It Has Been 10 Years Since My Postpartum Bipolar Was Activated

On August 26, 2007, my postpartum bipolar disorder was activated during one of the happiest days of my life: the birth of my child.

As some of you know, all hell broke loose afterward and my treatment-resistant bipolar depression lasted a long, long time. 

I’m super-thankful I can tell you that my life is different now. Although every day remains challenging, I’m doing relatively well.

In today’s vlog, I describe my recent freak-out with Bipolar UK. I asked the acclaimed non-profit if they’d share my SELF postpartum bipolar article with their followers. 

They said no.

Why? Because Bipolar UK doesn’t recognize postpartum bipolar disorder as a diagnosis. 

I expound upon that topic in my vlog. 

On a brighter note, I mention some projects I’m working on as I approach my book’s October 10th “birth” which I hope (apart from the inevitable bad reviews) will be relatively pain-free! 

Have a good weekend, my lovely ones, and please take good care of yourselves!




Read my latest article here: SELF Magazine “We Need to Talk About Postpartum Bipolar Disorder” 

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.

29 thoughts on “It Has Been 10 Years Since My Postpartum Bipolar Was Activated

  1. Looking forward to the publication of your forthcoming book this coming October.
    Your advocacy and research in the field of mental health and in particular BP Disorder has been an ongoing journey for you for many years. Wishing you much success with its birth!🎼🎼🎻

  2. Lucy clearly wants to be the center of your attention. Play with me, Mommy, play!

    As for Bipolar UK, I’m surprised. In Brit Stephen Fry’s documentary The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, he includes an interview between a psychiatrist and a woman with bipolar who is considering having a second child. The doctor tells the woman that pregnancy-related hormonal changes will worsen her bipolar disorder. I do not recall if her illness started due to hormonal changes of her first pregnancy. But the take-away for me was that those hormonal changes are chemical triggers. Period.

    Drafting my review of your book!

    • Hello there my Radio Star! 😉

      You should have seen me that afternoon when you were on the show. I did everything possible so that I wouldn’t miss a second of your “Inspiration with E” debut! I freaked out because I thought I had missed something when the clock struck 4:00 (the music was playing), but I calmed down and all was well.

      Yes, Lucy was frustrated I wasn’t paying attention to her, and she was also peeved because that was our walking time and we weren’t able to get out for it. At the last minute, Craig had to work late in San Francisco. (He usually watches the girls when Lucy and I go out as he often works from home.)

      Thank you so much for “getting it” about the Bipolar UK situation.Years ago I watched the Stephen Fry documentary on YouTube (the first one) and it was fascinating.I don’t recall the interview he did with the woman contemplating the 2nd pregnancy, so it was helpful to read your comment!

      The perinatal psychiatrist Dr Alain Gregoire (founder and chair of the U.K.’s acclaimed Maternal Mental Health Alliance/MMHA) said, “the postpartum period carried the highest risk of developing bipolar disorder in the human lifetime.” I don’t know Dr. Gregoire’s personal take on bipolar, peripartum onset. Come to think of it, I had planned to ask him to endorse my book, but I spaced out and never contacted him. Oh well. Whether or not he recognizes the dx is a moot point, although I might email him my book PDF for the heck of it.

      Re: Your review of my book — I’m VERY grateful to you for taking time to write it!!!!!!
      Just don’t give it “less than one star,” eh? ⭐️😱


  3. Captain, I need to listen to the Vlog but now I don’t have my headset with me and my hearing without aids is sorrowful. With regards to Bipolar UK, sad! Stigma is several forms if you ask me. Take care of yourself

    • LOVED getting your surprise LinkedIn message, my lovely one! That made me happy! 😊
      You know I enjoy (good!) surprises. 👍

      And YES, please wait until you can use your special headset to listen to my vlog – I hope I sound fairly clear – I was tired when I recorded it and a bit slurry. Lucy, on the other hand, was anything BUT tired! 👀

      You hit the nail on the head about stigma!!!!!!!!
      That’s what I thought too – it’s so strange and (hey, I’ve gotta use this word, I know you’ll understand….) DISAPPOINTING! Also, I didn’t go into it in my vlog or this post, but after I had the first Huffington Post piece published, I contacted them and got mixed messages from them and also from other UK organizations. Mixed messages are far more baffling than a simple “We’re not interested!” statement, ya know?

      But I know that my Fairy G ⭐️ would tell me to move on now and focus on the positive, and that’s what I’m going to do. I will give my energy and goodwill to those “Bipolar Advocates” and “Perinatal Mental Health Advocates” who are open to reading about my experience and who wish to know about my message.

      I’ve tried my best to reach people who claim to “educate” – who are in positions of power in which they can affect women’s lives for the better or the worse. If these “advocates” choose to look the other way when I come knocking, they’ll have to answer to their Higher Power on that one!

      Love you ,sweet sweet M!!!! 💗 T
      hanks for being there for me and for reading my mind yet again! 😸
      Miss Lucy sends her doggy regards, and she would like you to come take her for a walk in the redwoods!!!!!

