A Mind Unraveled by Kurt Eichenwald

A Mind Unraveled

The compelling story of an acclaimed journalist and New York Times bestselling author's ongoing struggle with epilepsy--his torturous decision to keep his condition a secret to avoid discrimination, and his ensuing decades-long battle to not only survive, but to thrive.As a college freshman, Kurt Eichenwald awoke one night on the floor of his dorm room, confused and in pain. In the aftermath of that critical moment, his once-carefree life would b...

Details A Mind Unraveled

TitleA Mind Unraveled
Release DateOct 16th, 2018
PublisherBallantine Books
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography, Medical

Reviews A Mind Unraveled

  • Canadian Reader
    Rating: 3.5Note: Possible spoilersKurt Eichenwald was diagnosed with epilepsy in the late 1970s, when he was a freshman at Swarthmore, the prestigious private liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. The first signs of the disease were short episodes of staring. To friends, Kurt would appear to be lost in a world of his own: dazed and absent. He had earlier been ill with paratyphoid fever (with delirium) and had also suffered a concussion. Whether e...
  • C
    I couldn’t stop reading. Eichenwald’s memoir is a powerful and riveting story of how he fought for what was right—the right to have good doctors, the right for a job that was inclusive of him and believed in what he could do, and the right to live as normal of a life as possible. The story begins as Eichenwald is diagnosed with epilepsy during his freshman year of college. After being told by an awful doctor that he should restrict his goal...
  • Michelle Arredondo
    With a little over 41o pages it's safe to say that this book is a lot. Alot of information, a lot of content, a lot to think about and ponder issues within our own lives. A Mind Unraveled: A Memoir by Kurt Eichenwald is the true story of Kurt Eichenwald an acclaimed journalist and best selling author and his tormenting struggle with epilepsy. Easily among the list of top 10 non-fiction books that I have read this year so far. Eichenwald first beg...
  • Melanie
    I would have read this book at one clip had my Nook not required a charge toward the end. Riveting, infuriating, informative, human, loving, and reflective -- this memoir tells the story of a man who refused to give into institutional stupidity, professional insufficiency, and personal trauma. He decided, twice in his life, to proceed to a specific goal, one academic, one personal. He achieved his goals because of his own strength while undergoin...
  • Ouida Foster
    The author's telling of his path to success in family and career is exciting and compelling. Then, add in all of the challenges that his lifetime with epilepsy contributed to every facet of his journey is amazing. If you are unaware of the impact of Epilepsy, please read and see how a young man pushed and grew and fought his path to success and you will learn about epilepsy along the way. If you do know about epilepsy (I have epilepsy), you may s...
  • Susan
    This is my number one read of 2018. This book will rip you apart. It is agonizing to go on this journey of epilepsy with Kurt Eichenwald. It is infuriating to meet a bevy of incompetent doctors. There are so many people in this book that I absolutely hated. Yet through it all Kurt never gave up. He kept pushing on demanding answers and never letting epilepsy keep him from accomplishing his goals even when it was really difficult. This book tackle...
  • Meg
    This is a well-written, informative, and enlightening book. A long read, but it went by fast because I could not put it down. Hard to believe the way doctors and Swarthmore failed him at many turns, but they did. Disgusting, actually. We should be able to trust those in the medical profession, but here is proof of a frightening opposite scenario. I felt and empathized with the author's anger and frustration, but cheered on his mother when she too...
  • Lilisa
    An in-depth personal account of living with epilepsy, the unvarnished reality of misdiagnosis and the struggles that people with medical challenges face every day. It is quite amazing how Kurt Eichenwald’s determination, motivation, and belief in himself helped power him through the many dark periods in his life as he struggled to get accurate diagnosis despite numerous obstacles. Much has to do with his personality and his persistent nature - ...
  • Cindy
    Exceptionally well written memoir that completely held my interest. It’s the story of one young man’s diagnosis of epilepsy in the late 70s. I often find the details in a memoir tedious but this author found the exact right balance. An epilepsy diagnosis is horrible but I had forgotten what a terrible stigma was associated with it in the past and I hadn’t known how hard it often was to get the right diagnosis. This author’s trials and tri...
  • Anne
    I received an advanced copy of A Mind Unraveled as part of the giveaway program. Reading Eichenwald's story is like reading my own autobiography. It's amazing how much the public still does not understand epilepsy. Only those who are the closest to the individual really know what the person experience. Kurt was fortunate to have roommates and family who stood by him throughout his life. I thought the idea of making recordings was such a great ide...
  • Lynn Donahue
    This was a fascinating look at the life of an epileptic man who just wanted a life like everyone else had. There is so much stigma attached to the condition that he was often forced to fight for the right to do normal things like attend college and get a job. His rise above all the odds was inspiring and you find yourself rooting for him as he forces open closed doors. A true tribute to the human spirit and what can be accomplished through hard w...
  • Paul
    A masterfully written text by a young man--now a middle-aged man, husband, and father--who happened to have epilepsy and was kicked out of Swarthmore College his freshman year by a bunch of lying psychologists, neurologists, the dean, and the security department. All of them had progressed past the idea that epilepsy was caused by demon possession, but that it was still pretty weird and dangerous to be falling down and convulsing. They wouldn't a...
  • Michaela
    ---Full disclosure: I received this book for free from Goodreads. --- So, this guy is impressive. Firstly, he deserves kudos for surviving his teens & twenties with such crappy excuses for medical care. Secondly, he deserves recognition for being so honest about his experiences & sharing them with the world, considering what a terribly difficult thing that is to do. Since the time periods described, I know medical care & standards have improved ...
