A beautiful review from blogger/author Kimberly Morand

Kimberly Morand

 

Kimberly Morand’s book review for Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder “knocked my socks off.

(Well, I was sockless when I read the review, but my socks would’ve come off had they been on!) Her review shows how incredible HER writing is – I recommend subscribing to her extraordinary, award-winning blog “All Work And No Play Make Mommy Go Something Something” now.

I hope she writes a book because I’ll snap it up in a heartbeat. In the meantime, I recommend subscribing to her extraordinary blog “All Work And No Play Make Mommy Go Something Something.” 

http://www.makemommygosomethingsomething.com/tag/book-review/

Okay, I’m going back to my hiatus cave. I’m sending love to you all!

Dyane

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Another Book Review from Another Awesome Blogger!

Is Lucy going to lick my book?

 

 

Dear Friends,

I’m writing this post from the beautiful snowy mountains of Lake Tahoe, and I plan to take some pictures to share with you next Friday.

I can’t resist sharing one more review of my book. I don’t care if you skip the review – you have my blessing, but just make sure you check out the awesome blogger Ashley’s Mental Health @ Home” – I love her tagline:

“BUILDING MENTAL WELLNESS BY FINDING A FOUNDATION OF STRENGTH.” 

Sign me up for that foundation, Ashley!

Here’s the direct link to Ashley’s review:

https://mentalhealthathome.wordpress.com/2017/12/26/book-review-birth-of-a-new-brain-healing-from-postpartum-bipolar-disorder/

By the way, Ashley has worked as a nurse and pharmacist and she’s the author of numerous medical articles. She has some excellent posts about different meds—take a look.

I’ll be back next year (on Friday, Jan. 5th, that is) and in the meantime, please take good care of yourselves.

Love,

Dyane

Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder With a foreword by the acclaimed perinatal psychiatrist and author Dr. Carol Henshaw. Please visit Amazon to order a Kindle or paperback version—thank you!

 

Mental Health @ Home

Birth of a New Brain book coverBirth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder chronicles author Dyane Harwood’s journey with postpartum onset bipolar disorder.  The story’s rich, vivid descriptions draw the reader along on the intense roller coaster ride of the author’s illness experience.  Many elements of her story will be hauntingly familiar to those whose lives have been touched in some way by bipolar disorder, including mood symptoms whose true nature only became apparent with hindsight and well-meaning attempts to get off medication that result in disaster.

Mental illness was a part of Dyane’s life from the beginning, as her father had bipolar disorder.  When she first began to struggle with her own mental health, she was diagnosed with depression.  Glimmers of hypomania made occasional brief appearances, but as is so often the case with hypomania the symptoms were only recognizable as such upon later reflection.

Depression is the most recognized postpartum…

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My Q & A with Postpartum Psychosis Advocate/Author Jennifer Moyer

 

Dear Friends,

Recently I was honored to be asked by Jennifer Moyer to do a Q & A for her blog.

Several years ago I found Jennifer’s book A Mother’s Climb Out of Darkness: A Story About Overcoming Postpartum Psychosis in which she not only suffered from postpartum psychosis but was ultimately diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

I urge you to get a copy and read it.

I wrote the following 5-star review on Amazon:

I found A Mother’s Climb Out of Darkness to be a clear and very compelling memoir. I commend Jennifer Hentz Moyer for her longtime dedication for writing about her suffering as well as her triumphs after being diagnosed with postpartum psychosis.

As a mother who was diagnosed with postpartum bipolar disorder (PPBD), I took a particular interest in Jennifer’s story. She was not only was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis but ultimately bipolar disorder, postpartum onset. I felt so inspired after reading her book and it will help many women who face the agony of a postpartum mental illness as well as stigma. I discovered Jennifer while reading her profile in the acclaimed book Back from the Brink: True Stories and Practical Help for Overcoming Depression and Bipolar Disorder by Graeme Cowan.”

 

Jennifer and her loving family

Please go to this link to read the Q & A on Jennifer’s blog, and if you could leave a comment so Jennifer & I know you stopped by, that would be awesome!

Have a good weekend, 

Love,

Dyane

p.s. On Wednesday our local paper Good Times published Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld’s article about my book Birth of a New Brain. I took a hideous picture; I’m not photogenic like Miss Lucy, but the article is great!

http://goodtimes.sc/santa-cruz-news/dyane-harwood-postpartum-bipolar/#respond

 

Miss Lucy “I Can’t Take A Bad Picture” Harwood 

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.

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.

Off to Tahoe to Ice Skate & Edit, Perhaps Simultanously…

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Squaw Valley, California

December 2012

In 2012, my family made our annual winter visit to Alpine Meadows located near Squaw Valley, California, home of the 1960 Winter Olympics. When we visited Squaw Valley, I wore a Santa hat proclaiming I was “Nice,” but in all honesty, it should’ve read “Hopeless.”

Craig, the girls and I rode the Squaw Valley Aerial Tram up to High Camp. I was severely depressed, extremely anxious (especially in social situations) and thirty-five pounds overweight. Although we were in a spectacular setting, I couldn’t appreciate the beauty that surrounded us.

To top it off, I was terrified of being in a metal box a whopping 2000 feet above the snowy ground, suspended by a cable which I thought might snap apart any second. I forced myself to go on the tram because my daughters loved it. When we reached our destination at the top of the mountain, I felt flat and Scrooge-like.

I hadn’t yet found the two meds that would lift my treatment-resistant bipolar depression: lithium & the MAOI tranylcypromine (Parnate). It wouldn’t happen for another year. (I write about how these meds helped me here and here.)

