The author of ‘In Search Of Sanity’ Musinguzi Begumisa a victim of bipolar disorder stated that medication is vital for a person's wellness after they have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder.
Speaking to Crystal Newman on The Groove Cafe on Monday, Begumisa explained that the medication helps to balance the brain chemicals and restores one's consciousness. Otherwise, victims would have an imbalance which can lead to devastating effects.
From his personal experience with quitting medication after two years, he recounted experiencing imbalanced brain activity which made him over or under react to situations.
"While I was off medication, I became so excited. The level of euphoria I had was so high. One day I got a bodaboda and rode up to statehouse Nakasero to tell Museveni to sort the economy because his ideas were not working. To me it made perfect sense,” he recounted.
Shortly after reaching State house Begumisa and his boda driver were intercepted by soldiers and taken to the Central Police station. While there, he got ideas and decided to tell his cellmates of an escape plan but he was hit by one of them and was later admitted to Butabika hospital.
“Discontinuing medication causes an imbalance in the brain’s chemical equilibrium affecting the cognitive sense of the victim and making them insane.” he explained, while relating to the reason for writing his book ‘ In Search of Sanity.’
Before getting diagnosed with the disorder, Begumisa said he was previously an intelligent student, one who topped his O-level counterparts in the country and got admitted to Makerere University on government sponsorship to pursue a course in Engineering.
According to him, the disorder that runs in his family was triggered when his mum separated from his father during his first year at the University. Thereafter, he started experiencing symptoms of the disorder subconsciously.
Apart from being very excited, the discontinuation of his medication also caused him extreme sadness, which stirred suicidal thoughts following constant retakes despite studying hard.
“With the drugs, a person is balanced. An antidepressant raises their mood a bit, and psychotics help the person restore to normalcy in order to have normal brain reactions. So when I got continuous retakes, I became depressed and locked myself in the room for three days. On the third day, I had decided to take all my medicine and die because I saw no value in retaking the papers,” he recalled.
However, he said a voice talked him out of the decision and he was returned to Butabika hospital for counseling where he also resumed medication.
“Management is important for mental health, and to anyone with any disorders, take your medication. There is miscommunication that it damages the body organs which is not true. You may have effects, but there are solutions like water, drink a lot of water to flush out the chemicals,” he advised.
Musingwire Begumisa completed his engineering course while on medication and is now a professional engineer that has trained extensively in engineering materials for road construction as well as management of infrastructure projects. He is formally the Materials Specialist at the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA).
His career spans over 12 years in various capacities in the engineering industry. Currently, he is the Team Lead at Praus Group which offers solutions to engineering challenges in Uganda.
The Groove Cafe with Crystal Newman airs every Weekday from 4-5 pm on RX Radio.
Download the RX Radio app: