[W]hy, exactly, is [deep brain stimulation, or] DBS so transformative – not just eliminating OCD symptoms, but increasing self-confidence and openness to the world? And how can we make sense of self-confidence in the context of electrically induced changes in the brain?
There are two sides to the increased self-confidence we see in our DBS patients, corresponding to the self and the world.
On the side of the world is the expanded range of possibilities that the patient is now open to engaging with – activities previously deemed impossible.
On the side of the self, new ways of being are now available – for example, the possibility of becoming a skipper and sailing around Europe. Our patients literally relate to their own existence in a new, more open way… When someone is entranced, once more, by exploring the waterways of Europe, they’re seeing an entirely new way to live as possible.