Bipolar Book Review: Birth of a New Brain

Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder

Dyane Harwood

Once I started reading this book I couldn’t put it down. You instantly feel connected to the author and all you want is for her to find the solution to her mysterious disease.

She does an amazing job in showing the reader the reality of the bipolar disease including mania. “It was incredible to feel so creative, but my rapid thoughts scared me and made me anxious.” When I read that I was like, yup, exactly, and she continued from there.

Her memoir is so honest in its portrayal of the poor mental healthcare that is available in this country. Her challenges and triumphs with various medications will speak to anyone who’s been through the medication roller coaster.

She also brings to light the challenge of trying to work when your body is simply not cooperating. How we have to live almost these dual lives of who we know we’re supposed to be and what we actually feel like: “I worried if I revealed how bad I felt, I’d lose my job.”

I think this book is definitely a strong addition to the collection of mental health memoirs that are out there. I walked away feeling less alone and more understood. I also felt hope that maybe people who have the power to change the system can read these kinds of retellings and realize that we need better care before we lose years of life to the challenges of this disease.

It is not just for postpartum bipolar patients but for all bipolar patients who want an honest portrayal of the disease and a struggle for hope, life, and balance.

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