The BipolarStyle Podcast & Happy Halloween!

BipolarStyle Podcast, October 22, 2017

with host John Emotions & yours truly!  To listen to our chat, visit this link


Official Podcast Episode Description

“John and Dyane discuss her new book Birth of a New Brain about postpartum bipolar disorder. They discuss what the condition is, how Dyane experienced it, and how the book came to be. They also talk a little about their favorite Netflix shows including Black Mirror, Lady Dynamite, and Theo Vonn. Also, we include more talk of a #bipolarcabal on Twitter and lots of bipolar digressions.”

When John and I recorded the podcast, I was in a freezing room and I drank lots of highly caffeinated Tazo chai to quickly warm up. Although I had sworn not to become over-caffeinated again during a podcast recording, I must be honest with you: I broke my vow.

(I was fortunate that John not only tolerated my here-there-and everywhere digressions but ran with them like a gazelle—he was incredibly gracious.)   

John Emotions is such a breath of fresh air. Despite having bipolar disorder, John asserts he’s an optimist; his attitude truly amazes and inspires me. I’m so glad the internet brought us together.

John’s new Facebook page: Bipolar Creative Society  

The original Facebook page: Bipolar Style

On Twitter: @BipolarStyle 

Visit the Bipolar Style website to buy cool tank tops like the one I’m wearing. Go there to let John know you’d like to be a podcast guest! It’s also a place to network with other people with bipolar, connect with life-saving resources, access exclusive content & more; it’s ever-evolving! 

See you next Friday & have a wonderful Halloween!!!! 

 

XOXO,

Dyane

p.s. Are you dressing up for Halloween? 

 

Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder

Foreword by the perinatal psychiatrist and acclaimed author Dr. Carol Henshaw.

Now available on Amazon in paperback & Kindle versions!

Advertisements

Recap: 1st Book Signing/Educational Presentation @ BC Library!

Reflecting about last night’s daunting educational presentation & book signing….

Here are some pictures from last night’s event at the library – I wish you could have been there with me & I hope you enjoy them!

I had a great, attentive audience. Not a heckler in sight! The highlight was having my daughter and most of my Toastmasters club members there to cheer me on!


My daughter Marilla did an amazing job – she not only set up 40 chairs, she arranged the cookie table and sold books!

 

And here’s a picture of my wonderful friend & longtime supporter,  the author & columnist Merry Ruthe Wilson! (Visit her Amazon Author page for info. about Merry’s memoir Waaaay Beyond Lemonade & her two beautifully illustrated children’s books) Merry’s picture by Blaine Brunelle

Book Signing Pictures by George Haas Photography

Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder

Foreword by perinatal psychiatrist and acclaimed author Dr. Carol Henshaw, now available on Amazon!

Silly Video of Seeing My Book the 1st Time!

 

Thank you, Kitt O’MalleyMarie Abanga, & Greg Archer for your wonderful Amazon reviews!

Also, big thanks to the author Maricela Estrada-Morena (Bipolar Girl) for her beautiful Kings River Life review of Birth of a New Brain! To read her review & enter for a chance to win a copy, please visit this link!

 

I’ll be giving my first educational presentation/book signing at the library next week—I never would’ve considered doing such a thing but joining Toastmasters back in March made me able to make such a commitment. 

 

100% of the book sales and refreshment proceeds will be given to the Friends of the Boulder Creek Library and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Santa Cruz County Chapter. I hope I’ll have someone record the talk and if that works out, I’ll share it here—at the very least I’ll write about the experience in next Friday’s post.

 


Have a great weekend and thanks so much for reading!

Love,

Dyane

Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder With a foreword by perinatal psychiatrist and author Dr. Carol Henshaw, now available on Amazon!

 

on October 13, 2017
This book has offered a way to the other side, from feeling out of control to gaining the necessary insight to balancing one’s life after bipolar disorder. The author’s story is a testament to overcoming the obstacles people with mental health face. Dyane Harwood’s groundbreaking memoir not only shares her inspiring story but offers readers practical advice she has used herself and excellent resources as well. I am a daily essential oil user and appreciate how she uses orange essential oil to uplift the spirit so she motivates herself to go exercise. I feel it is necessary to bring nature’s medicine chest into the equation, and that is exactly what she has done to gain equilibrium and balance. “Birth of a New Brain” is easy to read and reaches out to the mental health community with heart and soul along with sound advice and the resources to “birth a new brain” and live a life with passion and grace.

