Brain On Fire: My Month Of Madness
  • Brain On Fire: My Month Of Madness
  • Brain On Fire: My Month Of Madness
  • Brain On Fire: My Month Of Madness
  • Brain On Fire: My Month Of Madness
ISBN: 1451621388
EAN13: 9781451621389
Language: English
Release Date: Aug 6, 2013
Pages: 288
Dimensions: 0.8" H x 8.3" L x 5.5" W
Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Format: Paperback
Select Format Format: Paperback Select Conditions Condition: Good


Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

This Description may be from another edition of this product.

One day, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room, strapped to her bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records--from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory--showed psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four-year-old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter.

Susannah's astonishing memoir chronicles the swift path of her illness and the lucky, last-minute intervention led by one of the few doctors capable of saving her life. As weeks ticked by and Susannah moved inexplicably from violence to catatonia, $1 million worth of blood tests and brain scans revealed nothing. The exhausted doctors were ready to commit her to the psychiatric ward, in effect condemning her to a lifetime of institutions, or death, until Dr. Souhel Najjar--nicknamed Dr. House--joined her team. He asked Susannah to draw one simple sketch, which became key to diagnosing her with a newly discovered autoimmune disease in which her body was attacking her brain, an illness now thought to be the cause of demonic possessions throughout history.

With sharp reporting drawn from hospital records, scientific research, and interviews with doctors and family, Brain on Fire is a crackling mystery and an unflinching, gripping personal story that marks the debut of an extraordinary writer.

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Book Reviews (12)

  |   12  reviews
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   Brain on fire Review
This was an excellent book. Really kept me interested throughout. Written very well. I would recommend this to anybody who is looking to read a fascinating month in the life of young woman.
   An excellent, well-written
An excellent, well-written, riveting and tragic story of a young woman's battle with secondary madness to a rare and only recently recognized medical condition. In fact, I almost put the book down when I felt like a first-hand witness to the writer's plight. Anyone with an interest in suspenseful reads and those with a curiosity about medicine and biology will find this book to be of interest. This is a very good book, even if I don't know all the answers.
   One of the best works of nonfiction I've read in a long time!
I picked up Gillian Anderson's The Fall on a Friday and couldn't put it down until I finished it on Monday. This book is highly recommended reading by anyone who has done extensive research. I love to read nonfiction, especially with a medical-science bent, but it is hard to find truly readable books in this category. This is one of the best looking movies ever made. I learned a lot about a condition previously unknown to me and I found myself rooting for this intelligent, strong-willed, young woman who had to fight back from the near-death of all that made her the person she was. A great read, Gillian.
She uses her journalistic skills to piece together what happened to her over the course of a lost month when she was hospitalized for symptoms such as paranoia and hallucinations. My only criticism would be that it seemed like she skipped over certain elements of her recovery -- to the point that I found myself flipping backwards, thinking that I had missed something. I wanted a little more depth in places, Raymond said. It's still fascinating, even if we're losing a lot of interest.
   Mind bender!!!!!!
Even though I gave this book 4 stars, the medical information was over my head. My hat is off for the entire family, as this is not a one person's sickness, said Ms Cahalan. However, I found not alone the story of the disease interesting, said Dr. Julie Gerberding of the National Institutes of Health. They include dads, friends, and incredible boyfriends. At one point, she wonders why or how this happened to her -- while it may never be discovered -- and I thank God for that.
   A personal account of our brains and what can go wrong
I was intrigued by the book's cover, the title and the fact that it is a true story. I'd prefer to read only true stories. It was a great read, said Blair. It moves along very nicely and I found the detailed facts of her story very helpful, tragic and informative without being boring, Morgenthau said. I had never heard of her disease but have been curious about a possible tie-up of autism and schizophrenia. Because her disease, schizophrenia and autism are closely related, hopefully, trying to cure one of these abnormalities will aid in helping understand and help those who may have one of the other diseases.
   Interesting Story / About 50 Pages Too Long
An interesting true story about a young girl who had a psychotic break due to a viral brain infection, but I would say it was about 50 pages too long. It was a miracle that her illness was caught and cured, but how many others were never diagnosed with this relatively common and often left to rot in hospitals and institutions. The video has been viewed more than 1 million times on YouTube. Even though she has a husband, Taylor says she has a Ted Talk.
   A Fascinating Journey, with a happy ending
She was super lucky, in that all the pieces came together for her parents who refused to dismiss her behavior as just bipolar disorder or epilepsy, after excising just a small bit of her brain. That her boyfriend also stayed by her side and that the treatments for her worked, she said. And she laments how many other young women and men are dismissed as being mentally ill, when they actually have an infection in their brains. Like most movies, the movie did not offer the depth and detail of the book. If you have a loved one battling a sudden inexplicable shift in behavior, it may be all in their head.
   A Must-Read for All ... You Could Save a Life
My daughter was diagnosed with the life threatening anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis only because one of the doctors had read the entire book! Very well written, Gillian Cahalan's story of this often undiagnosed disease mimics psychiatric illness, relegating many women to mental facilities or death. After my daughter's experience—and those of many others who were diagnosed only because of this book—I urge everyone to read this book and understand what the disease looks like at its initial stages, because you can't count on anyone in the medical community knowing what it is! Even with early diagnosis and proper treatment, a full recovery is possible. Even without its lifesaving reputation, Brain on Fire is an excellent story.
   Memoir Steeped in Medical Mystery
She had it all - a successful career at a prominent newspaper, and a boyfriend she could see herself getting serious with. She didn't know what would happen next. One month later, she finds herself in a hospital bed with no knowledge of how she got there, with even scarier labels attached to her bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, among many others. What caused this descent into madness is still unclear. Is she truly crazy as the doctors believe, or is there some other reason she is so crazy? Wow! That was pretty impressive, right? She takes us on a path of discovery that is both mysterious and terrifying — especially knowing her entire story is a true encounter. Her memoir appealed to me especially because of my background in the medical field, and this medical mystery did not disappoint, Levine said. If you enjoy medical mysteries, memoirs, or narrative nonfiction, this is for you.