Monthly Archives: June 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.


What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Answer – 1 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.

Do you have a favorite excerpt from the book? If so, can you share it?

Answer – 2 Yes, I have.


My mood swings got worse. I was feeling very low, particularly in the morning to early afternoon. I was very emotional, and I found myself crying without a moment’s notice.  My confidence was very low and I was feeling very negative, and even though I was confident I did not have HIV, I was convinced (especially in the mornings) that the test they did will be positive and I was a disgrace to my family. All my symptoms were worse in the morning.

I remember the first morning I was crying, and a very nice female staff nurse came to console me. She said,” don’t cry, your wife will be back from New York”. Clearly, she thought I was crying because I was missing my wife who was still in New York at the time, but was obviously unaware that I couldn’t control my emotions. My daughter had rung my wife and told her it wasn’t Bell’s Palsy, but something more serious, so she was desperately trying to get back home. She wanted to speak to me on the phone, but I couldn’t, as my speech by now had deteriorated so much. Ironically, in the first week of my illness, she suggested that I should have a CT brain scan but I said “don’t be neurotic dear! ”

What do you hope readers will take away after reading the book?

Answer – 3 To be aware that serious illnesses like neurological, and psychiatric like depression can affect anyone including doctors like myself, who treat these illnesses.

Who or what is the inspiration for the book?

Answer – 4 To share my personal story. 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.

Have you had a mentor? If so, can you talk about them a little?

Answer – 5 Dr Stephen Stahl is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California at San Diego, he is my mentor. He has written a lot of books on chemical changes in the emotional (limbic) brain and how medication like antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotic, etc work (psychopharmacology). Despite this been a very complex subject, his books are easy to understand, and have helped psychiatrists throughout the world.

He lectures on these subjects. He is enthusiastic, his lectures are informative, and even entertaining, making this difficult subject easy to understand.

He kindly gave his permission, for me to use some of the diagrams from one of his books, in “My Brain is Out of Control.”

I have heard it said in order to be a good writer, you have to be a reader as well? Do you find this to be true? And if you are a reader, do you have a favorite genre and/or author?

Answer – 6. Yes it is true, as you can see how good writers engage their readers.

Yes, Dr Stephen Stahl (answer 5 above).

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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Guest Post from Raymond Floodgate, author of Life 2 the Full






Life 2 the Full is a self-help book that shows the reader how to improve health and well-being by preventing Illness from happening in the first place. This book will guide you through the elements needed to help you live your life to the full. Life 2 the Full covers such subjects as health and well-being, food, exercise for the body, and exercise for the mind. Stress is also covered in this book, including ways to eliminate it. Other topics include breathing, relaxation, meditation, money, and abundance. The goal is to help the reader achieve a life that is lived to the full. If you are struggling with your life through constant recurring illness, stress, food-related problems, or lack of purpose, Life 2 the Full will teach you how to change the life you are living now into a life that you never thought possible. The book is written in plain English, is easy to understand, and will give you an insight into how easy it is to change your life should you want to.

Guest Post
There is no mystery about living life to the full. Once you know about
it, it is obvious. It has always been there but you just probably didn’t think
to look. It is not something that is taught in schools, even our teachers have
not been taught it.  It is not a part of
the curriculum at any level of education, so why should you know about it?  Our society has totally overlooked this way
of living and opted for the “get more money and grab everything you can” type
of existence. However, when you live life
to the full
, your life becomes rich and abundant in every way and this can
be obtained with little effort on your part.




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Every society today, associates wealth as money and
possessions, which is a very narrow view of what wealth truly is.  Money and possessions are absolutely a part
of wealth but only a small part.
Raymond Floodgate is a certified Reiki master and teacher, a qualified practitioner of energy healing, and an energy healing teacher. He was a practitioner and instructor of Shotokan karate for twelve years but now focuses on preventing illness. To this end, he has studied Tai Chi, Qigong, and meditation.

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Book Feature: Great Objectives by Robert Finch





In his book Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill refers to the great objects of human life. We may assume that that what Mill calls an object is the same as an objective in modern parlance. The examples of great objectives that Mill cites include power, fame, and money. One wonders how seriously Mill was actually endorsing such aims to be the overarching objectives of living or whether he was simply expressing his finding that many people actually do take such aims as these for life. The contention is that Mill was indeed recognizing that people do choose such goals in life. After all, happiness has been recognized as an objective of life at least since the time of Aristotle, and virtue has a similarly ancient pedigree. It is quite common for ordinary people to adopt such mottos as “Healthy, wealthy, and wise” as aims for life. But we know that having more than one such value can lead to conflicts. This had been a concern to Sidgwick as well as other nineteenth-century moralists. A resolution to the problem was found by the time of the twentieth century, when it was realized that we should not try to achieve definite objectives, but instead look to some other procedure, such as a variety of evolution, to shape our objectives. In that case, we make plans and evaluate them, as we proceed. We should use our values, as Dewey recommended, for guideposts. The book discusses the methods of arriving at such plans and weighs some of the ethical and moral problems an individual or a society might face at the present time.
Robert Finch is the author of five collections of essays and co-editor of The Norton Book of Nature Writing. He broadcasts a weekly commentary on NPR and serves on the faculty of the MFA in Writing Program at Spalding University in Louisville, KY. He lives in Wellfleet, MA.

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Book Feature: The Trials of Allura by Dina El Shammaa





Allura’s life is a testament to the strength and resilience of educated Middle-Eastern women in the modern age, who are railing against a life that makes little sense, with all its twists and turns. A tower of courage and energy, her enthusiasm to challenge life’s obstacles and temptations reflects some of the mind-blowing hardships various women face. Bound by passion, linked by need, Allura offers readers a better understanding of life in a cross-cultural environment, where women are wrongly perceived by the outside world as spoilt, reclusive, and vulnerable. Social constraints, family upheavals, and unexpected tragedies force Allura to stand on her two feet at a young age and make life-changing decisions, which is when her whole world begins to unravel. Join Allura on her extraordinary journey of highs and lows, humorous encounters, and fateful experiences, which transform her from a shy and sheltered teenager to a courageous, resolute, fiery, and tempestuous woman.
An author inspired by innocence, simplicity and beauty, Dina El Shammaa’s extensive writing background helps her uncover unexpected daily occurrences that affect the lives of millions of women in the region and beyond.

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Book Feature: Enter Venus by Sondra Luger






In ENTER VENUS the Goddess of Love comes to earth to save a marriage that’s falling apart. In the course of her magical ministrations, the art masterpieces at the magnificent Frick mansion spring to life and into action and a torrential downpour sweeps characters from a New York City street to Venice, Italy.

Sondra Luger taught English in a New York City high school. Her first romantic novel, RICH, NEVER MARRIED, RICH was inspired by Jane Austen’s PRIDE & PREJUDICE, and her second, BACK FROM BORA BORA, was inspired by the business world of the young and the resilience and energy of the so-called aged. Her mysteries, DROP ME OFF IN HARLEM and MURDER ON BROADWAY, both of which feature the same female fashion model detective, are a tribute to the Roaring Twenties and to the author’s mother, who was a high fashion model. Sondra comes from an arts-oriented family with musical talent, and she has recorded a music CD with her sister, singer and songwriter Carolyn Luger. The songs were written by music icons of the twentieth century. The album is TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE.

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