Dr Suzanne O’Sullivan is a consultant in clinical neurophysiology and neurology, a specialist in complex epilepsy and psychosomatic illness, as well as a multi award-winning author.
Suzanne o’Sullivan has been a consultant in neurology since 2004, first working at The Royal London Hospital and currently working a The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, as well as for a specialist unit based at the Epilepsy Society.
Her specialist interests are in epilepsy and in improving services for people who suffer with functional neurological disorders. She also has an active interest in psychogenic disorders.
In 2015, Suzanne published ‘First, Do No Harm’ in The Lancet and since then has been published in multiple medical journals.
Suzanne has written three books, for which she has received multiple awards and nominations. She often writes for The Guardian, features on BBC Radio, as well as appearing at festivals including the Edinburgh Festival, Hay Festival and Latitude.
Dr Suzanne O’Sullivan qualified in medicine in 1991 from Trinity College Dublin, training in neurology and clinical neurophysiology. Since 2004 she has been a consultant, working since 2011 at The National Hospital for Neurology and The Epilepsy Society since 2011.
In 2015, Suzanne completed an MA in creative writing at Birkbeck College.
Dr Suzanne O’Sullivan has published three books. In 2015 she published It’s All in Your Head: True Stories of Imaginary Illness. The book explores issues surrounding psychosomatic illness and neurological manifestations of psychosomatic illness. It discuses the mind-body connection with stories of O’Sullivan’s patients, taking a compassionate look at the serious medical problems that can arise through pure psychological mechanisms.
In the book, Suzanne shares the history of the hysteria from ancient to modern times and goes on to discuss diagnosis, causes, mechanisms and treatment of neurological psychosomatic disorders in the modern world.
Following the success of her first book, Suzanne published Brainstorm: The Detective Stories from the World of Neurology in 2018.
Brainstorm explores how the study of epilepsy changed scientists’ understanding of the brain. It looks at modern views and treatments for epilepsy and what they teach about how the brain works.
Suzanne’s third book, The Sleeping Beauties: And Other Stories of Mystery Illness, was published in 2021. Here she travels the world visiting communities that had been affected bymass hysteria and culture bound syndromes. It looks at a Tourette’s-like syndrome spreading through a New York high school, schoolgirls in Colombia that experienced an outbreak of contagious seizures, people in Kazakhstan who suffered a contagious sleeping sickness and attacks of ‘crazy sickness’ affecting indigenous people of Nicaragua.