Meditation Apps Review

Meditation Apps: a new review Meditation is one of the best ways to cope with the stresses and anxieties of daily life, and MoodSurfing has long been a fan of awareness and relaxation techniques from many sources.  Recently, the phenomenon of websites and apps to facilitate the meditation experience has become widespread and the field is competitive and constantly changing. …

Bipolar Disorder in Teens

Bipolar disorder usually begins during adolescence or early adulthood, but it takes on average 10 years between the onset of symptoms and correct diagnosis and treatment.  A recent article in the New York Times looks more deeply into the issues and controversies surrounding early diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder. Dr. Boris Birmaher, professor of psychiatry at the University of …

Films and Documentaries about Mental Illness

Films and documentaries about mental illness, gay and lesbian issues, mental illness and creativity, and hidden and untold histories are coming out of the metaphorical closet in 2021.  MoodSurfing has received notice of several important new contributions in the film and mental illness field, and we are looking forward to more in the future. Mysteries of Mental Illness The Public …

The Bandaged Place

A friend and fellow psychiatrist, Ravi Chandra, MD, has produced a documentary about the impact of the twin pandemics of COVID and the more visibly surfacing wounds of racial trauma, and now announces its world premiere at the Queens World Film Festival on Sunday, June 27th, 2021 at 4 pm EST.  For tickets and trailer click here. Ravi writes: “How …

Return to the Office

Return to the office?  Well, maybe People who have been able (or forced) to work from home during the pandemic are estimated to be about one-third to one-half of the US workforce.  For these workers, who may have been called “office workers” in the past, a big reckoning is coming up.  Some are anxious to return to the office environment …

Social Support Lengthens Lives

Social support lengthens lives – But how? A recent study looks at how interventions directed at patients recovering from medical treatment or conditions can help improve outcomes, particularly by reducing overall mortality.  Numerous studies and clinical experiences have shown that social support, broadly understood, can have a substantial effect on survival rates and recovery times for patients in a variety …

Watching TV is Bad for Brain Health

Three studies have recently been concluded, each of which looks at the effect of television watching habits on brain health, specifically gradual reductions in the amount of gray matter found in the aging brain.  All three studies found that those who watched less television on average had less loss of brain volume in tests conducted after a period of several …

Mental Health Awareness 2021

For now over 70 years, Americans have delegated the month of May as “Mental Health Awareness Month” (since 1949). And with medical experts and researchers across the planet sharing their observation that the Covid-19 pandemic is going to continue to have an array of mental health impacts into the foreseeable future, mental health awareness needs to remain in the forefront …

Teens and Anxiety

What do parents really want for their children?  Most would say “a happy, healthy, well-balanced life”.  But are the kids getting the message?  When researchers asked teenagers what their parents wanted for them, they said “get good grades, go to college, get a well-paying job.” Even before the pandemic, surveys noted a rise in stress, anxiety and depression and substance …

take pleasure

Take Pleasure

What’s the best way to cope with stress?  Our friend Rick Hanson, whom we frequently quote in this blog, wonders why people don’t Take Pleasure.   There are so many fun things to do, some take hardly any time or money, why don’t we just take time out to smell the roses, or the dinner cooking, or the perfume…  Why don’t …

Self-Compassion and Self-Esteem

What do you do when you make a mistake?  Grit your teeth and try again?  Or are you afraid to try again?  Give yourself a pep talk and reminder to work harder next time?  Or do you give yourself the compassionate response you would give a friend who made a similar mistake? Self-compassion is a technique that everyone can use …

World Bipolar Day Special Event

March 30 is the day!  There will be some great events, including an Ask Me Anything panel on Reddit resourced by CrestBD. The Collaborative RESearch Team to study psychosocial issues in Bipolar Disorder (CREST.BD) is a multidisciplinary collaborative network of researchers, people living with bipolar disorder, healthcare providers, and family members and supporters. They are offering a great lineup of …

Social Media and Mental Health

What are the connections between social media use and depression?  Between social media and anxiety?  Does social media cause depression, or do depressed people turn to social media more, or is there some third factor that accounts for any association or correlation? New research keeps coming out, and it’s kind of a jungle trying to follow it all.  Screen time …

World Bipolar Day 2021

Seeking Local Events for World Bipolar Day Sadly, many of us are still isolated from big events this year, but there are still lots of ways we can connect and participate.  The World Bipolar Day website now has a sign-up form available for those planning events to coordinate with WBD in your local area. World Bipolar Day is celebrated each …

Link Between Screen Time and Depression

Link between screen time and depression?  It’s complicated A new longitudinal study looking at video gaming and social media use at age 11 compared with the same subjects’ responses to a questionnaire about depressive symptoms three years later at age 14 has come up with some complex data. Boys who played video games daily reported fewer depressive symptoms three years …

Loneliness – A Little Attention Makes a Big Difference

Empathetic listening reduces loneliness Loneliness can be a serious problem, and is a risk factor for several illnesses.  Loneliness is implicated in higher rates of depression and anxiety, and with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, reduced human contact has raised red flags as a potential source of health concerns.  Especially among poorer and more vulnerable populations, loneliness is emerging …