Kitt O’Malley’s Review: “Birth of a New Brain” #PostPartumBipolar

Kitt O’Malley’s Review: “Birth of a New Brain” #PostPartumBipolar

 

This review of “Birth of a New Brain” by the blogger/writer Kitt O’Malley is one of the first ones I’ve read. I’m very grateful for her insights and impressions.

As a mother with bipolar disorder, Kitt has a particular appreciation for my experience. She has an outstanding blog so if you haven’t read it, I encourage you to look at the variety of her posts and be sure to read her “About” page – she’s a truly remarkable person, and I’m proud to call her my friend.

Kitt O'Malley

Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder by Dyane Harwood. Foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw.

Dyane Harwood thrilled me when she sent me an advance copy of her memoir, Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder. (I pre-ordered it and was anxiously awaiting it’s October 2017 release.) Her memoir fills a much-needed niche in sharing the experience of bipolar disorder, peripartum onset (beginning during pregnancy or within four weeks after delivery).

With her friendly approachable writing style, her strong spirit shines throughout her memoir, even when describing the devastation of bipolar disorder. Her story shows how important it is to not give up. She had to undergo ECT and multiple medication trials to find what worked for her.

Dyane explains both the traumatic symptoms she experienced and technical psychiatric information clearly and accurately. She managed to inform and inspire the me. Her book is well-researched and includes useful and informative resources throughout and in her appendices. She even includes me as…

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It Has Been 10 Years Since My Postpartum Bipolar Was Activated

On August 26, 2007, my postpartum bipolar disorder was activated during one of the happiest days of my life: the birth of my child.

As some of you know, all hell broke loose afterward and my treatment-resistant bipolar depression lasted a long, long time. 

I’m super-thankful I can tell you that my life is different now. Although every day remains challenging, I’m doing relatively well.

In today’s vlog, I describe my recent freak-out with Bipolar UK. I asked the acclaimed non-profit if they’d share my SELF postpartum bipolar article with their followers. 

They said no.

Why? Because Bipolar UK doesn’t recognize postpartum bipolar disorder as a diagnosis. 

I expound upon that topic in my vlog. 

On a brighter note, I mention some projects I’m working on as I approach my book’s October 10th “birth” which I hope (apart from the inevitable bad reviews) will be relatively pain-free! 

Have a good weekend, my lovely ones, and please take good care of yourselves!

XoXo,

Dyane

 

Read my latest article here: SELF Magazine “We Need to Talk About Postpartum Bipolar Disorder” 

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw, will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th, 2017. Birth of a New Brain is available on Amazon for paperback pre-sales. Kindle pre-sales will be available in early September.

Cool Mental Health Podcasts Aplenty!

What a striking logo – I love it!

 

Do you listen to podcasts? I’m a relative latecomer to the podcast world, but hey, better late than never, right?

Thanks to Lucy’s daily walk, I’ve turned into quite the podcast connoisseur. We strut our stuff for 20 minutes. At that point my girl gets tired so we head for an empty baseball field. Lucy hangs out on the grass while I walk laps around the dugout. That’s the perfect time to listen to downloaded podcasts on my cell phone’s speaker – some people prefer headphones. You can listen to podcasts in cars, at home, at the gym, standing in line at the market (just kidding – you’d get lots of glares unless you have headphones! 😉 etc.

Once again I must remind you Lucy is so darn cute, and the hound is thirsty after powering out those twenty minutes. Because I love to spoil her rotten, I bring a plastic bowl I fill with a bottle of water. She chillaxes and rehydrates in the great outdoors while I get in my workout!

When freshly bathed, this furry beast appears half her size!

————————————————————————-

 

When I began my podcast exploration, I started out with the best of the best:  Mohr Stories on Podcast One.

Mohr Stories is hosted by actor, comedian, poet, author, and sports enthusiast, Jay Mohr.  Here’s the podcast description: 

“Each week, laugh, be surprised and think deep, as Jay talks to an entertainer, athlete, musician, author or game-changer about showbiz, comedy, and life beyond your typical interview conversation. Guests have included Anthony Bourdain, Perez Hilton, Lou Diamond Phillips, Sugar Ray Leonard, Jay Leno, Reggie Watts and more. Frequent visitors include John DiMaggio, Brad Williams, Jim Jeffries, Adam Carolla, and of course, the occasional Christopher Walken impersonation.”

Last year Jay invited me to be on Mohr Stories but I wanted to wait until after Birth of a New Brain was published in October. When the air date is confirmed, I’ll let you know!

The super-cool hosts Alisha Perkins and Colleen Lindstrom of Mind Full

 

Mind Full is “an open, honest and entertaining discussion about mental & physical health, hosted by author, runner, and baseball wife Alisha Perkins, and MyTalk 107.1 radio personality Colleen Lindstrom.” 

I’m really enjoying reading Alisha’s memoir Running Home: Big-League Wife, Small-Town Story about living with anxiety, long-distance running (which I used to do until I blew out my knee), and glimpses of what it’s like being married to a high-profile baseball player – there’s much more to it than that, of course.

Alsha’s eye-catching cover!

To listen to Mind Full, visit this link.

I’m recording an episode with Alisha and Colleen in late September & I’ll post the air date when I know it! 

