Spring Forward?
Those of us in the United States tried to remember what happens to the clock with daylight savings time using the phrase "spring forward and fall back." In California daylight savings time has been accompanied by a week of the sunniest weather in a couple of months. For whatever reason, in our practice at Gateway Psychiatric there has been a sudden uptick in the number of bipolar patients reporting hypomanic symptoms. Circadian rhythm dysregulation is a common reason for mood disruption in people with bipolar and a change in the clock, even though it is only an hour, may be the cause for disrupted daily routines. Several of our patients report that they have been having trouble getting to bed at the usual ... Read More
Neuroplasticity - Nancy
Can you change your brain?  Recent research in the field of “neuroplasticity” suggests that the human brain continues to change and adapt throughout life.  Furthermore, there is  clear evidence that an individual can affect the changes to their own brain structure by how they pay attention to stimuli around them. The implication of this research is that, for example, a person who regularly reminds herself to be grateful for the gifts of life will find that attitude becoming easier over time as her brain “learns” that her attention is constantly going there.  Another, who worries about threats in the immediate environment is training her brain to find threat, even when no threat is present. Such anxious thoughts and “scanning” of ... Read More
Religious Faith and Mental Health - Nancy
More and more studies are finding a link between religious and spiritual practices and improvements in mental health, including significant reductions in anxiety and reduced risk of depressive illness. While it is somewhat difficult to study this field, due to the wide variety of definitions and practices in the field of religion and spirituality, researchers are beginning to find ways to gain clear data about the influence of religion on health. Both traditional practices, such as attendance at a church or synagogue, as well as more outside-the-box spiritual practices, such as meditation, yoga or visualization, have been shown to affect people in positive ways. Belonging to a group and participating in communal fellowship activities has positive effects in multiple areas, ... Read More
Parenting and Mental Health - Nancy
Parenting is a tough job, and there’s no lack of critics telling you you’re doing it wrong. However, common sense, backed up by research can give some dependable sign posts along the way. A recent study1 of parents of children with anxiety discovered that the mothers of children with social anxiety disorder helped them with tasks more frequently than mothers of children without anxiety. On a simple puzzle completion task, the mothers of children with anxiety offered help even before the child expressed asked for help or showed signs of helplessness. Researchers believe that the parents in these families saw a greater threat in situations than the children did, and communicated their anxiety to the children, diminishing their ability to ... Read More
The Mediterranean Diet Is Better than You Thought!
Moodsurfing has been promoting the value of the Mediterranean diet for quite a while. It is linked with better weight control, anti-aging, and reduction of depression. A diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, legumes, and fish is known to help people lose weight and is associated with longer life expectancies. Eating a lot of refined grains (white flour and white rice), sugars and fried or processed foods is associated with obesity, early-onset dementia, and heart disease. A no-brainer of a choice, right? Not only that, but the diet is relatively easy to follow, no complicated calorie counters or fancy, strange new recipes. Just lots of fish, salads, beans and whole wheat or brown rice. Now, researchers are ... Read More
Brain Networks Implicated in Anxiety
The human brain is still a mystery in many ways, with much of our brain function difficult or impossible to study under most conditions.  What causes worsening moods and why do some people struggle with anxiety and depression while others do not? A recent study at UC San Francisco took advantage of work being done for patients with epilepsy who were going to have surgery to relieve seizures.  21 people preparing for surgery volunteered to also participate in a study on their mood during the week of hospitalization needed before the surgery.  Electrodes were placed in their brains to pinpoint the locations in the brain where seizures were triggered.  The volunteers were asked to record their own moods on a ... 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. 

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.

Moodsurfing does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be provided on the linked websites. The linked websites may contain text, graphics, images or information that you find offensive (e.g., sexually explicit), Moodsurfing has no control over and accepts no responsibility for such materials.