Brain on Fire

Brain on Fire

My Month of Madness

eBook - 2012
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An award-winning memoir and instant New York Times bestseller that goes far beyond its riveting medical mystery, Brain on Fire is the powerful account of one woman's struggle to recapture her identity.When twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a hospital room, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak, she had no memory of how she'd gotten there. Days earlier, she had been on the threshold of a new, adult life: at the beginning of her first serious relationship and a promising career at a major New York newspaper. Now she was labeled violent, psychotic, a flight risk. What happened? In a swift and breathtaking narrative, Susannah tells the astonishing true story of her descent into madness, her family's inspiring faith in her, and the lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn't happen. "A fascinating look at the disease that...could have cost this vibrant, vital young woman her life" (People), Brain on Fire is an...
Publisher: 2012
ISBN: 9781451621396

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d2013 Aug 03, 2018

Such a frightening ordeal to go through. Quite a mystery from the beginning to end of this true story. Glad she was able to recover from this. Interesting read!

saima6400 Jul 23, 2018

I absolutely loved this book. I read it in a couple days because it did not feel like reading a biography, it felt like reading fiction. Not only could you not believe that this could happen to someone, but also because of her accessible writing style. Even when she was describing medical minutiae I was rivited and able to comprehend it. It was crazy to hear what she went through because it is hard to believe that someone who is articulate now could have possibly had these experiences. It makes you think that this could happen to anyone. She is an inspiring character and I would read the book again in a heartbeat.

j
jade310
Jul 10, 2018

Really great storytelling (you can tell she's a trained journalist), and she is so generous with such a deeply personal experience. Her story is inherently important--being that not many others have been so thoroughly documented for the general public--and beautifully written. I found it a little challenging to follow all of the medical aspects, but I can't fault her research, as it was phenomenally thorough (especially for an experience she has little first-hand memory of). You find yourself really cheering her on, while simultaneously fascinated by what's happening to her. She even ties her illness back to historical accounts of demonic possession, which really engaged the nerd in me. Overall, a super interesting read that's able to really draw readers in emotionally. Highly recommended.

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irenelaf
Jul 06, 2018

What a terrifying experience and a fascinating read imho! All of it...even the occasional medical explanations (the book would be weak without them) maybe especially because of them. I couldn’t even imagine being the 217th person diagnosed from a rare disease that doctors haven’t even heard about that presents itself among other things as schizophrenia progressing to catatonia and sometimes death. I feel awful about the many undiagnosed people sitting in a mental hospital or worse being subjected to an exorcism instead of medical treatment!

m
mulhollandca
Mar 22, 2018

I really enjoyed this book, I have some training in the immune system and I felt it was wonderfully explained. I really enjoyed the science and then the story!

n
neesa11
Mar 08, 2018

Wow an amazing book! Probably one of the best I've read... the subject is really interesting and scary all at the same time... I would definitely recommend to anyone who suffers or knows someone that suffers from mental illness, etc. I thought that she really describes very well how she starts to "lose her mind"

CRRL_MegRaymond Feb 21, 2018

The author woke up after a month in the hospital unable to move or speak. She was eventually diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that mimics schizophrenia and autism, and could be the root of “demonic possessions” in history.

ArapahoeHollyR Sep 19, 2017

A gripping, frightening medical mystery. Fast-paced and well-written memoir.

ArapahoeKati Sep 18, 2017

Wow! I was completely sucked in. Can you imagine having your whole future in front of you and then being struck down by a scary mystery illness that barely had a name? If you like medical history and memoirs, pick this up. You won't be disappointed.

samcmar May 25, 2017

I don't read a lot of non-fiction, but this is such an intense look at someone with a rare illness and how they essentially lost a month of their life with no recollection of what happened. I found myself completely glued to this book, and even when the author got very technical about her disease, it never felt overwhelming , and I found I understood what was going on. A great read!

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jade310
Jul 10, 2018

jade310 thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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shaylynnhunt
May 12, 2015

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ZoeCar
Aug 11, 2016

A young reporter named Susannah Cahalan begins to have strange medical issues like seizures, mood swings and suicide attempts. The doctors think she has no hope. If it wasn't for her family and her boyfriend, she would have been put in a mental asylum.

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