Too Much Healthy Eating Can Be Bad for You

Medical practitioners have begun to recognize an eating disorder associated with a concern for healthy eating, “orthorexia nervosa”, in which a zealous concern for healthy food leads to clinical concerns for possible malnutrition, micronutrient and macronutrient deficiencies, inadvertent weight loss and social impairments. Avoidance or refusal of foods due to fear of impurities, processed foods, additives and imagined contaminants, while …

80 Pleasurable Things – Nancy

Here’s a list of 80 fun or pleasurable things to do.  Some of them are simple to arrange and quick to accomplish, and some require some planning and preparation, or even money.  But all of them can be enjoyable experiences.  Remember that motivation is less important than just doing it.  Even if you don’t feel like it, or don’t think …

Exercise Improves Sleep Quality – Nancy

Insomnia is a significant problem in the United States, and for individuals grappling with mood and/or anxiety disorders, sleep loss can contribute to ill health, including immune function, cognitive functioning, and even cardiovascular problems. However, use of medication for insomnia does not have a good track record.  These medications have significant risks and adverse side effects, and often lose effectiveness …

children behavior problem

A Magic Solution for Children’s Behavior Problems

For readers who have children a common concern is what to do with children’s behavior problems. Of course, there’s no one size fits all solution to the problem but over the years we’ve been repeatedly impressed with the effectiveness of the solutions to be found in a series of books by psychologist Kevin Leman entitled Have a New Kid by …

A Social Media Resource – Reader Contribution

Moodsurfing continues to monitor developments in the field of online help for mood disorders and mental health generally, we have looked at several newly available resources here and here.  Of course, there are negatives as well, but overall, we are observing a trend of more and more useful and useable online programs and communities.  Here, we share a reader’s recommendation …

Books for Anyone Who’s Had a Rough Year – Nancy

Here’s a fun –looking list from Buzzfeed of “Books for anyone who’s had a tough year” – and who hasn’t? We are familiar with a couple of these, but this is not a list reviewed by Moodsurfing staff, it’s just a post we ran across that has some intriguiging reader reviews for each suggested book. I know in my own …

Survival Strategies for the Holidays – Nancy

It sounds funny, right?  Why should you need survival strategies for something that’s supposed to be fun?  But as people living with chronic health conditions all know, holidays can be disruptive.  For people with bipolar, holidays provide some particular challenges: the temptation to give into impulse (buying, eating, partying…), the potential for activities and events that may trigger a manic …

Bipolar Advantage

Another online resource that folks may appreciate is Bipolar Advantage, a program dedicated to helping people function at their highest potential during all mood states and levels.  Their trademark is changing the discussion from “Bipolar Disorder” to “Bipolar IN Order”, where the student learns to thrive during manic and depressive episodes, and to consider the advantages of their states of …

Support Groups – Nancy

Having a group of friends to talk things over with can mean the difference between success and failure in almost all areas of life, and it can be especially important in dealing with mental illness.  Even just a few people who “get it” can be a tremendous support.  But how to find them? Support groups come in all types and …

Family and Bipolar – Nancy

Family members can be your best support, and they can also be a drag on your recovery.  How to help them understand your needs better so that they can make positive impacts and let you get what you need? Having a family member diagnosed with an illness like Bipolar can be a significant shock.  If it’s a child, parents may …

Cognitive Behavior Therapy – Is It for You? – Nancy

One of the popular and well-researched non-medication alternatives for bipolar and unipolar depression is Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), a method of helping people identify and change unhealthy patterns of thought and/or behavior.  CBT looks at the interaction between feelings, thoughts and behavior, and helps participants learn to analyze the connections between them and how they influence each other. For example, …

Mindfulness and Health – Nancy

Moodsurfing has often recommended mindfulness exercises for those grappling with bipolar and other chronic illnesses, but is it possible to go beyond exercises and make mindfulness a part of your everyday life? One way to do this is to take an activity that you do habitually, like turning on the coffee maker in the morning, brushing your teeth, or whatever …

Acceptance Self Talk for Depression – Nancy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) teaches users a technique called “Acceptance Self-Talk”.  This is a series of exercises that trains people to substitute new thoughts for old ones and encourages them to evaluate their thoughts and accept only what seems true and helpful. Depression is often characterized by recurrent negative thoughts that drag one down and become barriers to taking …

Exercise, Diet and Sleep – Nancy

Exercise, diet and sleep: three important ingredients for health, and also for mood stability.  Keeping our bodies healthy is a vital strategy for mental health as well.  All body systems work together, so it makes sense that a healthy balance in one area will contribute to a healthy balance in others. Try this experiment: make a chart or note of …

Daylight Saving Time – Gina

It’s that time of year again – in the United States Daylight Savings Time begins tomorrow morning! The time shifts this coming Sunday and it’s important to remember that this change can impact your mood. Research has shown that shifting your sleep cycle to getting up later can increase your risk for depression. This time change already comes during a …

Bipolar Marriage – Nancy

Americans with bipolar are more likely than Europeans to marry someone with a similar diagnosis, according to a study by Robert M. Post, MD, of the Bipolar Collaborative Network, Bethesda, Maryland, and the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, George Washington University.  Post and colleagues recruited volunteers with bipolar I from four cities in the USA and three cities in …

Commit to Values-Based Action – Nancy

We’ve discussed the mental health strategy called “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy” several times in Moodsurfing (see below for links), and it’s an important feature of our Bipolar Disorder Workbook.  It’s a multifaceted approach, and there’s a lot to unpack. This post explores the “commitment” part of it all. Once you’ve trained yourself to look squarely at your reality, without focusing …

Communication, Disclosure and Getting Support – Nancy

Sharing information about a diagnosis, disclosure, can be a constant tension for people with bipolar.  On the one hand, you need a support network that includes family, friends, co-workers and even employers.  On the other hand, any or all of these people may create more difficulties, or even be a part of the problem from the beginning. Dr. Cannon Thomas …