  • Diana
    I very much enjoyed this book and I recommend it. It’s not a spoiler because Kurt Eichenwald has been very vocal about it but he made his peace with Swarthmore College in later years and they fully apologized for his treatment. I think it makes the book easier to read if you know this because his treatment there was so painful and heartbreaking. Living with epilepsy is hard and he doesn’t pull any punches. In the Audible version I liked how v...
  • Deborah Martinez
    I devoured this book, a compelling read! A memoir about Kurt Eichenwald struggle with epilepsy. The discrimination he faced in college followed by the work force are horrid to read about. Eichenwald's story tugged my heart strings a bit more because I suffer with chronic migraines, and so many of his stories about the doctor visits, being over medicated, and being hospitalized I could relate to first hand. A few quotes that really stuck out to me...
  • Jill
    5 stars“The compelling story of an acclaimed journalist and New York Times bestselling author’s ongoing struggle with epilepsy—his torturous decision to keep his condition a secret to avoid discrimination, and his ensuing decades-long battle to not only survive, but to thrive.”Oh, holy buckets! This book is simply amazing, awe-inspiring, utterly maddening and truly heart warming. I am shocked at how deeply this book touched me. However, a...
  • Andrew
    One of the best books I’ve ever read :) and like most memoirs, this was an eye-opening story! As a person with epilepsy, Kurt Eichenwald faced such tremendous challenges and obstacles, the likes of which I’ve never imagined, that drove him to heights of determination and accomplishment he might not have otherwise seen. Truly, as he alluded to in his story, if he had not overcome them they would have killed him. This was an inspirational, info...
  • Linda
    Absolutely the best book I've read this year. The incredible story of what one man faced for so many years after his epilepsy diagnosis is frustrating and life-changing for the reader. I'll never approach doctors in the same way again. Mr Eichenwald's writing reads like fiction with absolutely no slow spots in the entire book. It deserves accolades and awards and a wide-spread readership. Do you think I loved this memoir? Definitely!! Read this b...
  • Kathy Stone
    I won this book from Goodreads. I enjoyed this memoir. This is not easy stuff to read. Epileptics are greatly misunderstood and the drugs to control the condition are very toxic. When the author is first diagnosed his father sends him to a research, academic doctor. This is not a good fit as his blood levels are never checked and monitored. It is as if the doctor is using the eighteen year old as an experiment, but that is not quite true as the d...
  • Nat
    This was an amazing, compelling story that was difficult to put down. But it started to read like a giant humblebrag, particularly in the second half. I couldn’t shake the thought that this was Lean In for folks with disabilities.
  • Diane Payne
    This memoir will prove to be useful to other people, especially those suffering with epilepsy. Eichenwald does a thorough (perhaps too much at times) job detailing his experiences of first being diagnosed, getting kicked out of college, and eventually landing a successful career. As a memoir, I wish the focus wasn't just on his epilepsy, even though the illness consumes his life, but more about other factors in his life. it's well written, honest...
  • Eric
    * Completely compelling and impossible to put down. Personal account of a medical mystery and all the ensuing difficulties.* I received a free copy of the book in a Goodreads giveaway.
  • Rose
    A Mind Unraveled: A Memoir by Kurt Eichenwald is a beautiful, tragic, and strong memoir. I found I had tears in my eyes at many of the things Kurt experienced, both sad at times, and joyful when we was triumphant.This is the memoir of Kurt Eichenwald who was diagnosed with Epilepsy as a young adult nust entering college in the 1980’s. This book details the author’s struggles with incompetent doctors and college staff who are also incompetent ...
  • Melinda
    I couldn't hardly put this book down. Very interesting, I won this book and I loved it. Thank you!!!
  • Brenda
    A Mind Unraveled by Kurt EichenwaldThis is a remarkably courageous biography of Kurt Eichenwald and his life long journey with debilitating epilepsy at his heels. There are so many adjectives to describe Kurt's story; courageous, resilient, sad, frustrating, infuriating, scary, strong, remarkable, humiliating, debilitating, but most of all, he has shared with his readers an incredibly humbling educational experience.I found this story shocking on...
  • Michelle
    Touched by the strength and perseverance of the author. I purchased this book due to a recommendation from the Epilepsy Foundation. Having been personally touched by a loss caused by epilepsy related injuries, I was looking for insight on the thoughts and emotions experienced by my loved one in relation to their epilepsy. I was quickly and completely drawn into the story being told. It reads like a work of fiction more than a memoir which shows t...
  • Kari
    Truly excellent readThis should be “required” reading for anyone who knows anyone with epilepsy, or who struggles with it themselves. As a parent of a young child with epilepsy, this will help me to be a better advocate, it also gives me confidence and hope for my child’s future. I will continue to be transparent about her condition, and continue to use humor as a coping mechanism, and continue to teach her that she can accomplish anything ...
  • Alison
    This memoir is so many things. It's heartbreaking while also being inspiring. It's tragic but also humorous. It is so brutally honest and well written. I couldn't put it down once I started. I bought this book because my dd has epilepsy, but I truly believe this book would be inspiring for anyone to read. Kurt Eichenwald overcame so much because he knew what he wanted out of life, and he did not let his seizures get in the way of that. I admire h...
  • Sean
    "I suffer from the scourge of Christ for my sins. I practice witchcraft, and thousands of my kind have been burned to death. I have been attacked by demons. I am sacred, capable of miracles. I am a seer, blessed by God and infused with the Holy Spirit. I am forbidden from becoming a Catholic priest. I should be institutionalized, chained to walls, as I prepare for my death … I have epilepsy, a condition recorded in every known civilization" (p....