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  • Published: New York : Free Press, 2012.
  • Year Published: 2012
  • Edition: 1st Free Press hardcover ed.
  • Description: xii, 264 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9781451621372
  • 145162137X


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Brain on fire : my month of madness

by Cahalan, Susannah.

There are currently 2 available

Where To Find It

Call number: 616.832 Ca

Available Copies: Downtown 2nd Floor

Additional Details

Crazy -- The clock -- In search of lost time.

The story of twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan and the life-saving discovery of the autoimmune disorder that nearly killed her -- and that could perhaps be the root of "demonic possessions" throughout history.

2009. Cahalan woke up alone in a strange hospital room, strapped to her bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records chronicled a month long hospital stay of which she had no memory at all. Neurologist Souhel Najjar recognized the symptoms of a newly discovered autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks the brain, a disease now thought to be tied to both schizophrenia and autism, and perhaps the root of "demonic possessions" throughout history. This is the account of one woman's struggle to recapture her identity and to rediscover herself among the fragments left behind.

Community Reviews

So honest

Such a unique and honest look into what the author was going through. What was perhaps most interesting for me was the way the health care system seemed to let her down at every turn. It emphasized how much of an advocate one must be for themselves and how people with mental illness need extra support from family.


I finished this book relatively quickly because I couldn't put it down! Even though you know the author will live, there was a lot of anxiety reading to find out what will happen in the meantime.

As a non-fiction book, it was disheartening to read about the failures/near-failures of the health care system for the author.

The format is different, each chapter is just a few pages long, but it serves well to very specifically divide related events and subjects.

I would recommend this book. It is an enthralling story, and provides an interesting look rare illnesses, the impact on the lives of patients and their families, and how the health care system does and doesn't work.

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