Review: Birth of a New Brain #PostPartumBipolar

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 me. Her book is well-researched and includes useful and informative resources throughout and in her appendices. She even includes me as a resource (I’m totally flattered).

I identify with Dyane’s experience as a mother diagnosed with bipolar disorder postpartum, for I too began hypomanic ramping when breastfeeding my son. Honestly, I began ramping during my pregnancy — which led to workaholism, overactivity, and then bed rest — but I wasn’t diagnosed until he was a toddler. My diagnosis of dysthymia, which I had since I was eighteen, changed to bipolar type II. Both Dyane and I had our worlds turned upside down by the onset of our illnesses. As I write, I’m almost brought to tears remembering that time.

Shortly after I began blogging in late 2013, I met Dyane Harwood through her personal blog — Birth of a New Brain: A Writer Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder (Bipolar, Peripartum Onset), which you can find at proudlybipolar.wordpress.com. Meeting Dyane online made living with bipolar disorder easier. Her support and friendship has been instrumental in my personal mental health recovery.

18 thoughts on “Review: Birth of a New Brain #PostPartumBipolar

  1. Granny Phia September 1, 2017 / 8:14 am

    I hope to meet you sometime in the future Kitt. You sound like wonderful advocate to those who have BP Disorder AND their families of which I am a member. Continued success in your professional life and much happiness with your family.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. LydiaA1614 August 29, 2017 / 9:23 am

    Thanks, Kitt for this great review and insight into Dyane’s book. I can’t wait to read it! I have “normal” bipolar; however, we are all in this together!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. BipolarOnFire August 28, 2017 / 6:19 am

    Where’s the LOVE button?? Kitt you are a beautiful writer (and person) and this is a wonderful review!! Can’t wait to get the book!!! I preordered it too!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Paladin August 27, 2017 / 7:32 pm

    👍 Plain & Simple, Beautiful Summary. Agree with Dyane’s comments. Thanks for teaching me about Bipolar disorder on your journey, Kitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. dyane August 27, 2017 / 6:27 pm

    Reblogged this on Birth of a New Brain and commented:

    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 read her “About” page – she’s a truly remarkable person and I’m proud to call her my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. dyane August 27, 2017 / 6:18 pm

    Oh Kitt, I had long, difficult day.. reading your review this evening was such a wonderful gift! Thank you so much for taking time to read the book and for thoughtfully sharing your impressions and unique insights.

    It was an honor to include you in the “Mom Bloggers with Bipolar” section!

    Wow – what a truly beautifully written review – I plan to print it out and frame it!!!!! But first I think it deserves a little somethin’ called a reblog! 😉
    XOXO

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Mark Lanesbury August 27, 2017 / 4:42 pm

    And you are both ‘putting in out there’ Kitt, so that many who see your blog can begin their journey ‘out’ and find their confidence as you have done ❤
    Take a bow, and well done. It is not an easy journey ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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