Brooke Siem went from winning "Chopped" to writing a memoir.
But her book isn't about cooking. It's about perfecting the recipe for living her life.
"May Cause Side Effects" is the story of what happened when Siem went off antidepressants after being on them for 15 years, having started them at the onset of depression after the sudden death of her father.
Siem's journey off antidepressants started with a question her psychiatrist couldn't answer. "What would I be like and how would I feel without antidepressants?"
At 30, she'd been on the same drugs she'd been prescribed as a teenager. At 30, she still had suicidal ideation and felt unhappy.
Under her doctor's supervision, Siem decided to find out what her true "baseline" for mental health, and life in general, was without medication.
What she didn't realize was how physically and emotionally hard antidepressant withdrawal can be or how long it can take.
The opportunity to go on "Chopped" happened at a time when Siem assumed the drugs would be out of her system. Instead, she was in the depths of withdrawal and no one on the show or in the audience knew. And then she won.
"May Cause Side Effects" is one woman's story of what withdrawal looked and felt like for a solid year. It's about rebuilding a life while appearing on national TV and then traveling the world.
And it will make you think about your own mental health and what you are doing to take care of yourself in a whole new way.
On this Dying to Ask:
Siem's turning point that led to the decision to stop antidepressant use after 15 years
The question that never came up in Siem's mental health appointments
How Siem ended up on the show "Chopped"
Questions Siem recommends we all ask our doctors about mental health
And Siem debunks myths about competing on a TV cooking show