Doctors Part 2

Once you have found a good doctor (see Doctors Part 1 for thoughts on finding doctors), how can you make sure that you get the best help from that doctor (or doctors). Here are a few thoughts collected from our experiences working with many people over the years – 1. Plan ahead. It is almost always a good idea to …

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the fat soluble vitamins, and along with other fat soluble vitamins, it is possible to take too little, but it is also possible to take too much. And taking too much can have negative health effects, just as taking too little can. For many of us we get enough vitamin D naturally from exposure to …

Supplements – Overview

Supplements are drugs that are found in nature (note: supplements don’t have to be any more “natural” in terms of how they are made than prescription drugs). Because they are found in nature they are not, in the United States, subject to review and approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Also, because they are found in nature, they tend …

Doctors Part 1

Managing your relationships with doctors can be a challenge. Here are a few tips that might help. It all begins with finding good doctors. In many parts of the country this can be hard. There may not be many choices. Start with a list of “candidates” – For a primary care doctor – look under “internal medicine”, “family practice” or …

Dealing with Perfectionism

Society puts a premium on perfection, for good reason. Perfection fascinates and inspires. I am particularly drawn to the symmetry and complexity of buildings, bridges, and visual art, often staring at such creations with awe and wonder at how such perfection was achieved. In addition to architecture and art, perfection is expected in vocations where the slightest mistake could be …

Staying Connected: How to Maintain Communication Even When You’re Not in the Mood

Let’s say you’re having one of those shabby old days when your mood’s in the gutter and you’re in the doldrums.If you’re feeling grim and can’t face the thought of a conversation of any kind? How can you possibly do the connecting thing at times like this? Here are five ideas: 1. Opt for a more indirect channel of communication such …

Watch the Mood Waves

One of the best ways of helping people MoodSurfing successfully is to look closely at the shape of their mood waves. Often when we talk to someone about this idea they are perplexed. Waves are waves right? If you have a depression wave then you should do one thing and if you have a manic wave you do something else. …

Yoga

Many people we know report that beginning yoga and doing it consistently has been associated with periods of remarkable stability, energy and effectiveness. There are studies supporting yoga as an evidence based approach to the treatment of depression. But it is hard to figure out where to begin. At the end of this page are some additional resources. One thing …

Music and Mood

People naturally turn to music to change or improve their moods. There are surprisingly few studies on this. But those studies that do exist confirm what we already know, music can definitely affect our mood. Enough of the science, if we know music affects mood, how can we use that knowledge to “moodsurf” better? One thing that we have discovered …

Impossible Jobs

In this world, there are two kinds of jobs: Jobs that one could perhaps do adequately, and jobs that are impossible.  For whatever reason, a lot of folks’ we know tend to prefer impossible jobs.  Maybe because they’re more exciting and interesting. The key to an impossible job is recognizing that no person could do all the work that falls …

“Too Dependent”

From time to time we hear people complaining that they’re too dependent or that someone they know is too dependent on them. Usually the proposed solution is for that person to become more independent. The trouble is that this doesn’t work. People who have normal needs for social interaction are not able to be independent in the way that we …

Narcissism

“You’re such a narcissist!” It’s easy to see why people with moods are often accused of being narcissistic. When we are depressed we become focused on ourselves and our mood and our pain. This is also what happens to people with chronic pain of other types. And when we are manic, we become preoccupied with our importance and specialness. But …

Kay Jamison

If you do much thinking about moods and how they affect us, you eventually run into Kay Jamison. She has dedicated her life to understanding mood and its impact on us. She teaches at Johns Hopkins, but she is not just an academic, she is also a brilliant writer and compelling lecturer. She is the co-author of the best one …

Natural Supplements for Depression

There are many, many supplements that people have suggested are effective treatments for depression. How do you decide what is worth trying? Here we will list the much smaller list of supplements that have been shown to be effective in clinical trials. S-Adenosyl Methionine. SAMe was recently shown in a well designed (but small) clinical trial to help people who …