Walker Karraa, PhD
Walker 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; (d) have access to phone and email; (e) and willingness to participate; (f) at least 18 years of age.

Participants will participate in one 60-90 minute, audio taped, phone interview with the principal investigator. Participants will then be asked to review transcribed interview. The total time commitment for participation is estimated at 4 hours spread over several weeks.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact me: walkerkarraa@email.phoenix.edu

Thank you,

Walker Karraa, PhD (Primary Investigator)
Research Fellow: Center for Leadership Studies and Educational Research
Dissertation Research Chair
School of Advanced Studies
University of Phoenix


22 responses to “Postpartum Bipolar Disorder Research Study”

  1. Do you have a blog or contact information? I would be interested to read about your experience!

  2. Then please email Walker Karraa PhD to take part in her study.

  3. Very Interesting to read the post and comments. Sounds like me, to a T!

  4. He takes the generic, as well. It’s easier for me to remember the brand name.

  5. Reblogged this on Mama is Mental! and commented:

    This is an incredible and UNIQUE opportunity for people who, like me, were diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder right after having children. What a wonderful way to get your individual story heard and to break the stigma. Spread the word on this.

  6. Reblogged this on Birth of a New Brain and commented:

    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! 🙂 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, founder of Stigmama. Our mutual friend Kitt O’Malley blogged about the 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!

    Dyane 🙂

  7. Very sorry to learn this….I took amitriptyline (generic Elavil) long ago. My hopes are that it takes him less than three weeks to normalize. You are a great and loving mom, my friend.

  8. Kitt – This should be an interesting research project. I’m looking forward to reading the results.

  9. It will take up to three weeks to get back to normal. Med dosage reduction once again back-fired. Back up to previous dosage for my boy. He takes Elavil for migraines. Elavil is a tricyclic antidepressant, so it also affects mood (obviously).

  10. Someone had to be level-headed. Good for him (and you)!

  11. No worries, mi amiga. So sorry to hear about the hard day & also last night with him; I hope everything gets better quickly by tonight!!! Sending you love, as always!

  12. I agree, totally!

    Sadly, at the time I was not only unwell, but desperate with it. Fortunately, my husband understood this was not the way to help me … or him!

  13. That was REALLY uncalled for, unconscionable, and incorrect advise. I cannot believe that a psychiatric nurse would advise someone to have a child to improve their psychiatric health. Pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period involve hormonal changes that can be detrimental to one’s psychiatric health. Parenting, especially parenting a newborn, is challenging. Becoming a parent is a choice that should be made by the individual and/or couple, not by health care workers.

  14. My pleasure. Having a hard day (and last night) with my boy. I’m a little shaky right now, so my response isn’t as on target as it should be. Crap.

  15. Hopefully better. Antidepressants actually do address the depression rather than simply sedating. I do believe that women are speaking up about their experiences and fighting the stigma surrounding it. New fathers, too, suffer from sleep deprivation which can trigger psychiatric illness post-partum. They may not have hormonal changes (who knows), but they are affected, too. Can be a joyous AND stressful time in a family’s life.

  16. I have no children, but was once advised – by a psychiatric nurse – to have kids as a way of sorting myself out. (I was in hospital at the time.)

    As I was in my mid 40s, & my partner & I had been married many years by then, in retrospect this was a bit of a “what????” moment. Started menopause within five years afterwards.

    This sounds like a fascinating study. I look forward to hearing more about it.

  17. such powerful and informative!!

  18. FORWARD, not foreword!!!! Dang it! 😉

  19. This is, in part, what my upcoming book “Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar” addresses – the stigma of having PPBD! I’m honored that Dr. Walker Karraa has agreed to write its foreward – I couldn’t have picked a more brilliant, qualified amazing woman to write it!

    Thank you, Kitt, for spreading the word about a very worthwhile study!!!!

  20. It hasn’t been so long ago when women suffering from post-partum mental illness were labeled “hysterical” and prescribed massive doses a Valium. I wonder how much better it has gotten.

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