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A Podcast Series from The Family Institute

Nikki Lively interviews Dr. Kara Driscoll, reproductive psychiatrist and founder of The Allegro Center, LLC in Chicago. Dr. Driscoll explores common myths and fears surrounding the use of psychotropic medications while pregnant and breastfeeding and the role of hormones in women's moods in the postpartum period.

A Podcast Series from The Family Institute

Nikki Lively interviews Kristina Cowan, journalist and author of the book, When Postpartum Packs a Punch: Fighting Back and Finding Joy. Ms. Cowan shares insights from her experience with postpartum depression and anxiety.

a letter from Nancy Burgoyne, Chief Clinical Officer

Recent events in Florida have again put in front of us an outrageous scene of senseless violence. Violence in schools, once unimaginable, has become a disturbingly frequent event. As individuals, and certainly as caregivers for children of all ages, we grapple with how to respond.

“You’re so lucky.” These three simple words have been heard repeatedly by almost every adoptee. While adoption is often the best solution available to a challenging problem, these words fail to address the emotional difficulties adoptees may experience, including conscious and unconscious feelings of loss, shame, and abandonment. Without help from a mental health professional, these difficulties may impede healthy psychological development (Verrier, 1993).

Identifying Triggers through Mindfulness Practice

The American Psychological Association defines trauma as an experience during which a person is directly or indirectly exposed to actual or threatened death or serious injury (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000). In this definition, scholars include events such as combat, childhood abuse, and rape. Current literature also describes trauma as betrayal, illness, infidelity, job loss, divorce, racism, and other events that threaten one’s well-being (Levine, 2008; Waelde, Pennington, Mahan, Mahan, Kabour, & Marquette, 2010). The resulting stress, called traumatic stress, can cause mental, emotional, and physical symptoms. These include intrusive memories of the event (such as nightmares), avoidant and numbing behaviors (e.g., withdrawal, substance use), hyperarousal (chronic anxiety), and depression (chronic lethargy).

Aiding Communities and Families

This article will discuss the mental and emotional impact of disasters; present a brief overview of research on disaster response; and offer practical suggestions for preparing for and responding to the psychological consequences of disasters.