Then there’s the popular Mom and Mind podcast with Dr. Katayune Kaeni. “Dr Kat” is an internet friend of mine and she invited me to be a podcast guest a while ago, but I wasn’t ready to do that until now. Here’s the description:

This podcast is for new mothers, new fathers, families and the health care providers who support them. We discuss the things you need to know about your mental health during the transition to motherhood and parenthood. It’s for partners too, who are also going through their own changes. Dr. Kat, a specialist in maternal mental health, interviews moms, dads, experts and advocates about how to cope, manage and recover from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. We talk about postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety and SO MUCH MORE! We get real. We get honest. We put on our stigma crushing boots and address the realities of the transition to motherhood and parenthood while offering hope, healing, and resources for help. Please find more information at http://www.momandmind.com”

 Mom and Mind is on iTunes – you can visit the link here. 

 

I want to check out the podcast archives at:

The Mental Illness Happy Hour

and

The Hilarious World of Depression 

 

Both of those podcasts have gotten a lot of praise. If I come across a particularly cool episode, I’ll be sure to share it here. And if you have a favorite podcast, please tell me about it in the comments!

Have a good weekend, my friends! Until next week, lots of love! 

Dyane

 

You can read my latest article here: SELF Magazine “We Need to Talk About Postpartum Bipolar Disorder” 

 

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw, will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th, 2017. Birth of a New Brain is available on Amazon for paperback pre-sales. Kindle pre-sales will be available in early September.

Spiders in the Night Make Me Tired

It’s 10:30 a.m. and I’m tired.

Yesterday evening I received a disturbing email from a relative. It was unsettling because its content indicated that the relative has some signs of Alzheimer’s. (Kitt, I plan on reading your Bipolar and Dementia blog post today!)

Later that night around 2:00 a.m., one of my girls woke me out of a deep-ish sleep (which in itself is extremely rare!) to tell me there was a big black spider by her bed and I needed to send it to Spider Heaven STAT!!!

When I got to her room,  I found not one, but two of the creepy crawlers, plus there were two other spiders in the hallway! (Bipolar on Fire, my fellow arachnophobist, I thought of you!) 

Ahhhhhh!!!  

I do not like spiders!

As Dr. Seuss wrote in Green Eggs and Ham,

“I would not like them
Here or there.
I would not like them
Anywhere.”

Sorry, spiders of the world, it’s nothing personal. 

At least I can look on  the bright side here – at least the spiders weren’t as big as this:

 

 

Did I mention I have poison oak…the second time this summer!  I guess I need to be more aware of those “leaves of three (and) let them be” once and for all!

These are small problems, well, except for the dementia issue, but I’ll be okay. When I take Lucy for her walk later this afternoon, that will give me an attitude adjustment.

As long as I keep away from the poison oak, ticks, and of course, spiders!

 

What is it about Alice Cooper that’s so gosh darn likable? Hmm, maybe I could dress up as him for Halloween this year!

 

Thanks for reading and an extra-big thanks for your encouragement over the past few weeks!!! Have a great weekend!

XOXO,

Dyane

 

 

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw, will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th, 2017. Birth of a New Brain is available on Amazon for paperback pre-sales. Kindle pre-sales will be available in early September.

Thanks For Your Support – Good News!

 

 

bp Magazine has come to its senses!

Let me begin by telling you I had given up all hope of bp Magazine seeing the postpartum bipolar light!

Ironically, after I had unsubscribed to bp‘s Twitter feed and their email newsletter and closed off my heart to them, I got an email from bp’editor.

Lo and behold, I was informed there would be an opportunity for me after all. I was invited to write about postpartum bipolar for the “On My Mind” column in bp‘s Winter 2018 issue!

I wish I could say it was my magical, powerful “I’m disappointed” email I had sent to bp’s publisher that did the trick. But I suspect other actions came into play.

What I believe had the most influence was that some of you contacted the editor. (THANK YOU Kitt O’Malley and thanks to everyone else who wrote the editor and who retweeted on my behalf including Samina of the Bipolar 1 Blog and Bipolar on Fire.) Please let me know if you helped out in the comments and I’ll give you credit in the next post!

After I sent the publisher my “I’m very disappointed” email and didn’t hear back, I wrote a lengthy email to the editor. Then I did something I was sure was going to have bp’s staff place my name on their sh*t list.

I conducted a week-long Twitter Tantrum. Every time a reputable organization such as the UCLA Semel Friends, Postpartum Support International, or DBSA tweeted my SELF postpartum bipolar article link (which they all did numerous times) I retweeted it and tagged @bpmag.

It was a helluva lot of tweets!

For the record, I do not recommend doing this if you’re upset with someone or with a group. Remember, I had given up on hearing from bp Magazine forever!

I mega-tweeted to prove a point to them.

I knew that chances were very high I’d be burning a bridge with their staff, but as you guessed, I was past the point of caring about consequences. 

When I spotted the editor’s email in my in-box yesterday, my hands turned cold and clammy and I started to freak out. I was sure the email would say something like this:

 

 

When I forced myself to read the email, it was a very pleasant surprise.

So there you have it! I guess the moral of the story is really about how awesome the blogosphere and Twittersphere can be in one’s time of need. If I didn’t have amazing virtual friends (you know who you are!) then this dramatic turn of events wouldn’t have occurred.

The magic of the “I’m Disappointed” email can only go so far…

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next Friday, perhaps even with the post I promised to share about rich people and dog poop!

Love,

Dyane

 

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw, will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th, 2017. Birth of a New Brain is available on Amazon for paperback pre-sales. Kindle pre-sales will be available in early September.