Friday, June 9, 2017

Interview with Dr. Patrick Mbaya, author of My Brain is Out of Control

Although Dr. Patrick Mbaya’s illness caused a lot distress and nearly took his life, the emotional symptoms of the depression he developed helped him understand and empathize with patients and how they feel when they become ill. In My Brain is Out of Control, Mbaya, fifty-five and at the peak of his career, shares a personal story of how he suffered from a brain infection in 2010 that caused loss of speech, right-sided weakness, and subsequent depression. He tells how he also dealt with the antibiotics complications of low white cell count and hepatitis. He narrates his experiences as a patient, the neurological and psychiatric complications he encountered, how he coped, and his journey to recovery. Presenting a personal perspective of Mbaya’s illness from the other side of the bed, My Brain is Out of Control, offers profound insight into battling a serious illness.


Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

I am a medical doctor, specialising in psychiatry. I share my personal story after I suffered from a brain infection in 2010, which caused loss of speech, right sided weakness, and clinical depression. I also suffered from antibiotic complications of low white cell count, and hepatitis. I narrate my experience as a patient/doctor (on the other side of the bed), neurological, and psychiatric complications I suffered, how I coped, and my journey to recovery.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

My illness was very traumatic to me, and nearly took my life. I found it very difficult to write down what I went through. It took me four years before, I could gather the courage to write the book.

Do you plan subsequent books?

Maybe in future.

When and why did you begin writing?

Following my serious mystery illness in 2010, I wanted to share my personal story, although it took me four years before I could do this. What I went through was very difficult for me, and for my family, and although I was writing down what I was going through during my illness, it took me four years before I was comfortable enough to share my story by writing the book. I also felt it is important for doctors to see things from the patient’s perspective, and also to give hope to people with depression or brain disorders, and their families.

What is your greatest strength as an author?

My greatest strength is that I am a medical doctor specialising in psychiatry (psychiatric physician), and I suffered from a serious brain infection causing physical, psychiatric, and antibiotic complications. I discuss the clinical conditions I suffered from, in simple, and easy to understand language. People who are not in the medical field, will be able to understand, and follow the story.

Did writing this book teach you anything?

Writing the book has been therapeutic, and has helped me try to come to terms with my illness. It has also made me understand what sort person I am, and what I need to do to make myself a better person!

Dr. Patrick Mbaya is a medical doctor specializing in psychiatry. He is a consultant psychiatrist and honorary clinical lecturer in psychiatry at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. He has a special interest in mood and addiction disorders.

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