A Pie Dough Sculpture’s Worth A Thousand Words


Avonlea’s Thanksgiving Pie Dough “Pig Face” made in a fit of pique


Thanksgiving is a weird time in my head.

I feel the loss of my Dad most deeply on Thanksgiving. He died in 2009, but I think of him often and I miss him. An avid cook, my father loved making all sorts of Thanksgiving dishes. Each year he tried a different exotic stuffing recipe in one of his favorite cookbooks The Silver Palate.

Thanksgiving stopped truly feeling like Thanksgiving when he left us.

There are other holes in this Thanksgiving such as an estrangement with someone I love. Apart from that awful rift, a few weeks ago I decided to no longer spend time with some extended family members who are toxic to my mental health. For the past eight years I was passive about how they acted due to my severe bipolar depression and often feeling suicidal.

Now that I’m doing better, I refuse to be around anyone for more than five minutes who will affect my hard-won stability.

The estrangement feels bad – there’s no way around that at this time. Hopefully that will change someday. But my decision to stop being around those who are detrimental to my mental health feels empowering. My husband fully supports my decision because my mental health is of tantamount importance to him. (I know “tantamount” sounds pretentious, but it truly does describe how important my mental health is to Craig!)

There are wonderful people to focus upon such as my immediate family, Miss Lucy (she’s more human than most humans) and my Mom. My mother joined us for Thanksgiving and in her honor I gave Lucy a bath so that Mom could enjoy the beast when she smelled oh-so-fresh. I used an awesome lavender mint dog shampoo by Cloud Star, a company that donates some of their proceeds to great animal welfare organizations.


“I’m cleaner than you are!”

Lucy Harwood, age 1 & 1/2

We had fun watching some of the 2014 National Dog Show (I don’t get the right channel for the 2015 show.) and I swear Lucy looked just as sleek and glamorous as those fancy hounds! I don’t usually watch dog shows so it was interesting to see all the incredible variety of breeds as well as witness the love and trust between the dog and handler.  I know I could write an entire blog post about the dark side of dog shows, but today it’s about the love. There has been enough dark lately. 

So that’s all the news that’s fit to blog.

I know yesterday was tough for many of you – it’s especially hard for those of us with bipolar disorder. I hope you got through the day relatively unscathed.

I’ll see you next week and in the meantime, I send you my love as always!


Lucy snoozing on her beloved bean bag



Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Walker Karraa (author of Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women’s Stories of Trauma and Growth) will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017.



cool hand lucy

Lucy chillin’

What do you get when you combine the words “November” + “ramblings”?

Novamblings of course!

(I know it’s dorky, but I just can’t help myself from dorking out!)

My November days have been filled with taking care of my two girls, playing with Lucy, eating bon bons (I wish) and working on Birth of a New Brain.

I have a super-rough draft which I call the “skeleton”. Natalie Goldberg gets the credit for that moniker. She wrote the classic book Writing Down the Bones which I read when it was published waaaay back in 1986. I was sweet sixteen that year; little did I know I’d be writing my first book a whopping 29 years later.


I’m reviewing each of the twenty chapters from start to finish, filling them with “adipose tissue”, or rounding out this draft with the right facts, incidents and more. (Doesn’t adipose tissue sound more lyrical than fat?) Then I’ll go through the chapters again and add “guts” to make the writing juicier, and hopefully far more interesting to the reader than it is now. It will be a fine line between the guts having T.M.I. and not enough T.M.I. , but I’ll do my best! ;)

Every writer follows her own set of rules. This is how I’m approaching my draft, which is subject to change. (Mercurial me!)

In September I signed up for a writing class with the world-renowned author Laura Davis. Unfortunately I had to drop out after my brother-in-law passed away. I’m glad that Laura gave me credit towards a future class, and it was great to finally meet her in person after hearing about her for years.

Meanwhile, I’m still going strong with my Dr. Alsuwaidan-style daily workouts.


JUST DO IT the Dr. A. Way!

Being sick with an evil cold/cough for almost two weeks threw me off. I missed all my workouts and my mood suffered – my whole family noticed that. But I got back on track to everyone’s relief, most of all my own.

