It’s the Holiday Season . . . So What if You’re Not So Happy?

Dr. Jacqueline Feldman, M.D.; Director, Division of Public Psychiatry

It’s the holiday season – time to be happy, mingle with friends and family, decorate the house, reminisce about holidays past and, in general, have a jolly good time.  But what happens when life isn’t so jolly?  When stress, a frantic pace or even depression threaten to crush the holiday spirit?  University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) psychiatrist Jacqueline Feldman, M.D., has some suggestions that might help keep the holidays from being so overwhelming.

“We are bombarded with messages during the holiday season of love, happiness, family and success,” said Feldman.  “They are inescapable, whether on TV or radio, at the mall or at holiday gatherings.  For those who personal circumstances are less than ideal, there are ways to cope, ways to manage this special time of year in a healthy manner.”

Feldman offers this guidance:

• Remember that commercials and advertisements aren’t real.  Don’t allow yourself to be unduly affected by the soft drink commercial that seems to show a perfect family in perfect harmony.

• It’s the season of giving, but don’t forget to find time to relax, unwind and give to yourself so that you’ll have something left to give to others.  Don’t try to balance or cope with the hustle and bustle with excessive food, alcohol, tobacco or caffeine.  Pace yourself and your family; don’t over-schedule your calendar.

• Don’t set your expectations too high.  If your family was dysfunctional in the summer, they probably still are during the holidays.  Be realistic in your goals and hopes for the season.

• Donate time or money to organizations that care for others during the holidays.  Helping others is a good way to feel better about yourself.  Don’t overspend and put yourself and your family under more financial stress in the new year.  Look for opportunities to spend time with one another instead of money on one another.

• If coping with recent grief at the holidays, think about creating a new tradition in the memory of your missing family member.  Try new decorations or a change in the holiday routine.  Or, volunteer your time with a charitable organization in your loved one’s name.

Congratulations to Psychiatry’s Johanna Gandy

Ms. Johanna C. Gandy, a Department of Neurobiology graduate student in Dr. Gautam Bijur’s laboratory, is the recipient of the Civitan International Research Emerging Scholars Grant. The $25,000 award is to be used for Ms. Gandy’s dissertation work investigating the role of GSK3 signaling in neurometabolism. Please join us here in the Department of Psychiatry in congratulating her on receiving this grant.

Donating to the Department of Psychiatry

If you are interested in making a gift to the Department of Psychiatry, below are instructions to make the process easier for you. Feel free to call Eve Rhea, Director of Development, at (205) 975-7298 with any questions that you may have.

To make an individual cash gift: All checks should be made out to the UAB Department of Psychiatry. Please note on the check if there is a specific area in the Department you would like the gift to be credited toward. Gifts should be mailed to:

Attn: Eve Rhea
Director of Development
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology
SC 560D
1720 2nd Ave. South
Birmingham, AL 35294-0017
205.975.4879 Fax">

UAB Gift Acceptance Policy and Guidelines for Publicly Traded Securities
UAB accepts gifts of publicly traded securities including stocks, bonds and mutual funds. This type of gift may be transferred electronically or delivered in certificate form. It is the University’s general policy for all publicly traded securities to be sold upon receipt. All gifts of stock should be accompanied by a letter from the donor stating his/her intention to give the securities to UAB.

To receive prompt credit for your gift, please contact Eve Rhea, Director of Development for the Department of Psychiatry, at (205) 975-7298 with the following information:

Your intention to make a gift to UAB

  • The estimated transfer date
  • The name of your securities firm
  • The name and contact information of your broker
  • The intended purpose of the gift

Electronic Transfer (Stocks) and Wire Transfers (Non-stock)
Contact Eve Rhea at (205) 975-7298 , with the above information, for transfer instructions

Physical Delivery
Securities, with properly completed endorsement(s) or stock power(s), should be hand delivered to UAB. Contact John Pelliccio at 205-934-2172 or for instructions on how to properly prepare your documents. So that we may better serve you, please call and schedule an appointment to deliver these documents.

Contact Names for Making A Gift

Eve Rhea
Director of Development
Gifts to the Department of Psychiatry
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology
SC 560D
1530 3rd Ave. South
Birmingham, AL 35294-0017
205.975.4879 Fax">

John S. Pelliccio
Gifts of Securities and Electronic Transfer of Funds
701 20th Street South, AB 338
Birmingham, AL 35294-0103
Phone: 934-2172
Fax: 975-9746">

Annette Forehand
Questions about Gift Records and Donor Services
701 20th Street South
AB 1230
Birmingham, AL 35294-0112
Phone: 975-9012
Fax: 975-4756">

Psychiatry’s Dr. Xiaohua Li Appointed Vice Chair for Research

Li-XiaohuaPsychiatry Chairman, Dr. James Meador-Woodruff, is pleased to announce the appointment of Xiaohua Li, M.D., Ph.D. as Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Psychiatry.  Dr. Li is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Behavioral Neurobiology in the Department of Psychiatry, a role in which she has distinguished herself as a departmental research leader.  She will continue her role as Division Director while assuming new responsibilities in her role as Vice Chair for research.   Please join the department in welcoming Dr. Li to this new role and congratulating her on this accomplishment!

The Department Welcomes Dr. Jacinda C. Hammel

Jacinda-Hammel-2-177x200The Department of Psychiatry welcomes Jacinda C. Hammel, Ph.D. as Assistant Professor and program co-director for the AIMHS Center for Excellence. Her research focuses on mental health services and her clinical foci include outpatient therapy with adults. She is a member of the UAB Psychology and Internship Training Consortium and will be providing psychotherapy supervision for psychiatry residents.

Dr. Hammel received her first undergraduate degree in Business and Accounting in 1994. In 2001 she received her second Bachelor of Science degree (cum Laude) in psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Her graduate work was completed at Auburn University in 2004 (MS) and 2006 (PhD), where she worked with Dr. F. Dudley McGlynn studying anxiety disorders. Her specific interests were that of “autonomic activity in  generalized anxiety disorder: Sympathetic and parasympathetic activity during worry exposure and decatastrophizing.” Thereafter, she completed her dissertation entitled “Meta-worry and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.” As a clinical psychology intern at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center in North Carolina, Dr. Hammel provided therapeutic, assessment and consultation services in a medical setting. Some of those services included mental health, infectious disease, inpatient psychiatry, rehabilitation and medical consultation. She also has extensive teaching and training experience in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, suicide and self-injury prevention, social psychology, behavior therapy, abnormal psychology and lifespan development.

Dr. Hammel’s clinical experience includes private practice and working with the Youth Services Institute of the University of Alabama and the State of Alabama Department of Youth Services. Her duties included working with incarcerated adolescent females, program/policy  development, design and oversight of research, and supervision of clinical staff. Dr. Hammel is currently a co-investigator with the program. She is a member of professional organizations
including the American Psychological Association and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Hammel to the Department.