{Review} Good Mood, Bad Mood

Product Details:
Author: Charles Hodges, M.D.
Publisher: Shepherd Press
Format: Softcover
Book URL: Good Mood, Bad Mood

Information From Publisher:
"Depression and bipolar disorder are two of the most common diagnoses made in medicine today. Are we in an epidemic of bad moods or is there another explanation? Good Mood, Bad Mood examines whether it is an epidemic or if we have simply changed how we label depression. While medical treatment is now the commonly accepted way to deal with pain and sadness, its promise has not been fulfilled. Dr. Charles Hodges offers an explanation to help the reader see the importance of sadness and the help and hope that God gives us in His Word."

Good Mood, Bad Mood: Help And Hope For Depression and Bipolar Disorder, by Charles D. Hodges, M.D., a newly released title from Shepherd Press, provides a unique voice in the discussion of the diagnoses and treatment of bipolar and depression. The author is a practicing physician in the field of medicine and a licensed marital family therapist. In addition to his professional qualifications, Hodges is a Christian, and he brings Biblical insight into his analysis.

Good Mood, Bad Mood is a fascinating read. The chapters are laid out in a well-written, logical fashion. Chapters 1-3 cover society and depression, and point out the varying theoretical differences among research and professionals. Chapters 4-5 makes important distinctions between sadness, a normal human experience, and the mental disease of prolonged depression. Chapters 6-13 explores Biblical issues and perspectives relating to sadness and depression, with a constant theme of hope, as found in the Word of God. Chapters 14-15 wrap up the book with a focus on analyzing bipolar disorder and depression from a physician's perspective, utilizing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Over the past couple years, I have read many books on the topic of depression. I am finishing up my Bachelor of Education degree, at Liberty University, with a minor in Christian Counseling. Several courses for my minor cover depression, grief, and mental disorders. Good Mood, Bad Mood is one of the most helpful books that I have read on understanding depression, sadness, and bipolar disorder. Hodges provides condensed summary of medical history and knowledge on the treatment of depression, within terms that the average layman can understand. As a Christian, I value the author's Biblical insight and Scripture references in the book.   

Good Mood, Bad Mood was quite helpful in enlightening my understanding on the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder. It provides practical information, examples, and charts in an easy-to-read manner. I respect that Hodges did not gloss over medical research, as a percentage of people truly suffer with disease that impacts mental health. Yet, Hodges raises important points about the sudden rise of diagnoses for depression and bipolar disorder, and how the DSM criteria falls short in distinguishing between normal human sadness and a prevalent mood disorder.

Throughout the entire book, Hodges weaves the message of hope in God's Word, for those who face sadness and depression from the ordinary course of life.

Hodges speaks with such clarity on hope in God in referencing 1 John 3:1-3:

"If you know Christ and are struggling with loss and sadness, there is real hope in seeing sorrow the way Paul did. Godly sorrow that leads to repentance leads to hope. The ultimate hope we have as believers is seen in a letter that John wrote to the church" (p. 158)

"In these words we see that anyone who trusts in Christ will ultimately see him and be like him. In the meantime, our sadness can remind us to be about his business, loving him and others, serving him and others, and purifying ourselves as he is pure. It calls us to consider what God wants us to do in our lives so that we can grow and become more like our Savior. Our sadness calls us to the same joy our Savior had as he thought about rescuing us from the penalty for our sin.

As Christians, we have a choice in the way we deal with trials that cause us sorrow. We can become victims of the struggle or we can choose to honor God and grow. It is my hope that you will choose to use sorrow in a godly way that leads to a life that glorifies and honors our loving, faithful, and magnificent God." (p. 158)

For those who face loss, disappointment, and sorrow, Good Mood, Bad Mood provides such a succinct message of hope in the Lord.

Good Mood, Bad Mood appeals to a diverse audience, from the individual who struggles with depression and sadness, to family and friends who are in need of a resource with Biblical insight and wisdom, to encourage others with the hope found in God's Word. Additionally, I recommend Good Mood, Bad Mood as a must-read title for professional counselors, lay counselors, Christian physicians, pastors, church ministry teams, Christian educators, and any vocation that provides opportunities to assist others who are impacted by depression, sadness, or grief.

I sincerely appreciated the opportunity to review Good Mood, Bad Mood. Personally, I have struggled with depression and grief issues since I was ten years old. I was in fifth grade when my father had a heart attack, collapsed in front of me, and passed away a short time after arriving at the hospital. I spent my teen years working through unresolved grief and depression issues, apart from the assistance of physicians, counseling, or a faith community. During my teen years, I faced added grief from my grandparent's illnesses and death. I became a committed follower of Christ in my early twenties, and started a path of working through the Scriptures to find joy in life in Christ, even with my melancholy disposition. Later, in my late twenties, my mother faced a three year battle with breast, brain, spine, bone, and liver cancer, and she passed away at 51 years of age. The Lord sustained our family through this time, but grief and depression hung around as familiar friends. My younger brother and sister were young teens at the time, and our entire family walked through a journey of grief for several years.

In my adult life, I have only been to one formal counseling session, with a licensed counselor (secular), regarding grief and depression. I found it to be a very unpleasant experience. In the short session, which I attended with a family member, the counselor recommended yoga and psychotropic drugs as the first answer for treatment of depression. The counselor labeled me a "goody two-shoes" after listening to my experiences (of a Christian perspective) that I shared in the session. The counselor also handed us a book of graphic pornographic images, to shock our sensibilities, which were deeply offensive. I decided at that point that secular counseling was not going to assist my family, to work through our struggles with grief and depression, and we ended our counseling.

I know counselors and psychologists, even from a secular perspective, work to provide beneficial support for their patients. I do not believe my poor experience, in one limited session, is reflective of counseling as a whole. However, I am most interested in counseling from a Christian perspective, and Hodges' initial work has earned my trust, as I gained new understanding on the treatment of depression, and the hope that is found in God's Word. I look forward to reading future books from this author.

I mention my own personal experience within this review, as I found Good Mood, Bad Mood to be applicable to anyone who has experienced a period of sadness in their lives, and are in need of hope. So many people struggle with sadness, discouragement, depression, and/or grief, and often they suffer in silence. Even those that seek help from physicians, may find themselves given a label of depression, without gaining instruction on how to cope (and find hope) through times of normal sadness. I found myself reading through the book, experiencing some "light bulb" moments, and gaining answers to some struggles that I have carried since childhood.

You can visit the Good Mood, Bad Mood Blog Tour at Cross Focused Reviews to read more opinions of this new title.

Thank you Cross Focused Reviews and Shepherd Press for providing me a complimentary review copy! It is a welcome addition to our home library.

Audio link of interview with author
Download a sample PDF

About the Author:
Charles D. Hodges Jr., M.D. is a family physician who practices medicine in Indianapolis. He is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Medicine, board certified in Family medicine and Geriatrics and is a licenses marital family therapist.

This book was provided by Cross Focused Reviews and Shepherd Press for review purposes. This author was under no obligation to offer a favorable review. All opinions shared about the product are the honest responses of Sharra Badgley.


Shaun Tabatt said…

Thanks for sharing from your own personal experiences in the review. I'm glad Dr. Hodges book was helpful to you. Wishing you every blessing!

Shaun Tabatt
Cross Focused Reviews

Popular Posts