What else?

The horrific events of Paris reminded me that I’m incredibly fortunate not to have been directly affected by such evil. 

Despite reading about what took place in Paris and being aware of atrocities happening every day worldwide, my preoccupation with petty dung (mainly regarding social media content) and my road rage have been getting worse.

I’ve become too negative, angry, envious and outward-focused.

Does any of that sound familiar? 



Remember when I gave up Facebook? I’m still Facebook-free and I don’t miss it at all. However, I ain’t no social media saint who can cut the virtual cord 100%. After I quit Facebook, I started using Twitter too much!  Twitter gradually grew into a Facebook-like trigger and it became too stimulating and, at times, upsetting.

Day after day I kept muttering “I have to cut back on Twitter!” to no avail.

Finally I saw the light. Something clicked over the weekend; maybe my despair about Paris speeded things up for me to make a positive change. I reduced the amount of people/organizations I’m closely following on Twitter. I’m now only reading tweets by those individuals and groups who lift me up, and who I want to support.

One such organization is Postpartum Support International. I became a member last week, and I’m excited to tell you that PSI has created a free online support group (both English and Spanish) for those with postpartum depression! How cool is that? You can use your name or be anonymous. For more information please visit:


Speaking of things that lift up one’s spirits, I wanted to share a resource that you probably already use – you’re all so hip – but just in case, here’s the info.

During my writing time I’ve been listening to a YouTube feed that claims to enhance focus in one’s brain

You might prefer AC/DC – just play whatever makes you happy and productive, right? Music is powerful. I’ve been around live music since in utereo – my father played the violin for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and my crib was located near his practice room. He praticed for hours every day. When he retired, over 100 people auditioned for his job!

I digress…but then again, I must keep this blog’s digression tradition alive.

When I must leave Lucy home alone, I put on anti-anxiety music for dogs so she’s not so freaked out. I think all of these New Age music loops help.  Do any of you use them?

And on that note (get it???) that’s all for now. Oh wait!!!!!

I forgot to mention this in my previous exercise post. I have chronic knee pain from two knee surgeries I had in 1991 and 2007. I had A.C.L. (anterior cruciate ligament) reconstruction and cartilage repair galore.

What helps me a ton with the pain, which worsens in colder weather, is homeopathic arnica. Arnica is cheap, it has no contraindications with other medications (and believe me, I take an MAOI, so I know that for sure) and it works! I like Boron arnica and I use their pills and the external gel. You can get each of those for less than $12 at most health food stores or online. If you have joint pain/bruises/soreness, this stuff is awesome.

Wishing you a good, safe week and I’ll let you know how Thanksgiving goes next week.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving – I’m incredibly thankful that you’re all out there, and that I’m lucky enough that you read my blog.

much love,



Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Walker Karraa (author of the acclaimed book Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women’s Stories of Trauma and Growth) will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017.


David Caruso, Jay Mohr, Christopher Walken & Me


Warning – if you want intellectual, you’ve come to the wrong post!


Most of you are probably too young to remember this famous Almond Joy candy bar jingle:

“Sometimes you feel like a nut – sometimes you don’t!”

Today I feel like a nut in the best sense of that word. Some of you know I’m a tad, how shall I put this…hyper-aware of stigma (Virginia Woolf, anyone?) I’m using “nut” in a goofy 1970’s way…a way that’s innocent, and devoid of mental illness connotations.  

Two of my favorite actors are Christopher Walken and Jay Mohr. If you’re unfamiliar with Christopher Walken, please let me know in the comments and I’ll write a future post all about his glory.

Jay Mohr is an amazing comedian, a bestselling author (his book Gasping for Airtime chronicles his two-year-long stint on Saturday Night Live and his accompanying anxiety attacks) and he’s perhaps best known for his role as agent Bob Sugar in Jerry Maguire.

I also pay homage to actor David Caruso of CSI Miami fame…wait for it. 