Writing Rejection Strikes Before Publication Day!

When I read this quote my first thought was:

“Whoa…Sylvia Plath must have been manic when she wrote that!”

 

(Please note: this post was written before the Las Vegas tragedy.)

 

 

I know that things could be worse in my life.

Much, much worse.

Those of you familiar with my background know what events I’m referring to, but for those of you who are new to my blog, here’s the backstory:

I’ve been a revolving door hospital patient. I suffered from treatment-resistant bipolar depression for seven years, I’ve been suicidal, and I’ve had two rounds of electroconvulsive (ECT) therapy.

After all that, one would assume a writing rejection is not that big a deal.

Right?

Wrong.

This particular rejection really got to me. I thought my submission was good—it wasn’t amazing, but I felt it had merit. Despite the fact my submission focused on a rare mental illness, its content was relevant to readers with mood disorders of different kinds. The essay fit the editors’ specifications I had carefully perused. I had checked with the editors to make sure my topic would be appropriate and I got the go-ahead.

Here’s my rejection email:

Dear Dyane,

You are a horrible writer and geez – you need to do something else, anything else, like take up knitting, or create an herb window garden, or explore vegan cooking.

(Just kidding.)

Thanks so much for your submission to How the Light Gets In. After reading through entries, conferring, reading, and conferring more, we’re sorry to tell you that we won’t be including “The Deja vu Conversation” in the anthology. As writers, we know how much time and effort (not to mention gumption!) it takes to craft and submit a piece. Thank you for trusting us with it. We received an overwhelming amount of beautiful entries.

It was a nice problem to have. But also, it made the process of choosing very difficult. We sincerely appreciate you sharing your work with us. Also, thank you for adding your voice to the larger story of mental illness. It’s encouraging to see that there are many of us speaking up and helping to break the stigma that surrounds mental health. None of us are alone in our battles. 

Again, thank you for submitting and all the best as you move forward,

Kelley and Gillian

My take: they should have stopped the email after the first paragraph. The remainder seems saccharine and uses a cliché. I believe a rejection email should be brief and condescension-free unless it has specific feedback for the writer.

Everyone gets rejections – one of J.K. Rowling ‘s rejection letters said she should join a writing group!

 

I was especially vulnerable on Rejection Day because I had a cold. I get a nasty bug every October, although this year I was doing all I could to prevent it, i.e. taking the cold-busting, vile-tasting Wellness Formula.

Because of my cold, I wasn’t able to get out with Lucy for our restorative, attitude-adjusting, walks that almost always improve my mood.


Recently, I was inspired by my blogging friend Sara Gethin whose hit novel Not Thomas received very challenging criticism in the British daily newspaper The Guardian. While it wasn’t writing rejection per se, negative reviews have much in common with writing rejection.

She took the criticism in stride—she has such a great attitude, one I wish she could bottle and sell to me. Gethin’s situation was unique and I encourage you to read this post, part one, and this post, part two, about her experience being nominated for a fiercely competitive reader’s choice contest. 


By the way, if any of you submitted a piece to those editors and it was accepted, please take my hissy fit with a grain of salt! I will be happy for you! I will promote you! Don’t be afraid to share your good news

I need to focus on something wonderful instead: the publication of my book on Tuesday! And guess what? My first case of my books arrives TODAY by 6:00 p.m.!!!!

I’m so excited!

I’ll be taking pictures of the books fresh out of the box. I feel like they’re my babies. (I know that’s weird, but it’s true.)

Please don’t forget to tell your friends, your social networks, and everyone else you know on this planet to buy Birth of a New Brain on Tuesday, October 10th and, if at all possible, please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I’ll be forever in your debt!

Have a good weekend, and thanks for reading!!!

Love,

Dyane


This collie looks so much like Lucy, it’s uncanny! I’m not getting the costume though. It got bad reviews, and I know Lucy would hate it.

Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder

With a foreword by perinatal psychiatrist and author Dr. Carol Henshaw,

will be published on TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10th – hurrah!

Until then, Birth of a New Brain is available on Amazon for Kindle and paperback pre-sales.

 

Caffeinated Podcast Adventures & Lessons Learned


TGIF, my friends!

I hope that you’re doing well!

As some of you may know, I was super-anxious to record my 1st episode with “Dr. Kat” of the program Mom & Mind. Fortunately, she was so awesome & encouraging that I was able to calm down.

Then last Monday I joined the hosts of Podcast One’s Mind Full program to talk about postpartum bipolar disorder. Mind Full’s Alicia Perkins and Colleen Lindstrom were great and they set me at ease from the get-go.

However, I made a royal brainfart (lovely word, I know!) when I scheduled our talk. I thought our appointment was 4:45 p.m. Pacific Time. I deliberately chose that slot because it’s when I usually get a second wind and take Lucy out for her walk. At the very last minute (i.e. the morning of the recording day) I realized the schedule said Central Time, not Pacific.

Arrgh! Our time wasn’t 4:45 p.m. but at 2:45 p.m. when I was still totally dragging energy-wise. I worried I’d sound like a zombie.

So I broke my “no coffee in the afternoon” rule. I glugged a gallon big cup of Peet’s organic shortly before our recording time.

The lessons I learned were:

1) Be far more careful when scheduling anything!

2) Do not drink coffee before recording a podcast!!!

I’m happy to say that it all worked out despite my jitters. One of my gracious hosts admitted that she had just downed some coffee herself at 5:00 p.m.!

When I find out the air date, I’ll let you know!

 

Meanwhile, I’m always on the lookout for intriguing mental health-themed podcasts, especially ones that have a bipolar focus. Last week I found one called Bipolar Style.

Here’s the promo blurb:

“Bipolar Style™ is a new podcast, hosted by , about life from a manic-depressive perspective!”

I encourage you to check out host @JohnEmotions’ heartfelt and entertaining observations from the perspective of one who works a “regular job” with his bipolar on the “DL”/down low – I guarantee you’ll relate to many of the topics he discusses, whether or not you’re working!

He’s seeking podcast guests so if that interests you, give him a shout! I really love the short format of 15 minutes, too.

To listen to the Bipolar Style podcasts go to this link.  Visit BipolarStyle.com for more info. & you can find John Emotions (who loves to network & help promote fellow bp tribe members) on Twitter at @BipolarStyle

Dr. Kat

Also, if you didn’t have a chance to hear my first podcast with “Dr. Kat” you can still do it! Go to this link

To check out Dr. Kat’s 69 other Mom & Mind podcasts please visit here.


That’s all the news that’s fit to blog, but in the next few weeks, I’ll have other things to write about, such as what it feels like to finally have my book published, and what it feels like to receive good reviews…..and not-so-good reviews!!!!

I appreciate your support so much! Thanks for reading this blog and for spreading the word about these worthy podcasts.

Have a good weekend!

Love,

Dyane 

 

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 Kindle and paperback pre-sales.

 

 

 

Please Listen To My First Podcast!

Hi everyone and Happy Friday!

Last Monday I recorded my first podcast with Dr. Katayune Kaeni.”Dr. Kat” is the host of the popular podcast Mom and Mind. She’s a psychologist & has lived experience in Perinatal Mental Health Training, Advocacy, Treatment, and Stigma Crushing!!!

Dr. Kat was a wonderful and patient host. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to guide me through my first podcast experience. I know it might not seem like a big deal to record a podcast, but I was able to rustle up all kinds of anxiety, all the way from the technical to the emotional aspect of the process!  

It will be available this Monday and I’d love it if you could listen to it and/or spread the word about it via your social media.  You can follow Dr. Kat on Twitter at  @DrKaeni, she has a Facebook page, and her website is: http://www.momandmind.com

Our conversation will be available this Monday and I’d love it if you could listen to it and/or spread the word about it via your social media. 

Last week I promised to write about a tool that can potentially help lift depression.

