Child Abuse Update

Twenty years ago the National Research Council (NRC) issued a comprehensive report on child abuse. That report noted that child abuse was much more common than previously thought and called for urgent action. This past week the NRC and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released an update: New Directions in Child Abuse Research. The good news – physical and sexual …

Depressed Mothers and Oxytocin

Oxytocin is often brought up in conversations about childbirth. After childbirth, new mothers normally experience surges of oxytocin that increase feelings of maternal bonding, trust, and empathy. In addition to facilitating pair bonding, recent studies have shown oxytocin  plays a greater role in mental health than originally thought. Low levels of oxytocin may be a phenomenon linked to depression. Maternal …

10% of Americans Suffered Childhood Sexual Abuse

Approximately 10 percent of American adults were sexually abused as children, according to a study reported in Comprehensive Psychiatry. They are more at risk of psychopathology and suicide attempts than are adults who were not sexually abused as children. This study fits with other evidence. The global prevalence of child sexual abuse has been estimated at 19.7% for females and 7.9% for males, based …

Stranger Danger

I have been avoiding the newspapers for the last couple of days, because I don’t want to get caught up in the frenzy of stories about the Sandy Hook shootings. You may say that this kind of avoidance is exactly what I have written in opposition to in other posts.  However, I have a special reason. I have two young …

Having Kids

Having kids is always challenging, a source of joy but also a source of anxiety. And having depression can add to the challenge. And yet many, many women that we have worked with have had successful pregnancies and raised wonderful, healthy, happy children. One key to success is paying attention to how mood can influence not only ourselves but also …