Brain on Fire (2016) Movie Script

Have you ever been trapped? Lost
in your own body?
Lost in your own mind?
Lost in time?
So desperate to escape,
to just.. Get out.
Subtitle by: Umbulbil
Help! Mom!
- Help! Dad! Dad!
- Susannah!
- Mom! Help!
- Susannah!
My name is Susannah Cahalan.
I'm 21 year-old.
And here I am with my dream job
at the New York Post.
Living in New York.. I don't
know, we all have dreams, right?
And don't laugh at me, but to
work at the Post was mine.
Hey, Richard, can you
check this out for me?
No. No time for baby
sitting now, Susannah.
Go and urge Margo.
Go. Go, go.
I have my whole life in front of me.
I was fearless.
And I had absolutely no idea,
what was waiting for me.
- Hey.
- Is that my pen in your mouth?
- Maybe.
- Huh.
You keep that now. You email
me next time, save a tree.
I don't know what's wrong with it.
It just feels, feels off, you know.
No, this is good, Susannah.
But you just need to move the
last paragraph to the first.
And for the love of God,
please find a new headline.
"Rear and present danger?
Illegal Russian butt implants."
I mean, really? Let me tell
you, you're better than this.
I'm just paying my dues, you know.
Slowly, but surely making
my way to the front page.
I mean, look. At least,
it's a real story.
Real people actually died from this.
I can maybe get someone prosecuted.
- I wanna help people.
- You're so pridy. I need major sunglasses right now.
- Oh, is that him?
- Oh, my God.
- I'm gonna kill you.
- Look at your smile.
- Stop!
- Is it your man?
- Is he your new hot, sexy man?
- Margo.
- You should just calm down.
- It's pretty serious, huh?
- We'll see. Who knows?
- Who knows I can't talk to you rigth now.
Excuse me, pretty lady.
- Hey.
- Hey!
- Oh my God, I'm so sorry, I'm so late.
- No, it's okay..
- You look cute. Are you nervous?
- Thanks. Um.. No.
- Yeah. I mean, yeah a little bit.
- You shouldn't be. I like this.
- This is, yeah. This is me dressing up.
- You look like a tanned Smurf.
Thank you. That's really nice of
you say.
I'm kidding. I love it.
- All right, you ready?
- Come on. Let's do it.
So, Stephen, what is it
that you do for a living?
I play music, Mr. Cahalan.
Oh, yeah? What genre?
You know The Smiths sorts of meet Tom
Waitsin. That's what I'm going for, at least.
You do that all day, every day?
Yeah, I mean I'm working at record
store, too, when I get the hour.
Which is actually where I met Susannah.
I like it, you know. It's fun.
It's a good pocket money.
- Pocket money?
- Yeah.
Susannah said that you're
in banking, is that right?
Yeah was, but I'm having a
career change at the moment.
We're looking at new
options, aren't we, Giselle?
It's a new start.
- Hello!
- Hey, Mom, we're on the roof!
I am so sorry that we are late again.
Happy birthday, baby.
- It's okay. Hi, Mom.
- Oh, my beauty.
Love you. Okay.
Hi, I heard you got engaged.
Thank you.
- It's exciting.
- Yeah.
Wow. Well, this isn't awkward.
- How about some alcohol? Anyone?
- Come.
- Good idea.
- Have a seat.
- Let's get this party started.
- Tom, congratulations.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday, dear Susannah.
Happy birthday to you.
- Susannah?
- You okay?
Baby. Hey.
- Hey.
- Hey.
Make a wish.
- Want some help?
- Yeah.
Ready. One, two, three.
- Yeay.
- All right.
- Happy birthday.
- Happy birthday.
Thanks, Mom. Thank you.
- Okay.
- Thank you, Dad.
Love you, guys.
- So I slice it?
- Thank you.
- You want me to cut it out?
- Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
- Here.
- Can you pass me the plate?
- Yes, of course.
- Great.
It looks really yummy.
- Okay.
- There you go.
- Birthday girl first.
- Thank you.
All right, Stephen. You're totally gonna
kill it.
- Hey, why are you taking so long?
- Okay, yeah. I know.
- Stephen, come on.
- Yeah. All right, all right.
- So you didn't like it?
- I didn't say that.
I said that it was interesting
and I thought it was cool.
Oh, my God. Stephen!
- Morning.
- Good morning.
That's quite a look.
Want some coffee?
Oh, no. I'm late. Very late.
- Whoa. Gross.
- What?
Why are you smiling this
early in the morning?
- Oh, come on.
- Nah-uh.
Nobody smiles this early in New York city.
That's unnatural.
- Why do have a problem with it, Margo?
- You look ridiculous.
- Maybe I'm happy.
- I know what it is.
- It's that budget version of Joey Ramonen.
- Susannah!
See, you didn't smile this morning.
What are you not hearing me?
Come, come.
I don't give a dirty smelly shit, okay?
Let me be clear to you.
