Driscoll, Jeanne Watson

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DRISCOLL, Jeanne Watson

PERSONAL:

Married David Driscoll; children: Lorrie, Katie. Education: University of Delaware, B.S. (nursing), 1971; Boston College, M.S. (adult psychiatric health nursing); attended University of Connecticut, doctoral program (nursing).

ADDRESSES:

Office—Hestia Institute: Center for Women and Families, 12 Mica Ln., Wellesley, MA 02481.

CAREER:

Certified psychiatric adult health nurse, author, consultant, educator, and public speaker. Hestia Institute: Center for Women and Families, Wellesley, MA, cofounder and principle specialist.

MEMBER:

American Nurses Association, Association of Women's Health, Massachusetts Nurses Association, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, and Sigma Theta Tau.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Award for Excellence in Education, Association of Women's Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses, 1993.

WRITINGS:

(With Marsha Walker) Taking Care of Your New Baby: A Guide to Infant Care, Avery Publishing Group (Garden City Park, NY), 1989.

(With Deborah Sichel) Women's Moods: What Every Woman Must Know about Hormones, the Brain, and Emotional Health, Morrow (New York, NY), 1999.

SIDELIGHTS:

Jeanne Watson Driscoll is a certified psychiatric adult health nurse who specializes in topics regarding women's health, particularly issues involving emotional well being, hormonal fluctuations, and postpartum depression. She practices as a nurse psychotherapist at the Hestia Institute: Center for Women and Families (of which she is also a cofounder); she is also a consultant, educator, and public speaker.

In her first book, Taking Care of Your New Baby: A Guide to Infant Care, Driscoll and coauthor Marsha Walker provide guidance on how to care for infants during the first several months after their birth. Although the book focuses largely on the relationship that exists between mother and child—broaching topics such as the emotional adjustments a mother must make after her child is born—Driscoll and Walker also address paternal needs and changes. A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted that the authors are at times patronizing to the reader, such as when they provide the somewhat obvious information that all male babies are born uncircumcised. Nevertheless, the reviewer noted, "This encyclopedic book on infant care will inform and comfort harried, anxious new or expectant parents."

Driscoll cowrote her second book, Women's Moods: What Every Woman Must Know about Hormones, the Brain, and Emotional Health, with her Hestia Institute colleague Deborah Sichel. The authors discuss their theory about why twice as many women suffer from depression and anxiety as do men. According to Driscoll and Sichel, women are more prone to depression, anxiety, and other mood problems because of their unique brain chemistry. Female body chemistry is more highly sensitive to hormonal changes, life stressors, reproductive events, and even genetic history. In addition to discussing the science behind their theory, the authors offer advice on what women can do about mood fluctuations and mental illnesses. For instance, they advocate early use of medication in an attempt to prohibit problems before they become firmly established. However, they also point out that medications must be customized to a woman's own unique physiological makeup. In addition, the authors propose the use of a therapeutic regimen that they call "NURSE" (nourishment, understanding, relaxation, spirituality, and exercise). According to Driscoll and Sichel, this therapeutic approach can help women keep their brains functioning at an optimal level, warding off and/or cutting short periods of emotional turmoil. Writing in Library Journal, reviewer Mary J. Jarvis called the book "well researched and well written." Booklist contributor William Beatty noted, "A woman's biology is still seemingly invisible to many psychiatrists, obstetricians, gynecologists, and other physicians. Sichel, a psychiatrist, and Driscoll, a nurse, have carefully created a book that should help open the eyes of health-care professionals and patients alike."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 1, 1999, William Beatty, review of Women's Moods: What Every Woman Must Know about Hormones, the Brain, and Emotional Health, p. p. 496.

Library Journal, November 1, 1999, Mary J. Jarvis, review of Women's Moods, p. 116.

Publishers Weekly, July 14, 1989, review of Taking Care of Your New Baby: A Guide to Infant Care, p. 70; November 8, 1999, review of Women's Moods, p. 58.

ONLINE

Women's Moods Web site,http://www.womensmoods.com/ (November 10, 2003), "The Authors."*

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