Is Daylight Savings Time Making You Crazy?
Daylight Savings Time (DST) is an item again, as we all try to remember “Spring forward, Fall back”. Many people complain of difficulty sleeping, or getting enough sleep, and also of depressive episodes associated with “falling back” in November. In our clinical practice, the main thing we have observed year after year, is sleep disruption, which is especially problematic for those who are already struggling with sleep patterns and/or insomnia. Our advice is: don’t make a sudden change in your sleeping or waking time. Even one hour’s change can bring disruption into your sleep pattern for up to three weeks at this time of year. Work into the time change gradually, if possible starting a few days ahead of the ... Read More
A patient represented by an attorney obtained AETNA health insurance coverage for rTMS treatment of bipolar depression.  The patient satisfied the insurer’s policy guidelines for rTMS treatment of major depression by demonstrating failed trials of 4 different medications.  Reimbursement was based on the plan’s allowed percentage of the “covered amount”.  The AETNA Appeals Decision stated: “TMS treatment is being authorized for member’s persistent symptoms of a depressive disorder and failures to make significant improvement from either psychotherapy known to be effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder and from trials of anti-depressant psychopharmacologic agents and other therapeutic interventions.” For legal help in getting an insurance company to pay for mental health care, contact Kate Spielman,, DL Law Group, (415-678-5050).  Mental Health Parity ... Read More
Mental Health Apps and Tech
Mental health care and technology As electronic devices and communications technologies take over our lives, it’s no surprise that the field of health care should also be turned inside out by the rapid changes in technology applicable to mental and physical health and health care. The American Psychiatric Association comments that the explosion of mobile apps and wearable devices for use in mental health care is “unprecedented in the history of medicine”. They have established a task force to look at how these apps and other devices and software marketed to the general public can be evaluated and tested for quality, safety, and usefulness. In the fast-moving field of mental health related apps, it is impossible to give specific ratings ... Read More
Can Smiling Make You Happier?
Can smiling make you happier? A long held folk belief holds that if you smile even when you don’t feel happy, the act of smiling itself will lift your spirits, and conversely, frowning makes you feel worse. A 1998 study asked volunteers to hold a pencil between their teeth in such a way that their mouths were forced into a smile. They then viewed selected cartoons and reported that the cartoons were “funnier” than reports made by a non-smiling control group. Case closed, right? Smiling makes you appreciate humor and presumably feel happier when doing so. Well, not so fast. More recent attempts to replicate this experiment have not found the same results. Indeed, many of the most well-known landmark ... Read More
Stress and the Red Zone
How much stress are you undergoing? And how much effect does it have on your life? Stress is a multidimensional feature of chronic illness. It can affect mood swings, blood sugar levels, weight gain or loss, inflammation and other problems. And stress can sneak up on you without warning. We all live with stressors in the modern world, and we often make compromises with them in ways that are detrimental to our long-term health. 24/7 availability on the cell phone and email, binge watching, competitive social media and other risky uses of electronic media do damage even before we become aware of it. Dr. Rangan Chatterjee, whose book, The Stress Solution, was recently reviewed in the New York Times, says ... Read More
Disclosure or “Coming Out” about a Mental Illness
Privacy is a big issue nowadays, with everything we post online being available to the whole world forever, and stigma about mental illness is a painful reality for everyone. Even so, many people think carefully about disclosing some information about their diagnosis to others, both on- and off-line. Should you “come out” about a mental illness diagnosis? What will happen? Will people stop liking you? Will you get support, or more negative input? Moodsurfing wants to highlight the work of Katherine Ponte and her website For Like Minds. Writing in BPHope, Ms. Ponte lists several important “pros” to letting family, friends, and co-workers know about a mental illness diagnosis. Ms. Ponte is very encouraging about disclosing this part of one’s ... Read More

About MoodSurfing

Welcome to, 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.

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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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