How do you address stigma about depression? Depression is an illness, and it’s an illness that’s not easy to cope with. But in addition to the illness itself and how awful it makes you feel some days, you also have to deal with people – from the closest family to the most casual stranger – judging you for not being strong enough to “just cheer up”. Depression diagnoses are showing significant increase, but there is still a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about the condition. Speaking up and doing the needed educational work is hard when you’re already dealing with a debilitating illness, and yet, when others try to educate the general public about depression, their voices may lack the ... Read More
How do you make decisions? Major depression can have profound effects on decision making, causing apparently irrational decisions, for example, not choosing to change behavior in ways that will likely lead to rewards, and choosing instead a course of action that is likely to be unrewarding. Traditional psychological theories of depression have focused on the notion that the problem is a distorted perception of the likelihood of a reward (see option valuation below). As a result most psychotherapies assume that if you show someone who is depressed evidence that one choice is most likely to be rewarded, then the person will make that choice. Therapists will tell you that this strategy doesn’t always work. You show the depressed person that ... Read More
Women who are pregnant, especially if it is a first child, are usually extremely protective of the child, so much so that it can sometimes be hard to convince the mother-to-be that taking care of her need for emotional stability is as important as protecting the child from risk. This makes it hard to explain the potential value of continuing effective treatment of depression into pregnancy. Mothers can find plenty of information online about the possible risks of antidepressants taken during pregnancy, but it is harder to find information that captures the importance of keeping a mother out of a depressive episode during the pregnancy. After all, aren’t we comparing temporary distress for the mother with potentially life long adverse ... Read More
Suicide is a growing phenomenon in the USA and around the world. Especially in this difficult time of pandemics, natural disasters and divisive politics, suicide prevention is for everyone. World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10 each year, and it’s a time for all of us to stop and look around. People in our own social networks are struggling in silence, and it’s hard to know how to start up a conversation with them. But it’s even harder to know that you could have spoken up, but now it’s too late. Natasha Tracy in her “Bipolar Blog” urges us to just start the conversation and forget the rules. Don’t be afraid to say the word “suicide” and let your loved ... Read More
Heredity and childhood trauma are two known risk factors for depression, but these can’t be modified in adults. Are there specific actions that could be taken by at-risk individuals that would make depression prevention possible? Much of the research available so far does not search for a wide variety of possible factors, instead focusing on a hypothesized intervention, e.g. exercise or diet, which may show results, but will not show interactions between factors, or others that may be overlooked. A large-scale cohort study from the U.K. has looked at patient health questionnaire data including information about mental and physical health, social and community participation, and general lifestyle, as well as genomic data showing possible genetic risk factors. After 6 to ... 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.
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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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