If it's true we printed it,
yes it's our consequences.
No. Next time you know to
keep his dick in his pants.
And stop hanging on underwear
like it's wet there.
- Gum ball?
- I'm good. Thank you.
All right. So you're gonna interview
that creepy senator next week.
I don't hear a question mark in here.
That's because I don't do question mark.
- Susannah, you know that.
- Right.
Anyway, he's remorseful.
He says he's sorry.
He wants to go in the record
apologize to his wife.
And I think we should be
a big one, that we need
as much as you. You're gonna
bring it home for me.
Let me just think about it first.
Really, I ask you to come here to think
about doing it. You're doing it.
You're not ready for this? Margo said
you're ready for an assignment like this.
And you're not a cub-reporter anymore.
Hey, hey, back here.
All I want you to do is fill the paper.
It's online. You got it?
- Got it.
- Okay, good. What do you have for me?
Status online with social media.
Yep, sounds awful. Our
editors will love this.
You'll have it Thursday night.
I know I will cause I can always
count on you, Susannah Cahalan.
Now get the hell out of my office.
- I know what you did.
- Was I know?
You know exactly what you did.
- Thank you.
- You deserve it.
I just had a loud mouth.
- Do I need a sneeze guard?
- I'm good. I'm good.
Anyway, what are you on right now?
I'm on the bed-bug outbreak
and it is so disturbing.
- Yuck.
- What are you on?
Um.. status on the internet.
- Look at us with these hard-hitting stories.
- Yeah, they're intense, huh?
Edward R. Murrow is just
turning in his grave.
Hey, come on! What are you doing?!
Wake up!
Hey Susannah, where are you?
I haven't seen you for a few days.
Just check in to see if you're okay.
Hey, Margo?
What do you know about the
look of the bed-bug bite?
Do you think that you have theme?
Because they're everywhere.
They're hunting my dreams.
Look. Is that look like one to you?
I don't know what I'm looking.
No, I don't see anything.
You, you don't see that?
- I see nothing.
- Okay, hold on.
Look, just look. Closely.
- Do you not see that?
- I do not see that.
I don't. I don't know what
you're talking about.
Margo, it's right there.
I see you need a tan.
- Come on, you don't.. You can't see?
- Susannah!
What is this shit?
You got names out of misspelled.
You're not even source to fact-check.
What the hell are you thinking?
Legal would have it fit!
You said that it would be done
by Thursday! It is a Monday!
Right, it's Monday.
Richard, Richard, I'm...
I'm sorry.
I haven't feeling myself lately.
I've been really unwell.
I haven't.. I haven't been sleeping.
I'm.. Um..
Go to your desk and rewrite, okay?
Watch your spell, watch your grammar.
Tonight. Cause this
shit is unreadable.
Even if you weren't feeling well, I didn't
even think you could do something this bad.
Now go to your desk and get it done.
Get out of here. Go.
And she's still here. She
heard I said, leave.
Get your ass out of my office.
Even if you weren't feeling well, I didn't
even think you could do something this bad.
Are you okay?
Susannah, where are yout?
You are very, very late.
You're gonna get your ass in here.
You're gonna miss the 10:00 meeting.
Susannah, I'm really pissed right now.
You're gonna miss the 10:00 meeting and
I don't wanna be doing this, okay?
I'm not your mother. Get your shit
together and come to your job!
I'm not making a call
like this to you again!
Are you serious?
You know, your career as
a journalist is end when
you start pitching me
story about your mother!
Come on, man!
Susannah, thank you so much or joining us.
I'm glad you can make it.
Who's got something? Anybody?
Anything else?
Those panties? From the Senator?
They're still really hot right now.
We're gonna find all of that information,
because Susannah is on that, right?
Susannah, you got it?
The interview with the Senator this week.
Are you ready?
Yeah, totally. Yeah, right. Yeah.
- Are you good?
- Yes, Sir.
Okay. We're counting on you.
All right, let's switch topics.
Let's see what we got. Who's
got something juicy, guys?
Give me something hot and exciting.
Who's got something?
There's always a mystery on a
missing main whole covers.
Missing main whole covers? Okay,
we could figure that out.
I feel really sick, you know.
My head hurts and my stomach hurts.
My hands numb and my leg is numb.
I don't know. I don't
feel well, Stephen.
I don't feel well. I don't..
Are you even listening right now?
Are you on your guitar?
- Oh, God.
- Yeah, I'm recording something right now.
- Is it like pain in needles?
- I don't know, okay.
I don't know. It just feels weird.
I've never felt this before. Never.
- Are you just hungover from last night?
- I don't know. I didn't even really drink.
- You're not pregnant, are you?
- Okay, you're unhelpful. Bye.
Hey, what the hell are you
doing under your desk?
- You know, Stephen, just...
- You wanna talk about it?
Do you want me to come
under the desk with you?
I'm just gonna go get a coffee.
You want anything?
I just wanna sit under my desk
and take some personal cough.
It's all the rage with the fussy blonde.
