MoodSurfing

Cognitive Behavior Therapy – Is It for You?   -   Nancy
One of the popular and well-researched non-medication alternatives for bipolar and unipolar depression is Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), a method of helping people identify and change unhealthy patterns of thought and/or behavior.  CBT looks at the interaction between feelings, thoughts and behavior, and helps participants learn to analyze the connections between them and how they influence each other. For example, it’s very common that people experience feelings of helplessness and hopelessness during an episode of depression.  This feeling of hopelessness can lead to behaviors like staying in bed all day, and it can lead to negative thoughts, like “I’m no good, things will never get better.” Behavior Activation Cognitive Behavior Therapy approaches this situation in two different ways.  The first ... Read More
Mindfulness and Health  -  Nancy
Moodsurfing has often recommended mindfulness exercises for those grappling with bipolar and other chronic illnesses, but is it possible to go beyond exercises and make mindfulness a part of your everyday life? One way to do this is to take an activity that you do habitually, like turning on the coffee maker in the morning, brushing your teeth, or whatever action you know that you always take upon getting up, or before or after eating or before bedtime.  Train yourself to do this habitual action mindfully. For example, I used to have a job with a long commute by car every morning and evening.  There was one part of the drive that was along a rural area, and I tried ... Read More
Acceptance Self Talk for Depression  -  Nancy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) teaches users a technique called “Acceptance Self-Talk”.  This is a series of exercises that trains people to substitute new thoughts for old ones and encourages them to evaluate their thoughts and accept only what seems true and helpful. Depression is often characterized by recurrent negative thoughts that drag one down and become barriers to taking control and moving forward.  For example, “I can’t go on” or “no one likes me” become themes of the mind and are very hard to remove.  ACT teaches users to identify these recurrent thoughts and subject them to evaluation.  Replacing an old, negative thought with a new one, like “this is a really hard time in my life, but I’m ... Read More
Exercise, Diet and Sleep  -  Nancy
Exercise, diet and sleep: three important ingredients for health, and also for mood stability.  Keeping our bodies healthy is a vital strategy for mental health as well.  All body systems work together, so it makes sense that a healthy balance in one area will contribute to a healthy balance in others. Try this experiment: make a chart or note of your moods for a period of two or three months.  At the same time, also chart your exercise and sleep routines and the times when you have kept to a healthy diet.  You should soon see a pattern: physical health helps you keep a stable mood, and slippage in one area leads to slippage in all of them.  The good ... Read More
Daylight Saving Time  -  Gina
It’s that time of year again - in the United States Daylight Savings Time begins tomorrow morning! The time shifts this coming Sunday and it’s important to remember that this change can impact your mood. Research has shown that shifting your sleep cycle to getting up later can increase your risk for depression. This time change already comes during a period of increased risk as the days have been becoming shorter and the change in seasons is leading to greyer sky. That being said, you can take action to help reduce the risk of a drop in your mood come Sunday. By continuing to wake up according to your “same schedule”, instead of getting up an hour later, use that ... Read More
Bipolar Marriage  -  Nancy
Americans with bipolar are more likely than Europeans to marry someone with a similar diagnosis, according to a study by Robert M. Post, MD, of the Bipolar Collaborative Network, Bethesda, Maryland, and the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, George Washington University.  Post and colleagues recruited volunteers with bipolar I from four cities in the USA and three cities in Europe to fill out a questionnaire which included information about their families and medical history. 31% of respondents in the United States had a spouse with a mental illness diagnosis, compared with only 9% of the Europeans (Netherlands and Germany). Diagnoses included unipolar depression, bipolar disorder, a serious suicide attempt or suicide, alcohol or drug abuse, or other psychiatric illness ... Read More

About MoodSurfing

Welcome to MoodSurfing.com, the site that highlights strategies for living creatively with moods and coping with depression. This site is for people with bipolar, depression, cyclothymia, and others who experience powerful moods and want to figure out how to integrate these experiences into successful lives.

Although most of us are mental health clinicians of one kind or another, this site is not about providing people with medical or clinical advice (see below). We hope that we can help you cope with depression, maybe even allow you to live well with moods. 

If you like what you see here, be sure to sign up to get updated with new posts. 

We have done a series of interviews with people who have interesting things to say about different aspects of living creatively with moods. You can find those under the heading “Conversations.

DISCLAIMER

This site is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. Through this site and linkages to other sites, Moodsurfing provides general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this site, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. Moodsurfing is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this site.

IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY CALL 911 OR YOUR PHYSICIAN. If you believe you have any other health problem, or if you have any questions regarding your health or a medical condition, you should promptly consult your physician or other healthcare provider. Never disregard medical or professional advice, or delay seeking it, because of something you read on this site or a linked website. Never rely on information on this website in place of seeking professional medical advice. You should also ask your physician or other healthcare provider to assist you in interpreting any information in this site or in the linked websites, or in applying the information to your individual case.

Medical information changes constantly. Therefore the information on this site or on the linked websites should not be considered current, complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided on this site or any linked websites is solely at your own risk.

Moodsurfing does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be provided on the linked websites. The linked websites may contain text, graphics, images or information that you find offensive (e.g., sexually explicit), Moodsurfing has no control over and accepts no responsibility for such materials.