What is rumination and how can it be overcome? Rumination, or repetitive negative thinking, can be a symptom, and possibly even a cause of depression. But where does it come from, does it have any upsides, and what can you do about it if you feel stuck in an endless loop of regret, recrimination and overthinking the past? Psychologists distinguish between rumination, which is repetitive thinking about a past event, and worry, which is repetitive, unproductive thinking about a possible future event. That is, rumination is often going over and over something that cannot be changed or controlled. Rumination can feel like a downward spiral pulling you ever further into dark and despair. However, there may be some usefulness to ... Read More
Busy Worker
Keeping Busy
Too Busy? Not Busy Enough? A recent consultation with a patient got us thinking about activities and depression. The patient was saying that she was not looking forward to the long 4th of July weekend because she had to plan some activities to keep busy, because this is not a holiday that has a lot of actions to take, other than picnicking and relaxing. She was looking for some volunteer work that she could do, thinking that it would help her mood stability. She commented that in the week past, she was called for an opening for some elective surgery and preparations for this kept her busy. She spent some time on house cleaning because she knew it would make ... Read More
Keto Diet
Ketogenic Diet
Diets and Moods Evidence for the importance of diet for mental health is slowly gathering.  People are looking into the importance of specific diets like the Mediterranean diet, which we have highlighted here before.  And the next big area of research into diet and mental health looks like being the ketogenic diet. Many people have heard of the Atkins diet, which was an early entry in the field, and now there are several variants of what is also sometimes called the Low-Carb High-Fat (LCHF) diet. Focusing meal plans around meat, fish, eggs, dairy products and non-starchy vegetables, and avoiding sugar, food grains and vegetable (or “seed”) oils, the LCHF diet at first glance seems to go contrary to what we ... Read More
Writing and Depression
Writing and Depression
Some reflections by Denise Collins on The Mighty We were struck by this great post on The Mighty, (which is a fascinating site with lots of discussion groups to explore). One of their discussion groups is about depression, and Denise Collins is a regular contributor there. Recently, she posted this reflection on how writing helps her when she is depressed. She coments that it doesn’t matter how you write, or whether it is carefully edited or not, the process of writing itself (whether with pen and paper or electronically) is what helps. Keeping a journal, whether regularly or sporadically, blogging, or just scribbling down thoughts as they occur turns out to be helpful in several ways. She has discovered that: ... Read More
How to Find the Best Doctor for Your Needs
How to Find the Best Doctor for Your Needs
Consumers’ Checkbook for the San Francisco Bay Area has a ratings table for medical care practitioners in the area that looks at a number of important criteria, including patient recommendations and peer recommendations (other doctors). This is a subscription service, and you have to sign up for at least the free 7-day trial period to get the list, but if you are looking for a provider, it may be worth it. The sign-up also gives you access to a lot of other ratings such as automotive repair, financial services, pet care, etc. When searching for a medical provider, you can consider a number of additional important information sources as well. Your first stop will likely be your insurance provider, who ... Read More
How to Use the Jet Lag Calculator if You're Not Actually Travelling
How to Use the Jet Lag Calculator if You’re Not Actually Travelling
People with mood disorders often struggle to establish healthy circadian rhythms. They often go to sleep later than they should, and wake up later as well. This affects mood as well as ability to participate in normal life. For someone who is going to sleep at 4:00 am and waking up at 1:00 pm, changing to a better sleep pattern can be a real challenge. We recommend making the change gradually, rather than trying to jump into a midnight-to-seven-am schedule all at once. A change in circadian rhythm of this magnitude is actually similar to flying across several time zones and then trying to adjust to the sleep and wake schedule of the new place. Considerable research has gone into ... 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. 

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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.


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