Social support lengthens lives – But how? A recent study looks at how interventions directed at patients recovering from medical treatment or conditions can help improve outcomes, particularly by reducing overall mortality. Numerous studies and clinical experiences have shown that social support, broadly understood, can have a substantial effect on survival rates and recovery times for patients in a variety of situations, but all interventions are not created equal, and more research is needed to pinpoint what types of social support are meaningful and important. Working through the Open Science Framework, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 106 randomized controlled trials from the USA and several European countries, that looked at various types of social support interventions with a wide assortment ... Read More
Three studies have recently been concluded, each of which looks at the effect of television watching habits on brain health, specifically gradual reductions in the amount of gray matter found in the aging brain. All three studies found that those who watched less television on average had less loss of brain volume in tests conducted after a period of several years of monitoring. Notably, the amount of exercise participants engaged in was not correlated with gray matter loss. That is, those who watched more TV and also were less sedentary at other times still had the greater brain decline compared with those who watched less TV. More or less exercise did not seem to have any effect on the correlation ... Read More
Conflict happens in every relationship, no matter how good it is. The key to handling quarrels or conflict in a relationship is to recognize when one or both partners have entered an emotional hot spot, are activated, agitated, and defensive, and are unlikely to be able to continue the conversation without something being done to address how they are feeling. Many of us press on, even when it is pretty clear that the other person is not really listening to what we are saying. Unfortunately, that strategy almost never works, and often leads to a feeling that the other person is fundamentally unable to pay attention to your needs and concerns. Rule number one: Stop talking about issues if the ... Read More
For now over 70 years, Americans have delegated the month of May as “Mental Health Awareness Month” (since 1949). And with medical experts and researchers across the planet sharing their observation that the Covid-19 pandemic is going to continue to have an array of mental health impacts into the foreseeable future, mental health awareness needs to remain in the forefront of our collective awareness. In this current moment it appears it is, in fact, more important than ever to be focusing on our mental and emotional wellbeing. While many of us are experiencing some relief brought on by longer days and being reunited with family and friends after over a year of isolation, at Gateway we’re noticing the true picture ... Read More
What do parents really want for their children? Most would say “a happy, healthy, well-balanced life”. But are the kids getting the message? When researchers asked teenagers what their parents wanted for them, they said “get good grades, go to college, get a well-paying job.” Even before the pandemic, surveys noted a rise in stress, anxiety and depression and substance abuse especially in “high achieving schools” where the pressure to excel in a wide variety of academic and non-academic activities seems to be increasing year-by-year. A recent article in the New York Times looks at what’s causing teens to struggle in academic life, pandemic or no pandemic. Here at this blog, we look at ways people can “surf” their moods, ... Read More
What’s the best way to cope with stress? Our friend Rick Hanson, whom we frequently quote in this blog, wonders why people don’t Take Pleasure. There are so many fun things to do, some take hardly any time or money, why don’t we just take time out to smell the roses, or the dinner cooking, or the perfume… Why don’t we take pleasure in good smells, nice music, soft fabrics? Why do we allow ourselves to block out simple things that could be giving us a break from stress, and even a pathway down from the high-stress level we stay on to more of a “green zone” as Hanson calls it, where there is less stress and more pleasure? Last ... 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.
IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY CALL 911 OR YOUR PHYSICIAN. If you believe you have any other health problem, or if you have any questions regarding your health or a medical condition, you should promptly consult your physician or other healthcare provider. Never disregard medical or professional advice, or delay seeking it, because of something you read on this site or a linked website. Never rely on information on this website in place of seeking professional medical advice. You should also ask your physician or other healthcare provider to assist you in interpreting any information in this site or in the linked websites, or in applying the information to your individual case.
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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