Susannah, what's going on?
I don't know. I guess, you could say
that I've had these flu-like symptoms.
I've had a lot of numbness
on my left arm and leg.
I feel my head really fuzzy all the time.
I don't know if it
correlates to any of these.
I have these..
These bed-bug bites on my arm.
- Let me have a look.
- Right there.
You see 'em?
- Any history of lyme disease?
- No.
You can look at my nose.
Can you hold your arms out? Straighten
it in front of your palms like this?
And push against my hands.
Okay, good. You can put
your coat right now.
And have a seat.
I'd like to draw some blood
and do a routine workup.
And I'd like to get an MRI.
Everything looks normal, but
I just like to be safe.
There's a place down the street
that can do one right now.
That's it. You're all done.
What? What? Why won't you stop?
Do it again! Say it!
I didn't think so.
Hi, Susannah.
I do wanna let you know,
we've got some good news.
The MRI came back normal.
And we've eliminated the possibility
that yo have a stroke or blood clot.
Two things, that frankly,
I was worried about.
But, there's all sort of clear
that's what matters.
Thank you.
- Hey, it's me.
- Hey, um..
Aren't you gonna let me in?
Yeah, um.. Look, I'm really tired.
I think we should just do another day.
Okay, it's fine.
Because, I can figure it out.
Susannah, I just drove all
the way across the city.
Now is good for me.
Right, it's really dirty. I have
to clean up. I wasn't expecting..
What the hell is that smell, Susannah?
Dad, I said it's really dirty.
This place is a mess.
Susannah, what have you been doing in here?
Oh, that's Stephen's. That's not me.
I don't really drink..
Very much.
You have got to get yourself together.
You can't live like this.
You're an adult now.
You're not in college anymore.
Look, inbetween work and everything,
I barely have time, Dad.
Okay, let me take a look at this leak
and then we'll clean it up together.
- Wait, is it here? Or here?
- It's on the top, Dad.
Where all the normal drip comes from.
It was fine under here. It's all dry.
There's nothing going on here.
Let me see.
There's a drip.
It just happened, Dad.
- You didn't see that?
- Susannah, there's no drip.
There is a drip.
- So, work going okay?
- Yeah, it's good.
Hey listen, don't let the
place go like this again.
It is nice for me to know you live in some
kind of cleanliness and comfort here.
So, this Stephen.
- You really like him, huh?
- Yeah.
Yeah, I mean, he's a good guy.
And I think.. I think you'll like
him once you get to know him.
Yeah? Sure he's not some place holder?
Coz, a lot of guys, they
don't like to stick around.
Like you, Dad.
Okay, I'm gonna go.
I'm kidding. All right, love you.
Drive safe, okay?
- Get some trash bags.
- Ah, I will.
Love you!
- Susannah, he's ready.
- What? Who?
The Senator.
Oh. Oh, God. Uh..
Oh, my God, okay.
Okay, uh.. Let me..
I'm not ready for this.
Just take a deep breath.
You have this.
Good luck.
- Hi.
- Hi.
Thank you for meeting me.
Okay, um.. What do you have
to say about your action?
And what do you have to say to
the good people of New Jersey?
Obviously, I'm deeply regret
for any of this to happen.
I've let myself down...
My family down, and..
And let your pants down?
Keep, keep, going with what you,
what you were saying. Sorry.
As I was saying, the people of New
Jersey who elected me are fine people.
I'm sorry. It sounded just
like he said "erected".
I mean, you got it, man. But he
sounded pretty much like that.
- Are you all right, young lady?
- Yeah.
Yeah, no, I'm good.
No, um, I'm sorry.
- I have more questions.
- I'm sorry, this interview is over.
No, no, no!
I can't believe Richard let this happened.
Did Richard put you up to this?
- No. We haven't finished it.
- This is totally a joke.
Sit down!
- I'm not done with the interview!
- No, we have to leave right now.
I'm not done with this!
You're not leaving me!
- Oh, Jesus.
- Oh, my God.
It's okay.
I'm good, I'm good.
Let me make this clear to you.
The publicist, that represents that
Senator, is not just about him.
They represent celebrities, and
athletes, and everybody else.
And with all of those people,
that we may wanna talk to, we
can't even get them on the phone.
Because of what you did here!
That is gonna be a problem for me!
That is gonna be a problem for my boss!
That is a problem for this paper!
You should be fired!
You should be fired!
Get out of here. Get out now!
I honestly don't know.
I know that she's been acting strange.
For sure, for like a week.
Is she drinking a lot?
She looks hungover.
Yeah, I don't know. I mean,
I don't think so.
But I don't know what she
does with her boyfriend.
- Is she on drugs?
- No. Really?
- I don't know, I'm asking.
- I don't think so.
- You sure?
- Yeah.
I'm definitely sure she's not on drugs.
I don't think she's acting normal,
but I don't think she's on drugs.
Just let me keep my eye on her.
Just for a little while.
