Medicine has come an incredibly long way since it became a major area of study. It really is astonishing when you look at how far it has come even in the last 100 years. The leaps and bounds that have been made are nothing to be taken lightly. For all that we have discovered though, our bodies are still quite the mystery. So when Susannah Cahalan was admitted to the hospital for what seemed like psychiatric issues, doctors were astonished to learn what was really going on.
Susannah Cahalan was by all accounts a healthy young girl with a bright future. Little did she know her life would take an unexpected turn for the worse.
One day she started developing strange sensations however. She thought it was bed bugs, but she hired an exterminator who found nothing. Soon she was becoming constantly tired, and unable to even work. If that wasn’t enough, she also developed paranoia, hallucinations and began having violent seizures.
She was admitted to the hospital, but unfortunately become violent and aggressive with the staff, and even her own family and friends.
The hospital began the process of admitting her into a psychiatric ward when they determined that she was having a nervous breakdown.
This man had one final idea to try to figure out what was wrong with this girl. Before she was formally admitted, he did one final test. He asked her to draw a clock.
This is the picture that she drew. It confirmed the doctors suspicions that this girl’s insanity was being caused by a physical condition. The fact that she drew all the numbers on the right side is what indicated she had suffered brain damage.
He diagnosed her with Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis, a disorder in which antibodies produced by the immune system attack the brain. If left untreated, Susannah would have fallen into a coma and likely died. Luckily she was able to receive the proper treatment and was released after one month in the hospital. She has now written a book documenting her experience.
Check Out This Video Documenting Her Experience:
This would have been an absolutely terrifying scenario. Imagine being stuck in a mental health hospital because people thought you were crazy. When in reality, your own body was attacking your brain. Thankfully this doctor was able to deduce her condition before her “madness” took hold of her completely. Is there is a way to get tested for this? Because if so, I definitely want to get it done.