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Brain on Fire has ratings and reviews. When twenty-four-year- old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a hospital room, strapped to her bed. In , Susannah Cahalan was 24 years old and living the kind of New York life . He turned to my parents and said, ‘Her brain is on fire. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness [Susannah Cahalan] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. An award-winning memoir and instant New .

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So many others with her condition were misdiagnosed, and essentially sent home to die. The book also covers Cahalan’s life after her recovery, including her reactions to watching videotapes of her psychotic episodes while in the hospital. Equally fascinating and terrifying. Must redeem within 90 days.

The author makes an excellent point in that many people living with ‘schizophrenia’ might actually have the same, easily brqin brain disease, but the process of diagnosis was very expensive, although now one would hope that there are protocols to follow to rule it out before labelling someone psychotic-for-life. We are still in the dark ages in terms of our understanding of the brain and of psychiatric illnesses.

Fite you read you enter another world, and — as someone who is uncomfortable with even the idea apparently of care giving — entering the world of hospitals for the majority of susannan book was painful for me. It was an agonizing read, with these two questions rehashed over and over again: Photograph by Julie Stapen. An informative, scary and fascinating true story. I so appreciate her sharing her story, especially when by doing so she exposed a side of herself that was not flattering.

A pretty, 24 year old white girl who works as a reporter in NYC and has highly educated, affluent, and tenacious parents is more likely to find fkre miracle diagnosis and treatment plan than your average guy. She suffers from loss of appetite and begins having out-of-body experiences and wild mood swings.


In essence, I was gone. She mentions the insurance coverage a bit toward the end, but I kept wondering throughout the entire book about those with lesser resources.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The Will to Live: Doctors are stumped when MRIs and blood work come back clean and dismiss is as stress or drinking too much. And that is the truly scary part in a very scary tale, that millions of people over countless years have been mis-diagnosed, put in institutions and left to die, or treated as evil and possibly put to a horrible death.

It could have been better. By her side was her banker father, who lives in a “magnificent Brooklyn brownstone”.

A Young Reporter Recounts Her Descent Into Madness : NPR

Days earlier, she had been on the threshold of a new, adult life: I guess I was hoping for something akin to the more enjoyable memoirs that I’ve read I’m thinking The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, or even Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, which is not so much memoir as it is fiction based on memoir – beside the point. Najjar used this to help diagnose Cahalan and start her road to recovery.

My Month of Madness First edition hardback cover. Of course this is true about health issues in general – ongoing research and new information often sheds light on previously ‘mysterious’ maladies.

Cahalan’s story helps the victims of the unknown “foggy consciousness” called encephalitisan “inflammation of the brain” that results in a victim’s change of personality; an ailment which mimics mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar depression.

I think one of the most fure aspects was her social commentary about what it means to possibly be mentally ill.

By her own account, she cannot describe what it felt like to have her brain be on fire. I found this book troubling. I took care of a patient with this tragic and intriguing disorder.


Ssusannah was a psych major, and I’ve been meaning to read more psych related nonfiction, and I’m pleased with this choice.

That’s something that I am aware of but I don’t yet know how to reconcile. My Month of Madnesspp. Susannah’s case became a ’cause celebre’ – with articles in medical journals and newspapers as well as television appearances.

Instead I’m rating the author’s depiction of these experiences, focusing on the way it was written and how it influenced my overall reading experience.

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

Dad stands pretty tall as well. View all 44 comments. You become paranoid, eventually you start hearing voices cahaoan attempt jumping out of moving vehicles. Susanmah also provides general information about the brain, how it works, how memories are formed, etc.

This was when she was finally admitted into a hospital, only for a month of fear and exhaustion to take over – the doctors couldn’t work out what was wrong with her I rarely read memoirs. This story clearly contains lessons for all of us. Retrieved May 27, Apr 26, Lindsey Rey rated it really liked it Shelves: There is a point in the progress of this particular disease yes, they do find what ails her beyond which the damage is too severe to step back.

This book is basically an episode of that show. The utter loss of self, of what makes you YOU. And so he thought, ‘Maybe she’s just venting her frustration. She was 24 when she fell victim to this illness and no more than 27 or 28 when she reconstructed the time period and wrote the book.