Discriminated Against from Local Nami…still trying here but no response

This is a letter I wrote to a woman on the board of directors of NAMI Broward County

It’s hard when they ask for volunteers again and again but don’t return my calls or respond to my application. Ever since Tardive Dyskinesia, people see me differently, even though I exhibit no symptoms. I’m not even angry about any of this…..it just is. Maybe I’m meant for something else.



hi Edna
Thank you for emailing me back.

One of the reasons I was interested in volunteering for NAMi is to understand how our government works. The difference between an’ act’  ‘ballot initiative,’ etc. I have seen a few things lately that do not seem fair. Especially in our state. I think some activism is aggressive, silly and preaching to the choir. Like Hashtag campaigns and protests outside gates of pharmacy companies.

I’m speaking with John Rother at National Healthcare Coalition in DC, the FDA’s Orphan Drug Development Department and other people on this business of skyrocketing Generic Prices as I am doing a a consumer article about how to predict and prepare for things like ER Depakote shooting up to 1700 because it’s been repurposed and reclassified ‘Orphan.’ My Tardive med is now 300 a month and it’s an ancient generic like Klonopin. I want to volunteer in more ways than writing and John Rother told me to hook up with local Nami. It’s not for lack of trying on my part.

Nami knows how to advocate effectively. Not only do I want to write a series “Advocacy Made Easy,” I hoped to soak up Nami’s wisdom by being a ‘part’ of.

I did call David and over the phone fill out an application. Are you aware this is the fourth time I have tried to volunteer for my local NAMI?

In the past, I have started, publicized, nurtured new peer support meetings and at AA they still ask for me to come chair meetings because I am vigilant, spontaneous and can think on my feet. This is from two decades of live radio. That is the volunteer activity I’m best at.

Can you imagine attending ‘connections’ meetings, hearing over and over the need for volunteers to facilitate new ‘connections’ meetings and to call the office four times and have the calls never returned?

Edna, I feel I am being discriminated against for having tardive dyskinesia and speaking about it. In addition adhd impulsivity, before it was under control….let’s put it this way. I volunteered for Rebels and nurtured Eating Disorders Anonymous, Dual Recovery and finally OA before I was knocked over by tardive. I am not angry about it, I’m getting used to it.

It took three years to get it under control. I couldn’t drive or sign my name for three years. I must have gone on twenty docs appointments and ER four times.

It took two more years to get over my anger and grief over the process and stigma I encounter and still do within the medical and psychiatric community. When I came back around Rebel’s Decided I am unstable. Yet other volunteers of theirs call me to say they are being followed by the CIA and one of the secretly slid me a bottle full of narcotics wrapped in a New York Times.

I do telephone outreach for International Bipolar Foundation but I soooo wish I could have a peer support meeting. I might get involved with DBSA and try to get space donated from the Hollywood Beach Community Center and have a DBSA meeting in South Broward, as there isn’t one. I will have to drive up to Margate and Pompano, but I can do this.

Thanks for being kind to me and letting me know there was at least one person within Nami who cares.

My Friend Dyane…take a look. All her efforts at advocacy is paying off for her and others…

Successful Working Mother Battles Bi-Polar Disorder


How do women measure success? Is it by mothering and having a career? How do they carry out both forms of work to their satisfaction? What helps? What hurts?

This is a weekly series about successful women who participate in the workforce in a range of ways building their careers while mothering. These women fly under the radar of the media but need to be heard. They are silently successful and warrant recognition. They are compassionate, persistently hardworking women who deserve our admiration and offer advice to new mothers. Each week I will spotlight a different remarkable woman.

Dyane Leshin-Harwood has two daughters, ages 3 and 10. She is a successful free-lance writer, author of Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder to be published in the fall of 2017. She is also the founder of Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), Santa Cruz County, CA, and a member of the International Society of Bipolar Disorders, the Marce Society for Perinatal Mental Health, Postpartum Support International.

After Dyane’s second child was born she was faced with a postpartum health crisis, diagnosed with bipolar, peripartum onset, also known as postpartum bipolar disorder. She tells her story with deep devotion to her children and compassion:

“My mothering and writing fell to the wayside for the next seven years as I suffered through seven psychiatric unit hospitalizations, took over 30 medications to no avail, and requested two round of electroconvulsive therapy which I credit with saving my life. I tried my best during those years to be an attentive mother to my young girls, but I was a depressed shadow of my former self most of the time. Despite my guilt for not being the mother I hoped to be during those years, all I can do now is prioritize my hard-won mental health stability and be there for my family as a present and loving parent.”

Dyane describes the importance of motherhood to her while building her career:

“I always wanted to be a mother. Being a mother has literally saved my life. If not for my daughters, I wouldn’t have asked my husband to take me to the E.R. when I was acutely suicidal. I don’t take being a mother for granted – it’s a gift, an opportunity…and while I won’t lie and say it’s easy (with two daughters close in age who are either best friends or fight like little banshees, it’s never easy!), I’m profoundly grateful to be a mom.”

“At forty-five, I’ve maintained mental stability for over two years which has allowed me to be an involved parent. I consider this to be a profound achievement due to my lengthy battle with postpartum bipolar disorder. Landing my book deal has been an incredible privilege and I can’t wait to see my book through to completion. I created a support group for women with postpartum mood disorders that is going well. It has been fulfilling to see other women who suffer with depression, bipolar, anxiety, and trauma come together and support one another.”

Dyane has advice for new mothers with mental disorders who want to embark on careers while mothering with a significant support system:

“As a mom who runs a support group, I’ve witnessed the power of finding support and empathy with other mothers. There are Meetup.com groups for working mothers, for both new moms and those who are a bit more experienced. There are support groups associated with the maternity wings of hospitals as well. I’d call the closest maternity hospital for referrals. If you’ve suffered with postpartum mood disorder, Postpartum Support International is a fantastic resource for groups. “

Please leave comments for Dyane, a mother, writer, blogger and mental health advocate. She’s been honored as a “Story of Hope of Recovery” by the International Bipolar Foundation, a “Life Unlimited” by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, and a Psych Central Mental Health Hero.

In sum, Dyane says, “I write to share and connect with other people worldwide who have suffered with bipolar disorder like I have. I write to help other moms know they aren’t alone with their perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Follow Dyane @birthofnewbrain on twitter.

Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst with a recent book, Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior, found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Familius and wherever books are found.

If you would like to participate in this series as a successful career woman and mother, contact Laurie and she’ll be glad to include you.

Content providers need thick skin to absorb rejection from editors!

Watch on astrongradio.tumblr.com

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