lauren paige kennedy
When our family first met Mary nearly four years ago, our hearts were still bruised and healing from losing our beloved Ruby. We weren’t sure we were ready. So I sent a photo of the nervously pacing animal from the shelter to Ben. I’m a dumb sucker for the shy ones, for the pups deemed too damaged or simply too much trouble—for whatever reason, those are the dogs that speak to me. After a short spell of silence, which I knew was lingering grief, he texted back, “OK. But only if I get to name her.” A deal was struck, although I don’t know how much our long-deceased grandmothers (on both sides) appreciated a canine namesake, even if she was a great beauty.
It was immediately clear that Mary was not like other dogs.
Here is my discussion with Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris, a pediatrician with a new book that explains how adverse childhood experiences (ACE) can trigger a toxic stress response in our immune, central nervous and cardiovascular systems, which leads to poor health outcomes in adulthood. The direct correlation between neglect, abuse, and emotionally scarring events when we're young and higher rates of the most prevalent diseases and conditions that kill us is both sobering and shocking. Research shows that the higher your ACE score, the more likely you are to develop cancer, fight addictions, have heart disease, and battle depression. READ MORE on pg. 25 in October's digital issue of WebMD Magazine.
So pleased to share my October cover story with the one and only Tiffany Haddish—Hollywood "It" Girl, comic sensation, and survivor of a seriously hardscrabble childhood. I've been interviewing boldfaced names for 20 years, and Tiffany is my favorite subject so far. She's warm, open, hilarious, inspiring, and real. Love, love, love her. Go to pg. 30 in the digital issue of this month's magazine. Read more.
What is PTSD? Yes, veterans of combat are prone to develop this disorder. But what about children and everyday adults? I spoke with an expert who explained how common this condition is, what types of trauma can cause it, and how symptoms sometimes manifest differently between the genders. To read more, go to pg. 15 in the September issue of WebMD Magazine. READ MORE.
Here's my cover story on "60 Minutes" star Lesley Stahl for Brain & Life magazine (formerly Neurology Now). In it I reveal Stahl's personal quest to get a correct medical diagnosis for her husband, the screenwriter Aaron Latham, whose unusual trajectory of Parkinson's disease defied easy categorization. The ace reporter also applied her investigative skills toward treating his symptoms, researching innovative therapies including boxing and deep brain stimulation. The most rewarding thing about interviewing this renowned broadcast journalist? She wrote an email saying I did a "first-rate job telling" her and Latham's story, followed by this: "I like the way you wove the experts in with our personal story—kind of like a 60 Minutes piece!!" (Her exclamation points, not mine!) READ MORE.
Take note: music really does soothe the soul—and the body and mind, as well. Music therapy has been shown to improve a wide range of physical symptoms caused by everything from Alzheimer's disease to asthma attacks. See my story on pg. 17 of the digital edition of WebMD Magazine's July/August issue. READ MORE.
As many as half of all American tweens and teens are not getting their full and recommended roster of vaccinations, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Here's the lowdown of what they need, and when, as seen on pg. 30 in the July issue of WebMD Magazine. READ MORE.
The CDC just announced suicides have increased by 30% in many states since 1999. In light of two shocking suicides this week (Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain), I'd like to share this story I just published with WebMD on rising rates of depression among women between 1952 and 2011. While in this specific study suicide rates mainly held steady among participants of both genders, there was a marked spike of depression among women from the 1990s on—and this higher plateau has held steady ever since. Researchers can only speculate why this is, musing that seismic shifts in gender roles in the 1970s and '80s, coupled with rising rates of single motherhood and the burdens of the "second shift," may be at play. Could there be gender differences to explore in the CDC findings, too? (See pg. 13 of June's digital edition.) READ MORE.
Here's my WebMD Magazine June cover story with "The Seagull" star Annette Bening! The award-winning actress and I chatted at length about the challenges of aging in and out of Hollywood, how authenticity is her acting mantra, what motherhood means to her, and how her elderly parents are amazing role models for loving relationships, longevity, and good health. See page 34 of the digital and print editions, out now. READ MORE.
Today I interview Hollywood It Girl and funny lady Tiffany Haddish, hilarious star of The Last OG and Night School, and best-selling author of The Last Black Unicorn. We're going to talk about overcoming childhood adversity, chasing your dreams, perseverance, and why laughter makes for the best medicine. It's for an upcoming cover story; I'll post it when it goes live! Watch this space.