All right, but I'm gonna tell you this.
You keep me informed,
because if this keeps up,
she's gonna have to start
working from home.
I don't know what's going on with her.
Look, I'm serious.
Yeah, I understand.
- I understand.
- Great.
Susannah? Susannah?
Stop talking in your sleep.
Susannah! Stop.
- Stephen.
- What?
You're gonna get me out of here.
You gotta..
You gotta get me out of here.
I can't be here any longer.
- No, Susannah.
- Come on, uh..
Susannah, we can't leave
until someone looks at you.
- Stephen, I don't give a shit.
- Well, you should.
If you're not gonna help me, I
don't know why you're in here.
- Did they give any explanation?
- No, but they said she had a seizure.
Why didn't you call us?
Why didn't you call me?
I didn't have your numbers.
- The whole thing happened really fast..
- You didn't have our numbers?
Did you not think to look on her phone
under Mom and Dad?
What kind of idiot doesn't know how to
look at a cellphone under Mom and Dad?
I don't know, I just panicked.
I had to get her an ambulance.
- What kind of doctors are?
- A nurse. It was a nurse, I think.
- You think, it was a nurse?
- Uh-huh, I don't.. I don't know.
The whole thing, they just
said that she had a seizure
- and, uh.. and..
- What is wrong with you?
Do you care about her or not?
What were you doing in that..
Yes, of course, I do...
Thomas! Okay, okay.
You know what?
Thank you for taking care of her.
Come on.
Susannah, I think it's best
that you come home with us.
I'm sorry, that's.. That's
really sweet of you.
No, thank you.
Susannah, I think it's a good idea.
Oh, really, Stephen? Well,
then go and get stuff, huh?
- Susannah, it's not like that.
- No problem. You know what, you should go.
I know it's really hard for you.
Stephen, why don't you go home?
And just get some rest, and
I'm gonna take care of her.
- It's a good idea.
- I'm gonna gather some of your things.
No! You're not gonna be
gathering anything, okay?
'Cause this is my home, all right?
I call the decisions when I'm here.
- I'm not leaving. I'm not going anywhere.
- Hey, Stephen.
If anything like that ever happens
again, you call me, okay?
Of course.
Where's your toothbrush?
In the bathroom, Mom, where
all the toothbrush is left.
I love you.
Hey Susannah, come talk to me!
Susannah, come on, down!
Hey, honey!
What are you doing?
I'm swimming, Mom. I'm just swimming.
Come on in.
Swim to me.
She was not herself.
I mean, I didn't recognize her.
I'm looking in her eyes,
she's looking at me.
And I can tell that she's not there.
It was like she was in a trance.
We're gonna get through this, okay?
- Hey.
- Susannah.
Oh, no.
I just think you really need to..
You know,
get some good sleep. Maybe,
we gotta think about a trip.
- Go to the lake, maybe.
- Jrvelle rentoutumaan.
- Eat great food.
- Absolutely.
That's what I feel like.
I could use it.
It's Stephen.
It's not all his fault.
I can't handle it. It's young love.
I can't handle it anymore.
It's too much for me.
I have to tell him.
What's the Post?
How does the Post. I'm unhappy.
I'm so unhappy there. Oh, it's
my editor, Richard. It's Margo.
I'm so unhappy.
I need to go back to school.
I need to go back to school!
I have to change it up!
I gotta change the oil!
I gotta find a career that
actually has some legs, you know?
I gotta change. I gotta do it.
That's it. That's it!
No, no.
No, no, no, God.
No, it's New York.
- It's New York. I'm unhappy.
- It's okay, baby.
I'm unhappy, I'm unhappy.
I'm so unhappy there.
And I can't, I can't handle it.
- Susannah?
- Susannah?
Oh, my God!
- Am I okay?
- It's not for me to say, but
you seem kind to me.
I've seen this dozens of times before,
usually, but bankers and Wall Street guys
who come in here are all stressed out.
There's nothing wrong with them, it's
all in their heads.
Look into my eyes and tell me honestly,
because there's no judgements here.
How much alcohol are you drinking a day?
Maybe a glass of wine at night.
You know, when my boyfriend comes over.
Or we split a bottle, but
nothing major.
- Beer gigs.
- Any drug use?
Not in a while.
Plain and simple. She's partying too hard,
she's not sleeping and
she's working too hard.
I've seen this happened a lot in
young adults making a transition
from college to working full-time.
- It's a changing life.
- That's what you think this is?
Mrs. Nack, I've nearly 20 years
experience in this city.
I've seen it all.
Just make sure she doesn't drink,
she takes the anti-seizure meds I'd
prescribed, and everything should be fine.
Okay, great. Thank you.
I can't do this anymore!
What the hell?
What the hell?
Hey! No, no, no.
- Listen, Susannah. What is going..
- What are you looking at, huh?
Susannah, sit down.
Everybody's fine. I don't know
what I'm doing. I'm broke.
I'm gonna lose my job, Stephen
doesn't love me. No one loves me!
