Monica Starkman, M.D., is an associate professor of psychiatry, active emerita, and researcher at the University of Michigan Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry. She is a faculty member of the University of Michigan Depression Center. She is a recognized expert on the effects of stress hormones on mood and brain structures, and the principal investigator of several research grants from the National Institutes of Health. Her clinical sub-specialty is psychosomatic medicine and consultation to the general medical hospital. Her publications in these areas include papers on false pregnancy (pseudocyesis), psychological reactions to the fetal monitor, parent-to-adolescent renal transplantation, and psychogenic spasm of the larynx.
Dr. Starkman is also a novelist. The End of Miracles (2016) is a suspenseful, deeply psychological look into a woman’s journey across the blurred boundaries between sanity, depression, madness and healing. A good woman with a complex and traumatic past, Margo’s deep need to bear a child is sabotaged by infertility and miscarriage. Her grief and depression propel her into a false pregnancy and then a turbulent psychiatric hospitalization. Fearing the environment is making her worse instead of better, Margo flees. Outside, she impulsively commits a startling act with such harrowing consequences for herself and others that an intense legal and psychiatric battle breaks out.
The novel draws on Dr. Starkman's decades of experience with psychosomatic medicine, infertility, depression and psychotherapy.