I’ll back up a bit here to set the stage. Last fall when I was feeling blue, I watched a 2003 Comedy Central Special with Jay Mohr. In his finale Mohr included his famed Christopher Walken impersonation, but not just any old Walken impersonation – it was Jay Mohr as Christopher Walken as the actor David Caruso playing detective Horatio Caine of the hit show CSI Miami. (Say that ten times fast!)

I love how Jay Mohr does his wacky Walken – while yes, there are other comedians/actors who imitate Christopher Walken (hell, even Kevin Spacey does an impersonation!), and they’re all fun, Jay’s version is my favorite.

Keep in mind I was totally unfamiliar with David Caruso, CSI Miami, and Horatio Caine until I watched the Jay Mohr comedy special. 

Sequestered in my chilly bedroom while watching Mohr’s show on my Kindle, I began laughing so hard that my family came running into the room. They were shocked to hear their Mean, Grumpy Mommy giggling her derriere off.

I didn’t become a singing unicorn after watching my beloved Jay’s performance, but I felt a lot better after laughing like that. 

How good it was to forget about my inner doom and gloom for an hour.  If you’re feeling that way (Seasonal Affective Disorder, bipolar, life anyone?) I highly recommend searching for something on YouTube, Netflix etc. that will make you laugh. Treat yourself to a comedy break because you deserve it – I know you do!!! 

Before you watch Jay’s Walken clip located at the end of this post, please watch a bit of David Caruso as Horatio Caine in this “Endless One-Liners” video first.

f.y.i. there are some graphic crime scene snippets throughout the clip,so please be aware…

And now for Jay Mohr as The Mighty Walken, Master of the Cowbell – this bit cracks me up every time, it just does. Look for the Walken “eye bulge” move – no one else masters the Walken Eye like Jay.

(Don’t watch this around your kids unless you want them talking like a sailor around you!)

Do you have any funnies to share here? Please do so in the comments…

Hope something here has made you smile apart from my shoddy syntax! ;

See you next week, my lovelies!



Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Walker Karraa (author of the acclaimed book Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women’s Stories of Trauma and Growth) will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017.

Author Marie Abanga’s “Darling Dyane, My Heroine”



Author/advocate Marie Abanga and I belong to our own special Mutual Admiration Society! It constantly amazes me how we’ve forged our bond living on opposite sides of the world, but I’m not that surprised after “meeting” some of you who live continents away from Chez Harwood.

Last night I cried reading a draft of this post that Marie emailed me; thank God they were happy tears!

The immortal words of Wayne and Garth: “We’re not worthy” (as said in the epic “Wayne’s World”) came to my mind while reading Marie’s post. It feels wonderful to be appreciated by someone in this way.

I suggest that this weekend (if you don’t have time to write a tribute post of your own, although there’s always the future. It’s fun to do; I’ve written a few myself.) consider taking some time to spread some warm fuzzies someone else’s way.

Marie didn’t know I had a particularly tough day when she sent me this draft. Her glowing compliments and appreciation went a long way in lifting me out of my own pity party.

Gestures can be small to make a difference. Believe it or not, I got a simple “heart” on a tweet this morning from Postpartum Support International that made me feel great! (It made me so happy that I decided to join their organization!)

Here’s a lower-cost act of kindness: the other day when I pulled over on the highway to let a speedster pass me, he turned on his emergency lights to “thank” me right after he passed my car, and my blood pressure went down a bit. Sometimes, small moves like that can make more of a difference than you’d imagine.

So, in the spirit of Merry Marie, I wish you all a good weekend and take care of yourselves. Let me know if you do any cool acts of kindness, even if they are teeny-tiny ones – sometimes those are the coolest ones of all.




Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Walker Karraa (author of the acclaimed book Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women’s Stories of Trauma and Growth) will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017.

Originally posted on Marie Abanga's Blog:

Lady and her Lovely Lucy Lady and her Lovely Lucy

Have you ever waited for a phone call with much anxiety because you feared the person may end up not calling as promised? Have you ever spoken to someone and you never wanted that conversation to stop? Wait a minute, have you ever left a comment for the first time on someone’s blog and kept your fingers and toes crossed until they replied to your comment? Let me see what more I can ponder about this darling lady Dyane of mine?

