Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

by Susannah Cahalan
Narrated by Heather Henderson

Highbridge Company | November 13, 2012 | Audio Book (CD)

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness is rated 4.07142857142857 out of 5 by 28.
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.

Format: Audio Book (CD)

Dimensions: 465 pages, 5.94 × 5.13 × 0.94 in

Published: November 13, 2012

Publisher: Highbridge Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1611749786

ISBN - 13: 9781611749786

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book! Susannah Cahalan does an amazing job integrating the medical and emotional aspects of her journey and provides a very personal perspective that I was able to connect to on a human level. A very intriguing story about how life can change in an instant; first book I've read in a while that I wasn't able to put down!
Date published: 2016-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book! I read this book a few years ago in higschool for a book report. I would definitely recommend this to anyone more so older teens though like the age of 15 and up.
Date published: 2016-01-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from fantastic! what a great book!
Date published: 2015-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Loved every second of this book. It was exhilarating and informative at the same time. Kept me interested until I fell asleep at night.
Date published: 2015-07-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enlightening! Excellent read!
Date published: 2015-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book!! I bought the book a couple months ago and really enjoyed reading it.
Date published: 2015-05-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brain on Fire. My Month of Madness. Fantastic book. Loved it. Takes you on a fascinating ride through not only this illness but through our health care system. The testing and diagnostic techniques alone will keep you reading. The best part is it's all true and written by the person who experienced it.
Date published: 2015-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book has saved lives! The author takes you on her journey where most of us fear to go, in a way that keeps you turning the page even when you struggle to relate to her reality as she goes deeper into her illness. At times when the human struggle makes you uncomfortable, you might think, well this would never happen to me so why would I go on reading. But the author compels you to read on and find out why it is so important for all of us to learn about this illness.
Date published: 2015-01-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A good, quick read Susannah Cahalan, a young reporter for the New York Post, goes mad because of a rare virus. She tells her gripping and scary tale after regaining her equilibrium. I didn’t like that this memoir attempts to be too neatly packaged, with a looking-back-on-that-time-in-my-life structure. Cahalan is crazy for much longer than a month, and much of her story she had to piece together from others. She only makes mention of that about three quarters of the way through the memoir. I think it would have been better to explain the difficulty of recounting (and credibility) much sooner. Still, her story is captivating.
Date published: 2014-11-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Weirdly Self-Indulgent For quite a bit of the book, I genuinely thought the author was faking her illness. When she mentions the Southern expression--the 'blue devils', I think it was--which captures the notion of a young woman falling into self-perpetuating tantrums a la "The Crucible", I thought at first she'd given the game away. However, the presence of Dr. Nahjar and the critical response both to his diagnosis and to her NY Post article convinced me differently. Still, her refusal to follow through with group sessions and her fixation on how she looked after it all and how others looked at her (including the odd recounting of the lawn man ogling her) feels weirdly self-indulgent and, without much effort, I could be brought back to the idea that a lot of her condition was acted out, escaping, as she was, job failure and a hoarder lifestyle at the time it all began.
Date published: 2014-05-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Emotional Rollercoaster I read this book for a book club I belong to. What a story. A true story of a woman's fight (the author) with a little known diesease called anti-NMDA-receptor autoimmune encephalitis. Look it up for a full explanation of what it is. We went through her syptoms as they developed. We went through fears and worries as she stayed in hospital. We went through her recovery and return to society. The author did a great job with controlling our emotions. The story took me down with her descent into madness as the disease took control of her life. Then she lifted us up with her miraculous diagnosis and recovery. I liked how the author did not feel sorry for herself. She did wonder about why it happened to her and why she was so lucky to survive it. The author did a good job of revealing her character in the book. This was critical to the story as the disease altered her character while it was developing. It could have altered her forever. The book was easy to read and kept me engrossed. The chapters were short so I could read little bits of it here and there. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it.
Date published: 2014-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brain on fire Incredible information . We have so far to go in the medical field especially with mental health and the brain. So complex. So many who are uncomfortable around it and the unknown.
Date published: 2014-04-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very interesting This book was a terrifying account of something that could happen to anyone. I never thought about how similar neurological and physchological issues can be and how easily they can be misdiagnosed. Susannah Cahalan was amazingly able to piece together most of a puzzle that others would have probably considered a month that they would have never gotten back. I felt as though every step and discovery she was making, I was right there in her mind making them with her. Worth the read!
Date published: 2014-03-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Brain on Fire Very interesting and well-written. Quick read.
Date published: 2014-03-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Brain on Fire Very interesting read. At times goes a bit too much in depth about the science of it all.. Would definitely recommend
Date published: 2014-03-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brain on Fire Captivating, shocking! Truly touched by this book. Sucked me right in from the moment I started reading and as soon as I finished the book I went and followed her interviews on Youtube about her condition and what she's been up to since the book was released... amazing story, a must read!
Date published: 2014-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Read This book was an interesting and informative read. It kept me engaged reading of the authors journey and the medical and scientific aspects were clearly presented.
Date published: 2014-01-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Read The beginning is interesting but it bogs down in the middle. It is written like an overly long news story. I lost interest toward the end.
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really good Harsd to beleive this wqas a true story, good book
Date published: 2014-01-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Month of madness It was alright
Date published: 2013-12-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very informative Loved this book, the author did a lot of research on her disease. The book was very well written
Date published: 2013-12-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very informative The story line so far makes me think of the TV show" House'.
Date published: 2013-09-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brain on Fire Excellent and unnerving for me. This book got deep into my soul and I know it will be with me in my thoughts for a long, long time. An incredible story.
Date published: 2013-08-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Bored ...Brain My curiosity kept me reading this book but I never truly got into the story, in the end it was just ok.
Date published: 2013-06-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting read Really enjoyed this story. Amazing!
Date published: 2013-06-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enlightening Had no idea this could happen, and does give possible answers to seemingly inexplicable behaviours that plague some people.
Date published: 2013-04-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Could've been better Not bad but not the greatest. Beginning was a little slow
Date published: 2013-03-04

– More About This Product –

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

by Susannah Cahalan
Narrated by Heather Henderson

Format: Audio Book (CD)

Dimensions: 465 pages, 5.94 × 5.13 × 0.94 in

Published: November 13, 2012

Publisher: Highbridge Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1611749786

ISBN - 13: 9781611749786

From the Publisher

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.

About the Author

SUSANNAH CAHALAN is a news reporter at the New York Post whose award-winning work has also been featured in The New York Times. She lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.

HEATHER HENDERSON has brought her authentic, resonant voice and a full cast of characters (from a Scots nanny to a Fargo housewife) to hundreds of projects during her 20-year career. She earned her doctorate at the Yale School of Drama, and her credits include production dramaturgy on the world premiere of August Wilson’s Fences. She has published arts features and reviews in newspapers across the U.S. and has won awards for poetry and screenwriting. What seems to impress people most, though, is that she was an extra in Animal House.

Editorial Reviews

“A remarkably well-written and well-read account.”
      —Booklist