Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder by Dyane HarwoodBirth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder by Dyane Harwood

Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder

byDyane HarwoodForeword byCarol Henshaw

Paperback | October 10, 2017

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When a new mother becomes manic overnight from a rare form of bipolar disorder, she stops at nothing to find the mental stability she needs to stay alive.

After the birth of her baby triggers a manic maelstrom, Dyane Harwood struggles to survive the bewildering highs and crippling lows of her brain’s turmoil. Birth of a New Brain vividly depicts her postpartum bipolar disorder, an unusual type of bipolar disorder and postpartum mood and anxiety disorder. 

During her childhood, Harwood grew up close to her father, a brilliant violinist in the Los Angeles Philharmonic who had bipolar disorder. She learned how bipolar disorder could ravage a family, but she never suspected that she’d become mentally ill—until her baby was born. 

Harwood wondered if mental health would always be out of her reach. From medications to electroconvulsive therapy, from “redwood forest baths” to bibliotherapy, she explored both traditional and unconventional methods of recovery—in-between harrowing psychiatric hospitalizations. 

Harwood reveals how she ultimately achieved a stable mood. She discovered that despite having a chronic mood disorder, a new, richer life is possible. Birth of a New Brain is the chronicle of one mother’s perseverance, offering hope and grounded advice for those battling mental illness.
Dyane Harwood holds a B.A. in English and American Literature from the University of California at Santa Cruz. A freelance writer for two decades, she has interviewed bestselling authors including Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, Anthony Bourdain, and SARK. In 2007, Harwood was diagnosed with postpartum bipolar disorder (bipolar, peripartum o...
Title:Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar DisorderFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.7 inPublished:October 10, 2017Publisher:Post Hill PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1618688014

ISBN - 13:9781618688019


Rated 4 out of 5 by from I believe this book would be most suited to people that study medicine, psychology and enjoy reading motivational stories. Birth of a new brain is a self-help book telling the story of a mother trying to survive a rare form of bipolar disease, postpartum mood and anxiety disorder. The journey is hard and displayed the perseverance of a mother struggling in a true sense of the word. Dyane decides to dedicate her life educating her self on this problem. While I understand and have read books on mental illness and psychology, I particularly enjoyed this one due to its inspirational and moving story. The story is authentic, vibrant and filled with real emotions, struggles, and triumphs. The literature standard was descriptive, written with care and well put together. What made this book stand out, in addition, everything else mentioned, was the author differentiating the bipolar disorder to postpartum depression. She actually combines them calling it ‘postpartum bipolar.’ Mental illness, to this day, is still a taboo and most often misunderstood. I appreciated the fact that the author here makes an attempt to create a short gap between these diversions. I believe this book would be most suited to people that study medicine, psychology and enjoy reading motivational stories.
Date published: 2018-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book really touched home as I lost a friend to Postpartum Bipolar Disorder The delivery of a precious new life. An addition to the family. Yet something is not right. Not having the energy or feel the joy for this little bundle that was brought into this world. “Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder”, by Dyane Harwood is an insight into the author’s many traumatizing experiences with Postpartum Bipolar Disorder and how she learned to cope. Although Dyane did not exhibit any concerning symptoms after the birth of Avonlea, her first daughter, when Marilla was born, Dyane and her family’s life would drastically change. Within a brief period of time after Marilla’s birth Dyane quickly became hypomanic, then manic, then plummeted into depression. Cycling constantly even though she was under the care of a psychiatrist and medicated to help manage her symptoms. Deflated and frustrated from her failed treatment plan, Dyane took things into her own hands and went off her medications and tried homeopathic treatments. Her moods worsen, and she is hospitalized for the safety of her children. Dyane’s saving grace was she realizes she would lose everything and becomes educated on Postpartum Bipolar Disorder. Learning about medications, treatments, and coping skills, Dyane managed to gain control of her life. I really connected with this book as I lost a friend to Postpartum Bipolar Disorder. This was my first book on this subject and highly recommend it for people who have a mental illness prior to having children so they can have a plan in place.
Date published: 2018-02-15

Editorial Reviews

"With Birth of a New Brain, Dyane Harwood adds to the body of work on perinatal mood disorders by providing a thorough, moving account of her journey toward mental wellness after postpartum bipolar mania. Like many other women, because Harwood had no prior diagnosis of bipolar disorder and nobody caught the red flags in her mental history, she was unaware she risked a mental health crisis postpartum. We often associate bipolar disorder (pre-existing or postpartum onset/diagnosis) with postpartum psychosis may have an underlying bipolar disorder, not all of those with bipolar have psychosis, and not all those with psychosis have bipolar."