I'm lost right now, Margo.
I have nowhere to go! Nowhere!
Honey, honey, you're in the office.
You need to relax a little bit.
- I'm so happy.
- Honey.
Margo, I'm so happy!
I know what to do!
Yes! Goddamn, yes!
This is it!
I'm so happy!
Margo! God!
Richard! Richard! Yes!
Yes, Richard! Come here,
I need to talk to you!
Yes! Yes! God, yes!
Okay, goodbye. Let's go!
Richard, come on!
There's nothing funny. Go to,
get to work now. Now!
- Richard, we gotta talk!
- Okay, I'm here.
- Come on!
- I'm here. Yeah.
What the hell is going on with you? What
are you doing? I was in the meeting.
I need bigger stories,
better stories, Richard.
I need to be able to be a
hard-hitting investigator.
And I'm ready for it.
I'm ready for it.
Susannah, you're screaming
through the office,
you're talking a mile a minute.
- What the hell is going on with you?
- I'm excited, Richard!
Have you never seen
someone who's passionate
- and excited about something?
- Yup.
I know the workers out there who's
kinda typing their computers
and get shit done! But I'm not doing that!
Susannah, when is the last
time you spoke to your family?
- I don't think that what matters here.
- What did they say? Did they see you?
Richard, they support me.
I'm supported by everyone.
But I'm not feeling it from
you, so that's the question.
Do you support me, like
my family support me?
Like Margo supports me?
Or what? Hmm?
I want you to go home. I'm gonna support
you from home. I want you to go home.
Are you firing me?
No, I'm not firing you.
I'm sending you home.
Good talk. Send me that email.
Yeah, I need Susannah Cahalan's all
personal file brought up to me.
Any contact for a family?
Yeah, thanks.
- I'm sorry, say that again?
- I'm bipolar.
- Tell me why you think you're bipolar.
- I googled it.
- You googled it?
- Yes.
For the last two weeks I'm not be
able to concentrate, eat, sleep.
I smile, I cry, I laugh.
I, I'm happy, I'm sad.
What I do know, doctor,
is I'm a creative person.
And this happens to creative people.
A lot of creative people are bipolar.
Bipolar is what makes me who I am.
It's just a part of me and
I have to accept that.
Have you ever felt like this
before, anytime in your life?
You mean, I've always been energetic?
- Ever suicidal?
- No.
I mean,
everyone daydreams about dying.
But I don't wanna die.
- All right.
- So I'm bipolar, right?
It's too early to say for sure.
But, you know, I do see serious
signs of mixed episodes,
meaning extremely high highs
and very low lows.
But, I happened to aggre
with Dr. Samson.
I mean, you have a lot of going on
in your life right now.
Sometimes they come across as
manic and depressive elements.
Typical of bipolar disorder.
But just because you got a bruise on your
face, doesn't mean you've been punched.
So, I'm gonna give you a
prescription for Olanzapine.
It's an anti-psychotic prescribed
to treat mood and thought disorders.
Take these pills
and check back in with me.
Let me know how you responding.
And we'll make a follow-up
appointment in a month.
Why are you walking away from me right now?
I look this up, all right.
I'm not making it up for fun right now.
Listen to me. You wanna
hear the side effects?
Euphoria, fever, general feelings
of discomfort, illness, headache,
hyperventilation, irregular
heartbeats, irritability, Mom,
this is it!
It's making me crazy!
Susannah, you have been on them
on 24 hours.
No! It doesn't matter, okay?
They're poison! They're toxic!
- Just take the pills.
- You want me to die?
Take the pills for me!
Do it for your mother!
Take the pills!
Give them a chance to work!
You know what?
When I die,
I want you to bury me right next to granny.
Bipolar? That doesn't seem right to me.
Maybe she's drinking too much.
You sure, you're not overreacting?
You haven't seen it so
you don't know, okay?
I'm not overreacting.
Our daughter is in trouble
and I am exhausted.
And I need you to.. I need you to help me.
I need you to take her.
Okay, I will keep an eye on her.
And we will get to the bottom
of this, if we stick together.
Intense though, you'll see.
It's really scary.
- Susannah? Lunch is ready.
- It's a lovely day.
Yeah, it's nice out.
Do you want juice or water?
Are you okay?
Why don't you go ahead and take a seat.
Want some bread?
Thank you.
- Want some butter?
- Oh, no. Okay thank you.
Will you stop?
Just stop chewing.
Aren't you gonna it?
It's your favorite.
Giselle put in a lot of effort
to make this for you.
It was no trouble.
Why did you say to me?
Susannah, I didn't say anything.
Susannah, she said nothing to you.
No, right there!
Right there! You just
called me a spoiled brat!
- No, Susannah...
- You just said it!
- You just said it again!
- Susannah!
Calm down.
Why are you doing this to me? Why?
- What are you talking about?
- Why did you just say that to me?
I haven't done anything to you!
- Why did you say that to me?
