Loneliness is an important public health issue The American Medical Association has defined loneliness as a public health issue for all Americans. Why loneliness? Why public health? Loneliness is found across demographics, at every age level. It is not a matter of how many friends you have, rather, loneliness is feeling a lack of connection with other people. You may have many friends or superficial contacts, but you are not experiencing the deeper sense of connection that you are looking for. Psychologists distinguish between loneliness, the feeling of lack of connection, and social isolation, which is when a person actually has very few social connections. Social isolation may or may not lead to feeling lonely, since for some people a ... Read More
A discussion with a patient this past week really brought into focus the power of the mind to affect the world. Or maybe it would be better to say how we decide to live in the world. Our patient, I’ll call her “Amy”, is a teacher’s aide in a crowded, underfunded special ed. classroom, and she was saying she is just feeling “good” these days as school starts up again. Probing more deeply into what that means, she said she feels more able to cope with her work, and that the work itself has meaning – work that last year just felt like “torture”. Her own mood diary supported her sense of improvement. Last year at this time her feelings ... Read More
Get close to the people you’re close to. We all know how easy it is to take people for granted, and everyone has had the experience of attending a funeral, or just hearing of someone’s death, and thinking “I wish I had told her I love her one more time!” But close relationships can also be draining, stressful, and many times it is easier to avoid a “loved” one just to keep the heat and volume turned down. Maintaining human relationships is actually a type of work that we have to keep up with. It’s the same as cleaning the house, no matter how much we clean, there’s always more housework that needs to be done. Personal contact is not ... Read More
10 USEFUL* things you can do for suicide prevention *Spoiler: none of these things are about “fixing” a suicidal person. I’d like to apologize for missing the actual National Suicide Prevention Day, which was September 10, but, really, any day is a good day to talk about suicide prevention. Suicide prevention is not a matter of telling your distressed friend “Oh, you don’t have it so bad, think about the people in Somalia”. Not helpful. So here are some things that may really be useful: 1. Advocate for mental health care and access to medical insurance. Even if you have medical insurance, the company often gives a much smaller payment for mental health care than for a similarly disabling physical ... Read More
“I was losing hope that I would ever feel like myself again… but I finally got my full self back.” In an open-hearted and moving op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, Dr. Devika Bhushan, who has been serving as Acting Surgeon General of the State of California, told her personal story of bipolar disorder, which was diagnosed when she was in medical school. Even with good access to medical care, it took her more than two years to get a final diagnosis and to find medication that actually helped her lead a healthy life. Still, she kept her diagnosis and health struggles hidden from her professors and fellow medical students. Around her, she heard people making insensitive ... Read More
Fall is just around the corner in the Northern Hemisphere, and the impending seasonal change means impending mood changes, too. For every person who goes into September with a New Year’s feeling: new school year, new challenges, new friends; there is another who starts the autumn with anxiety, melancholy, or even dread of the dark days to come. Our agrarian ancestors lived by the seasons and the weather, and they had extensive rituals for marking changes throughout the year. For us, it’s a matter of getting pumpkin spice flavor in the coffee now, and peppermint flavor in a few more months. But perhaps giving more attention to the emotions that ebb and flow with the seasons will be helpful in ... 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.
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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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