Love is in the air huh... Love is in the air huh…

In short, there’s probably no way I can go to that US again without visiting my fair lady as I also call her, and oh sure lovely lucy too.

Yes, I follow my guts very often and they’ve led me very very often to fulfilling encounters! Indeed several life changing lessons have been learnt. It still happens and…

View original 642 more words

Why I Follow This Man’s Advice Even If I Don’t Feel Like It


Psychiatrist Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidan

Surprise everyone! I’m not writing a rambling 3500 word post this week. Are you amazed? Grateful? I hope so! ;) Consider it my early holiday gift to you…

Ever since we had a death in the family on September 6th, it has been tough around here. I wasn’t close to my brother-in-law, but my husband loved his brother very much. Some of you know what it’s like to be around deep grief, and it’s hard. Plus the specific circumstances of this death were awful.  

In the past an event like that could’ve easily triggered my depression, but I’ve been able to avoid it this time.  I’ve felt sad, overwhelmed, anxious, yes, but the Big D? (I’ve stopped using the silly term “black dog”.)



Meet Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidan  


I first became familiar with Dr. Alsuwaidan’s work through the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (a.k.a. ISBD) as well as my blogging friend Kitt O’Malley.

In 2014 Kitt provided her followers with a link to Dr. Alsuwaidan’s free ISBD webinar Exercise Treatment for Mood Disorders: A Neurobiological Rationale. Her post caught my eye and I clicked on that link.

Here Dr. Alsuwaidan describes his webinar:

More recently, studies have demonstrated positive effects of exercise in mood disorders (primarily unipolar depression). What remains unclear is the underlying brain biology. What are the neurobiological deficits that occur in bipolar disorder? Do we have proof that exercise works at these levels to alter brain function? How do we translate laboratory evidence into clinical realities? These are some of the questions that are addressed during this webinar.

That blurb got my attention. I started listening.


I usually am so all over the place I can’t focus on webinars, but I’m so glad I paid attention to that one.

While listening, something clicked. I started looking at exercise differently. This was profound, you see, because I’m a former American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer. That certification may sound flighty, but I assure you, it was hard-won. I struggled more studying for the A.C.E. exam than I did for my oral exam administered by a panel of literature professors in order to graduate from the University of California!

I was so glad I passed my A.C.E. exam that when I opened up my results, I actually burst into tears…

In my mid-20’s I worked in a French family-owned gym (i.e. a wacky place) for two years. When I wasn’t teaching 6:00 a.m. circuit training classes or training members, I handed out towels to a future billionaire (the founder of Netflix),the editor-in-chief and writing staff of Santa Cruz’s biggest newspaper, and many cultured, cool residents. I opened the gym five days a week, and I noticed these movers and shakers, many of whom I got know well and who seemed genuinely happy, worked out every day.

Suffice it to say, I’m aware of exercise basics.  But I didn’t know anything about exercise’s potential for bipolar disorder and achieving mood stability the way that Dr. Alsuwaidan did.

His webinar and blog post about what exactly to do, exercise-wise (which I share below with his permission) has changed my life. I don’t want to sound like a commercial for pigfeed that claims it cures bipolar, because this form exercise is not a cure. I don’t burst into unicorn songs after each workout. But following Dr. Alsuwaidan’s advice helps keep me from going down into my own personal sinkhole, and I know you all understand the significance of that.


I work out almost daily, and life remains hard. But following these principles as much as I can makes me feel like I have some influence in dealing with a mental illness I despise.

If you’re struggling, I want you to join me now. I know it’s cold in most parts of the world, and it’s a particularly difficult time to begin working out – you can even complain to me about it here. I won’t bill you. Even better, you can announce your accomplishments to us. I’ll keep track of what you do and we’ll cheer you on.


In the past I would’ve burned out exercising daily or near-daily. But now I know there’s something I can do to truly help avoid suicide territory. If doing these workouts can help me avoid Dante’s Level 7, I’m going to do them. 