      • Lady, one thing I have come to mantra in my life is that some dogs will bark for attention, while others will bark in defiance , and if we were all to consider ourselves dogs, which way will you bark or tolerate others’ barking? This may be an oversight or not so related to your comment; but I think you’ll get something out of it.
        Ah, I am learning and changing and growing and healing and struggling and coping and striving and loving and telling: Along one I know – I write as it flows not planned to write all this lol
        Now to your indepth comment inreply to my brief but profound one on your post; you also got it all from my unspoken/written words…it was an overwhelming week and weekend including the death and burial of the beloved driver with the foundation. I am yet to listen to the Vlog, was so tired last night and this morning am already in school to give an 8 hour lecture – that’s how tough life is – but, ain’t we tougher? Look at you 10 years later, those organizations – it’s their loss: I take this from your comment and agree with it in its entirety ” Mixed messages are far more baffling than a simple “We’re not interested!” statement”. I know you know I know both of us and many others like have suffered with and from this especially from one of the sources we innocently never expected. But hmm, let’s get on with the business of living: Bravo captain it’s 10 years already – I plan to get back on Lose It in Septemeber – guess you may not have noticed I sneakily sneaked away again mid july lol

      • And oh, tell our MD Therapist in attendance I’ll see which way you guys vote in 2020 before deciding on coming take her for that most special of all walks 🙂

  4. First of all I am so proud of you and all your accomplishments. You keep putting yourself out there you keep publishing and you keep approaching publishers. Bipolar UK should be ashamed of themselves. That is astonishing that they don’t recognize your diagnosis. I am mad at them for you. But I’m still proud of you and I’m excited for what’s coming up. You look great and you are great my little flower. Love you bunches !!!

    • Darling fiery friend,

      How I wish you could see my yellow-toothed grin (yep, my choppers are yellow from the swimming pools of coffee I slurp every year!) because your comment made me feel packed with awesome, Dr. 🔥 Fire!

      For a “New York minute,” I was tempted to let Dr. Jamison know about the Bipolar U.K. drama since she’s their patron. I had fleeting hopes she’d consider bringing it up with them, but I don’t want to mess up *that* connection with this stupid crap. It’s not worth it.

      I bet you 3 pounds of coffee that if a U.K. “hot celeb” says she has postpartum bipolar, they’ll change their tune!!!! We shall see…

      In the meantime, I MUST catch up with your blog!!!!!! I’ve neglected my recent blog reading only due to stress – you know I’ll always come round there!!! I’m loyal!

      Much, much love,

      Your little flower!!!!!! 🌹
      (I like tuberoses too!)

  5. I’m with Kitt on this one, O Empress Percolatia. You have much to celebrate, to hug, to hold…and if anything post a sheet (I originally typed “shit”–oopsie!) of Bipolar UK’s logo and throw darts at it. What you have come through, and continue to wrestle with, exhaust me with the thought of…it. Okay that was a lousy sentence, but my point is you inspire all of us to fight on, no matter what, for our darkness can become a light to others. Love to you from the Corn-Filled Cow-Pied Wisconsinonia! -Java Jeany Bean 🙂

    • It’s Empress Percolatia here, my lovely one!
      I can always count on the one and only ***Java Jeany Bean**** to lift my spirits! 👍

      Sometimes when I blog and vlog enough about a topic, it’s not so charged!
      Yes, it’s called the “Whining Technique” and it’s very cathartic! I might have to write or yodel about Bipolar UK one more time, but I promise you if I do, that will be it. At least during g2017!

      I shall carry on and celebrate, hug, hold as you so wisely suggest.

      Love💗 you always!

      Yours in admiration,
      Empress Percolatia

      p.s. Back when I worked at Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, we had a Harvest Fair at Wilder Ranch State Park complete with “Cow Pie Bingo” – I kid you not!

      We sold one of the MOST delicious chocolate treats I’ve ever had: “Cow Pies” by the Baraboo Candy Company of glorious Wisconsin!!! Here’s the link – pray tell, have you tried any of these yummies???

      • Oh my stars and garters, are you serious!!?! We live two hours from Baraboo, but when I was little we were really close to that town. They have the Circus World Museum because the Ringling Brothers wintered there for years. This is too awesome! Guess I need to do some shopping out and about this state this fall!

        Cow Pie Bingo–a’yup, that sounds about right! I’m in the midst of planning Biff and Bash’s birthday party (5years old. Honestly, I never thought we’d get this far), and have been coming up with some good firefighter games for kids of any age. I might just stick CowPie Bingo on the reserves just in case the watergames go a bit out of control… 😉

  6. Oh, dear Dyane! Don’t question yourself. You’re amazing and you keep putting yourself out there. There’s bound to be rejection sometimes, but you can’t let that keep you down! That’s a fabulous vlog and you should be proud of all you’ve accomplished–I know I am!

    • Awww, thank you so much, Cass!

