Book Review: Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness


Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness is a memoir written by a journalist at the New York Post about her lost month struggling with a rare auto-immune disorder that attacked her brain; specifically, she had Anti-NDMA receptor encephalitis, (which is just as perplexing as it sounds).

Cahalan takes her readers through her paranoia, delusions, schizophrenic like psychosis, medical appointment after medical appointment, lumbar puncture, and even a brain biopsy, all to get to the diagnosis she was finally given. Her story is troubling, and mind provoking… and it makes you wonder how many others are suffering needlessly in mental asylums believing they have schizophrenia, and or bipolar disorder, when they in fact, may also be suffering from a rare auto-immune disorder that attacks the brain.

Her story is amazing in the sense that she is enlightening the world about her rare diagnosis, and providing hope and answers to those who may be struggling with the same thing. It is inspiring to witness her remarkable transformation, through her own journal entries, and testimony of her friends and family.

This book is written very well, (it helps that she is a journalist for the New York Post), and was a pleasure to read. I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in rare medical disorders, and or memoirs in general.

The following photos show Calahan during her month long stay at the hospital before Dr.’s could pinpoint what it was that she was afflicted by. The last photo was taken after her appropriate treatment and subsequent recovery. The differences are striking, to say the least…





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