Moody Bitches – Do we need fixing?

“Drug companies are spending billions of dollars to turn normal human experiences like fear or sadness into medical diseases. They aren’t developing cures; they’re creating customers.” ― Julie Holland

Moody Bitches by Julie Holland was a scary book for me to read. As someone with Health Anxiety, I tend to stay away from anything with the potential to share symptoms of horrible diseases I might have (or get in the very near future, like right at this moment).

Yes, the title was catchy, as I (along with a bazillion other women) have been called a moody bitch. Not recently, though I could have been, but that is a testament to my kind (and self-protective) husband (who knows better). But I digress.

This book is excellent, as was her first book, a memoir, Weekends at Bellevue. Don’t even ask my why I read that one… except, I find I’m less afraid of psychological diagnoses, as I already know I’m effed up.

But this book talks about a lot of physical symptoms… which is my bug-a-boo. That’s just a cutesy-wootsy way of saying I’m scared shitless. But again, let’s say it all together now, I digress.

Let me begin with a direct quote… and it is the reason I love this book:

Women’s moods are a strength, not a weakness.

What? Yep, you heard it here… not first… unless it is your first time hearing it. In which case… Yay! Now claim it! It’s truth!!

I don’t need a history book or handful of quotes to tell you that women’s moods have been the  bane of many (mostly-men) for … like… ever. The word “Bitch” stirs most women I know to a frenzy. Some, embrace it. Others, eschew it. No matter what you do… you know this word and you know it’s very rarely said in glowing terms.

The subtitle of this book begins “The truth about…” and number one is “the drugs you’re taking”… and the list goes on. But here, I want to stop and say: this drugging up of those who bother or scare us… or those whom we do not understand… is clearly not new.

I’m reading a historical fiction right now… and we’ve just reached the mid-1800s. One female character is sent to an asylum, where she is placed in ice baths when she gets unruly, which is rarely, since she’s usually doped to a nearly comatose degree. Again, I could go off on a whole discussion about the word hysteria and all it incompasses. Women have been subjected to more than I could include in one blog post… all in the name of being moody, misunderstood bitches.

Ahem.

While this book is about women, I know for a fact this goes on with men and boys, too. My son is the perfect example. The first thing his pediatrician did (after hearing he was having issues in school) was to prescribe Ritalin, which I was forced to administer, or else…

Or else? Or else, what? Let me give you a list:

  • He could not be in a normal classroom
  • He could not be in a special ed classroom
  • He could not go to daycare
  • He could not come back to school
  • I would lose my job because of missing work to stay home with him
  • And on and on and on and on

But of course, I am, once again… you know. Digressing. Seems to be the theme of the day.

Moody Bitches is about women… for women and the men who love them. It’s jam-packed with information, historical, medical and psychological. From nature to nurture… through the hormonal clockwork to addictions like food… and on to our friend sex… or maybe it’s not our friend. Maybe it’s a distant memory. Like sleep. Precious sleep.

There I go again. This book’s trajectory is HUGE.

To quote one line from the book jacket:

Overprescribed medications can have devastating consequences for women in many areas of our lives.

And that is what the book is ALL about.

The thing I love about this book is that it breaks everything down and tells you what you can do to get BETTER. Live better. Sleep better.

There are extensive notes and appendix chock full of everything you need to know. The body of the book is informative and filled with self-help ideas to make your life better.

It’s excellent, excellent, excellent!

“Our bodies are wiser than we ever imagined, and so much of what plagues them is interrelated. Overmedication has robbed us of our sense of control, and modern life has separated us from the restorative rhythms of nature. It is understandable to respond to the man-made madness of this world with tears and frustration; those feelings of distress are a pathway toward health and wholeness. We need to tune in to our discomfort, not turn it down.” ― Julie Holland

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