Taking a pill to treat depression and psychosis is widely believed to be one of the main solutions to most mental disorders. But could this be a wrong approach? Could there be a simpler truth?
My name is Sarah Tushemereirwe. It’s a long Kinyakole name meaning “We are happy.” Happiness is an emotion I struggled to attain most of my life. I am 31 years old and I was diagnosed with a mental disorder at the age of 12.
Since then, I have struggled with depression, bipolar disorder, bulimia, low self-esteem, and suicidal tendencies that led me to overdose and jump out of moving cars. I have also engaged in severe self-harm that did not just leave me scarred on the outside, but on the inside too.
I never thought things could get any worse. But one September night four years ago, I went into a coma due to kidney failure as a result of the psychiatric medications, neglect and stigma which later led to multiple organ failure.
It has been a long journey of recovery. A journey of learning everything from scratch, including how to speak, how to write, and how to walk. With all this in mind and more, I haven’t lived my dream of becoming a doctor despite achieving excellent academic performance.
But I have survived. I have survived sexual molestation, physical abuse, stigma, electroconvulsive therapy, intensive medication, hospitalisation after hospitalisation and I am still surviving.
I believe I have had a unique experience with life and mental illness that has led to great truths of who God is and our responsibility in having a healthy mind.
Over the past several years, various people, laymen and professionals alike, have started questioning the mode of treatment of using drugs to “reverse chemical imbalances” in mental disorders.
According to reports by some psychiatrists, every day different media sources challenge the science and ethics behind drug treatment therapy especially forced incarceration and medication.
I have an obligation to share my story, for who knows, it may save a life or two or more. So, I have decided to write an inspirational and motivational book with my real-life experiences and research backing up the idea that the current drug-based approach to mental healthcare may not be the best answer.
Through writing a book, I can have a greater impact on people in countries I would not be able to travel to, in schools I cannot attend, in hospitals, environments, and homes I may not physically reach.
But writing, editing, publishing and distributing a book well is beyond my means, so I am reaching out to different avenues for financial support and I have also launched a few funding campaigns to help obtain my goal.
I am honestly thankful for my journey. I believe I am to be a vessel God uses to bring inspiration and hope to the hopeless, as He turns out what the enemy intends to use to destroy us for our good and His glory.
May God bless each one of you by allowing you to encounter His love and live a life of purpose.