Emotional Inflammation

Discover Your Triggers and Reclaim Your Equilibrium During Anxious Times


By Lise Van Susteren, M.D., and Stacey Colino

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Published by Sounds True


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If the news and other current events have you feeling anxious or outraged, you’re not alone. There is a name for this: emotional inflammation, a state that’s not unlike post-traumatic stress but stems from simply living in a world that feels increasingly out of control. With Emotional Inflammation, you’ll discover a breakthrough plan for dealing with this modern affliction. General and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Lise Van Susteren joins writer Stacey Colino to present a program called RESTORE, which will help you discover your “reactor type” for emotional inflammation and show you how to become more grounded and resilient in turbulent times.


One of the main causes of emotional inflammation is our sense that the big issues— like climate change, gun violence, and political corruption—are beyond our control. With RESTORE, you’ll learn you have more power than you realize. With strategies for relieving stress, improving critical thinking, recovering inner composure, and reclaiming the gifts of nature, you’ll learn to transform your distress into steady calm and strength.


As you move from a state of emotional whiplash into greater balance and harmony, you can redirect your energy and learn to become an “upstander”—a force for improving the conditions that fuel your fears. With a relatable style and a heaping dose of hope, Emotional Inflammation is a timely antidote for a world in turmoil.

The Authors

Lise Van Susteren, M.D., is a psychiatrist in private practice in Washington, D.C., and has served as an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University. She is a frequent commentator or contributor for CNN, NBC, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, and other media outlets.


Stacey Colino is an award-winning writer specializing in health and psychology and a certified health coach who lives in Maryland. Her work appears in U.S. News & World Report, Prevention, Good Housekeeping, Parade, Parents, and many other national magazines.




The authors "deliver in this cogent guide a plan to help individuals recognize triggers, plan ways to overcome them, and reestablish emotional and physical equilibrium... the authors’ wide scope and reassuring tone stand out: 'The unfortunate truth is this: We have been depriving ourselves of natural remedies that are readily available. While they’re not necessarily easy to make habitual, they are simple to initiate.' These restorative tactics are great self-care starting points." 

Publishers Weekly (Read the entire review here.)


“Emotional Inflammation is a transformational road map to staying grounded in turbulent times. . . . Connecting physical inflammation—the body’s temporary response to combat illness and injury, which is harmful if it becomes chronic—to emotional responses in an eye-opening way, the book argues that knee-jerk responses to what’s wrong in the world are often ineffective, both when it comes to solving problems and for those responding to them. . . Focused on considering what’s in a person’s control despite the out-of-control world, Emotional Inflammation is a thoughtful self-help book about moving from unhealthy emotional patterns toward healthy rhythms, and about becoming an agent for change.”


Foreword Magazine (Read the entire review here.)


Foreword Magazine’s interview with Lise and Stacey is here.



“A powerful, comprehensive, and practical guide to cultivating resilience in the face of our contemporary global challenges to planetary and public health, Emotional Inflammation offers us the personal tools to maintain deep clarity and equilibrium while engaging in the important work of serving the world. Wise and science-based, our guides offer each of us a timely tool kit for strengthening our minds to create more well-being inside and out.  Bravo!”


—Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., New York Times bestselling author of Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence



“This book is a riveting read. It not only empowers by putting a name to the anxiety so many of us feel these days, but it also provides real, practical solutions. I found myself nodding in agreement on almost every page.”


—Celeste Headlee, journalist and author of Do Nothing and We Need to Talk



“Finally, there's a name and a remedy for the anxious way so many people are feeling: emotional inflammation. The book empowers readers to take control of their lifestyle habits and quench the flames. Everyone needs this information in these stressful times.”


—Mallika Chopra, author of Just Breathe and Just Feel



Emotional Inflammation sees our collective stressors and shows us how to navigate them, keeping us connected yet no longer overburdened. The authors deftly translate the science and physiology of emotional inflammation into why we feel what we do, while putting us back in the driver’s seat of our senses.”


—Holly Phillips, M.D., former medical reporter for CBS News



More About the Book


A rising number of people today are troubled by a phenomenon for which they don’t know there’s a name. This condition is called emotional inflammation—a state not unlike post-traumatic stress disorder, but one that stems from simply living in today’s anxious, overwhelming, and tumultuous world. If you’ve suffered from sleep problems, hyperreactivity, persistent grief, or inescapable worry about the future—especially triggered by the nonstop news cycle—then you’re probably dealing with emotional inflammation.


The good news is: there’s something you can do about it.