I have support in order to exercise and I advise you get some too. Craig hangs out with the kids while I work out at night. They can watch themselves now, but I feel better if he’s around them. Lucy is so cute- she comes in and hangs out with me; that poor collie has to listen to my loud 80’s music but she wants to – go figure. I used to be a morning workout person, but this schedule fits better for now.

What makes ALL the difference apart from support, my Kindle & music, is that I have a home elliptical machine. By the way, while I love reading, friends tell me they can’t read on a machine or else it makes them dizzy/nauseous, but I hope you can try it, because it makes it much easier for me to exercise.

We’re going to pay Sears off for two more years for our elliptical, but that’s how it goes. I used to walk near the house, but this way the machine is right here, it’s safe to use at night, etc. Some friends tell me they can’t afford any exercise machine, yet I’ve noticed they buy all kinds of other things. So that’s something to consider.  BUT there are other low-cost/no-cost options – you can also do a workout video or jump rope like Dr. Alsuwaidan has been known to do – he gives more suggestions below and in his webinar!

So here goes – even if you don’t listen to Dr. Alsuwaidan’s webinar, please read the following blog post. I’ll be really proud of you!

Dr. Alsuwaidan’s blog “Exercise & Mood Part 3: From Science to Action”

There is probably no one word that can sum up what people want in terms of emotional or mental health. Whether it be clients I meet in the clinic with a mood or anxiety disorder, or a friend or acquaintance asking for an opinion in a social setting, the theme of the question is common, but each one is different. However, I think there is one common thread that joins the questions and ONE word that captures 99% of what is ideally sought: STABILITY.

Those with recurring depressive episodes or mood swings want mood stability. Others with anxiety, nervousness or worry want calm stability. The frazzled, stressed, workaholics want relaxed stability. For many, achieving stability would make them happier, more productive, more sociable and have a better quality of life.

I don’t claim that exercise is the only way to achieve stability. There is no panacea. The correct treatment of all of the above situations is an individually tailored combination that could include medications, talk-therapy, lifestyle changes and other components but should ALWAYS include exercise.

Photo on 11-4-15 at 8.52 AM

Lucy barks, “I concur!”

Now let’s make the leap from the science we reviewed in the previous blog posts to action.

How do we “dose” exercise? What kind of exercise? What time should I exercise? For how long? How do I start and how do keep going?

For an easy reference I will summarize the answer in one sentence then explain the details and the fine tuning will come later. Remember here we are talking about the ‘dosing’ of exercise that changes the biology of the brain and not the number of packs in your abdominals! Although that might be a welcome side effect — if you are trying to achieve that, talk to a personal trainer. Here we are treating the brain and going after STABILITY.

Photo on 2014-11-29 at 17.59 #2

Where the magic happens….I read many of your blogs on my Kindle; that’s why I don’t comment too much!

Exercise for 30 minutes 6 days a week at a high-impact level.

That’s it – simple, right?

Okay, okay, I know it is not that easy. So let me explain further by breaking it down into 3 rules.

Rule #1 — Exercise: For brain health, the exercise can be any type that suits you. It does NOT have to be weight-lifting or running on a treadmill. You do NOT have to go to a gym or use a workout DVD. Do any exercise that you enjoy. Swim, run, hike, climb, lift weights, tennis, basketball, soccer, yoga, cycling and on and on. Adapt the exercise to your body if your capacity is limited by physical needs or injuries, but anyone can do some sort of exercise unless you are fully paralyzed.

Rule #2–30 minutes 6 days a week: The bottom-line is that the research shows this is the average of the dose needed for the brain to adapt. Now, let’s break this rule down. First reactions are usually — 6 days?! That’s a lot! Yes it is, but we are only asking for 30 minutes. Think about it, how many hours a day do you sit at the internet or TV? 30 minutes is very short.

Dyane adds: “For those who usually work out an hour, the below section is the really important part to follow for long-term success!

In fact, DON’T do more than 30 minutes (unless you have a routine and have been doing this for years). Doing more will lead to inconsistency and skipping workout days. The science shows it is far better (at least for the brain) to be consistent in exercising most days of the week rather than spending an hour exercising 2 or 3 days a week. In fact, for you gym-goers if you think about it (and research also supports this) if you are spending more than 30 minutes at the gym then you are chatting and resting too much.