- She didn't say anything.
- I heard you say it!
- No, Susannah.
You just said it to me!
- Susannah, go to your room!
- I just heard you say it!
Go! What is wrong with you?
- Susannah, what is wrong with you?
- No! No! No! No!
- Tell me what is wrong.
- Get away from me!
I can't help you if you don't
tell me what is wrong!
Get away! Get away!
I heard you! I heard you!
I want you get away!
You're not gonna take me!
Giselle is trying to kidnap me!
- No. No one's trying to kidnap you.
- Please, please. Don't touch me.
- It's okay.
- Don't touch me. Don't touch me.
It's okay, it's okay, it's okay.
Look, her EEG is completely normal.
Her MRI is normal, her
neurological exam is normal.
Her blood work is all normal.
It's all clear, it's all normal.
She's drinking too much
and she's exhibiting
the classic signs of alcohol withdrawal.
I know this is hard to
hear about your daughter.
She needs to take the medications,
stop partying, and get some rest.
I haven't seen her have a
drink in over two weeks.
Now, I have been known to enjoy a
glass of wine or two in my day
and all I experienced was a bad hangover.
Alcohol withdrawal? Are you kidding me?
Do you really think we're
gonna believe that?
She needs to be hospitalized now.
Not tomorrow, not today. Now.
And I'm not leaving here
until we have hospital bed,
that we can put our daughter into, tonight.
So, go ahead, call the police.
I got nothing to lose.
Good morning, Susannah.
How are you today?
Thank you.
Would you sit up for me, please, Susannah?
Great, thank you.
- How are you feeling?
- He wants to save his girl,
Susannah gets some help.
What is wrong with you?
You're falling apart..
You gotta get me out of here.
I don't belong here.
And they're all saying bad stuff about me.
Who's saying bad things about you?
Susannah, what is wrong with you?
The people on the TV right there.
Susannah, can you tell me
a little bit about
how you felt before you came
to the hospital?
I felt disappeared.
Can you explain that to me a little more?
Like I wasn't alive.
Now, Susannah, I'm gonna ask you
some basic questions.
And I just need you to do your best
and answer it, okay?
- What's your name?
- Susannah Cahalan.
- Do you know what year it is?
- God. You don't hear that?
- Hear what?
- That?
Susannah, I just need you to focus
and answer my questions, okay?
You gotta get me out of here.
- Right now.
- Susannah.
Susannah, we're here to help you.
We're not gonna hurt you, okay?
I promise.
- All right.
- Don't touch me.
I want you to, I want you
to hold out your arms,
like you're holding a tray, okay?
No, no, no, no.
I'm not doing it anymore.
- Why are you interrogating me?
- I'm not interrogating you, Susannah.
- I'm.. I'm..
- Get out!
- Get out of my room.
- Okay.
We're gonna leave you alone now,
okay, Susannah?
I recorded some of my songs.
When you listen to it,
you'll remember some stuffs.
Hey, talk to me, Susannah.
I'm.. I'm scared.
I just.. God, Stephen, I feel like..
Everyone here is just talking about me.
- I need you, I need you.
- Hey, hey. Listen to me.
We're gonna get to the bottom of this.
We can get through it together.
- Really?
- Yeah, really.
I have multiple personality disorder.
Have you been diagnosed by any
psychiatrists or psychologists?
I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist
with bipolar disorder,
but not multiple personality.
And were you taking any
medications for that?
They tried to, but I refused to take it.
I spit it out.
Dr. Khan, I need to get out of here.
- It's not safe for me here, anymore.
- Why it's not safe for you here?
They're talking about me.
All of them.
I can hear them.
The nurses.. talking about me.
And I can hear their thoughts.
You can hear their thoughts?
You know, they think I can't hear them,
but I do.
I hear them loud and clear.
I don't wanna talk to you anymore.
No! No!
- Help!
- Susannah.
I can assume two possible diagnoses.
First, presentation of schizophrenia
plus a postictal psychosis.
Now, she's clearly psychotic,
but the question is..
Where is the psychotic behavior
coming from?
I'm gonna prescribe a Haloperidol.
It should sedate her and also
we could do some further testing, but
If her behavior doesn't improve,
I think we should locate hospital centre
better equipped to deal with her problem.
My daughter is not going to psycho ward.
How do you explain the seizures?
How do you explain that she's
never been like this before?
How can you just arrive at this conclusion
without all of the facts?
Dr. Ryan, why don't you do that
further testing
before you threaten us with
psychiatric hospitals?
- Well?
- They have nothing.
She's been here over a week. I mean,
they have to have something.
They don't know. Each of them is
giving us a different diagnosis.
One is saying bipolar, the next
one is saying szhizophrenic,
the other saying psychotic. I don't know.
What is that even mean?
It means nobody knows what
the hell is going on.
She's not psychotic, whatever it is.
I agree. I think it's just the most
convenient explanation for them.
So, we need to continue putting pressure on them,
so that they continue to investigate.
