Decarcerating Perinatal Mental Health & Reproductive Care

This blog post was inspired by my participation in IDHA‘s December 2020 “Decarcerating Care Fireside Chat.” I am grateful to Jessie Roth, IDHA co-director, for facilitating a rich conversation with my fellow interlocutors Jess Stohlmann-Rainey, Dustin Gibson, and Stefanie Lyn Kaufman-Mthimkhulu. When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, my first thought is that I wasContinue reading “Decarcerating Perinatal Mental Health & Reproductive Care”

PSA: Perinatal Bipolar Support Group

I am incredibly excited to announce the debut of a new support group which I will co-facilitating called Bipolar Support for Perinatal Moms & Birthing People hosted by Postpartum Support International (PSI). Since not all people with wombs identify as women or mothers, this group welcomes all birthing people (parents who have carried and birthedContinue reading “PSA: Perinatal Bipolar Support Group”

Thinking with Dyane Harwood: Birth of a New Brain

Although I lived with a bipolar diagnosis years before my own crisis with mania and depression during pregnancy, I was intrigued by both the familiarity and foreignness of postpartum bipolar.* As I began to do more research, I stumbled across Dyane Harwood’s memoir Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder (2017). TheContinue reading “Thinking with Dyane Harwood: Birth of a New Brain”

Emerging Out of the Wormhole

If you follow this blog, you may have notice that I’ve fallen off my weekly posting rhythm. The last couple of weeks have been quite hellish in my head and in my household. My toddler got her first cold and came down with the terrible twos.(The tantrums and antics have been particularly pronounced!) My husband,Continue reading “Emerging Out of the Wormhole”

Madness & The Intuitive Mind

During this new phase of mastery in managing my mental illness, I have been struggling to make sense of extra-sensory, intuitive experiences I’ve encountered in my stability. In manic and depressive states, I am very sensitive to energy emitted from the “unseen.” I am tuned into the vibrations of the Earth through the weather andContinue reading “Madness & The Intuitive Mind”

What is a Mental Health Doula?

During my training as a birth and postpartum doula, I received little education on perinatal mental health. When mental health was addressed in the postpartum doula training, the acronym PMADs was thrown around as a catch-all phrase for Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders. In a previous post titled Language Matters: Perinatal vs Postpartum, I articulateContinue reading “What is a Mental Health Doula?”

Language Matters: Perinatal vs Postpartum

Continue with the topic of language from a previous post, I’ve been thinking about how the terminology we use impacts our awareness of and education about people’s lived experiences with mental health challenges. This post will focus on those experiences surrounding childbirth. There has been an increasing awareness about the term postpartum, meaning the periodContinue reading “Language Matters: Perinatal vs Postpartum”

The Language of Madness

Since my diagnosis in 2012, I slowly became indoctrinated in the medical model of mental illness which emphasizes a biological basis for “abnormal” behavior. As a person living with bipolar disorder, I learned to categorize my lived experience within diagnostic terms, like manic or depressed, and looked to therapy, psychiatry, and psychopharmacology for a cure.Continue reading “The Language of Madness”

Is it possible to outgrow therapy?

I have been in and out of therapy for almost a decade now. Ever since my bipolar diagnosis in 2012, I have more or less stuck to the recovery regimen of religiously seeing a therapist weekly, a psychiatrist every one to three months, and taking medication daily. As I worked out the kinks in myContinue reading “Is it possible to outgrow therapy?”

Breastfeeding While Black (& Bipolar): A poem & reflections

In honor of our ancestors the enslaved wet nurses / their life-force liquified sentenced to sustain white supremacy’s offspring Now we celebrate our brown babies suckling / in our arms against our skin / on our bodies / at our breasts Liberated lactation is a revelation a revolution / nourishment only Black bodies can provideContinue reading “Breastfeeding While Black (& Bipolar): A poem & reflections”