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Women's Moods, Women's Minds: What Every Woman Must Know About Hormones, the Brain, and Emotional Health

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Nearly twice as many women as men suffer from depression or anxiety, interfering with their ability to work and care for themselves and their loved ones. Now, Deborah Sichel and Jeanne Watson Driscoll show how depression and anxiety are the result of a process of long-term chemical "loading" as the brain repeatedly "revs up" in response to stress. Here, they share their un Nearly twice as many women as men suffer from depression or anxiety, interfering with their ability to work and care for themselves and their loved ones. Now, Deborah Sichel and Jeanne Watson Driscoll show how depression and anxiety are the result of a process of long-term chemical "loading" as the brain repeatedly "revs up" in response to stress. Here, they share their unique self-care program, NURSE: Nourishment and Needs, Understanding, Rest and Relaxation, Spirituality, and Exercise, to help the brain self-stabilise and prevent future problems. They also advocate early, customised use of medications, uniquely based on how a woman′s genetic make up, life experiences, and hormonal and reproductive history affect her particular mood disruptions. An intimate look at how women′s mood issues change at each stage of their reproductive lives, this book offers help to women who have been suffering in silence for too long.


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Nearly twice as many women as men suffer from depression or anxiety, interfering with their ability to work and care for themselves and their loved ones. Now, Deborah Sichel and Jeanne Watson Driscoll show how depression and anxiety are the result of a process of long-term chemical "loading" as the brain repeatedly "revs up" in response to stress. Here, they share their un Nearly twice as many women as men suffer from depression or anxiety, interfering with their ability to work and care for themselves and their loved ones. Now, Deborah Sichel and Jeanne Watson Driscoll show how depression and anxiety are the result of a process of long-term chemical "loading" as the brain repeatedly "revs up" in response to stress. Here, they share their unique self-care program, NURSE: Nourishment and Needs, Understanding, Rest and Relaxation, Spirituality, and Exercise, to help the brain self-stabilise and prevent future problems. They also advocate early, customised use of medications, uniquely based on how a woman′s genetic make up, life experiences, and hormonal and reproductive history affect her particular mood disruptions. An intimate look at how women′s mood issues change at each stage of their reproductive lives, this book offers help to women who have been suffering in silence for too long.

30 review for Women's Moods, Women's Minds: What Every Woman Must Know About Hormones, the Brain, and Emotional Health

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rosie

    I read this many years ago after I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. It was so helpful to me that I have since recommended it to almost any woman I've met who seemed to be struggling with some form of depression. At least two women I gave copies to have told me it helped them greatly. It is extremely insightful and will help you understand the workings of your brain. I also think male partners of women struggling with a mood disorder should read this. The book is more than 10 years old, I read this many years ago after I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. It was so helpful to me that I have since recommended it to almost any woman I've met who seemed to be struggling with some form of depression. At least two women I gave copies to have told me it helped them greatly. It is extremely insightful and will help you understand the workings of your brain. I also think male partners of women struggling with a mood disorder should read this. The book is more than 10 years old, so I don't know if the science is holding up. However, from what I know about women, psychiatry and research, I'm guessing it probably does, as this is a very slow field of study when you get beyond the prescription drug side of things. If there is one take-away every needs to get, it's the NURSE program of brain care: nourishment, understanding, relaxation, spirituality and exercise. It's worth reading just for that information.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Christina Hibbert

    Excellent resource! I've read it many times and use it all the time to help women (and the men who love them) understand the connection between their bodies, brains, and life experiences. See my blog post, "Women's Emotions" for more of my thoughts on this. http://www.drchristinahibbert.com/wom... Excellent resource! I've read it many times and use it all the time to help women (and the men who love them) understand the connection between their bodies, brains, and life experiences. See my blog post, "Women's Emotions" for more of my thoughts on this. http://www.drchristinahibbert.com/wom...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Wendi

    A friend of mine, Tiffany Ulmer, highly suggested this book to me after many conversations we've had on the topic. It's been facinating so far - a little heavy on the "determination/victimization/blame it on chemistry" slant, but still very informative. It's helped me understand how I am affected by my changing hormone cycles, giving me a greater tool to make better choices to manage my migraines, monthly moodiness, post-partum depression, etc. I also like the "NURSE" program they write about (Nu A friend of mine, Tiffany Ulmer, highly suggested this book to me after many conversations we've had on the topic. It's been facinating so far - a little heavy on the "determination/victimization/blame it on chemistry" slant, but still very informative. It's helped me understand how I am affected by my changing hormone cycles, giving me a greater tool to make better choices to manage my migraines, monthly moodiness, post-partum depression, etc. I also like the "NURSE" program they write about (Nutrition, Understanding, Rest & Relaxation, Spirituality, and Exercise) because that is what represents the choice in all of this. We all have things that "happen" to us, whether externally like stress from children's actions or internally, like hormone levels dropping suddenly during the month. But we also have a window of opportunity, a time to choose how we are going to react to those stressors. It's like Stephen Covey's idea of the space between stimulus and response. Oh, another practical thing I have also learned is that women tend to metabolise medicine differently during different times of the month, something about the levels of estrogen in our blood affecting how we absorb medication, thereby changing it's effectiveness. I need to read a bit more to see if this applies to medicine I take to tackle my migraines, especially those that are related to my cycle. Anyway, I am taking extensive notes as I read the book and recording my thoughts about it in One Note, a new notetaking program I just discovered on my Microsoft Office bundled software. So if you're interested in discussing this more, just email me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Diana Bogan