We’re heading to Alpine Meadows today, and I’m excited about it! Our Scotch collie Lucy is coming with us, and we’ll take daily walks in the snow. I’ll be wearing spikes on the soles of my boots; they’re a miraculous device so I won’t slip on the icy roads. Lucy’s thick, furry coat will come in handy in the cold. She loves the snow, and it’s so much fun to watch her romp around.

In book news, yesterday I received the edited file of my Birth of a New Brain manuscript from my publisher! I’ll be bringing my laptop so I can review the editor’s feedback and make the necessary changes. Lucy will sit in her usual place while I write: on my foot.

Apart from that, I’ll go ice skating with the girls. Skating is something I would never would’ve contemplated doing in 2012. I skated last year, and I had a blast until it started snowing hard. The skating rink’s ice plow machine broke, so the powder snow grew thick upon on the ice, yet we were allowed to keep skating. Let me tell you, skating through more than an inch of snow is not the ideal way to do it!

I want to thank each of you for making the blogosphere such a supportive place. I see it as full of virtual kindred spirits! Back in 2012 before I blogged regularly, I didn’t imagine I’d discover amazing bloggers who would add so much joy, inspiration, and illumination to my life. I’m so glad that happened – I’m so glad you all are not only “out there” (along with the truth – sorry, that’s what happens when you watch too many X-Files episodes) but in my heart too. Have a good holiday and see you late next week.

Lots of love,

Dyane

post-hill

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press in October 2017.

Writing Heals My Brain

Brain

 

Writing Heals My Brain

I write because I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was eight-years-old.

I write because my mother gave me wonderful books to read as a child, and she always believed in my writing ability – she continues encouraging my writing as she approaches her eighth decade!

I write because it grounds me.

I write because the act of writing restores me; it helps me remember the person I was before a mental illness almost destroyed me.

I write to prove to myself that all the soul-sucking medications I’ve taken didn’t kill my creativity after all.

I write because writing has given me the opportunity to interview extraordinary people. Before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I was a freelance writer. I interviewed Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, author of the bestselling book An Unquiet Mind, for a magazine article I was writing. Little did I know I would eventually share the same diagnosis with Dr. Jamison.

I write because I can write, even after I had electricity pulse through my brain over fifty times during electroconvulsive treatments (ECT). My long-term memory is still intact.

I write because it stimulates some mysterious part of my brain and makes me feel better.

I write because it’s free therapy.

I write to share and connect with other people worldwide who have suffered with bipolar disorder like I have.

I write to help other moms know they aren’t alone with their perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

I write because no one, not even bipolar disorder, can take away the fact that I’m a Writer

 

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

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Snow Therapy

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My girls with their new friend – and yes, Rilla is licking him, but she lived to tell the tale!

 

I’m writing this post from the snowy shores of West Lake Tahoe. It’s a spectacular area – if you haven’t had a chance to visit Lake Tahoe, I hope that someday that you’lll have the opportunity.

Yesterday we left our Santa Cruz Mountains home and drove five hours to reach Tahoma. It usually takes us only three hours, but the stormy weather forced us to slow down. While making the journey we experienced three “seasons” in one day. I was reminded of one of my favorite Crowded House songs Four Seasons In One Day. We drove through sunshine, rain, sleet and snow.

We’re staying at a friend’s cabin who rented it to us for a song, so we’re able to afford this trip. I didn’t think we’d have internet, but I figured out how to access it, and voila! I’m stoked! 🙂 It’s very healthy to unplug, but it’s also frustrating if you’re like me and used to keeping up with your blogosphere family. I wrote about that last year when we stayed in Alpine Valley without internet access.

So….ever since I wrote my last two posts, I’ve been thinking a lot about mortality. My vibrant friend “N” died a little over a week ago, and his son wrote something very beautiful that moved me:

“During his lifetime, my father soaked up the good will, compassion and kindness from many people like yourselves, to the point that the love in his heart could no longer fit inside of one mortal body. And now that love will have the freedom to be shared boundlessly and eternally…”

These weren’t empty words; they rang true for this remarkable man I knew for a decade, and who I trusted to take care of my little girls. After reading his son’s tribute I thought, If I could have my children write that about me when I’m gone, then I’ll be the luckiest person in the world.

Anyway, this afternoon I took a vigorous snowy walk. Lucy accompanied me and that hound was blissed out – she was so cute, with snow sprinkling her sweet furry face like powdered sugar. I walked with confidence on the snowy streets because I had Yaktrax on the soles of my boots, ensuring traction for a much safer walk.

Last year at Alpine Meadows I fell twice during my walks. I was so foolish – I could have easily hurt myself, and I must have had a guardian angel watching over me. I didn’t know about Yaktrax back then, but after seeing a guy jog by me one day, I knew he must have had something special on his shoes. I asked around and found out there are devices you can attach to your boot soles to cut down on spills. After having three friends experience fall-related head injuries over the past month, there was no way I was going walking here without Yaktrax!

While on our trek, I breathed in the amazing-smelling, icy air. I looked at all the different cabins lit up with Christmas lights as Lucy stopped every few feet to sniff at a snow bank. Being in such a different environment and getting my heart rate up was so good for my mental state. I was in a crappy mood when I started out. The rest of the family were squabbling and I had cabin fever. When I returned from my walk I felt much better. I’ll be walking every day I’m here because it’s not daunting exercise – it’s the very best kind. I wish you could join us! 🙂

If history repeats itself, as I’ve done during prior Lake Tahoe trips, I’ll be blogging a bit more than my usual 1x/week. I hope to write about any alpine adventures that come my way. I’ll let you know if I spot Tahoe Tessie, Lake Tahoe’s version of the Loch Ness Monster, or any Yetis when I go for my jaunts in the woods! (Mom, if you’re reading this, don’t worry. I’ll be extremely careful this time!) 

Take care of yourselves and have a great beginning to your week!

love,

Dyane

 

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.

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