Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
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Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness


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, Cahalan 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.

Title:Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:250 pages

    Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness Reviews

  • Bonnie Jean
    Nov 30, 2015

    I took care of a patient with this rare, tragic, and intriguing disorder called Anti-NMDA Receptor Autoimmune Encephalitis. Her complex and terrifying journey through this disease in ongoing. Over the...

  • Will Byrnes
    Apr 26, 2014

    Susannah Cahalan, a young journalist working at a great (ok not so great, kinda schlocky actually) metropolitan newspaper, suddenly notices things going awry. She starts having episodes of paranoia, b...

  • Nancy
    Nov 15, 2012

    I rarely read memoirs. Too often the author spends far too much time painting themselves in the best possible light and/or justifying their behavior. It is a rare and gifted author that can objectivel...

  • Jen McLeod
    Feb 20, 2013

    You could probably call this a great piece of investigative reporting. Unfortunately for me, it was instead labelled as a memoir, leaving me feeling exasperated and mislead. I guess I was hoping for s...

  • Stephanie
    Jun 14, 2016

    4 plus stars - memoir of an up and coming 24 year-old woman reporter who suddenly begins to have unexplained seizures and symptoms of psychosis...I listened to Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness on ...

  • Jonathan Ashleigh
    Oct 30, 2016

    When 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 this book was pain...

  • Sagagirl
    Feb 21, 2013

    I found this book troubling. Not because of the medical mystery -- that was the most interesting of all. It seems that the book would be better written in the third person, by someone other than the a...

  • Kelli
    Dec 03, 2016

    I am the perfect audience for this book: a catastrophic thinker who worries about any and all sensational news. I put off reading this one for a good long time because I was afraid...then decided I ha...

  • Siew
    Apr 15, 2013

    Wonderful, wonderful book. I'm a neurologist, and it's amazing to see a book written from a patient's perspective, especially one with a such a good outcome. The book progresses from the starting of t...

  • Po Po
    Sep 21, 2014

    !The first half went like this, "what's wrong with me? I'm going crazy" restated in about five thousand ways.Then midway through the book we finally find out SC has NMDA-receptor autoimmune encephalit...

About Susannah Cahalan

Susannah Cahalan

Susannah Cahalan is the New York Times bestselling author of "Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness," a memoir about her struggle with a rare autoimmune disease of the brain. She writes for the New York Post. Her work has also been featured in the New York Times, Scientific American Magazine, Glamour, Psychology Today, and others.