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Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder

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4.71  ·  Rating details ·  56 ratings  ·  38 reviews
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 disor
...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Post Hill Press
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Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
I blew through this because it was amazing. It was a heartbreaking and honest story of something only a truely brave person could survive. This was well written and I could tell the author poured her heart and soul into writing this. I especially loved all pictures at the end of the chapters.

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Jennifer Gaarder
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Please visit my blog at http://www.jenchaosreviews.com


Birth of A New Brain: Healing From Postpartum Bipolar Disorder By Dyane Harwood

Post Hill Press, October 10, 2017

272 Pages, PDF Author Review Copy

Adult Memoir/Non-fiction



From Goodreads

"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 h
...more
Leslie Lindsay
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A gripping account of one woman's battle with the little known and relatively rare postpartum on-set biploar.

When I was pregnant, my husband heard on NPR that a mother's brain drastically changes during pregnancy and then again again during labor/delivery. It's why some expecting mothers are a little flaky, a little preoccupied. And then, after the birth, a woman's brain actually becomes better--she is able to multitask better, sense danger, and retain more information.

But what happens when a
...more
Kitt O'Malley
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Amber
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dyanes book is a down to earth, realistic perspective of life with depression and bipolar disorders. I recommend to anyone who has a mood disorder, loves someone with a mood disorder, or who just wants to learn more about life with these disorders.
Marie Abanga
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Indeed, a new Brain can be born even from the deepest dark of a debilitating mental illness

Mental illness is more often than not associated with incompetence, fragility, frugality, vulnerability, undesirability: I don’t make that association however, and memoirs like Dyane’s make a pale of those who think a mentally ill is a ‘no good’!

Dyane’s epic memoir of one of the ‘not so known’ mental illnesses is worth its weight in gold .

We don’t care about those ‘lunatics’ because we are not them and n
...more
Eleanor Segalman
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was extremely informative. As someone who has been touched by similar issues (my sister has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder), I found it to be reassuring and inspiring. It is told straight from the heart. No one is completely immune from mental illness, despite what they may think, so I would recommend "Birth of a New Brain" to anyone.
Anna
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a moving account of Dyane’s diagnosis and life living with bipolar disorder. As a doctor, it’s so valuable hearing the insight of someone with mental illness and how they experience both the illness and the treatments (and navigation of the health care system). I found her account inspirational and I really liked that she provided resources at the end of the book.
Janet
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was extremely well-written and applicable to anyone with bipolar, not just those with postpartum bipolar
August
Birth of a New Brain is a memoir about being a mother and wife with postpartum bipolar disorder. It chronicles the development of the mood disorder, as well as the narrator “stumbling through [her] new reality of chronic mental illness.” From her childhood with a father diagnosed with bipolar disorder and her college years where she experiences heartbreak to the activation of her disorder and seven subsequent hospitalizations, Harwood has provided us with a case study of herself. Birth of a New ...more
Lucille Finn-Shepard
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Birth of a New Brain" offers hope to those struggling with mood disorders and raises awareness about the little-known postpartum onset specifier for bipolar disorder. By the end of the book, the reader is left feeling as though Dyane is a dear friend who has bravely shared all and held nothing back. While mental illness plays a starring role in the story, as Dyane concludes her final chapter, “I’m so much more than bipolar. And so are you.” Her book reminds us that no matter how hard the illnes ...more
Katherine  Harrington
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a perinatal psychiatrist, I consider "Birth of a New Brain" to be essential reading for all those who work in the perinatal mental health field as well as those who help people with bipolar disorder. Dyane Harwood's memoir is insightful and her experience will help anyone who has a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder, any form of bipolar, and/or anxiety. It's a rich and compelling read.
L.E. Henderson
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In this courageously honest and vivid memoir Dyane Harwood chronicles her struggle to get well despite being a “treatment resistant” sufferer of postpartum bipolar disorder.

I loved so many things about this book. The details of how her bipolar disorder manifested after the birth of her second child were as fascinating as they were heart-wrenching.

Despite the serious content, I enjoyed the easy-to-read and almost conversational writing style which added to the difficulty I had in putting the book
...more
Nettie
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down. Not only is its honesty infectious, Dyane writes in a way which means you cannot help but care for her. Dyane’s struggles with postpartum bipolar disorder are complex and heartbreaking. The support she gets from her husband and her doula (who provides post-birth support) is amazing. Dyane’s honesty is raw and will leave you with a much better understanding of bipolar disorder. She reflects on her father’s struggles with the same illness and times in her past when ...more
Happy Booker
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 authen
...more
Damian Konopka
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The most positive and encouraging and helpful book about bipolar disorder I have read. In my 24-year journey with bipolar, I have experienced similar manias and depressions like Harwood. I have been hospitalized several times like the author, too. But for the past few years, I’ve been consistently practicing self-care (much like Hardwood describes) and I finally feel like a (mostly) whole person again. For too many years I was lost in my mood instability, confused about meds, unsure of everythin ...more
Elizabeth McInerney
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: no-audio
I came upon this book because I like reading about the Brain and about female health (esp around hormones), because I enjoy memoirs, and because it had such high reviews. I am sorry to have to give this heartfelt story a rating of 2. In my rating system, I reserve 1 for books that I cannot finish, and 2 for books that I finish but wish I had not.

