Modern medicine is a wonderful thing, but it’s still very much a work in progress. Even the most highly skilled doctors can miss something in a patient, and when they do, the consequences can be disastrous.
24-year-old Susannah Cahalan suffered a harrowing ordeal when she was hospitalized for what doctors believed was insanity. Little did they know that there was much more to her condition than met the eye…
Susannah Cahalan had a promising future. She had a new job, a healthy relationship, and her whole life ahead of her.
But one day, she started to experience sensations she couldn’t explain.
At first she suspected bedbugs, but an exterminator found nothing. Soon she became lethargic and unable to work. Then, she began experiencing paranoia, hallucinations, and severe seizures.
She was admitted to the hospital and soon became violent with the medical staff. She was even combative with her own family and friends.
Doctors said she was having a nervous breakdown, and they were about to admit her to a psychiatric ward.
But then this man, Dr. Souhel Najjar, had an idea.
Before officially committing Susannah, he decided to perform one final test… He asked her to draw a clock, and the result confirmed his suspicions: Susannah’s “insanity” was physical, not mental.
Dr. Najjar diagnosed her with Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis, a condition that causes the immune system’s antibodies to attack the brain.
If left untreated, Susannah would have fallen into a coma and likely died, but thankfully she received the treatment she needed and was completely cured after spending a month in the hospital.
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She’s even written a book to share her experience with others.
Susannah now speaks to groups about her illness and the book she has written in hopes of others learning from her experiences.
Originally published on Head Cramp