Pain long suffered inevitably takes on great significance. The individual not only has pain, he is a suffering person, and part of his anguish lies in knowing that he has been and will continue to be a suffering person. Moreover, pain is an intimate thing, peculiarly one’s own, unshared with anyone. Hence pain that is severe and prolonged sets the sufferer apart and confers upon him a kind of tragic prestige. If one has little feeling of self-continuity, if his past and future mean little or nothing to him, and prestige even less, if his self-concept is so slight and vague that he has difficulty in even thinking of it, then the concept of himself as a suffering person simply cannot exist.
Mary Frances Robinson, Psychosurgery and the Self
I found the entire text of this book online! It's here, but you need a guest account to sign in with. It's worth it if you're even a little bit interested in lobotomy, though, because it's a pretty detailed description of how the operations changed people's personalities, and I've found surprisingly few of those. The modern conception of what lobotomy did to you is really wide of the mark, too, so you might be surprised. (Difficult as it is to believe, lobotomy had little or no effect on IQ.)
Also, hey, someone told me that Sucker Punch has lobotomy in it. Since it's a Scary Insane Asylum movie I think I shouldn't see it on account of I'd get tossed out on my coccyx for yelling at the screen (probably stuff like "Lobotomy had little or no effect on IQ!"). But report back if you see it, OK? Especially keep an eye out (lol) for a fake Walter. I doubt historical accuracy was the filmmakers' primary concern but there was a fake Walter in Frances so you never know.