- Okay, it's important. Pressure.
- Yeah.
Well, I just want you both
to know that I'm planning
on being here until they
figure out what's wrong.
I wanna be with her and
she needs all of this.
- Thank you, Stephen.
- Yeah.
- I appreciate that.
- Excuse us.
We should be looking for
neurological causes here.
Hello. Hi.
Don't get too excited.
You look great.
Brought you some fake flowers.
Am I gonna hug you?
I'm just gonna do it.
Hey, babe.
So what, you don't talk to me now?
I have something for you.
It's very disappointing.
It's a be-sick-crap-ugly card.
And everybody made it. In the
office, everybody signed it.
And a lot of people said some really,
really sappy things that you
and I would've made fun of.
Even Richard signed it.
I think he really misses you.
You were like his little apprentice.
And I miss you.
And he misses you. This is..
I'll put this here.
We can make fun of it later.
We tested Susannah for every
infectious diseases that we know of.
All of the results are negative,
inculding Lyme disease,
toxoplasmosis, cryptococcus,
tuberculosis, and many, many more.
All of the test being negative,
suggested that Susannah has a
primary psychotic illness,
which I feel it's likely schizophrenia.
So what does all of this mean?
Maybe, this is not the right hospital
to treat her.
Perhaps, Susannah should be transferred
to a psychiatric hospital.
Okay, look. I'm gonna continue
to monitor Susannah
on a daily basis on the next three days.
Let's just hope that something shows up
and we can figure out a way of solving this
and getting your daughter better.
I, I don't understand this.
Our daughter is dying in there.
The tests are not showing us
that she's dying, Mr. Cahalan.
The tests are saying that
she's a healthy young woman.
- She's clearly suffering and we are...
- I want answers!
It is your job to give us answers!
This ain't some kids club,
where you get to play doctor!
This is my daughter's life! Her life
is in your hands and I want answers!
Tell me what is wrong with my daughter!
The truth is, Mr. Cahalan, that we don't
know what is wrong with Susannah.
We work and make decisions based on facts,
and at this point, we don't have any.
We're sorry that there's nothing more
that we can do.
Excuse me.
We already have a bed on standby and
we're just waiting for your desicion.
Fully catatonic.
- You okay?
- Yeah.
So how do holding up?
It shouldn't be like this, you know.
I know she's still in there.
She's just trapped.
When I look at her eyes, I can
see her screaming to get out.
I thought of all people, you doctors,
you know,
you'd be able to give us
some hope, you know.
I mean, that's your job, right?
- I wish you all a fantastic weekend.
- Thank you.
And please praise yourself.
I want to see you in my class next week.
Wow, Dr. Khan.
- To what do I owe you the pleasure?
- I need your help.
I teach now, leave me in peace.
21 year-old female, right-handed.
Her symptoms began with manic behavior,
paranoia, erratic outbursts.
That led to a seizure, which led to
another one, which led to a third.
Her condition continues to regress.
Sabrina, I teach now.
What's crazy is that apart from this,
she was completely crazy.
She was on no medication, whatsoever.
Her physical exams were normal.
Her neurological exams were normal.
Infection work out negative, autoimmune test
negative, toxic metabolic workup negative.
- All of it was negative.
- I admit, itt sounds very interesting.
But like I said, I teach now.
She's on the verge on going
to a psychiatric hospital.
Dr. Khan, based on what you were telling
me, maybe that's where she should be.
No. It would be very easy for me to tell
her that she's bipolar or schizophrenic,
but the fact is, there's
just something in my bones
that's telling me that,
that's not the case.
I knew the feeling. Okay,
I will take a peek.
I wonder what he'll be like.
Hopefully competent.
- Good day. Hello.
- Hi, I'm Rhona, I'm Susannah's mother.
- Nice to meet you.
- Hello, pleasure.
- Tom, I'm her dad.
- Tom.
I'm Dr. Najjar and you must
be the famous Susannah?
Call me Souhel.
Pleasure is all mine.
- So, um, please have a seat.
- Okay.
Susannah, I will do my best to help you.
I will not hurt you and I will never
lie to you.
Okay? Okay. Let's begin.
What is your name?
What is the year?
- We need to stay strong for Susannah.
- I know.
Hey, we'll get through this.
Yeah, I hope so.
Can you touch your nose with this hand?
Very good.
- Stephen?
- What's wrong? Is she okay?
Mr. Cahalan.
You know what, why don't you call me Tom?
After all you've been through, I think
you can call me asshole if you want.
Why don't you go home and get some sleep?
Will you walk for me?
Get out of the bed.
No, no.
She can do it herself.
I need you to walk for me in straight line.
One foot in front of the other.
Okay, okay.
- All looks clear.
- It is. It's perfectly clear.
What am I missing?
Susannah? Would you draw a clock for me?
And fill in all the numbers,
from one to twelve.
Just as you remember.
Very good.
Now, fill in the numbers. One through 12.
