It’s the stuff of nightmares: waking up disorientated in a hospital, with no idea where you are or how you even got there. But this is exactly what happened to Susannah Cahalan in 2009. And the young woman was even more terrified when she realized that even her doctors had no idea what was happening to her or how to stop it. But then, when dozens of specialists were left scratching their heads, one medic asked her to draw him something. What’s more, amazingly, this simple request would turn out to be the beginning of her road to recovery.
At the age of 24, Susannah Cahalan had the kind of life many young women would envy. The New York Post reporter had a great job, a dazzling social life, her own NYC apartment and a rock star boyfriend.
But Cahalan’s perfect life was turned upside down when she started to feel unwell. At first, she didn’t think it was anything serious; she just felt lethargic and slightly under the weather. But then the paranoia set in. She became convinced that her boyfriend was being unfaithful, and soon she was having full-on hallucinations. In fact, at one point she became so convinced that bedbugs were crawling all over her home that she insisted her entire apartment be fumigated – despite reassurances from the exterminator that there was nothing there.