    The book definitely has value; I'd certainly recommend reading it whether you're male or female. It validated my own suspicions that hormones play a much larger role in mood and mental health, so I appreciated much of the first section. Apart from the NURSE program it seems that pharmaceuticals are required to resolve just about every scenario described in the book. While I understand that this very well may be necessary, I do wish that there was some insight into whether there are natural alter The book definitely has value; I'd certainly recommend reading it whether you're male or female. It validated my own suspicions that hormones play a much larger role in mood and mental health, so I appreciated much of the first section. Apart from the NURSE program it seems that pharmaceuticals are required to resolve just about every scenario described in the book. While I understand that this very well may be necessary, I do wish that there was some insight into whether there are natural alternative (herbal remedies) that might also provide longterm success. The information does seem to feel repetitive after a bit, but it's still worth a read. It gave me a lot to consider in terms of the root causes of my PPD etc. And it also has given me a different point of view through which to consider handling my daughter as she goes through puberty.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Thea

    I got this book as a reference tool for a case I'm working on. It did give me some general information and some pithy quotes I will use in my briefing, but I do wish more formal citations had been provided -- so I could use those too! The courts like authoritative cites. I did find the personal aspects informative, although the medication portions are quite out of date. I really liked the emphasis on self-care for women (N.U.R.S.E.) and the political emphasis on how much the effect of hormones h I got this book as a reference tool for a case I'm working on. It did give me some general information and some pithy quotes I will use in my briefing, but I do wish more formal citations had been provided -- so I could use those too! The courts like authoritative cites. I did find the personal aspects informative, although the medication portions are quite out of date. I really liked the emphasis on self-care for women (N.U.R.S.E.) and the political emphasis on how much the effect of hormones have on the female brain is overlooked by our still white-male dominated institutional mindset. Recommended on those bases alone -- wish it were available as a Kindle or iBook download!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    The assertion the title gives is a quite inaccurate. While some of the information contained in the book is useful for women in general, almost all is specifically for women who struggle with extreme cases of mental illness including bipolar disorder, severe depression, PMDD, postpartum psychosis and the like. I did not find it useful for myself but perhaps would recommend it for those who need further insights into the conditions stated previously. The prescription given is simple and is not we The assertion the title gives is a quite inaccurate. While some of the information contained in the book is useful for women in general, almost all is specifically for women who struggle with extreme cases of mental illness including bipolar disorder, severe depression, PMDD, postpartum psychosis and the like. I did not find it useful for myself but perhaps would recommend it for those who need further insights into the conditions stated previously. The prescription given is simple and is not well elaborated on: Nutrition, Understanding, Spirituality, Relazation and Exercise or as they call it, NURSE. These concepts are not new and they are certainly not put in a new light.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kristylemmon

    This is a good book that I have had for a while (published in 2000). I am currently seeing a doctor who is helping me sort out just what is going on with my blood levels of various hormones and vitamins, etc so I thought I would read it again. This book has a a great message and is thoroughly researched but it does not deal with when your hormone levels are not what they should be (which is the case for me). But I like that they explain clearly why some women are more prone to being affected by This is a good book that I have had for a while (published in 2000). I am currently seeing a doctor who is helping me sort out just what is going on with my blood levels of various hormones and vitamins, etc so I thought I would read it again. This book has a a great message and is thoroughly researched but it does not deal with when your hormone levels are not what they should be (which is the case for me). But I like that they explain clearly why some women are more prone to being affected by normal changes in hormone levels adversely and think their ideas about nurturing the brain (ie stress levels) are spot on.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Corrie

    This is a Must Read book for any women, in my opinion. It is slightly scientific in parts but really helps you understand the extreme complexity of a women's biology and how that can effect your brain, emotions, and physical body throughout the course of your life. Ladies - you are not crazy! What I learned from this book is that our mental health can be directly effected by the chemical biology that makes women tick. Anyway, I have a copy and would be happy to share it with any woman who wants This is a Must Read book for any women, in my opinion. It is slightly scientific in parts but really helps you understand the extreme complexity of a women's biology and how that can effect your brain, emotions, and physical body throughout the course of your life. Ladies - you are not crazy! What I learned from this book is that our mental health can be directly effected by the chemical biology that makes women tick. Anyway, I have a copy and would be happy to share it with any woman who wants to read it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    A great book to learn about mood disorders (depression, anxiety) and how women's hormones play a huge, yet unappreciated role in the diagnosis and treatment of mood disorders. Written about 10 years ago, so not sure if modern day medicine has incorporated the effects of hormones into treatment plans; if so, the book may be a bit outdated. I thought they could've expanded more on understanding how to "take care of your brain) via the NURSE program. It could've been a shorter book. I feel like topi A great book to learn about mood disorders (depression, anxiety) and how women's hormones play a huge, yet unappreciated role in the diagnosis and treatment of mood disorders. Written about 10 years ago, so not sure if modern day medicine has incorporated the effects of hormones into treatment plans; if so, the book may be a bit outdated. I thought they could've expanded more on understanding how to "take care of your brain) via the NURSE program. It could've been a shorter book. I feel like topics were repeated over and over. Overll a good book, though, especially as a reference.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hazel

