Wulsin, Lawson R.

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Wulsin, Lawson R.

PERSONAL:

Married to a physician epidemiologist; children: four sons. Education: Harvard College, B.A., 1974; University of Cincinnati, M.D., 1979.

ADDRESSES:

Office—University of Cincinnati, Department of Psychiatry, 231 Albert Sabin Way, Medical Sciences Bldg./ M.L. 0559, Cincinnati, OH 45267; fax: 513-558-4805. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Psychiatrist. University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, professor of psychiatry and family medicine. Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Clinical Research Training Program NIMH fellow; University of Pennsylvania, Center for Cognitive Therapy extramural fellow; regular contributor to radio programs.

MEMBER:

American Psychosomatic Society, Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Recipient of numerous medical grants.

WRITINGS:

Treating the Aching Heart: A Guide to Depression, Stress, and Heart Disease, Vanderbilt University Press (Nashville, TN), 2007.

Contributor to and peer reviewer for periodicals and journals, including Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Harvard Review of Psychiatry, Journal of the AmericanMedical Association, Archives of Internal Medicine, and Psychosomatic Medicine. Author of a weekly column, "Mind Matters," in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

SIDELIGHTS:

Lawson R. Wulsin is a psychiatrist. After completing an M.D. in 1979 from the University of Cincinnati, Wulsin merged careers in psychiatry and family medicine. He later accepted a professorship in the combined field at the University of Cincinnati, focusing on psychosomatic medicine and primary care psychiatry. Wulsin contributes regularly to scientific journals and writes a weekly column for the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Wulsin published his first book, Treating the Aching Heart: A Guide to Depression, Stress, and Heart Disease, in 2007. The book is a collection of nine stories from patients who dealt with the connections between depression and heart disease. The book uses an informal writing style so the average reader can easily relate to the stories, yet covers enough scientific results in each case so that doctors treating patients with these problems can also benefit. Wulsin suggests that both conditions may be treated in a way that improves the overall health of the patient through a change in diet, supplements, exercise regimes, electroconvulsive and psychotherapy, medication, and employing more stress-relieving methods, like those gained from the companionship of pets.

In a Library Journal interview, Lois K. Merry asked Wulsin about the difficulties he faced in writing this book. To this question, he replied: "The biggest challenge came from writing for both lay readers and clinicians. I had to strike a balance between making this book engaging to read and credible to skeptics." In the preface to the interview, Merry pointed out that the average person "with depression, heart disease, or both conditions will benefit from his clear suggestions for treatments, which borrow from Eastern and Western traditions" in the book. She also added that professionals in the health-care industry who read the book will "get a heavy dose of food for thought." In a separate interview by Natasha Persaud on the Remedy Life Web site, Wulsin explained how depression can lead to heart disease. He clarified that constant depression "disrupts your stress response system, contributes to autonomic imbalance, and increases blood clotting. All of those in a direct way contribute to heart disease." To this extent, however, he noted that "there are effective treatments for both depression and heart disease," citing: "Treating depression well may help protect the heart, and treating the heart well may help protect against depression."

Merry, again writing in Library Journal, described the book as "clear, engaging, nicely researched, and authoritative." She also found the chapter notes "well-annotated." Merry added that Treating the Aching Heart "features anecdotes and touches of humor that enhance its readability." A contributor to Publishers Weekly called the book "effectively" written. The same contributor commented that Wulsin solidly makes the case for "the need for improved awareness and improved care for heart disease and depression and similarly connected diseases."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Library Journal, June 1, 2007, Lois K. Merry, review of Treating the Aching Heart: A Guide to Depression, Stress, and Heart Disease, p. 142; July 1, 2007, Lois K. Merry, "Q&A: Lawson R. Wulsin," p. 114.

Publishers Weekly, April 30, 2007, review of Treating the Aching Heart, p. 149.

ONLINE

Lawson R. Wulsin Home Page,http://www.lawsonwulsin.com (January 24, 2008), author biography.

NetWellness,http://www.netwellness.org/ (January 24, 2008), author profile.

Remedy Life,http://www.healthyupdates.com/ (January 24, 2008), Natasha Persaud, author interview.

University of Cincinnati, Department of Psychiatry Web site,http://www.psychiatry.uc.edu/ (January 24, 2008), author profile.