I do think there is a lot of potential here, so while I regret the time that I put into finishing the book, I will take the time to fully explain where
...more
Carrie D. Miller
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dyane Harwood's memoir is invaluable for **anyone** affected by a mood disorder. While "Birth of a New Brain" begins with the author's childbirth-triggered bipolar disorder, anyone can learn from Harwood's depiction of her depression, mania, anxiety, and mental illness stigma. In her introduction, Harwood states that she wrote this book to give readers hope and practical tools to help improve mood stability. "Birth of a New Brain" achieves this goal in spades. Highly recommended!
Hailey
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book had me gripped. An utterly heart wrenching yet uplifting read, where Dyane Harwood gives a very raw and real account of her battle with postpartum bipolar. Her strength and courage shines through, as she takes us on her journey from being a young girl, to motherhood, and ultimately to today, where against all odds, she has carved out a meaningful and fulfilling life. Compassionate, honest and beautifully written, 'Birth of a New Brain' is not only hugely valuable to those suffering wit ...more
Athena
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a truly fabulous read. As someone who has had this illness for over thirty years I felt such a connection with the author. Dyane is so honest and gives great clarity in her description of her battle with Bipolar Disorder. She gives such an honest account of the affect the illness has on relationships and how it takes you to heartbreaking levels of despair. However, she also goes on to share her battle, learning various techniques along the way which takes her to a more content stabl ...more
Lydia
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Birth of a New Brain" is the story of a mother with a great deal to teach others about living with a mental illness. Whether you have bipolar disorder or if you love someone with bipolar or you care for someone with this health condition, you'll find her book fascinating yet practical. Harwood's writing style is very compassionate and insightful. She provides invaluable hope to the readers living with all kinds of mood disorders such as anxiety, depersonalization, and PTSD. "Birth of a New Brai ...more
Rebecca Lombardo
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"I don't have children but I do have bipolar disorder, so I was interested in this perspective. This book is very well done. It truly helps you understand the life of a mom with mental illness. I enjoyed it a great deal. Thank you for sharing your story!"
johnjmontgomery.com
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was extremely informative. As someone who has been touched by similar issues (my wife has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder), I found it to be reassuring and inspiring. It is told straight from the heart. No one is completely immune from mental illness, despite what they may think, so I would recommend this outstanding, inspiring book to anyone.
David
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I would highly recommend this book to anyone with postpartum bipolar disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and/or PTSD. One only needs to note the cover endorsement by the brilliant Kay Redfield Jamison to realize this is an extraordinary work.
Natala
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I connected so well to Dyanes book and I had trouble putting it down. I felt like I was sitting there, having a coffee with her as she told me her story. When I had finished I had realised just how much she had helped me in my own journey and now I am seeking to read more. Thankyou Dyane.
A.
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved reading about Dyane's experiences. I related to almost everything she went through, so for the first time, I felt like someone understood me. Finally!! It's an amazing read, extremely informative, and more than anything, it's vulnerable, and I admire that. A true gem.
Samantha Steiner
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I reviewed this book on my blog. I absolutely adored this book and didn't want to put it down. Here is the link to my blog: warning, there are spoilers! https://mybipolarmind.com/2018/10/18/... ...more
Karen Manton
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a truly fabulous read. As someone who has had this illness for over thirty years I felt such a connection with the author. Dyane is so honest and gives great clarity in her description of her battle with Bipolar Disorder. She gives such an honest account of the affect the illness has on relationships and how it takes you to heartbreaking levels of despair. However, she also goes on to share her battle, learning various techniques along the way which takes her to a more content stabl ...more
Ashley Peterson
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Birth 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 at ...more
Julianne Bonnet
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Birth of a New Brain is an addictively honest look at one woman’s struggle with postpartum bipolar disorder after the birth of her second child.

Dyane Harwood’s conversational writing style made the otherwise gut wrenching depiction of her daily struggle to stay connected with her children, her marriage, her life, easy to enter into. Harwood gives just enough backstory to give the reader empathy. Her childhood in Pacific Palisades may have seemed idyllic on the surface, but her experiences with a
...more
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