As frequently is the case around here, this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for the review. Cross Focused Media is the gracious partner for this one.
In the opening scenes of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Spock is on his home planet of Vulcan. He is being tested on his knowledge and logic, like any good Vulcan will excel in. He freezes up when the computer asks him a simple question:
“How do you feel?”
Failing to understand the question, Spock asks his mother about it. She reminds him of his half-human heritage, and he realizes that he must interact with humans to understand emotions, including his own. Otherwise, he will never grasp that portion of himself: the human side that feels.
For good or for ill, we are not Vulcan. And part of the human experience is emotion. Sometimes good, sometimes not-so-good, and sometimes downright awful. Into this experience comes Dr. Charles D. Hodges’ book Good Mood, Bad Mood. It looks like this:
Good Mood, Bad Mood started out as a book about Bipolar Disorder, but then grew to address both depression and the various forms of bipolar disorder. It is generic medical advice, so the first question is whether or not the author is capable of dispensing that advice. Charles D. Hodges is a physician and licensed family therapist. He has been practicing medicine for nearly four decades. While he is not a psychiatrist/psychologist, I consider his background an excellent starting point for examining the medical issues in the book.
Now, as to content: Good Mood, Bad Mood is a Christian-worldview centered look at two of the most commonly declared mental health issues in America today. I say “declared” instead of diagnosed, because while I know many people with actual medical diagnoses of either depression or bi-polar, I know at least twice as many who declare they have those issues, because “I have the same symptoms.” Even without talking to a doctor about it.
Hodges presents Good Mood, Bad Mood not only to address those who “declare” themselves afflicted but those whose doctors have diagnosed the problem as well. His goal is to speak to some of the general causes of emotional difficulty that are often mis-labeled as depression. And then, when anti-depressants don’t work, they are relabeled as bi-polar disorder and then the medications really don’t work!
The primary takeaway in Good Mood, Bad Mood that I found was that emotional health issues that seem to persist need to be addressed with a team effort. The sufferer’s doctor, pastor, and self must work together to address the issue, as it could be based in true medical issues, spiritual issues, or self-will issues.
Most ministers would find Good Mood, Bad Mood a critical primer for their emotional help toolbox. It will help express ways in which the minister can assist those who are dealing with basic emotional health trouble. Christian believers that are struggling with depression and bi-polar will also benefit from the guidance for examining the spiritual aspects of their frustrations.
Unless, of course, you’re a Vulcan. Then you only need this to understand those illogical humans in the crew.
Free book in exchange for review.