pregnancy and depression
Bipolar Network News just published a set of articles on pregnancy and depression which are a useful update of the research in this important area. Other recent articles on moodsurfing about pregnancy include one by Nancy on apps for depression in pregnancy, an article summarizing a controversial study suggesting a link between antidepressants in pregnancy and autism, an article on the subject of pregnancy and mental health which we wrote a couple of years ago and an article reminding us that depression in pregnancy affects the child. Depression and Pregnancy Lauren Osbourne, Assistant Director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital summarized the literature in this area in a presentation in November 2017 at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Society’s ... Read More
Undiagnosed Hypomania
How big a problem is undiagnosed hypomania?  By some estimates as many as 50% of people being treated for depression may have hypomania (similar to mania, but milder) episodes as well. A recent article in Psychiatric Times encourages doctors to maintain an increased level of suspicion about the possibility of hypomania in patients who are receiving treatment for a range of mental illnesses with which bipolar disorder may be a “comorbidity” (illness occurring at the same time). Doctors are urged to use screening tools, and to supplement them with “paper and pencil” inventories that a patient or relative can fill out.  These provide clues to possible mood disorders that should be followed up on by an alert medical practitioner.  Undiagnosed ... Read More
Present Moment Awareness with ACT
Present Moment Awareness in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a way of learning to live outside of your head.  So often we spend time and energy thinking about how we wish our situation was, or (even more often) trying to avoid thinking about how it isn’t what we wish it was. ACT encourages us to start by Accepting what the reality is.  That doesn’t mean resigning yourself to never changing, or to despair, it means looking clearly at what is really happening, not at how you think the world ought to be.  Even if your reality is painful or worrisome, you will find that fighting not to think about it, or struggling to create thoughts that are not painful ... Read More
Too Old
Sometimes people feel that it is time to end it all because they have become too old without having achieved a dream, or because they are no longer attractive. It seems to me that these feelings may have been behind Ms Kate Spade’s recent death. Everyone faces disappointments. And as we age we have to deal with more of them. But we also learn new skills, and develop the capacity to cope with disappointments more effectively, if we use those skills. Perhaps you are dealing with the loss of a relationship, and thinking that you will never find someone to spend the rest of your life with. You are too old for that to happen. A wonderful woman who has ... Read More
Depression Increasing
Is depression increasing? Major depression diagnoses have risen by as much as 33% according to a report by insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield.  These numbers may be under-reports since they do not include the uninsured, and even among insured people there is significant under-diagnosis. Particularly concerning is the rise in depression among adolescents and young adults. Rates have increased as much as 65% among youths aged 12 to 17 and 47% among young adults. Practitioners are cautious about assigning a simple causality to these results, with some citing an increase in busyness and pressure to succeed, while others suggest that internet or screen addiction may be a factor in some cases, especially among teenagers. The report highlights these explanations... “Major depression ... Read More
Resistance Training
Exercise is good for depression, but what kind of exercise is better and how well does it work, is resistance training better than aerobic exercise? The prestigious journal JAMA Psychiatry has published a lengthy meta-analysis of 33 studies looking into the effectiveness of resistance training (RET) in reducing depressive symptoms.  RET includes exercises such as weight training, push ups, etc., and is usually recommended for building strength, skeletal muscle mass and endurance, but the antidepressant effect is less well studied. Aerobic exercise has been well-established as an effective intervention for depression, and exercise is highly recommended because it is affordable, accessible, and has other health benefits, such as reducing cardiovascular diseases. The current analysis looked at studies that considered the ... 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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