(photo added by Dyane)

Thirty minutes makes it harder to come up with excuses such as: There is no time! or I’m too busy! If you work a lot or travel, find 30 minutes to do some stretches, pushups, air-squats, jumping jacks etc. 30 focused minutes is all you need, Done! Six days too much? Fine – five days is the absolute minimum, but better to aim for 6 so that if you fall short then you have a day to save for later.

Rule # 3 — High Impact: For the scientists reading this that is 16 kcal/kg/week. What?? English please! Okay, so here is how I explain high-impact to people: For most of the 30 minutes you’re exercising you should be sweating and it should be difficult to speak in complete sentences without needing to catch your breath. This means you work hard for 30 minutes, then you are done. Walking doesn’t count unless it meets the criteria above. Commuting does not count! That is your normal energy expenditure. Remember we are trying to change the brain, and you can’t do that without effort.

Last few tips:

  • You can exercise anytime in the day that fits your schedule. I find first thing in the morning works best because it is the time of day with the least demands on your schedule. Plus there is evidence this timing may have a more efficient effect than other timings. If it means you have to wake up 30 minutes earlier, then do it and just sleep 30 minutes earlier at night. No big deal. But if it doesn’t work just exercise at any time that’s the most important thing. Get it done.
  • You can either start slow and build up to 6 days a week over a number of weeks or just pick a week and start. If you have started and stopped exercise routines in the past you’ll find this one is easier to maintain because it is more flexible. You can do anything as long as you break a sweat. Jumping rope is great if you don’t have a lot of equipment and can’t go to a gym. Keep telling yourself it’s only 30 minutes and just get up and do it.
  • If you skip days and don’t exercise at least 5 days in a week don’t be discouraged and go back down to zero. Just start again. It is normal to stumble. I do all the time. The important thing is to keep the 30 minutes 6 days a week in your head and keep as close to that as you can. But the closer you are to that ‘dose’ the better the result will be.

Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidan is a specialist psychiatrist at Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital in Kuwait and an Assisstant Professor of Psychiatry at both Kuwait University and the University of Toronto. He has trained at the University of Toronto, Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada and a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. More information at http://about.me/MoAlsuwaidan

Here’s the direct link to Dr. Alsuwaidan’s Medium.com site & blog:


Twitter: @moalsuwaidan

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Walker Karraa (author of the acclaimed book Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women’s Stories of Trauma and Growth) will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017.

Post Hill

AROHO’s No No/An Intriguing Book About Virginia Woolf’s Manic Depression



Happy day before Halloween!


Several weeks have passed since I emailed A Room of Her Own Foundation for Women: Writers: Artists, a well-funded nonprofit also known as AROHO. 

The A Room of Her Own website features a profile of a young Virginia Woolf in its logo. Woolf is referenced throughout the AROHO website, i.e. the foundation’s mission and Woolf’s bio. There’s not a peep about her lifelong struggle with manic depression which had a massive influence upon her work.



I wrote in gory detail about what happened after I contacted AROHO in my post A Stigma of Her Own. While the post received fantastic replies and generated a lively discussion, when it came to AROHO’s eagerly anticipated reply to my suggestions, I only heard crickets chirping. 

I’m not surprised they didn’t get back to me “thoughtfully”- that’s what their auto-generated email which I received from them promised me: “Thanks for your email and we’ll get back to you thoughtfully within a few days.”

However, I was disappointed all the same. I figure that whoever ignored my emails will have to face her stigma at some point. She won’t be able to run away from it, since mental illness affects one in four people in this country.

An interesting thing that came out of this experience was finding two books written solely about Virginia Woolf’s life with manic depression. (There very well may be more books, as I only did a quick Google search!)

The book by Thomas C. Caramagno titled Flight of the Mind got great reviews across the board and get this – it has an afterword by Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, author of the bestseller An Uniquiet Mind and numerous other books.  (Dr. Jamison discusses Woolf and manic depression in her classic book Touched with Fire.) 


