Doctor Discovers a Rare Disorder After She Drew a Clock

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Doctor Discovers a Rare Disorder After She Drew a Clock

Published author and journalist Susannah Cahalan was admitted to a hospital one day due to an unknown illness. At first it seemed like she was suffering from bipolar disorder, since she would be laughing hysterically at one point of the day but become clinically depressed the next. But then along came the seizures.

 

As her condition worsened, she began to become aggressive and attacked anyone who tried getting close to her. It was said that this was due to the hallucinations she was having, causing her grasp of reality to waver.

 

Just as she was about to be sent to a mental health institution, along came Dr. Souhel Najjar.

Convinced that what Ms. Cahalan was experiencing wasn’t a textbook mental illness, Dr. Najjar asked her to draw a clock for him. What should have been an easy task revealed the true nature of her illness. She wrote all 12 numbers of the clock only on the right side of the circle.

 

With this, Dr. Najjar concluded that the left hemisphere of Cahaln’s brain had malfunctioned, most likely due to a rare immune system disorder. He stated that the damage to her brain wasn’t permanent, but the connection between the periphery and her brain was temporarily blocked.

 

With the proper diagnosis, Cahalan was given proper treatment and was given medication to regulate her immune system. After a while, she was able to return to living her normal life, narrowly evading a lifetime stay at a mental health institute.

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