Everyone around Susannah Cahalan was deeply saddened when it looked like the bright, young, up-and-coming journalist began suffering from what…
According to statements she made to a local news agency:
“One moment I would be you know, kind of hysterically happy, and then the next moment I would be despondent. I couldn’t control my emotions,” she said.
Shortly thereafter Cahalan had her first seizure and was hospitalized where her behavior became even more erratic.
“I was, you know kicking and punching nurses, trying to escape. I believed you know, nurses were turning into people, and playing tricks on me. I was seeing things that weren’t there,” she said.
However, one doctor, Souhel Najjar, thought there might be another cause of Cahalan’s erratic behavior. If he was right, her condition was entirely treatable, and biological in nature.
In order to test his theory, he asked Cahalan to draw a clock. The result showed him what the true problem was.
The problem was obviously with the left side of Cahalan’s brain. However, it wasn’t brain damage causing the problem. It was an immune system disorder.
“Disruption of the blood-brain barrier, which is essentially the wall between the periphery and the brain. It prevents harmful substances in the blood to enter into the brain,” Dr. Najjar explained.
With proper drugs to regulate her immune system, Cahalan returned to normal and is now living a completely normal life with no long lasting effects from her ordeal.
credit (CBS NY)