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What pushed Oliver Sacks’ brother towards psychosis?


The physician and writer Oliver Sacks had a brother who started to experience psychosis as a young man. This experience was a great influence on Sacks, who would go on to devote his life to treating, documenting, and humanizing people with mental disorders.


(tense music) - [Narrator] My brother, Michael, and I, were evacuated together and spent 18 months at a hideous boarding school in the Midlands.

We were bullied, we were beaten, and I think the circumstances did something to push my brother, Michael, towards psychosis.

Soon after this, when he was 15, Michael became psychotic.

He was diagnosed as schizophrenic.

He could no longer sleep or rest, and agitatedly strode to and fro in the house, stamping his feet, glaring, hallucinating, shouting.

(ominous music) I became terrified of him, for him, of the nightmare which was becoming reality for him.

What would happen to Michael?

And would something similar happened to me too?


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