What is it??? It’s an air ionizer of all things! My psychiatrist emailed me an article that has the details and I’m copying the info. for you below. Please let me know if you’ve heard about air ionizers for depression! If you have a success story to share, let me know in the comments so I can mention it in my upcoming book talks.

A Hopeful Contender for Bipolar Depression

While some psychiatric breakthroughs are greeted with a hope that borders on hype (think ketamine), others are met with undue skepticism. The humble air ionizer falls into the latter category. These devices purify air by creating negatively charged oxygen ions. The idea that they could treat depression is so implausible that scientists first employed them as placebos, before discovering that they actually worked.

Evidence in unipolar depression

That discovery was first reported in 1995 by Michael Terman’s laboratory at Columbia University,1 and since then 5 controlled trials have emerged in unipolar depression Each has been positive, with effect sizes in the range of what we see with antidepressants (total sample size: n = 168) Ionizers are well tolerated and lack significant risks, and the research that supports their health benefits dates back to the 1950s. Although their safety and efficacy are reasonably well established, we know little about their mechanism of action, which is part of what has hindered their mainstream adoption.

Which device?

Another factor that has limited their use is the difficulty of finding air ionizers with the right specifications. Without FDA regulation, it’s hard to know which device to use. Many ionizers produce ozone as a by-product, which can damage the lungs. Others don’t generate a high enough density of negative ions to treat depression. In the clinical trials, only high-density ionizers worked; low-density devices served as a placebo.

Recently, Dr. Terman has helped remove that obstacle by identifying a low-cost device that’s feasible for clinical practice: the Wein VI-2500. (My psychiatrist wrote: I looked up the price of the Wein VI-2500 – $74.00) This device generates ions at a high enough density to treat depression (450 trillion ions/sec), with ozone production well below the FDA’s cut-off for safety (< 0.05 ppm)

How to use

The Wein is easy to use, and Dr. Terman has a useful guide on his website. Patients can either sit near the device for daily sessions or have it turn on while they are asleep using a socket timer. Sessions should be 30 to 90 minutes. Either way, they need to be close to the device (within 3 feet) and keep things that would pull the negative ions away from them (mainly other electronic devices) away from the ionizer. Unlike the lightbox, air ions do not affect circadian biology, so the device could feasibly be used at any time of day, or even left on throughout the night, although the available studies employed a morning protocol.

Dr. Terman expects to see improved air ionizers in the near future and keeps updated product recommendations at www.cet.org

While we may not understand their mechanism in the brain, we do know what they do in the air, and that story has some natural appeal. If you’ve ever enjoyed the fresh air around a waterfall, ocean breeze, or humid forest, then you’ve experienced natural air ionization. When water breaks into the air, it creates negative oxygen ions. Those ions have a pleasant scent and also filter out pollutants such as cigarette smoke, dust, and mold. Indoor air tends to be depleted of negative ions, mainly because of the effects of air conditioners, heaters, and dehumidifiers.

Ionization and bipolar depression

What remains unknown is whether these devices will work in bipolar depression. One study has been published, but the primary aim was to test light therapy in bipolar depression, and the high-density air ion group was too small to draw conclusions (n = 2)

On the other hand, we have no evidence that these devices destabilize mood, and Dr. Terman is not aware of any cases of hypomania caused by ionization.8 Air ionization has been tried in manic patients, with results that suggest it may improve manic symptoms. Those 2 studies did not have the rigor to conclude anything beyond the suggestive. They used a double-blind crossover design with single treatment sessions in a total of 28 patients. Their findings are consistent with a host of small studies in normal populations that suggest negative air ions improve irritability and tension, while positive ions tend to have the opposite effect. Dr. Terman does warn that the ionizers can raise energy and alertness, so they should be used in the morning if tried in patients with bipolar disorder.

The bottom line

My previous column listed 20 treatments with at least some controlled-trial support for bipolar depression. In practice, that list is often insufficient to meet the clinical needs of patients with this chronic and highly recurrent condition. Beyond that evidence base, I’ll consider treatments that work in unipolar depression and have a low risk of destabilizing mood. Aerobic exercise makes that list, and air ionizers deserve a place on it as well. Their empiric support may not be as robust as what we have for exercise and depression,but their ease of implementation will be a plus for many patients whose depression has sapped their energy and motivation. 

