A rare illness (anti-NMDA-receptor autoimmune encephalitis; inflammation of brain) struck the author, and because the illness manifests psychosis-like symptoms, she was not sure what was going on at the time, and neither were her family/friends nor the doctors who initially treated her. The behavioral manifestations of the illness make it extremely difficult for the patient, her relatives, friends, and co-workers to deal with the situation.
She was extremely lucky in that she encountered the right doctor who knew of the illness. She was also lucky that she was surrounded by very supportive family members and boyfriend. It's heart-breaking to imagine that most of those who are affected by the same illness out there would not be so lucky and face ill fate. We are lucky that she happened to be a reporter and thus could write about her experience so that awareness about this illness can be communicated to the rest of us. The book is extremely well-written, and she did a great job of describing what she went through both from the first person account as well as from the medical point of view based on her research afterwards.
I was completely intrigued by this story. How quickly she spiraled downward and what could have happened if she was not at the right place at the right time. I also give credit to her parents for not accepting her original diagnosis. She points out several issues with our current medical system and rightly encourages others to go for second opinions. Fascinating story!
This was a fascinating story and also scary. This is something that can happen to anyone. I think about all the people that may be in mental institutions when they actually have a medical condition. The story was well written and keeps your interest while providing a lot of medical detail, but it is not over your head - it is understandable.
Among top 20
Could not put this book down. An amazing story and truly terrifying
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
Brain on Fire is the personal and excruciating story of Cahalan's health demise through psychosis and catatonia, through diagnosis and back to health. Cahalan researched her story extensively, as she has few accurate memories of her time in the hospital. The story is gripping and inspiring and I am grateful she has shared her story.
I loved this book!! It was well written and well narrated. Wow! I think everyone should read this book. I have a interest in medical topics and especially the brain. Sure makes you grateful for a normal life!
An interesting account of an alarming chapter in a young reporter's life
I was suspicious that perhaps this was a writer creating a story to write about by pretending to be sick, but based on the details and the medical evidence it is clear it was just an cruely-ironic coincidence that her biggest story would be herself (for now at least).
The most valuable aspect of this book is how it successfully conveys the experience of the blurring of reality and hallucination. This builds sympathy in the reader for her condition and others who suffer with mental illness.
Audible is my "can't live without". I enjoy the other readers recommendations. Keep them coming!
A well written memoir of a young women who endures a terrible medical condition. She has chosen to write about her feelings and the illness itself in great detail. The narrator is excellent and adds much to the experience.
This is not my normal type of book. That being said, I found it extremely interesting and scary. I would highly recommend this book .
It was a fascinating and brilliantly delivered story of her experience. The narrator was an excellent choice in that it brought the story ‘alive.’ I was intrigued by the in-depth explanation of the different parts of the brain and other elements of the body. I've listen to many audio books and this one will be among my top 5 favorites.