Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

by

Susannah Cahalan

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Dr. Ian Arslan Character Analysis

Dr. Arslan is a psychopharmacologist (a psychiatrist who specializes in medication management) who joins Susannah's team of doctors at NYU. Susannah describes him as looking more like an old hippie than a doctor, and he loves beat generation writers. He suggests that Susannah might have schizoaffective disorder, or mood symptoms that overlap with psychosis. He doesn't share this possible diagnosis with Susannah's parents.
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Dr. Ian Arslan Character Timeline in Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Ian Arslan appears in Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 18
Storytelling, Memory, and Emotion Theme Icon
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
Susannah's case attracts the interest of Dr. Arslan . He interviews both Mom and Dad about Susannah's symptoms, and even calls Dr. Bailey.... (full context)
Chapter 22
Identity and Illness Theme Icon
Storytelling, Memory, and Emotion Theme Icon
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
...Susannah cannot repeat "ca, ca, ca," or puff out her cheeks. Later in the day, Dr. Arslan observes that Susannah is making chewing motions, grimacing, and holding her arms out stiffly. The... (full context)
Chapter 24
Love and Family Theme Icon
When Dr. Arslan comes by later in the day, he writes that Susannah is beginning to exhibit signs... (full context)
Chapter 33
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
When Mom gets the voicemail she's worried that Susannah is regressing. She calls Dr. Arslan , who instructs Mom to give Susannah an extra dose of her anti-psychotic medication. Susannah... (full context)
Chapter 39
Identity and Illness Theme Icon
Storytelling, Memory, and Emotion Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
Every two weeks, Mom, Dad, and Susannah have an appointment with Dr. Najjar. He and Dr. Arslan slowly reduce Susannah's doses of medication and ask Susannah how much she feels like herself.... (full context)
Chapter 45
Identity and Illness Theme Icon
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
...week before her return to work, Susannah and her parents attend her final appointment with Dr. Arslan . Susannah tells him that she feels totally back to normal, and both Mom and... (full context)