Dr. Najjar, what do you see?
I might be late tonight. No,
everything is fine. Yes.
Dr. Ryan, it's Souhel.
Yes, yes, but I think I have something
you might be interested in.
- Good morning. How are you feeling?
- Hello.
I may have some explanation for you.
I believe the right hemisphere of her
brain is seriously impaired and inflamed.
In a broken brain, when one hemisphere
is not working,
the visual world becomes loop-sided.
Like this clock.
No one with psychiatric problem
would draw clock like this.
So at least, you don't suffer
schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Now, what is causing this inflammation
that is the question
that we have to answer.
My dear, I know you're in there.
I'm going to everything I can to find you.
Before we move on to treatment, we need
to confirm the cause of the inflammation.
I think the best thing to do is
to do a brain biopsy.
- What does that mean?
- We have to look at her brain.
We have to take a small piece of her
brain to confirm the diagnosis,
before we can proceed with the treatment.
- I don't know.
- Mr. Cahalan, I promise you
if she were my child, I would do
the brain biopsy.
Time is up..
I knew it sounds invasive,
but we are losing her.
We're gonna shave the front part
of your head about four-inches,
and toward the crown.
Then we'll make an incision
and take the sample.
I'll be here for you in the morning.
7:00. Please, get some rest tonight
and no eating, only fasting.
Thank you.
You okay?
I just don't wanna see our hopes up again.
- What do you mean?
- Rhona, we've been here for over a month,
we've had so many doctors, so
many opinions, so many series,
so many ups and helps, unfortunately
all have major downs.
- Who says this guy has all the answers?
- Okay, look at me.
If this guy doesn't have the
answers, we will go to the
next guy or the next woman
until we find the answer.
Okay, but I need from you,
right here, right now,
is I need to know, are you in?
Because I need you and Susannah needs you.
Good afternoon. I have some news.
The result came back conclusive
for NMDA receptor antibodies.
- What is it?
- Anti NMDA receptor encephalitis
is an autoimmune disease where antibodies
target and attack very important
receptors in the brain.
I don't understand. Can you simplify
what you were saying?
To put it simply, her brain is on fire
and under attack from her own body.
Okay, so what happens next?
We can treat this.
We got this in the very early stages.
I think she will be fine.
She will be getting 90%
of her cognitive abilities back.
So, we may get her fully back.
As I said, Mr. Cahalan
there's a serious possibility, but
let's just hope that her body
welcomes the treatment.
Thank you so much.
You are going to be just fine.
I found you.
I'm the lucky one.
Because in the system that's
designed to miss people like me.
- I'll start the treatment.
- Thank you.
Thanks to Dr. Najjar, I was found.
He found me.
My body was attacking my brain.
- You good?
- Yeah.
It completely destroyed
my ability to function.
How many people, do you think
throughout history were diagnosed
as schizophrenic, psychotic, bipolar,
or maybe just being crazy,
when they had something that
could've been so easily diagnosed?
It took me forever to get home.
I broght you this.
I love you so much.
Susannah, you can't stay in bed all day.
Oh, my God. We had a plan.
Let's go.
- No, no, no.
- We're going.
You know what, if we're gonna make
it to the New York city marathon,
we got a hell lot of work to do, kid.
Please, don't quit your job.
Because you're definitely not a comedian.
Well, it's nice to see you
got your personality back.
Come on, baby. You can do it.
I had to learn everything from scratch.
How to walk again. How to talk again.
How to be a daughter.
To love Stephen again.
How to write.
I had to learn how to exist again.
- So how the hell are you?
- I'm good. Yeah.
Yeah, you know I'm on some
medications still, but,
but I'm good.
I read your first article
since you returned.
- Dont, it's not too good.
- No, no, no.
Don't put words in my mouth,
this is actually really good.
Yeah, better than ever, so much, so that
congratulations, your first page, too.
- Wow.
- Yeah, big deal, right?
Yeah, thank you.
There's something else I want from you.
I want you to tell your story,
from beginning to end.
I want the people of New York
to know what you went through.
I want you to write a first
person-feature about.
Kinda hard putting you
on personal information,
but you should really consider it.
You know? Why not?
Yeah, I mean if it, if it
helps someone ou there, maybe
- it's worth it.
- Yeah, that's great.
It'll take a little bit time to compile it,
I think, but..
Yeah, I know. Take all the time you need.
As long as I can have it on Friday.
You'll have by Thursday night. Don't worry.
Thanks, Susannah.
- Are you okay?
- Yeah, I'm good.
I got used to people asking me about
my rare and fascinating illness.
- I never try to articulate it, though.
- Are you sure you're okay?
- Margo?
- Yeah?
- I'm great.
- Sorry.
- Never bother.
- Okay.
Good. Now stop talking to me.
This new Susannah is a lot like
the old Susannah,
but she's so much stronger.
Because for very first time,
I feel ready to tackle the mystery
of what happened to me.
To find an answer.
An answer that could possibly save a life.