REFERENCES

1. Terman M, Terman JS. Treatment of seasonal affective disorder with a high-output negative ionizer. J Altern Complement Med. 1995;1:87-92.

2. Terman M, Terman JS, Ross DC. A controlled trial of timed bright light and negative air ionization for treatment of winter depression. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1998;55:875-882.

3. Goel N, Terman M, Terman JS, et al. Controlled trial of bright light and negative air ions for chronic depression.Psychol Med. 2005;35:945-955.

4. Terman M, Terman JS. Controlled trial of naturalistic dawn simulation and negative air ionization for seasonal affective disorder. Am J Psychiatry. 2006;163:2126-2133.

5. Flory R, Ametepe J, Bowers B. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of bright light and high-density negative air ions for treatment of seasonal affective disorder. Psychiatry Res. 2010;177:101-108.

6. Perez V, Alexander DD, Bailey WH. Air ions and mood outcomes: a review and meta-analysis. BMC Psychiatry.2013;13:29.

——-

What do you think?!?!?!

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. Today I didn’t get a chance to find some cutesy memes I love to intersperse through the post (it’s one of my favorite things about blogging!) but I hope to have time to that next Friday. (And for all I know, maybe some of you are muttering “Thank God, I can’t stand memes!”)  😉

Have a wonderful weekend  and please take good care of yourselves,

Love,

Dyane

 

 

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 Kindle and paperback pre-sales.

Alexis Zinkerman’s Review of “Birth of a New Brain” + Our Interview!

 

 

Alexis Zinkerman is a gifted poet, author, journalist, blogger, plus she’s a mental health advocate. I’ve blogged about Alexis’ powerful, poignant novella “Brooklyn” (That blog post was titled “My Life-Affirming Alternative to 13 Reasons Why”) and her stunning poem “Metronome” she wrote specifically for lucky me! 

In turn, Alexis interviewed me and reviewed my book Birth of a New Brain for her  blog “A Mile a Minute.” I threw a lot of information at her during our lengthy conversation, but she took it all graciously, professionally in stride.

Alexis has a great, diverse blog in which she shares all kinds of cool resources, and I encourage you to check it out when you have the chance.

I’ll see you next Friday and let you know how my first podcast recording with Dr. Katayune Kaeni’s Mom & Mind Podcast turns out. Yes, I’m nervous, although it’ll be easier than giving a Toastmasters speech!

I’ll also share a little info. my psychiatrist emailed me about a new, low-cost, alternative method that might help lift depression. Stay tuned. It’s important to know about every tool that exists that might help us, isn’t it? I’m back to using my Sunbox DL bright light in the mornings as we ease into colder, darker times.

Have a good weekend, friends, and please let me know how you’re doing if you feel so inclined…

Love,

Dyane

p.s. My book finally became available on Kindle!  I was excited to see it made Amazon’s Top 100 bestsellers list in the “bipolar” category. While that sounds groovy, I knew the list fluctuates wildly and I’ve been told by published authors the ranking system is inaccurate and worse. So, while I don’t take the list seriously, I couldn’t help feeling thrilled to see it near Carrie Fisher’s #1 book!

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 Kindle and paperback pre-sales.

new brainDyaneHeadshot

I first came across Dyane Harwood’s blog after she left continuous comments on my blog and we began a conversation through email and in the comments. Dyane writes her blog after being diagnosed with peri-partum bipolar 1 disorder to help others make sense of their condition and find resources. Dyane’s bipolar was triggered by childbirth.

“It was a trifecta of hormones, genetic predisposition, and sudden sleep deprivation,” she said during a fifty minute conversation we had over the phone.

Dyane’s father was also bipolar. And even though she lived though a childhood of moodswings, her own mood shifts were not treated until the births of her daughters. She said that today there are medication studies by perinatal psychiatrists about how to treat women who have been diagnosed before becoming pregnant.

Her new memoir Birth of a New Brain takes one through her journey and how she learned to treat her…

View original post 404 more words