Are you getting your seven hours? Although tradition recommends eight hours’ sleep each night, research is coming more and more to the conclusion that seven hours is best, and eight or more can be too much, causing as many problems as too little sleep. A recent study, using data from the U.K. Biobank, a national database of individuals in the U.K. that includes brain imaging, mental health questionnaires and cognitive assessments found that both insufficient and excessive sleep was correlated with cognitive decline and increased incidence of mental health problems including anxiety, depression, and mania. Impaired cognitive function, including lower performance on tests including pair matching, trail making, prospective memory, and reaction time was found in people who had either ... Read More
Gardening improves mood Spring has sprung and people are looking to the outdoors, plants and gardening for a mood lift, a lifestyle change and a tried and true path to happiness and fulfillment. For those who think such attitudes are maybe a tad over-optimistic, we can show a surprising amount of research on the mental and physical health benefits of gardening. From a flower pot on the windowsill to a whole farm, getting back in touch with the natural world has been found helpful to many. Horticulture Therapy Homeless veterans, juveniles in detention, dementia patients, and people struggling with PTSD and addiction, among others, have received benefits from gardening therapies. Reduction in anxiety, increased memory, improvement in social interaction skills, ... Read More
Anger seems to be a topic on everybody’s mind these days. Meltdowns in the mall, road rage, demonstrations, shootings… What’s going on? Well, as we all know, it’s been a stressful two years, and there seems to be a lot of pent-up steam to be let off. But since we are supposed to be civilized adults, we also need to see this as an opportunity – a teachable moment, if you will – for practicing good anger management and emotional intelligence. Mindful awareness is always the best starting point. What is pushing your buttons? Do you feel a loss of control or agency because of pandemic protocols? Are you feeling anxious or fearful about the future? Are you coping with ... Read More
People without a partner are often anxious about getting “hooked up” ASAP before the biological clock runs out (this attitude affects men and women both). But people living with depression often find the dating pool to be a taxing and often futile place to be. How do you handle feeling pulled in two directions at once? On the one hand, you need a date in order to progress toward those all-important love and family goals; on the other hand, you’re hardly at your best when in the throes of a downswing, and, oh, it’s probably not worth the effort anyway… Over the years, we’ve talked with a lot of folks struggling with just this dilemma. And we have developed some ... Read More
Learning to stop a manic episode in its tracks is an important skill for living creatively with moods. Mania is a dangerous state, and failing to control it leads to worse and deeper depressive moods afterwards. In order to gain more stability in the midst of mood swings, it is important not to give in to the call of the manic, but to take steps as soon as you realize mania is starting up again to limit and control the “high”. Julie Fast, whose work we have highlighted in MoodSurfing before, has this to say about “saying no to mania”: “I realized I was not going to survive if I kept seeking mania in my life. I finally recognized that ... Read More
Bipolar and sleep disruption People with bipolar can have as much sleep disruption in a week that those without mood disorders will experience in a much longer time frame. Mood swings can cause major changes in sleep patterns and disrupted sleep makes it much more difficult to maintain mood stability. That’s why MoodSurfing offers so many resources about sleep and insomnia and why we treat sleep as one of the most important elements in maintaining health and wellness over the course of a lifetime. People with mood disorders need to give serious attention to maintaining healthy sleep patterns, and to discipline themselves to keep to regular bedtime and wake times. That’s why we were interested in an article in “Wired” ... 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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