud and shrill, an environment which should be familiar has no discernible landmarks she can use, people who don't seem to understand that by God, she has been incredibly wronged by a train running late. She has no idea that one shouldn't urinate on oneself in public, or otherwise; one shouldn't jog miles and miles with the gore of hair dye running down ones face.
The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind gives a vividly drawn, perfectly imaged glimpse into what it's like to be the person with dementia, the person who is schizophrenic. And even, while she's on massive doses of steroids to control the swelling of her brain, the person in the grip of a manic psychotic break.
It's a listen I won't be forgetting any time soon. And a family member with Alzheimer's? I'll be looking at her, treating the crises that arise with such an illness, in a far different manner...
7 of 9 people found this review helpful