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  • Published: 3 August 2009
  • ISBN: 9780091922139
  • Imprint: Vermilion
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $32.99

Messing with My Head

The shocking true story of my lobotomy



A remarkable story of determination and survival with the power of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Howard Dully was 12 years old when he was given a lobotomy. He was 56 years old when he found out why. The four decades in between tell a story of profound love and compassion.

In 1960 Howard's father and stepmother delivered him into the hands of the man who had invented the 'ice pick' lobotomy. Expelled from the mainstream medical community, his once-popular procedure now a grisly medical relic, Dr Walter Freeman was eager to turn this temperamental 12-year-old into a submissive boy - especially after hearing the terrible lies his stepmother told about him. Howard, told he was going into the hospital for tests, was instead given electro-shock treatments and a transorbital lobotomy. It took him 40 years to recover.

Howard Dully's escape from that dark place is a voyage of enormous hope and universal appeal.

  • Published: 3 August 2009
  • ISBN: 9780091922139
  • Imprint: Vermilion
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $32.99

About the authors

Howard Dully

Howard Dully was born in 1948. At the age of 12, he became one of the youngest victims of the ice pick lobotomy. It would take him 40 years to recover. Abandoned by his family within a year of surgery, Howard was institutionalised in his teens, incarcerated in his twenties, and homeless and alcoholic in his thirties. But in his forties, in love with a woman who was determined to have a life with him, Howard got sober, got married, got a college degree and emerged into a kind of normalcy. He is now a tour bus driver, who lives happily with his wife in California.

Charles Fleming

Charles Fleming is journalist and writer, former Newsweek staff writer and Vanity Fair contributor.

Praise for Messing with My Head

Dully has written a forceful account of his survival

Observer

astonishingly free of rancour

The Times

...one of the saddest stories you'll ever read

New York Times

...his story is both moving and revolting...he faces his past honestly

FT magazine

truly stunning

Publishers Weekly

extraordinary

Mail on Sunday

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