Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $16.00
  • Save: $4.85 (30%)
Free Shipping for Prime Members | Fast, FREE Shipping with Amazon Prime
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Brain on Fire: My Month o... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Solid used copy with some visible wear.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 4 images

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness Paperback – August 6, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 2,925 customer reviews

See all 26 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.15
$5.39 $0.01

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of 2016
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$11.15 Free Shipping for Prime Members | Fast, FREE Shipping with Amazon Prime In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
  • +
  • The Trouble With Testosterone: And Other Essays On The Biology Of The Human Predicament
Total price: $22.90
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Review

See all Editorial Reviews
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (August 6, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451621388
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451621389
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,925 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Julie Merilatt VINE VOICE on November 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
What makes this book so terrifying is its reality. Witnessing Susannah's decent into her bizarre illness is effing frightening, but what's even more disconcerting is that people throughout history have probably suffered from her condition but have been misdiagnosed as autistic, schizophrenic, or even possessed. This type of autoimmune disorder is becoming more identifiable, but much about it still remains a mystery, especially since the broad range of symptoms so resemble mental illness.

Cahalan's background as a journalist enables her to reconstruct her ordeal despite not forming memories for a month-long period. She interviewed her family members, doctors, nurses - anyone who witnessed her seizures, her slurred speech, her neurotic, paranoid delusions, and her awkward, uncontrolled movements. She deftly narrates a period of her life that changed her forever, as her body attacked her brain and she completely lost all control of herself. But she also successfully brings awareness to her readers. So if I start exhibiting strange behavior in the next few weeks, it's probably psychosomatic sympathy symptoms.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.
26 Comments 201 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Brain on Fire is Susannah Cahalan's reconstruction of her harrowing year with a brain inflammation. Calahan was a 24 year old reporter with the New York Post in 2008 when she began to exhibit signs of mental illness. She was living on her own in NYC and had recently begun a serious relationship with Stephen. Cahalan's symptoms were a mixture of the physical (weakness on her left side, difficulty speaking) and the mental (paranoia, violence and psychosis). Her condition was undiagnosed for an agonizing period of time. Some of her physicians thought she was suffering from alcohol withdrawal despite the fact that she told them she was only an occasional drinker. She came very close to being diagnosed as a schizophrenic. Both of her parents but especially her father insisted that her illness had a physical cause and only with this advocacy was she admitted to NYU. There she was diagnosed as having an autoimmune inflammation in the one hemisphere of her brain. In a marvelous nod to medicine as an art not a science she is finally diagnosed by a physician who administers a simple straight forward test - she is asked to fill in numbers on a drawing of a clock. Because she writes all of the numbers on one side of the drawing the physicians now have proof that the half of her brain is inflamed. So after over one million dollars worth of laboratory tests, she is diagnosed by a savvy MD with pencil and paper! Once the diagnosis of autoimmune disease is confirmed by researchers at Penn, Cahalan has a slow but steady recovery. There are two back stories going on that deserve a mention. One, her new boyfriend Stephen sticks around even when her strange behavior appears to have a mental origin not a physical one. Surely a guy worth knowing!Read more ›
11 Comments 296 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I didn't put this book down after I started it. I couldn't. I finished it in all one sitting. This book will stick with me for a long time. Most disturbing is had I been her, I know that my parents would have called it possession. What would have become of me?

I have just finished reading it and haven't reflected on what I've read yet but felt compelled to leave this five star review with a thank you to the author for writing this book and making herself so vulnerable for us.
Comment 177 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
"Brain on Fire" is the true story of Susannah Cahalan's "lost month of madness," most of which she remembers imperfectly or not at all. Since she is a reporter, however, she has been able to piece together much of what happened by speaking to doctors, nurses, friends, and family; reading "thousands of pages of medical records"; consulting her dad's journal and her parents' "hospital notebook"; watching video footage of herself; and trying to reconstruct any impressions that she still retains.

In the preface, Susannah is in NYU Medical Center, restrained by "a thick mesh vest" to prevent her from pulling out her EEG wires or trying to escape from her "captors." The precise origin of Cahalan's illness is unknown, but one day in 2009, this pretty, carefree, vivacious, and confident New York Post reporter began to exhibit strange symptoms. She became obsessed with bedbugs, developed migraines as well as tingling and numbness in her left hand, cried uncontrollably, had persistent insomnia, could no longer cope with her professional responsibilities, felt as if she was "slogging through quicksand," and experienced seizures, hallucinations, and paranoia. Fortunately, her parents and boyfriend, Stephen, stood by her, refusing to believe that she was psychotic and needed to be institutionalized.

After a variety of physicians examined her and ran batteries of tests--but failed to pinpoint the exact cause of her physical and mental deterioration--Susannah found her savior in Dr. Souhel Najjar, "the man to go to when nothing made sense." He suspected that she might be suffering from autoimmune encephalitis and a neuro-oncologist named Dr. Josep Dalmau confirmed the diagnosis. Soon, Dr.
Read more ›
8 Comments 85 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: nurse watched, black hills