      When I read your comment, it truly made me feel better. 💖

      You’re right – rejection is just part of life, and I won’t let it keep me from writing, blabbing, maybe even yodeling 😉 about my experience! Thanks again for helping me through this yucky blip!!!! 👍

  7. I don’t think your reaction is weird or an obsession. Even this far away, and not having it happen to me, it still feels like a professional slight. Hold your head up high and let your reaction neutralize itself naturally. I have a feeling you’re going to get an apology or a reversal from Bipolar UK.

    • Thank you, thank you, Merry!
      I love the sentence you wrote:
      “Hold your head up high and let your reaction neutralize itself naturally. ”
      Yes, yes! I will most definitely hold my head up high and let things settle.

      Next year I plan to send Bipolar UK a copy of my BP Magazine article (coming out in 2018) with a note asking them to please reconsider their opinion – who knows, it’s a worth a try! I’ll keep you posted! 🌹

  8. You are not weird at all Dyane! I would feel upset and annoyed too. It would be like finding out that the American Medical Association doesn’t recognize any kind of bipolar disorder or depression as real clinical illnesses. Those diagnostic labels are important. It helps to know that there are reasons for our symptoms that are not all in our heads, and having a word to represent them is empowering. I was terribly confused as a teenager before being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. No one seemed to know what was wrong with me. It was a terrible and awful mystery I dared not confess to anyone. Knowong there were biochemical causes eased my shame and made me aware that treatment was possible. Moreover, I was not alone. I agree that it is irresponsible of Bipolar U.K. to ignore the substantial research on the subject of postpartum bipolar disorder from other countries and dismiss your diagnosis out of hand. A diagnosis has real condequences, both psychological and physical. You are right to be offended. Unfortunately ignorance can affect even those “at the top.” Just keep writing. Maybe eventually you can straighten them out!!! 🙂

    • Thanks a million, my friend, for such a supportive & thoughtfully written comment.
      I’m so grateful to have you in my life. You’re a voice of reason as well as one who has true empathy for someone in my situation! You get it!!!!

      The AMA analogy is brilliant! I’m not even asking for much from these groups – I’d simply like them to have a paragraph or two on their websites – that’s it.

      Too bad a huge celebrity hasn’t come out with having postpartum bipolar. Sadly, that’s probably what it would take for an organization like Bipolar UK to admit that it exists! At one point last year I was in touch with Catherine Zeta-Jones’ agent to see Ms. Zeta-Jones might endorse my book. I got a polite “thanks, but no thanks” from her, which was cool because so many agents don’t reply. Ever since the actress went public about having bipolar II, I had wondered if she technically had it triggered by childbirth. I don’t know the answer to that, but I wrote her agent that I thought she might be interested in my book regardless of whether or not she endorsed it and I’d send her a copy of my book.

      True to my word, I’m planning on sending the book to her agency in the fall. I hope she gets it…

      Once again, many thanks for being there for me!!!!

      Much ❤️,


      p.s. Did you notice I stopped using my personal Facebook page? I sent a message to almost every friend letting them know I was no longer using my personal page. I took (way too much) time to do that so they didn’t think I unfriended them! Now I only have the book page.

      That means I REALLY want you to return to Twitter now…heh heh.
      Don’t tell your other half I wrote that!!! 🙀

      • You’re welcome! I’m glad you liked the AMA analogy. Good luck to getting through to people who are comfortably oblivious! I did notice you had moved to your author page. I am still seriously considering going back on Twitter soon after I get back from my cruise which is in a week (unless I chicken out!) By the way, did you ever get my response to your last email? The first time I tried to send it, I got an error message. I didn’t the second time, but I’m still not sure if it got through. 🙂

      • Thanks so much, Lisa!!! I did get your email – sorry not to write back yet, but I have it highlighted in my in-box, and definitely want to share some thoughts. I hope you go on your cruise & have a fantastic time – didn’t you go a year or two ago and have fun??? XOXOXOX

      • I’m so glad to know you got the email! No rush to write back at all, but I’m relieved because I was experimenting with an email feature of my notepad, and it never really confirmed if it had been sent or not. Due to all the content that was in your email I’d hate for you to think I didn’t respond or wasn’t going to.

        As for the cruise, yes, I did have fun last time. I think I will again if all the hurricanes don’t make the waves too high! Otherwise I might be in for a week long rollercoaster ride. Bring on the Dramamine! And some teddy bears to hug. 🙂

  9. I finally watched the Vlog and tweeted about Lucy’s disgust at Bipolar UK…I also left a comment on the clip… lady I care also about the bag I see under your right eye…please review your sleep hygene especially in moments like these…love

    • I love you and I do need to get better sleep. I think it’s going to happen as school is really exhausting the girls and they’re less likely to wake us up like they’ve been doing! Nightmares, spiders, rooms are too stuffy, you name it! 😉

    • PS I know you’re only being kind but there are bags under both eyes not to mention other places in my body too haha

    • I can’t resist adding that they’re not carry-on bags like the small time but the big old check them at the airport kind!

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