Postpartum Bipolar Disorder Research Study

Hello, my friends! It’s an older-but-wiser Dyane here, and I’m grateful for the lovely birthday comments you’ve left over the past couple days! ūüôā Lucy and I had a mellow, mutual birthday, with one REALLY amazing thing happening to me (I’ll blog about that soon, I promise!) and balanced out by a couple of weird, minor-yet-slightly upsetting things which I’ll most likely blog about at some point. I think I was extra-sensitive because it was my birthday and I’m weird like that. I wasn’t given an inflatable Alpura Dancing Cow outfit as a gift, but I will get over my disappointment. I’m sure that thing cost at least $500! On a separate note. I’m pleased to report a recruitment for the first study that specifically addresses mothers, stigma and bipolar disorder in the postpartum period (0-12 months). It’s being conducted by my friend Dr. Walker Karraa, author of the acclaimed book “Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women’s Stories of Trauma and Growth” (the #1 bestseller in the Amazon postpartum book category!!!) and founder of Stigmama. I’m honored that Dr. Karraa agreed to write the foreword to “Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder” – she’s my top pick in the entire world to do such a thing!

Our mutual friend, the writer/mental health advocate ¬†Kitt O’Malley, blogged about Dr. Karraa’s study requirements, and I jumped at the chance to reblog it. If you could spread the word about this study, we’d all be grateful.

Thanks so much, and have a great weekend! love, Dyane ūüôā

Kitt O'Malley

Walker Karraa, PhDWalker Karraa, PhD

My friend & colleague, Dr. Walker Karraa, is studying the stigma surrounding postpartum bipolar disorder. If you fit her research criteria and are interested in participating, please do so. Her book Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women’s Stories of Trauma and Growth is groundbreaking and a powerful, moving read.

Research Study: The Stigma of Mental Illness for Mothers Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 0-12 Months Postpartum


I am currently conducting a research study entitled The Stigma of Mental Illness for Mothers Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 0-12 Months Postpartum. The purpose of this study is to describe and explain the nature of stigma related to the diagnosis of bipolar disorder during the first year following childbirth.

To participate in this study, participants must have: (a) received a diagnosis for bipolar disorder in the first year following the birth of a child; (b) be able to give informed consent; (c) speak English…

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Happy Birthday to Us!

Today, March 18th, my beautiful puppy Lucy turns one while I turn forty-five. I love the fact that we share a birthday!  

Being forty-five seems¬†rather bizarre, because in a lot of ways I still feel like I’m fourteen. ¬†

As my favorite American author Madeleine L’Engle said,

“‚ÄúThe great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.‚ÄĚ

In case you missed it, here I am with¬†Madeleine L’Engle at¬†a writer’s conference at a Santa Barbara monastery. ¬†This photo was taken when I was the tender age of 27, a decade before my postpartum bipolar one diagnosis.

Dy and L'Engle 2


So here I am having another birthday. ¬†Just as I felt at age fourteen and all the other ages, I’m hoping that something unexpected and magical happens today. ¬†But I just realized that something magical and unexpected¬†did¬†happen exactly one year ago that would affect my forty-fifth birthday and hopefully many more.

This special event occurred last year when Lucy was born on my forty-fourth birthday!  

Pisces girls unite!

looooovFurry SiblingsLucy’s brothersMom Layla & Dad

Lucy’s Mom and Dad¬†


My birthday will never feel complete since my Dad isn’t alive to wish me a happy day in his resonant voice, and play me the birthday song on his violin. ¬†Since that can’t happen, I’ll sing¬†a song by a couple of guys named Paul McCartney and John Lennon to Lucy today:

“I’ve got to admit it’s getting better (Better)
A little better all the time (It can’t get more worse)
I have to admit it’s getting better (Better)
It’s getting better since you’ve been mine” ¬†

“Getting Better”, The Beatles

For those of you who’ve been kind enough to read this blog, you know that my¬†past year has had its share of shit. ¬†I suffered two “mini-relapses” due to sleep deprivation. ¬†Some other challenging situations cropped up that I didn’t exactly handle with aplomb. ¬†But I’m determined to make this next year better, and the year after that one even better. ¬†

I’m making up for many chunks of lost time. ¬†Time that stolen by my¬†evil bipolar depression. ¬†

I’m working hard to (I hate this phrase, but I’ll use it anyway) practice self-care.¬†What’s my version of self-care? Part of my laundry list includes exercising the Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidan way*, getting enough sleep, family time, taking meds religiously, and laughing at Alpura Dancing Cows. and anything else funny. (I loved watching Russell Brand’s Messiah Complex¬†over the weekend!) ¬†My new support group for women with mood disorders rocks. ¬†And how could I forget mentioning Lucy?

Lucy. ¬†She’s the hound of a lifetime. I’m so used to referring to her as a puppy, but she’s a dog now. ¬†My children and I adore her, and the feeling seems mutual, but she worships alpha male Craig, so he can’t resist her charms either. ¬†I thank God for this beast every day. ¬†It’s not easy to take good, responsible care of a dog – my last two dogs Tara and Shera were with me for fifteen years to the end, when they both died in my arms… but she’s worth it. ¬†I held Lucy when she was eight-weeks-old in a way similar to how I held my newborns. I gently cuddled her with reverence and a deep, pure love. ¬†

While it might be nice to win the California SuperLotto Plus, land a book contract with a great publisher, or win a session with the kooky Long Island Medium, I have my family: Craig, my girls and my angel with paws, Miss Lucy.  

I wish you all an unexpected birthday gift that you’ll treasure the rest of your life; something awesome such as my furry girl. ¬†

Have a great day, friends!