With Emotional Inflammation, general and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Lise Van Susteren joins writer Stacey Colino to present a breakthrough guide to help you become grounded and resilient in these turbulent times. You’ll begin by determining your “reactor type” to better understand how your body and mind respond to stress overload. Then you’ll learn the vital steps of the powerful RESTORE program for recovering inner balance, personal effectiveness, and joy in your life:


·       Recognize Your Feelings: how to identify, unpack, and learn from difficult emotions            


·       Evaluate Your Triggers: pinpoint what sets you off and how you can moderate your reactivity


·       Steady Your Body’s Natural Rhythms: keys for restoring your natural, healthy internal equilibrium


·       Think Yourself into a Safe Space: work with your mind to remain flexible, thoughtful, and adaptable


·       Obey Your Body: essential self-care practices for diet, exercise, stress management, and more 


·       Reclaim the Gifts of Nature: revitalize your healing connection to the natural world and its awe-inspiring benefits


·       Exercise Your Power: become an “upstander” who takes effective action from a place of compassion, hope, and love



Emotional Inflammation is an invaluable guide to help you cope with the challenges of a turbulent world, calm your body and mind, and reclaim a sense of peace, purpose, and connection to others.


Price: $24.99 USD | ISBN: 978-1683644552 | Publication Date: April 28, 2020



More About the Authors


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Lise Van Susteren, M.D.    A picture containing sky

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Lise Van Susteren, M.D., is a general and forensic psychiatrist in Washington, D.C., where she treats psychological and emotional distress on a regular basis. Previously, Dr. Van Susteren served as an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University. Currently, she is the expert witness on psychological damages to children for Our Children’s Trust, a landmark lawsuit (Juliana v. the United States) that was filed by 21 youths and climate scientist James Hansen who are suing the federal government for inaction on climate change.


She has become a frequent commentator on anxiety and trauma for television (including CNN, GMA, NBC, VOA, Fox News, and numerous National Geographic series), radio (NPR and its local affiliates), print media (including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Huffington Post, Congressional Quarterly, and Global Health Now), and websites (such as LiveScience.com, U.S. News & World Report, and many others). She has also written articles for the British Journal of Psychiatry, Clinical Psychiatry News, and the Psychiatric Times, and she has written chapters for various books, including one that’s forthcoming from the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.


As a thought leader and activist, she also addresses issues related to trauma and emotional inflammation as they pertain to climate change through her previous role on the Advisory Board of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and current roles with the board of Physicians for Social Responsibility and Earth Day Network. Dr. Van Susteren is the co-founder of the Climate Psychiatry Alliance (a professional group dedicated to promoting awareness and action on climate from a mental health perspective), the Climate Psychology Alliance North America, and the Interfaith Moral Action on Climate organization.


Since 2006, Dr. Van Susteren has given more than 200 presentations around the world on the health effects and psychological aspects of climate change. In the last two years alone, she has had speaking engagements at events hosted by National Geographic, the American Public Health Association, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (The Vatican), the American Psychiatric Association, Ohio Wesleyan University, Citizens Climate Lobby, the Harvard Global Health Institute, the Emerging Markets Symposium (Oxford, England), EcoWatch, the California Department of Health, the University of Oregon School of Law, and the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine.



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Stacey Colino is an award-winning writer, specializing in health and psychology. In addition to being a regular contributor to U.S. News & World Report, AARP.org, and EverydayHealth.com, her work has appeared in The Washington Post Health section, Newsweek, Parade, Cosmopolitan, Real Simple, Health, Prevention, Woman’s Day, Harper’s Bazaar, Parents, and Good Housekeeping, among other magazines and newspapers. She is the co-author with David Katz, M.D., of Disease-Proof: The Remarkable Truth About What Makes Us Well (Hudson Street Press, 2013); Just Your Type with Phil Catudal (Da Capo, 2019); Strong Is the New Skinny with Jennifer Cohen (Harmony, 2014); and Taking Back the Month with Diana Taylor, R.N., Ph.D. (Perigee, 2002). In addition, she collaborated on The Food Therapist by Shira Lenchewski, M.S., R.D. (Grand Central, 2018), Skinny Liver by Kristin Kirkpatrick and Ibrahim Hanouneh, M.D. (Da Capo, 2017), and The Exhaustion Breakthrough by Holly Phillips, M.D. (Rodale, 2015). She is also an American Council on Exercise-certified health coach.







Also available as an audiobook.


Want to bring the book to your community?


To make a bulk order for your organization:


Please reach out to Macmillan by calling 1-888-330-8477 or sending an email to orders@mpsvirginia.com.


Want Lise and Stacey to come speak to your organization about emotional inflammation?


Please contact…Stacey at staceycolino@gmail.com




Coming Appearances



April 20, 2020 at the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts [Postponed]



May 2, 2020 at Politics and Prose in Washington, DC (To be rescheduled)


Copyright © 2020 Emotional Inflammation.