MOODY BITCHES by Julie Holland

MOODY BITCHES

The Truth About the Drugs You're Taking, the Sleep You're Missing, the Sex You're Not Having, and What's Really Making You Crazy
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Beyond the provocative title, psychiatrist Holland (Weekends at Bellevue: Nine Years on the Night Shift at the Psych ER, 2009) does not cast aspersions but instead urges women to embrace their mood fluctuations as part of natural hormonal rhythms.

Medical history has not been kind to women’s health. “[M]alaise, headaches, irritability, nervousness, insomnia, fatigue, low libido, high libido, water retention” are just some of the complaints by women that 19th-century male physicians characterized as hysteria. Even today, women who get angry or cry in the workplace risk being labeled as “emotional and irrational.” Holland parses the science behind mood swings to explain the natural effects and functions of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and other hormones. Sexual drive, marriage, fidelity, childbearing and bonding are all tied to hormonal activity. While the author explores a fascinating array of subjects, much of the delivery of the information is disorganized, resulting in overload and frequent shuffling of pages to review what hormone or neurotransmitter is responsible for what. Holland devotes about half the book to a potpourri of advice on achieving good mental and physical health. There’s not much new information here, and the section could have used some pruning, but the tips are worth reviewing. A top stressor for women is trying to balance job and family, and stress causes inflammation, which makes you vulnerable to chronic diseases such as heart disease, asthma, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and arthritis. Understanding what’s going on in your body and mood swings reduces stress and promotes mental health, writes Holland. Limiting inflammation with a healthy diet—light on carbs and high on fresh vegetables—exercise, sleep, good sex and communing with nature promote physical health.

A hodgepodge of science and personal observation, this all-encompassing book urges women to get in sync with their bodies and embrace their moods.

Pub Date: March 3rd, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-59420-580-4
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Penguin Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2015




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