Mania and Nitrated Meats – Nancy
A recent study has found some evidence of a link between mania and nitrated meats (meat sticks, beef jerky, turkey jerky, and possibly other foods such as hot dogs).  Research in bipolar has focused on genetic links, but diet is also thought to have significant impacts on mood disorders.  The new study is quite small and used survey data followed by animal experiments to suggest an association between the consumption of nitrated meats and manic episodes. The study did not include any findings about the “dose” or amount of these meats that may have been consumed, and the researchers were not able to determine risk levels: how much consumption may be associated with how much higher an incidence of mania.  ... Read More
Making A Daily Plan
Consider the value of “boring”. Steve Jobs reportedly once said “I’m a big believer in boredom” –meaning maybe that if life is quiet and predictable enough you may have time to think, time to daydream, and time to make new decisions and choices. For people living with bipolar, boring can be a tough goal.  But structure is everything when it comes to surfing your moods.  Julie Fast, bipolar blogger and writer on the site BPHope, says “since my diagnosis in 1995, I’ve created a management plan that I still use daily in order to keep my life focused and positive.” How about that: a plan that’s been working daily for more than 20 years!  How’s it done? These are the ... Read More
circadian rhythm
A new study from the UK has shown that disruption in the daily rhythms (circadian rhythms) of work and rest is clearly linked to mood disorders and major depression, as well as other concerns: lower subjective happiness, feelings of loneliness, and mood instability. Circadian rhythms are the natural paths our lives take, with patterns of work during daylight hours and sleep at night.  In the modern world, these rhythms are frequently disrupted for many reasons, night shifts at work, insomnia caused by stress, and a host of others.  Researchers followed 91,105 participants whose activity levels were recorded by wearing a wrist-worn accelerometer for 7 days. After adjusting for multiple variables, including age, sex, ethnic origin and the like, there was ... Read More
Famous People
Why are there so many famous bipolar people? Will a diagnosis of bipolar make you famous?  Probably not, at least not immediately.  Nonetheless, it is a reality that a surprising number of famous people, contemporary and historical have a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of bipolar. Winston Churchill, Isaac Newton, Ernest Hemingway, and other household names are included in this inventory.  Moodsurfing has looked at the connection between hypomania and success, and has also highlighted the public advocacy of several modern-day celebrities living with bipolar, including Mariah Carey, Demi Lovato and Elon Musk. Here’s a slideshow from WebMD that details several other well-known people who have struggled with bipolar, including several, such as Carrie Fischer and Patty Duke, who courageously spoke ... Read More
what is a manic episode
What is a manic episode?  Recognizing a true manic episode is critical to the diagnosis of bipolar 1 disorder.  It is not merely feeling energetic, or high-spirited.  During a manic episode, one may not be able to work, may avoid or seem fearful of family members and other close associates, and may require hospitalization.  Similar, but at a milder level, is the hypomanic state, and cyclothymia is the name of a more rare condition in which the mood swings are less intense, but still cause disruption in one’s work and daily life. It may not always be easy to discern these varying levels of energetic states on one’s own.  Friends and family members may have a clearer view of what ... Read More
stigma in mental illness
An interesting opinion piece in the New York Times this past week highlights unintended consequences of the ways in which we talk about mental illness and the strategies we use to reduce stigma around it. Dr. Lisa Pryor, a mental health care practitioner in Australia comments that increasing discussion, publicity and stigma reduction around “moderate” mental illnesses like anxiety and depression has the effect of increasing the stigma of more serious illnesses that may require hospitalization.  She has found patients resisting diagnoses of schitzophrenia, mania, severe depression and personality disorders, often insisting that they only need antidepressants to treat their “depression”. Dr. Pryor also observes that the narrative around “mental illness can happen to anyone” obscures the way in which ... 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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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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