    Very informative book! Probably something men should read lmao. We ain't cray. We ain't have emotional problems. WE HAVE DAMN ESTROGEN AND HORMONES THAT MESS US UP. Although now I fear I may be susceptible to postpartum depression lmao... Go women. And curse Eve. note to self: only read up to part 3: pregnancy (as this chapter forward do not apply to me and hopefully will not in the impending future....) Very informative book! Probably something men should read lmao. We ain't cray. We ain't have emotional problems. WE HAVE DAMN ESTROGEN AND HORMONES THAT MESS US UP. Although now I fear I may be susceptible to postpartum depression lmao... Go women. And curse Eve. note to self: only read up to part 3: pregnancy (as this chapter forward do not apply to me and hopefully will not in the impending future....)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sally Ewan

    I picked up this book because I've been having a lot of trouble lately coping with my emotions, and I'm assuming it's due to hormones. However, this book was not much help. It didn't explain things very well. The author mentioned depression quite often, leaving me wondering how I would distinguish between depression and peri-menopausal issues. And now I'm also concerned about my bone density. So this didn't help at all. Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly!! I picked up this book because I've been having a lot of trouble lately coping with my emotions, and I'm assuming it's due to hormones. However, this book was not much help. It didn't explain things very well. The author mentioned depression quite often, leaving me wondering how I would distinguish between depression and peri-menopausal issues. And now I'm also concerned about my bone density. So this didn't help at all. Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Swhite

    This book was way overdue and much appreciated when it came out (1999). Of course i didn't know about it until 2008 because of an Oprah show. Knowledge is power. What more can I say? I really would like to see it updated again because I think these two professionals have seen much more that could be helpful to a new generation of women. Their approach is mostly medication centered but how they explain the physiology of hormones and the brain is fascinating and empowering. This book was way overdue and much appreciated when it came out (1999). Of course i didn't know about it until 2008 because of an Oprah show. Knowledge is power. What more can I say? I really would like to see it updated again because I think these two professionals have seen much more that could be helpful to a new generation of women. Their approach is mostly medication centered but how they explain the physiology of hormones and the brain is fascinating and empowering.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This is a very informative book dealing with the complex connection between the stages of a woman's life with regards to life experiences/reproductive history, etc., hormones, and emotional health in general. It can be a dry read at times due to the intricate discussion of the psysiological processes of the brain and endocrine system. But very important concepts that women free women from being victims. Highlights the physical imbalances that cause depression and emotional upheaval... This is a very informative book dealing with the complex connection between the stages of a woman's life with regards to life experiences/reproductive history, etc., hormones, and emotional health in general. It can be a dry read at times due to the intricate discussion of the psysiological processes of the brain and endocrine system. But very important concepts that women free women from being victims. Highlights the physical imbalances that cause depression and emotional upheaval...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

    Everyone women should read this book. I also think Dad's should too if they have daughters. It takes you through the hormonal life of a women from a young girl to senior. It's a WEALTH of information that is written in a way that is easy to read. Everyone women should read this book. I also think Dad's should too if they have daughters. It takes you through the hormonal life of a women from a young girl to senior. It's a WEALTH of information that is written in a way that is easy to read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I found some serious inacccuracies in this book. The most egregious one I found was the suggestion that a hypomanic episode can last from a few hours to a few days. It's more like a few hours to a few months. I found some serious inacccuracies in this book. The most egregious one I found was the suggestion that a hypomanic episode can last from a few hours to a few days. It's more like a few hours to a few months.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amy K

    I skipped around to parts most interested in. Using the chart in the back to record mood changes in order to better understand. Feeling optimistic about how this could help me better understand my emotions.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Very educational, if a bit dry and text-book like. I would recommend it, however, to any woman who is struggling with depression and feels like it is her fault.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Johanna

    Every woman must read this.

  19. 5 out of 5

    jennifer

    Makes tons of sense. A good reminder of how important it is to take care of ourselves

  20. 4 out of 5

    Biogeek

    The title should include men also. In fact, as valuable for sons, husbands, brothers as for sisters and daughters and moms. The information is a bit dated now, of course.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This was more about PMDD and PPD than general hormones, not what I was expecting.

  22. 5 out of 5

    G--

    excellent.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marci

    lots of good info on women's health. lots of good info on women's health.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

    Very eye opening! Loved the mapping of traumatic experiences in one lives and how that impacts monthly emotional highs and lows.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    Good info. about the roles that hormones play. Wish more health professionals were aware of connections.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elle Blackwood

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sara Seely

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Valerieblouh

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mel

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