The other book is titled The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: Manic Depression and the Life of Virginia Woolf by retired British psychiatrist Peter Dally. It only received one Amazon review (at least it was 5 stars), but Kirkus and Library Journal’s reviews were very lukewarm. 


Before I continue, I promise each of you I will let this subject go, but here’s my last longwinded sentence to sum up everything:

I located these two Woolf & manic depression books after I contacted AROHO. I was frankly amazed to find two books written exclusively about how Woolf’s manic depression affected her writing. 

The fact that AROHO, a big, cushy nonprofit claiming to be dedicated to women writers and artists, has swept such a profound aspect of Woolf’s life under the carpet is ludicrous.

I wish I could get Woolf’s take on it! Who knows what she would say or write on the matter? I could have a seance tomorrow night and ask her myself…NOT! ;)

(For the record, I’m fascinated by the afterlife, but I wouldn’t be up for doing that. It would most likely annoy Woolf.)

So on that cheerful note I bid you adieu.

I wish you a wonderful Halloween, my favorite day of the year! What will you be? I’m going to be a mysterious dark vampirish lady sans fangs. 

take care & be careful on the streets while filling up those candy bags. (Hey! You’re never too old.)


p.s. I would LOVE your take on any of this: Virginia Woolf, stigma, hypocritical nonprofits, seances, the afterlife, whatever.  

p.p.s. My friend the blogger extraordinaire Kitt O’Malley shared a very cool resource: UC Press E-books Collection to read Thomas C. Caramagno’s book The Flight of the Mind – Virginia Woolf’s Art and Manic-Depressive Illness.

Please visit the link here



Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Walker Karraa (author of the acclaimed book Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women’s Stories of Trauma and Growth) will be published by Post Hill Press in early 2017.

How a Nurse Practitioner Living With Bipolar Disorder Takes Control In the Workplace

How a Nurse Practitioner Living With Bipolar Disorder Takes Control In the Workplace


Featured Image -- 11641


Hi my friends!

I’ll be publishing my weekly original post later this week, but I couldn’t help but reblog this post. I’ll let my comment at Freud and Fashion do the talking:

“How thrilling to see my amazing friend/blogger Ann Roselle here at one of my favorite blogs written by Dr.Vania Manipod, psychiatrist of Freud and Fashion! :)))

I discovered Ann during my internet quest to find women who have experienced bipolar, peripartum onset (postpartum bipolar disorder) for the purpose of interviewing for my book Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Walker Karraa. 

After getting to know Ann & having the great fortune of making a wonderful friend in her, I referred Ann to Joni Edelman, the editor of Ravishly.com. I knew Ann’s writing talent (along with the fact that her story was incredible) would speak to Joni, who lives with bipolar disorder. As I predicted, Joni found Ann’s articles about bipolar disorder to be top-notch and she published them on the popular site.

Lo and behold, you & Ann connected with one another via Ravishly.com. It’s a small world and it thrills me when this kind of networking takes place. It’s social media at its best!

Cheers to both of you remarkable visionaries who constantly inspire me – my world is better with you two in it.

XO, Dyane”

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Walker Karraa (author of the acclaimed book Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women’s Stories of Trauma and Growth) will be published by Post Hill Press in Fall, 2017.

Originally posted on Freud & Fashion:

I first came across Ann Roselle, an acute care nurse practitioner, via Twitter after reading the extremely personal and brave post that she wrote for the online magazine, Ravishly, which poignantly highlights the humiliation she experienced during one of her numerous psychiatric hospitalizations.  Given the stigma that surrounds mental illness, many may feel ashamed to disclose their diagnoses (especially as a professional in the medical field).  However, Ann writes so openly about living with postpartum onset bipolar disorder as a guest contributor on several websites and in her blog, Bipolar&Me.  She dispels the misconception that people diagnosed with bipolar disorder can’t live fulfilling lives, have a successful career, balance numerous roles and responsibilities (wife, mom of 3 boys, mental health advocate, blogger, to name a few), AND cope with the fluctuations in mood characteristic of bipolar disorder.  I am a huge fan of Ann’s writing and am honored to have her contribute to my blog as she discusses her commitment…

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