Have you ever wondered why some days you feel great, have lots of energy, feel calm, and can handle any problem without frustration? And, then the very next day you’re down in the dumps, feel anxious, your energy is low, you question your ability, and even an insignificant event makes you angry or frustrated? All of this despite the fact that nothing in your life really changed between those two days? If you wondered that and have such mood swings/fluctuations you might find help in The Mood Cure by Julia Ross.
In The Mood Cure Ms. Ross distinguishes between true emotions and false moods. All of us are confronted with situations (death in the family) which justifiably explain our reason for stress, worry, frustration, and depression. Those are true emotions. False moods occur when there is no justifiable reason for our mood. False moods are caused by imbalances in one or more of our main neurotransmitters. We have many neurotransmitters including serotonin, dopamine and other catecholamines, GABA, acetylcholine, and endorphins.
The Mood Cure contains 4 mood questionnaires covering the 4 main mood imbalances. These questionnaires help the reader identify which neurotransmitter (s) he or she might be deficient in. There can be some overlapping of symptoms with one deficiency and another.
Today many pharmaceutical medications are available that can increase neurotransmitter levels. These drugs mainly act by preventing neurotransmitters from being re-uptaked by the cells – they don’t actually produce more. All of these drugs have side effects including insomnia, suicidal thoughts, feeling jittery, fatigue, weight gain, and low sex drive to name a few. It’s more desirable that neurotransmitters be broken down and metabolized because some of their end-products also have beneficial health effects.
In The Mood Cure Ms. Ross discusses at length non-pharmacologic ways to boost your neurotransmitters through better eating, exercise, and nutritional supplements. One key is to eat high quality protein. Amino acids from protein are essential to neurotransmitter production so it’s essential that you consume high quality protein. Some supplements have been shown to work faster and more efficiently with fewer side effects than some prescription medications.
Foods/nutrients to avoid like aspartame that zap our brains of neurotransmitters are also reviewed. The book reviews why stress also drains the brain of these precious neurotransmitters.
Several nutritional supplements (essentially individual amino acids) along with proper dosages are discussed in The Mood Cure, too. With proper nutrition, exercise, and use of supplements it’s actually possible to manufacture more neurotransmitters.
The Mood Cure is an excellent book in providing insight into why we all from time to time suffer false moods. The solutions contained within The Mood Cure are certainly worth trying if you have a mood imbalance, however if you are already taking a medication to help with your moods be sure to discuss these non-pharmacologic treatments with your doctor.