Even today, people still have a lot of stereotypes about mental illness, and one of them is that it’s a “First World” problem, meaning that people in poorer places don’t have time for mental illness. But studies consistently find that rates of severe mental illness are pretty constant across economic, religious, cultural and geographic boundaries. Here are some stories from India: “Bollywood” is the commonly used name for the huge Hindi film industry that reaches more than a billion people across South Asia and throughout their diaspora around the world. This article from an India-based news service collects quotes from Bollywood celebrities about their struggles with mental illness. Even if you have never heard of these stars or the movies ... Read More
More evidence for Mindfulness Mindfulness practices continue to gain in acceptability and evidence of effectiveness in a variety of settings. MoodSurfing has reported on several of these studies in the past, and we continue to monitor the state of the current research. A recent study1 looked at anxiety and considered pharmaceutical intervention compared with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), finding similar outcomes and acceptability with fewer adverse events during treatment for the MBSR intervention. MBSR consists of an 8-week training program with a one-day retreat mid-way, and a daily at-home 45 minute practice session. While noting that this is a considerably higher commitment than taking a pill (Escitalopram) daily, we do find that people committed to this type of practice have ... Read More
New Year’s resolutions actually tap into a very strong human impulse to create start-over points in our lives and to use them to motivate improvements that we wish to incorporate into our regular lives. Internet searches for items like “diet” and “gym” that may be prompted by a desire to do something healthy show increased activity around the first day of the year and of the month, as well as other holidays, and even on Mondays. The motivation for change is there, and it’s urging us to move forward. However, we all have the experience of resolving to do something and then being unmotivated to follow through. Month after month, year after year, the same resolutions, the same high hopes ... Read More
How to make New Year’s Resolutions What is a New Year’s resolution, anyway? Are you always determined to make yourself a better person than you were before? Or is it more like the wish you make when you blow out your birthday candles: quickly thought up and quickly forgotten? Before you set this weight loss goal or that gym membership plan, spend some time thinking through what your long-term goal is. What will really motivate you to make improvements this year? What is pulling you forward towards your best life? In my own reflection on making and keeping New Year’s resolutions over the years, I have come up with some rules, or a framework, if you like, for the process ... Read More
Is it true that people with mental illness, particularly mood disorders, are more creative? Or do creative people more often develop mental illness? Does the medication given for mood swings dampen creativity? Are there different types of creativity that manifest themselves during heightened, depressed and normal moods? What is creativity, anyway? These are hotly debated questions but clear guidance is hard to come by. Small studies have been done, but since each one uses a different baseline for “creativity” it is impossible to compare them. Danish study: one large study in Denmark took academic achievement as its proxy for creativity and looked at close family members of university professors. They found higher-than-usual rates of mental illness (bipolar and schizophrenia) among ... Read More
It’s coming again: the holiday season! Intended as a time-out; a time to take a break from work, enjoy life for a while, share gifts, and eat great food, the holiday season in our complex society has become a stressor, not a relaxer. But stressful or not, the holidays come every year, and we all have to figure out how to cope. For people coping with mood swings all year ‘round, the extra highs and lows of the holiday season can be especially difficult, and if you aren’t careful, can throw of your stability for weeks or even months. But with careful preparation ahead of time, the stresses can be minimized and the celebration enhanced. Here’s how: 1. Planning, planning, ... 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.
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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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