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What’s Going On With Izzie Stevens’s Brain?

After about a season of my mother incessantly pleading with me to watch at least one episode, I eventually gave in and, to my chagrin, hopped on the McDreamy bandwagon. (Actually, I’d rather be a patron of the McSteamy bandwagon, but, I digress.) I am a Grey’s Anatomy fan. A true one, it seems, considering I’ve toughed out Isaiah Washington’s/Preston Burke’s miserable departure, gritted my teeth through the colossal joke that was Izzie and George, and managed to keep my verbal assaults to a minimum each time Meredith Grey, well, opens her mouth.

After all I’ve been through it’s no surprise that now, in the midst of the fifth season, I’m totally OK with Denny Duquette’s ghost basically stalking his ex-fiance, Izzie Stevens (played by Katherine Heigl).

I mean, really. Maybe I’m just in shock. He’s not that difficult to look at, either. And let’s face it – Izzie’s current beau, Alex, is a jerk. I’d take a ghost over him any day.

However, there’s more to this Denny/Izzie/Alex love triangle than it just being “the most interesting” Grey’s writer Shonda Rhimes has ever done.

Michael Ausiello reports that, according to “multiple sources,” Izzie Stevens is having brain-related health problems. Izzie may be suffering from something “similar to an aneurysm,” and that Denny’s appearances are actually Izzie’s hallucinations.

As far as I know, no one from Grey’s or ABC has denied or confirmed any of this, but, it seems plausible.

Yet, I’m left wondering what is it that’s similar to an aneurysm and causes such vivid hallucinations? Brain tumors can cause hallucinations, but apparently Rhimes ruled out any tumors. Mental illness, such as schizophrenia, can cause also hallucinations, but I think it’s pretty safe to say Izzie doesn’t have schizophrenia. And a plethora of other run-of-the-mill ailments, such as stress and sleep deprivation, can also cause hallucinations – but I’m really hoping Rhimes is working up a better storyline than that.

So, what is it, Rhimes? Any of the above? Or, maybe a seizure disorder? Some form of epilepsy? Perhaps Hoigné syndrome or Vertebrobasilar artery syndrome? Those both deal with blood-flow issues, and that’s kind of similar to an aneurysm, right?

What do you think? Have any ideas about what this mystery brain problem could be? Do you think this storyline is the Emmy-worthy material Katherine Heigl so desperately missed last season?

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What’s Going On With Izzie Stevens’s Brain?

Alicia Sparks

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2011). What’s Going On With Izzie Stevens’s Brain?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 21, 2019, from


Last updated: 2 Dec 2011
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Dec 2011
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