Psychology of Chronic Depression
Many people who have been depressed for a long time, develop a pattern of interacting with others that is designed to protect them from disappointment, this pattern, the psychology of chronic depression, needs to be understood in order to help people successfully emerge from this devastating condition. Avoiding disappointment and rejection is obviously a good thing, but it can lead to relationships that are not satisfying. If I can never risk changing my relationship because of the risk that the change could lead to turmoil, that relationship inevitably becomes more distant, and less satisfying. James P. McCullough, in his book Treatment for Chronic Depression, has helped us to understand what happens for many people with depression. Over time, in people ... Read More
Mariah Carey has Bipolar
Singer-songwriter Mariah Carey has bipolar according to an interview with People magazine, carried on their April cover.  Now in her late 40’s, Carey says that she did not seek treatment for many years, thinking she only had severe insomnia. Now, she is in therapy and taking medication for bipolar II disorder and continuing to work in the studio on her 15th album.  Carey hopes that her interview and openness about her illness will help more sufferers seek help rather than remaining in silence and isolation. “I’m hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone” she says. Her story is typical for many people with bipolar in that she initially felt ... Read More
Avoidance Behavior - Nancy
Avoidance behavior, or avoidance coping, is a way of trying to stay calm by trying not to pay attention to disturbing thoughts or feelings.  Avoidance may work in the short run, but it also tends to take a short term problem and make it a long term one. James Edgar Skye, a bipolar blogger we follow, has a blog post on avoidance that is worth reading. In it he talks about different types of avoidance, and how he works to control them... facing the causes of anxiety and overcoming them rather than hiding from them. There are two types of avoidance: emotional avoidance strategies such as avoiding eye contact, attempting to control breathing, and procrastination; and cognitive avoidance strategies such ... Read More
Spring Mania
Spring Mania - Fact or Fiction? People struggling with mood disorders frequently find their moods tied to the rhythm of the seasons.  Spring heralds an upswing in energy and cheerfulness, while autumn and winter mean “down” times for many.  As the northern hemisphere enters the Spring season, people with bipolar symptoms are cautioned to watch out for signs of mania which can be sparked by increased daylight and warmth found in spring weather. This past week thought a significant upsurge in the number of patients in our mood disorder clinic with symptoms that might suggest hypomania: reduced sleep, increased energy, and either a more optimistic or more irritable mood. Spring and Fall - Times of Change Spring and fall are ... Read More
Finding a psychiatrist should not be so hard. With all of the feelings that people experience that can stand in the way of getting help (shame, guilt, hopelessness, etc.), Once people finally decide to get help it should be a lot easier to find a good psychiatrist than it is. It all begins with finding good doctors. In many parts of the country this can be hard. There may not be many choices. Finding Psychiatrists - Getting a List Start with a list of “candidates” – You can search google (search psychiatrist and the name of the closest big town or city), but many people feel that the Psychology Today find a therapist directory is easier to use. You can search by types ... Read More
bipolar light therapy
Bipolar light therapy can improve mood and daytime alertness.  Light therapy is often used as an adjunctive treatment for patients who experience residual depressive effects while taking lithium or valproate as mood stabilizers.  Light therapy can also be useful for those who need to minimize medications, such as pregnant women or the elderly. A study conducted at the at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine last year found that timing and duration of bipolar light therapy is critical to success.  In this study, patients were instructed to start with only 15 minutes of light exposure at around mid-day, gradually building up to the full 60 minutes after four weeks.  Lead author Dorothy Sit, M.D. explained: “Studies normally start at 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.


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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