Media Use and the Pandemic We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: media use is not always good for you. Now we have the pandemic-related phenomenon of “doomscrolling”, going obsessively through your feeds again and again, reading the bad news and skipping the good. Why do that? Well, 2020 has put a lot of stress on everyone. From Covid to wildfires to hurricanes to a long-delayed reckoning on racial justice, we have a lot on our minds nowadays. Many people are in a pretty much constant “fight or flight” mode, which wears the body and mind out fast. Doomscrolling is a response to stress that basically looks for more reasons to be stressed. If you can’t leave your ... Read More
A daily plan, a five-year plan, a crisis plan. Is it all too much to even contemplate? How can I think about a life plan when I can barely keep my head above water just getting through the day? If you’re “surfing” your moods on a regular basis, planning is essential. Bipolar is a roller coaster and it’s a lot of work to manage a life with bipolar shifting you around every day. But many, many people tell us: the plan is what makes it possible to move ahead. I’m the master of my life, not my illness. And to keep it that way, I need to use planning processes. A daily plan If just getting through the day is ... Read More
Circadian rhythms are an important component of mental health. Humans have naturally evolved to live in the 24-hour light-dark cycle that our planet creates for us, and we run into difficulties when this pattern is disrupted. Depression and bipolar are conditions that may create circadian disruptions, or they may stem from an ongoing breakage in the circadian pattern. In either case, restoring patterns of life, such as sleep times, waking times, mealtimes and work routines has been shown to have a clear effect on modulating mood swings and strengthening mood homeostasis. Social Rhythms Therapy Circadian rhythm treatment doesn’t focus on adding something healthy, like exercise, or removing something unhealthy, like television watching, it merely looks at the rhythm of the ... Read More
How do you address stigma about depression? Depression is an illness, and it’s an illness that’s not easy to cope with. But in addition to the illness itself and how awful it makes you feel some days, you also have to deal with people – from the closest family to the most casual stranger – judging you for not being strong enough to “just cheer up”. Depression diagnoses are showing significant increase, but there is still a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about the condition. Speaking up and doing the needed educational work is hard when you’re already dealing with a debilitating illness, and yet, when others try to educate the general public about depression, their voices may lack the ... Read More
How do you make decisions? Major depression can have profound effects on decision making, causing apparently irrational decisions, for example, not choosing to change behavior in ways that will likely lead to rewards, and choosing instead a course of action that is likely to be unrewarding. Traditional psychological theories of depression have focused on the notion that the problem is a distorted perception of the likelihood of a reward (see option valuation below). As a result most psychotherapies assume that if you show someone who is depressed evidence that one choice is most likely to be rewarded, then the person will make that choice. Therapists will tell you that this strategy doesn’t always work. You show the depressed person that ... Read More
Women who are pregnant, especially if it is a first child, are usually extremely protective of the child, so much so that it can sometimes be hard to convince the mother-to-be that taking care of her need for emotional stability is as important as protecting the child from risk. This makes it hard to explain the potential value of continuing effective treatment of depression into pregnancy. Mothers can find plenty of information online about the possible risks of antidepressants taken during pregnancy, but it is harder to find information that captures the importance of keeping a mother out of a depressive episode during the pregnancy. After all, aren’t we comparing temporary distress for the mother with potentially life long adverse ... Read More
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.”
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.
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